Season Premiere Roundup

September 18, 2009 | Comments (0) | by White Chili

A few of the Saloon's favorite shows started up again last night and overall the report card isn't going to force daddy to drink any more than usual. The Office kicked off its sixth season, Parks and Recreation is back for another year, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia looks to rebound from last year with season five, and NBC's new show Community debuted. The only thing missing was 30 Rock, which premieres next month. Here are the grades:

Parks and Recreation: I'll admit that I wanted to like this show but I never managed to watch a single episode last year. I think it was that it came on just before The Office so every time I sat down to watch The Office I would catch the last few minutes and curse/cut myself for missing it again. This episode was alright but never really seemed to get out of the gate. I'm not a huge Amy Poehler fan and this show seems like it's trying way too hard to horn in on the success of The Office. The format is almost entirely the same and some of the characters seem unusually similar. Only Aziz Ansari, a comic you may recognize from Funny People, had a few funny moments. I give this a C+. You're not getting into Vassar with those grades.

The Office: Last night was a great start to this season, when it could have just been about Jim and Pam having a baby. It turned out that was more of a sub plot once Michael began spreading fake gossip around the office to cover up a rather surprising revelation about Stanley. There were some great one-liners ("How can I be a virgin? I have a daughter.), a solid intro, a couple of good Creed-isms, and one of the more awkward scenes I've seen play out with Michael. A-

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The last season of Sunny was kind of a let-down. It had its moments: Charlie screaming as Mac drove a car into a wall to fake their deaths, the Wild Card, Charlie's musical, etc. But there were a lot of, dare I say, boring episodes that were more weird than funny. This year looks like a step back in the right direction. Dee plans on having a baby (or possibly more if the family wants a bulk discount) for a couple that can't conceive, Frank buys a foreclosed house to turn a quick buck but tries to get the family still living in the house to get out before 90 days (+1 for excellent use of a battering ram), and Charlie squares off in a battle of wits with a lawyer. The house plot also spawns a nice little story-line where Mac and Dennis come to Frank's aid and pose as gay realty partners, "Honey & Vinegar". If that's not enough to get you to watch, then I can't help you. B+

Community: NBC did everything it could to over-hype this new show like a new Black Eyed Peas song but it actually looks like it might hold up. Joel McHale brings his dry comedy from The Soup and joins up with Jon Oliver from The Daily Show, Chevy Chase, and several others. One thing that made me do a double-take was a girl named Annie, played by Alison Brie who also plays Trudy on Mad Men. I don't see this being as quote-able as The Office or 30 Rock but the characters are a good mix and we haven't even been introduced to everyone yet. It's also nice to see Chevy Chase play more of a background supporting role. The pilot was a tip o' the cap to The Breakfast Club and the late John Hughes, which actually fits the series quite well. A solid B.