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Going Greendale

 

Generally my Porsche of a column in this Pinto of a newspaper is supposed to be the “movie column” or the “column we throw out first when there’s not enough space,” but the first few months of the year are a notoriously crappy time for movies, and I’m pretty much just marking time until “The Hunger Games” anyway, so this week instead of movies I’m going to tell you which TV shows you should be watching, and we’ll get back to movies next week when “The Hunger Games” is finally released and, Jesus Christ, this is the longest sentence ever. Anyway, to my soapbox!

Though a very similar medium, television differs from cinema in a lot of big ways. With movies, what’s popular is more in line with what’s good. Sure there’s a “Twilight” here and there, but for the most part you don’t have a lot of really bad movies making a nearly a billion dollars.

With TV shows, on the other hand, it seems that the crap always rises to the top. “Reality” shows, “competition” shows, procedurals and awful sitcoms are what most people watch. 

Heck, one of my best friends who has otherwise impeccable taste (i.e. similar to mine) never misses an episode of “Celebrity Apprentice” or “The Voice.”  

CBS is the highest-rated network despite the fact that, with the exception of “How I Met Your Mother,” its shows (particularly the ones that are supposed to be funny) are uniformly awful and downright offensive. I’d rather take a hard knee to the crotch than watch “2 Broke Girls” or “Two and a Half Men,” but both of those shows are really popular. NBC allows “Whitney” and “Are You There, Chelsea?” to pollute our airwaves. Fox shows “American Idol” pretty much every night of the week because it can’t come up with anything better. 

The victims of this television travesty are A) America, and B) The great shows that people aren’t watching. I’m referring to two shows in particular: “Parks and Recreation” and “Community.”

“Parks and Rec,” is, in my opinion, the best show currently on television. It has gone from being a lame “Office” knockoff to one of the greatest comedies of all time. It has some of the most wonderful, funny and engaging characters you’ll ever see (see: Swanson, Ron), and it consistently has poor ratings. Why? No, seriously, why? You’re obviously one of the ones not watching it, so you tell me! The first three seasons are on Netflix instant queue, and the current season is available for free on Hulu, so I suggest you check it out, since I don’t want to imagine a world where this show isn’t still on.

“Community,” which in many ways is just as good as “Parks and Rec,” was even taken off the schedule for several months to make way for the aforementioned excrement, “Whitney.” Finally, the denizens of Greendale Community College returned to our screens last week (and again tonight! At 7 p.m.! On NBC!) and it was like a breath of fresh air. Ratings were up, too, since I guess everyone was curious what us dang Internet folks was carryin’ on about this whole time. 

So, the moral of this story is, uh, I dunno, don’t watch bad TV shows? Avoid MTV, E!, and Vh1 at all costs? I don’t know. Stop looking at me. Tune in next time as I probably nitpick the hell out of “The Hunger Games.”