The weather is cool, Halloween is in the air, and I just redesigned the Pontiac Aztec. This is the week in TV Land:
• For being a weak network overall and the home to some truly awful medical dramas, NBC can bring the funny. This week it handed down full-season pickups for Parks and Recreation and Community, both solid shows that have been holding fairly steady in the ratings while also being, you know, entertaining. This week's Community wasn't the strongest episode of its brief run, but there were some wonderful moments (Jeff and Troy's banter about homophobia/racism), and it's got great scripts. Ditto Parks and Recreation. So yes, NBC still sucks the big one thanks to their unending loyalty to Jay Leno, but hey, funny shows! (Plus, let's cut NBC some slack. They cut a deal with DirecTV to keep Friday Nights Lights going, and that makes me happy. mmmmmmmmmriggins)
• Speaking of NBC comedy: This was the second week in a row that 30 Rock really nailed a sense a timeliness, from Jack's attempts not to look like a greedy corporate boss in need of a bailout to the Liz Lemon porn shot on the set of TGS that mirrored the real-life 30 Rock porn. Weirdly, 30 Rock didn't use the stars of the already-made porn (New Sensations' lamely titled 30 Rock: A XXX Parody) but went with their own. Dude! Way to miss out on a branding opportunity, guys.
• Okay, so I've had a lot going on, and I haven't seen Mad Men in like three weeks. Thing is, I don't feel like I'm missing it, you know? I think I was just watching it because it was there, not because I derived any kind of joy or worth from the experience.
• I tried watching ABC's Hank -- JUST FOR YOU -- but had to quit after 10 minutes. It was just too terrible. So I switched over to the Scrubs rerun on Comedy Central. I made the right call.
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• I'm still on board with Modern Family, if only because the horribly manufactured cheekiness of the 10-year-old Manny is balanced by the wonderful comic chemistry between Cameron and Mitchell. Plus this week allowed for a nice combo when Cameron got to bond with the still-slightly-homophobic Jay over football. The bit with everyone jumping into the pool at the end was a bit too saccharine, lacking the bite to even it out, but still, a solid show. It's a good year for network comedy.
• Did anyone else watch IFC's Monty Python: Almost the Truth -- The Lawyers' Cut? The six-part documentary was a great look at the groundbreaking troupe, especially for some who might be familiar with their bigger works but not as much with their personal histories. If you missed it, IFC is airing it again every Saturday through the next month, starting with Oct. 31. (IFC is also now showing Arrested Development. Nice to see it back on TV.)
• Hey, Dollhouse fan(s)! Bad news. Fox is pushing the series off the air during November sweeps, opting instead for reruns (yeah) of House and Bones. When it returns in December, episodes will air in two-hour blocks on Friday nights to make up for lost time. Creator Joss Whedon told the Internet the other day: "We're not exactly saving all the good stuff for 14-22, but nobody's closed the door." So hang in there, if you're watching.
Programming note for this week: No Glee or Fringe because of Fox's airing of the World Series. Because I don't really follow baseball, I guess I'll just have to stay home and drink.