Back in the late ’90’s Thursday night was the night to get your sitcoms. NBC was the channel where you would get at least 2 out of a few good shows. Friends was nearing the end of it’s ten seasons while Will and Grace started dying out and Scrubs began what felt like forever on the air. Sure Scrubs was good for what…five maybe six seasons? It just proves the point that television shows aren’t what they used to be.
Take The Simpsons for instance. They are in what their 22nd season? The show is stale as year old bread, has been for almost a decade. Sure there are flashes of brilliance sandwiched between giant turds but those are few and far between. Go towards today’s sitcom and you get very bland and tried out formulas. What ever happened to Thursday Night’s Must See TV on NBC? It vanished with Friends.
After years of struggling NBC found a damn good lineup at the start of last season. With new shows Parks and Recreation and Community airing with powerhouses The Office (season 5) and 30 Rock (season 4) Thursdays seemed like a good night once again. Parks was alright in it’s brief run in the spring but it seemed to lose steam early on and vanish off into the sunset like a stead in a western. Community was a cult hit right from the start. Joel McHale and Donald Glover as well as Chevy Chase and the rest of the cast had that Breakfast Club vibe going that just made viewers feel good. Then there was Steve Carell. The Office began to tank, not in the viewership but in quality.
I had been watching the characters for the entire run of the show but it was at “The Wedding” that I had to quit. I used to be upset if I missed a week, I would berate myself on Friday morning as the file downloaded. Sure I bought the first 3 seasons on DVD, which is rare for me to do, but I loved the show. It’s dry humor, the funny one liners, that’s what she said, it was great. It made me forget that TV sucked in general. Then it got stale. Carell announced that season six would be his last. So they had to work that into the show’s story. Who is going to replace Carell as the boss? Is is gonna be Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) or Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson)? In all honesty I stopped caring.
In the meantime I ate up Community like it was pizza after getting a high. It was just soooo good. There was no way I could hate this show, plus Joel McHale is a hunk. On top of that 30 Rock remained fresh and Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey’s chemistry just got better. So the season ended, Community and 30 Rock became virtually the only shows I watched then the new season came around.
Community stayed the way it was, and that was a-ok with me. 30 Rock began to mimic real life. With NBC being bought by Comcast, Fey worked that into the story arcs. That was great. But the real problem still lies with The Office. Last night Carell’s character bumped into a familiar face…well familiar if you have seen the original show. That would be the great Ricky Gervais. The awkwardness that ensued might have been a flashback to the Golden Globes where Gervais said about Carell how he killed his cash cow. Of course it ended with Gervais’ character asking Carell if Dunder Mifflin was hiring.
So the real meaning of this post is to ask the question, is Gervais coming to America’s Office? Is he going to fill in the role of Michael Scott as his character from the British program? I mean think about it. Gervais created the show, brought it here and doesn’t that mean he has that right? Both versions have the company being a paper company and that would work. I could forgive the show’s writers if they did that and had Gervais do writing too. He would fix the shit that has been going on there for a few seasons now and everything would be a-ok.