Test Pilot: File #53, Parks and Recreation

Test Pilot #53: Parks and Recreation Debut date: April 9, 2009 Series legacy: On the shortlist of great contemporary sitcoms First impressions mean a lot in television, and that’s why writers, producers, studios, networks, etc. put more time, effort and money into pilots than they do just about any other episode that could possibly be … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #53, Parks and Recreation

Chitchat: Does Parks and Recreation have a Leslie Knope problem?

I talk television with a lot of people. Friends, family, other critics on Twitter, vagrants on the street. I just love talking about TV. Because I don’t have the time and resources to do a podcast like I used to in college, I’m going to sort of replicate that experience in textual form in a … Continue reading Chitchat: Does Parks and Recreation have a Leslie Knope problem?

Test Pilot: File #28, The Comeback

Test Pilot #28: The Comeback Debut date: June 5, 2005 Series’ legacy: A flawed, lukewarmly received mockumentary that was perhaps a bit before its time For nearly a decade-and-a-half, HBO has been the biggest power player in the television industry. More than any other individual network or entity, HBO has shaped our perceptions of quality … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #28, The Comeback

Parks and Recreation, “Ron & Tammy: Part Two”

Bringing back successful supporting characters is always a  bit of a crapshoot. If their initial introduction to the series and its world is so tremendous, it's always going to be hard to top or create a story that lives up to the fans' expectations. And one of the easiest ways to try to avoid any … Continue reading Parks and Recreation, “Ron & Tammy: Part Two”

No more questions: Parks and Recreation is already better than The Office has ever been

Note: I have not seen any of season three like many real critics. This argument is based mostly on season two and just a bit on my own assumptions/critical acclaim for season three. Even with my small profile as an "online television critic," or my time at my undergraduate university newspaper, the question I've probably … Continue reading No more questions: Parks and Recreation is already better than The Office has ever been

TV Surveillance’s Best of 2010: The 25 Best Series, 10-1

2010 has been a fantastic year for television. This year brought us a slew of great new programs and if we include the second halves of all the series that debuted in the fall of 2009 (which I am for these features), we have probably just experienced the best run of newbies since 2004. While … Continue reading TV Surveillance’s Best of 2010: The 25 Best Series, 10-1

TV Surveillance Dream Emmy Ballot: Writing for a Comedy Series

This week I'll be pretending that I have an Emmy vote and discussing my picks for all the major categories. Once it gets closer to the time that nominees are actually announced, I'll do an official "picks" column. Up first: Writing for a Comedy Series! Two things before we get going: First, I'm only choosing … Continue reading TV Surveillance Dream Emmy Ballot: Writing for a Comedy Series

2009-10 season wrap: Parks and Recreation

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be summarizing my thoughts on many of the series that ended just as the “official” television season came to a close recently. Overview: After a short first season that felt too much like an Office spin-off that didn't quite know how to make its characters act like real people, … Continue reading 2009-10 season wrap: Parks and Recreation