March 2014 TV Comedy Roundup

Welcome back to the Comedy Roundup! We were preempted by the Olympics in February, but we’re back and ready for action in March. There’s has been some high quality comedic work this month. Of course, there’s also been some spotty work by a lot of our old favorites. Let’s dive in to the tasty cream and the sludgy bottom of this month in televised comedy.

Note: If you would like for me to discuss one of your favorite comedies in this column, please feel free to submit it in the comments below. I’m always looking for new things that will give me the giggles.

Obligatory Parks and Recreation Mention

Parks and Recreation season 6 episode 17 Galantine's Day (3)

Let’s get it out of the way off the top. This month’s episodes of Parks and Recreation have shown the show’s age, and shown its continued brilliance. Leslie Knope’s constant struggle against the stupidity of Pawnee is starting to feel tiresome. So much so, that I want her to take the job in Chicago and never return. I want that for her because I care for her as a character, but I also want it for the show itself. It can still be glorious at times, but the idiocy of the Pawnee citizenry has ran its course.

That being said, when the show focuses on the relationships of the people we’ve come to love, the show still really sings. Last week’s “Galentine’s Day 2014” had great moments that all centered around a lot of our favorites in different combinations making us laugh (nothing more so than Tom’s straight-forward-deal fedora). At this point, all the show has left to do is give us some high points between the central characters, and get Leslie out of Pawnee. The rest is just a song you’ve heard too many times.

Fox’s Likable but Unwatched Comedies

Surviving Jack Series Premiere 2014 Pilot (6)

Fox premiered another delightful comedy this past Thursday in Surviving Jack. Christopher Meloni is really excellent, and the show itself has a very specific point of view and a great deal of charm. Naturally, very few people watched. This lack of an audience is in keeping with Fox’s comedy situation at present. Lots of people love the comedies Fox trots out on a weekly basis, but they can’t seem to gain any traction with the viewing populace. Most comedies in general are struggling these days (there are some very notable exceptions), but Fox’s Tuesday and Friday comedy blocks seem to be struggling more than most. The little shows that could on Tuesday are coming back, but Fox’s Friday night comedies are either already cancelled (Raising Hope) or all but cancelled (Enlisted). All of these shows are worth believing in (with the mother-of-all exceptions in Dads), so you need to start tuning in before Kevin Reilly runs them all off his network.

Life on the Bubble

Trophy Wife Episode 17 The Wedding - Part Two (9)

Even though Fox has the market cornered on perpetually low-rated comedies, plenty of other comedies are barely hanging on as the season comes to a close. Despite the massive campaign surrounding the show’s creative turnaround, ABC’s The Neighbors has completely crashed on Friday nights. ABC also has established comedy Suburgatory on the bubble, as well as the bubbly new comedy, Trophy Wife. Nothing that happens with these two shows will come as much of a surprise.

CBS renewed much of their slate to little surprise. A lot of the new shows are solid performers to surround the ratings juggernaut that is The Big Bang Theory. Unfortunately, it’s the high-priced prize comedy that is letting them down. The Crazy Ones is performing solidly on a week-to-week basis, but there’s too much money invested in the show to have it do “okay”. They might bring it back to see if it grows in its second season (as some comedies tend to do), but they have plenty of comedies renewed to fill in the gaps if needed next season.

NBC is NBC. Their comedy slate is a complete dumpster fire. Naturally, the biggest name on the bubble is Community. With the return of Dan Harmon, Community has found its voice once again in its improbable fifth season. Though NBC would love to be done with a show that will never generate a big audience, the state of their comedy slate may leave him no choice. If Community returns for a sixth season, the world of the hashtaggers may implode on itself. The six seasons and a movie once thought to be unattainable seems suddenly well within reach.