And that's the end of them.
Parks and Recreation was the last "NBC" comedy that I liked. Community lives on in a Yahoo! format that I don't think anyone will decry or mind, but that show has shed the network that failed to make it a hit, not the other way around. I don't know what's coming, but I do know we need another paintball episode, fast.
The Office, Community, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation were four of the greatest comedies ever. They rank up there with Newhart, which is a show that has never been forgotten specifically because it had the greatest finale ever.
I don't care about Seinfeld, Cheers, Friends or anything by Chuck Lorre. I'm sorry--those shows mean nothing to me. Fuck Frasier, easily the worst and most manipulative comedy there ever was in terms of things I believe are my opinion. I do miss News Radio, and I know we will have more Arrested Development. But the loss of Parks and Recreation marks a turning point for me.
The minds that put The Office, Community, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation on television represent the best talent in American comedy. They are the shows that have been invaluable now for years, developing and exposing America to the kind of entertainment that has been swallowed up by an indifference to quality. How people could neglect them and not watch them is beyond my understanding. The ratings for those four shows have been atrocious and anemic, and yet the talent and the writing has been incredible.
I don't buy that Community was too weird. Years from now, we'll have numerous shows like it and people will be thrilled, but you'll never top the cast of that show. 30 Rock was fast and perfect, always. It never sagged or dipped and it was the best thing Alec Baldwin will ever do. The Office was not nearly as bad as people made it out to be. The last two years were better than a lot of shows in their prime, held up by the brilliance of a supporting cast that was assembled out of actors and actresses that should be working forever. When The Office was chewing through seasons three and four, no one could touch it.
And tonight we saw the end of something special. Parks and Recreation created a town that was real and it entertained the hell out of anyone who wandered by. It was an incredibly written and performed show, marking a highlight of sorts. It was informed by the craft of television and then went further than any other show, celebrating the mediocrity of a Midwestern town without hating anyone or anything. A throwaway bit like Lil' Sebastian became a moment of inspired lunacy.
We live in an age when nobody knows what they're missing simply because they won't watch good shows. I'm not surprised by the indifference that good art is subjected to, I'm just saddened by it to the point where I find myself hoarding DVDs. Nights like tonight remind me that binge shopping when pissed only enriches the bastards who deliver us garbage. If I could go my whole live and never give NBC a dime, I would.
They had magic in their hands, and they shit the bed.