Monday, October 21, 2013

At Least It Was Here

Twitter just said to me that the show Community is coming back for its 5th season on January 2nd.  I'm currently (and have always been) obsessed with this show so this is great news for me.  I'm guessing they only agreed to this 5th season for a show that's been on the chopping block every year so that they could get up to 100 episodes, which is perfect for a show in syndication for the network to make any real money.  But whatever the reasoning behind it, and unfortunately to the chagrin of all the #sixseasonsandamovie fans out there, the show will at least be back for one final season.  This season will see the departure of Donald Glover after the first 5 episodes, which is a real loss, but will also exclude Chevy Chase's character, which almost makes up for it!  But for those of you who don't watch Community and are patiently waiting for me to move on to something else, just wait a second!  Because this WILL effect you, if say, you're a Parks and Recreation fan.

We all know that TV networks are soulless succubi hell bent on playing with our fragile emotions all the while making Scrooge McDuck type money that they swim in.  It's common knowledge.  In fact the extended sitcom like documentary, 30 Rock, focused heavily on this very fact.  With the departure of The Office, and let's be real, that show left like 3 seasons before it was finally over, NBC has been on a free fall in the ratings, especially in that once coveted Thursday night spot.  With the cancelling of some other shows in that lineup, they've decided to also put Parks and Recreation on a 3 week hiatus, and will pump our cracked out minds with shows like The Voice.  Then when are brains are soft and mushy, they'll attack us with 2 weeks of 4 P&R episodes in mid November, just to keep their peacock like grip on us.  Then the show will go away again until January, when it will reemerge in the new re-tooled Thursday night line up following the premiere of Community.  You see!  I told you it would affect you!

NBC used to be the network that would buck the standard for sitcoms and put out some of the most unique shows ever.  And they were quite successful at it!  Shows like Seinfeld and Friends were never before seen concepts, and 30 Rock allowed the network to make fun of itself; but there's been a change somewhere along the way...I guess when other networks decided to make television too, and NBC fell to the immediate feedback and ratings.  Rather than making good television that was unique and rewarded loyal viewers with running gags and smart references, they chose to pander to the doe eyed masses who need everything spoon fed to them.  And of course NBC is not alone.  Other networks gave in.  ABC ran with Scrubs for years, before determining that they no longer could sustain quality sitcoms that didn't pull in the ratings.  Instead they gave up on fantastic shows like Happy Endings, Pushing Daisies, and Better Off Ted.  You can still catch both seasons of that last one on Amazon Prime and it's worth it!

So what's the message?  What do these Network Nazis want us to do?  How do cope when these tyrants of TV....these Barons of the Boob Tube....these Pied Pipers of Programming keep replacing quality comedy with vapid shows like American Idol, the Bachelor and The Voice?  They want us to watch mindless competitive singing and dancing shows.  They want us to watch "news" with it's political bias and yelling over telling segments.  They want us to watch prime time soap operas, or one of 15 versions of a fake police drama where the police are imbeciles (to help prolong a poorly written storyline) and the criminals are psychotic, that we start assuming that any kid in school with ADHD will one day murder us.  Which is true.  TV told me so.

It also explains the explosion of cable television, or more specifically, AMC and FX, which has  shows like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead and Justified, and doesn't give a damn about a subscription only service.  When you can get such gripping television without paying for HBO, network TV better watch out.  And just wait until they break into the sitcom market.  What if cable TV was showing new episodes of smart sitcoms...then network TV would really be on its way out.  Right now, I think TBS making Cougar Town is the only one on the radar.  But 10 more shows on 9 other networks, and I think the Four Horseman of the TVpocalypse will find themselves out in the lurch...and no amount of Mariah Carey style over-singing on American Idol will save them. 

Fingers crossed anyways....

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