Season 2 – the make-or-break season. By giving a show a second season, a network is saying “Guess what – you’re now part of our mission statement.” This fall already promises new original programming, but everybody has written about those shows. Here’re my 5 second seasons that I’ll be watching next week…
- 1. Community – The sitcom that divided a nation will be back for a second go, and I couldn’t be more excited. Community seemed to struggle out of the gate, being the latest addition to NBC Thursday night line-up between its established workhorses The Office, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation; but the cast was always great and the premise clever. After The 2010 Winter Olympics ended, Community‘s writing steadily grew to being unstoppable – Jack Black was a sociopath, Joel McHale went the full monty in a game of pool, Donald Glover’s and Danny Pudi’s chemistry became quirky and nerdtastic, THE WHOLE PAINTBALL EPISODE WAS FREAKIN’ BRILLIANT! With a season finale that left us hanging with so many questions, I’m stoked to see where Dan Harmon and company will take it.
2. Modern Family – Believe it or not, it was ABC who finally toppled 30 Rock‘s reign as the most likable sitcom in Hollywood, see 2010 Emmy for Best Sitcom. What seemed like a “6 episodes ’til canceled” series at first surprised everyone with a strong pilot that built on its momentum. Does the show still drip with ABC’s trademark schmaltz? Yup. Does the writing also find a way to make a family sitcom enjoyable to the masses? Double yup.
3. Bored To Death – This show genuinely surprised me for a different reason: I wasn’t a fan of the pilot, but loved the rest of the series. Aside for being goofy and straight-up madcap at times, Bored To Death reveals a New York that very little people have heard about: South Brooklyn. The show is set in Fort Greene and Boerum Hill, filmed half of its locations in Park Slope, and pretty much nailed the upper middle class, vegan, touchy-feely, stroller-bearing, brownstone dwelling sub-culture that thankfully has kept all the cool kids ensconced in Williamsburg for a decade. Jason Schwartzman’s dead-pen egoism is funny, but the show is owned by Zach Galifinakis’s man-child comic book artist sidekick, and Ted Danson’s silverfox playboy buffoon of a magazine editor and Schwartzman’s boss.
4. The League – The fact that I’ve now named 4 sitcoms in a row should tell you what I thought about Treme. The League was my sleeper pick of new shows last season. Funny, original, perfect complement to It’s Always Sunny…? Yes. But what makes this one great is that it’s not just about fantasy football – it’s about being a 30-something guy, and getting the last of your shit together. In this case: balancing a youthful pastime with everything else that happens after you take out your first mortgage. The League avoids going off the deep end in either direction: just when you think these guys hit a new personal low that asks for a little sympathy, you’re made to remember – they put everything on hold for imaginary sports. Brilliant.
5. Eastbound and Down – Kenny Powers, TV’s most lovable asshole. There’s something about Eastbound… that I kept coming back to; and that would be how much destruction and comedy can its protagonist cause in one scene. What you like about Kenny Powers is his everyman background; what you hate about Kenny Powers is that that everyman was probably at Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally this past summer. Either way, Kenny’s in Mexico now, on the lam from his girlfriend, and playing baseball again. Let it ride hombre.