It used to be that Thursday night was my favorite TV night. The only night I bothered to watch any television program as it aired rather than record it and watch a day or two later when I could fast-forward through commercials. Thursday at 8pm, I was on my couch, my TV tuned in to NBC. It began with Community, moved on to 30 Rock, then Parks & Rec and ended with The Office. Hell of a line-up, am I right?
Then NBC started screwing with Community’s schedule, splitting each season in two, airing its episodes seemingly randomly with little or no promotion. Then 30 Rock reached its close, soon followed by The Office. Now, Parks & Rec is the only one of those shows still on air (I have no idea what happened to Community. It was never officially canceled nor, as far as I can tell, is there any plan to put it back on air. Wtf, NBC?) and while I do faithfully watch and love it, Thursday has become just another one-show night.
Not to worry, though, my dears, because as one door closes, another one opens. Case in point: Tuesday night programming on FOX. I have come to look forward to Tuesdays as I once did Thursdays and it’s all thanks to FOX’s current line-up. At 8:30pm, Brooklyn Nine-Nine kicks off the night (I watched one miserable episode of Dads and will never put myself through that again), New Girl follows and The Mindy Project wraps it up. That’s right: Tuesday is the new Thursday.
I know some folks think Andy Samberg is just a bit too much. Too loud, too silly, too over-the-top. If you fall into that category, allow me to set your mind at ease. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is very much an ensemble show. While Samberg is the star, his presence does not dominate every episode. More than that, his trademark ridiculousness is fairly toned down here. And he and the ever stoic Andre Braugher play off each other to utter perfection. Every single episode elicits a few hearty laughs, some from Samberg’s goofy antics and many from others in this excellent cast, and they’re only getting better as the season progresses.
I admit I came late to New Girl, having just started watching this past summer, but once I began watching, I couldn’t stop until I was entirely caught up. Zooey Deschanel has slowly won me over and now I am entirely hooked. Like all great sitcoms, the cast as a whole is the real star here and every key player shines. I’ve developed a full-on crush on Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield is one of the funniest comedic actors on TV right now. Lamorne Morris can make even the most absurd plot line work for him and now, Damon Wayans, Jr. has come back to reprise his role as Coach, a character who’s been missed since the pilot, his one and only episode before this season. His chemistry with the rest of them is so easy and charming, it’s like he never left. Seasons 1 & 2 are currently streaming on Netflix, which means you have no excuse not to watch.
Finally, The Mindy Project may arguably be the weakest of the three but it has been getting increasingly better since it first aired last year. Mindy Kaling is hilarious and charismatic and Chris Messina in the male lead plays the sensible and pragmatic curmudgeon to her moody, pop culture-obsessed girly girl. Ike Barinholtz, while occasionally creepy, often gets a laugh as the sweet but dopey nurse Morgan and Xosha Roquemore has been a great addition. I wish Betsy would disappear (sorry Zoe Jarman – it’s the character, not you) but otherwise, the cast has pretty much found its groove. Kaling and Messina have a fun “will they, won’t they” thing going on and thanks to Kaling’s many Hollywood connections, both seasons have been rife with awesome cameos. (Mark Duplass needs to be permanently added to the cast; his hippie midwife rival character is too good and should be fully utilized.)
I don’t know what else you’ve got going on every Tuesday night, but I’m sure it can wait. Forget reality TV and network dramas – thanks to FOX, the sitcom is making a comeback.