Over the past few years, I have come to look forward to today the way I look forward to Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years. The return of NBC comedies means the return of my favorite characters, places and pop culture commentary. I didn’t take my usual blogging notes tonight, because I just wanted to sit back and experience the return of comedy (I’m also very tired), so this will be a very brief review. (But next week, I’ll be back, details and all).

Unsurprisingly, Community came back full force. A crazy Kubrick allusion, a very obvious, and awesome, riff on a classic show that I cannot believe Abed hadn’t seen, and Chang in vents. Oh, and did I mention there was a meta musical number? Dan Harmon, you’ve started something interesting, and I am strapped in and ready for the thrill ride that this season (with it’s Wire-esqueness character arcs) will surely be.

Parks and Recreation was also on its A-game. The jokes came fast, the jokes came strong, and who doesn’t love Ron Swanson with a full beard? (Or any facial expression Andy makes?)

The Office was different. No Michael Scott means an ensemble show. The cast actually did pretty well with this new form of existence, and the episode was pretty funny, but it still just felt strange and off-center. I do have some side notes for this one:

-Whoa, Jenna Fischer is SUPER pregnant! It is very obvious that this is a real pregnancy…and that last one was super fake.

-When did Angela marry the senator? Did I miss something?

-Meredith planking is friggin’ hilarious.

-Jim will always be absurdly sweet: Pam, Cece, baby | Everything else

…and Whitney? Well, Whitney’s no 30 Rock. It’s definitely NBC’s attempt at something that looks safer, that looks “Chuck Lorre,” but talks “daring, new, female-focused comedy.” I wish Whitney Cummings the best, but I’ll be holding out for the return of 30 Rock! (It IS way better than Outsourced, there is that! At least I won’t have to end my reviews with suffering any more!)

I look forward to re-watching  Community and Parks and Rec to catch all the one-off jokes I’ll want to memorize and quote. Until then, I’m going to crash into a deep and much-needed sleep.


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