Friday, October 25, 2013

An Open Letter to NBC

Hey NBC. What's up? 

Let me start out by saying that I love you guys. Seriously. You've always been my favorite network. Ever since I was old enough to start watching The Office and Saturday Night Live, I've had total faith in your ability to showcase comedies that other networks might shy away from. While you may not have a flair for the dramatic like CBS or a weird obsession with animated comedies/Seth Macfarlane (I'm looking at you FOX), you've always stuck with your roots and delivered some really solid, hilarious, heartfelt shows. Let's be honest; you had your heyday back in the late 90s when you struck gold with Seinfeld and Friends, but since then, you've had The Office, the cult hit Community, and the critical darling that was 30 Rock. I like to ignore Whitney and Animal Practice altogether and just say that, hey, you've done a pretty great job.

But that's not why we're here today, NBC. You know that, and I know that, so let's not beat around the bush: it's time to stop fucking with Parks and Recreation. By now, any fan of the show has probably heard about how you've only given the Pawnee crew 2 new episodes in the month of November (postponing the Halloween episode until a few weeks after the actual holiday) and won't be airing new episodes after that until mid-January, when Community is also slated to return. In it's stead, you'll be airing reruns of the Voice, SNL clip shows, and....The Sound of Music. Vulture broke the news here and, as I'm sure you know, all hell immediately broke loose. Adam Scott, who plays Ben Wyatt on Parks and Rec, tried to cover your ass by saying that this was your intention all along and that you weren't just prepping the show for cancelation, but some of us are displeased either way.

I know what your strategy is here, NBC: your Thursday night comedies are quickly losing ground in the ratings battle, and you blame Parks and Rec for being a bad lead-in to your new shows Welcome to the Family (which was already canceled, ouch) and the Sean Hayes anchored sitcom Sean Saves the World. You want viewers at any cost. It's a business, I understand. But - if I may put things extremely bluntly - your business model sucks, as do your new shows.

Parks and Recreation is adored by everyone, fans and critics alike, myself (quite largely) included. It has a great ensemble cast, extremely witty writing, and is heartfelt to boot. It's just an all around great American show. It's far better than your biggest Thursday night competitor, The Big Bang Theory; we all know that, but the general American public seems to have missed the boat on that one. That's ok though. With a strong presence on Netflix and a good start to it's sixth season, Parks has the potential to really hit it's stride....if only you'd let it.

NBC, Sean Hayes is blaming you for the poor ratings his show is getting, and I personally agree with him, though in an altogether different way. Your ads for this show are absolutely obnoxious; and not just the commercials, but the little stupid banner ads you play 24/7 that show Sean jumping over a couch, trying to look all cutsie and single goofball dad-ish and shit. Stop. Please. This show is not good now, and I'll be damned if it's ever going to get good anytime in the future. Instead of trying to pander to the wider, mindless crowd that flocks to CBS sitcoms, give us more shows like Parks and Rec, not less. Build your comedy lineup around it; maybe even advertise it or something. I'd be happy if you even aired a single episode in the month of December.

I'm sorry if I lost my temper there, NBC, but this is something that is very near and dear to my heart. I look to Ron Swanson as the incredibly mustachioed, bacon-and-egg fueled role model I never had, and to Leslie Knope as the strong, positive leader that Pawnee - hell - that America needs right now. You've got a real gem on your hands here NBC, and while I don't know what your plans for the future are, I just want to say this: the citizens of Pawnee may want to get Leslie Knope out of office, but all I'm asking is that you don't impeach Parks and Recreation just yet.

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