Saturday, September 29, 2007

NBC Thursday Was Once "Must See TV"...

...and somewhere along the way, it just became Thursday. The stronghold created by Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, etc., simply dissolved during the reality TV boom. Joey failed before it could do the old "friend" per for Sweeps routine, a la Frasier.

And now, the three-camera, laugh track sitcom has all but disappeared. Good riddance? It's more of a cyclical thing, I believe. When I was a teenager in the 90s, there was an aversion to all things 1980s. Now it seems, there's a lot of 80s retro happening in terms of music, fashion, and whatever else...

I digress. Here are my reactions to season premieres for My Name Is Earl and The Office. Yes, I know; I'm two days late.

Apparently Karma is giving Earl a bigger purgatory in which to redeem himself: Prison. The season premiere was a delightfully feel-good episode that involved Earl wheeling and dealing amongst the prisoner population to help a someone he had wronged. It's kind of like the first season (and possibly third) season of Prison Break, but not really.

The fourth season of The Office started out with a bang! Literally, as Michael Scott (Steve Carell) negligently hits one of his employees (Meredith, the red head) with his car. She turns out to have rabies (from the episode with the bat), and Michael holds a fundraiser/5k run for rabies. Yep. Michael Scott is totally inept and a jerk at times, but he's so endearing because he's a fictional character that you love to laugh at (not with). Of course, if you watch the show, you already knew that.

It's also interesting what might unfold this season: The Ross and Rachel of 2005 and beyond (Jim and Pam) have finally started dating. We'll see what happens. Ryan the Temp has become Ryan from Corporate - and is now Michael's superior. Poor Michael, but not really.

I think 30 Rock is premiering next week, and I can't recall the fourth show to round up the pre-ER comedy lineup. It just might be "Must See TV" again...minus the laugh track.

Photo of B.J. Novak credit: Gaelen Hadlett.

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