Monday, July 26, 2010


5. Community Season 1
Why I Can’t Wait: Obviously, the people that chose who and what gets nominated for an Emmy somehow missed ‘Community.’ Last season, NBC laid new foundation in their Thursday Night Primetime scheduling with this show about a rag-tag group of characters from hilariously diverse backgrounds (ranging from Über-Christian Divorcee to Out-of-Touch Rich Coot to Fourth-Wall Breaking Indian, et cetera) pursuing higher education at Colorado’s Greendale Community College, a school where they who can’t teach, teach. I fell in love with the show from the get-go thanks to ‘The Soup’ host Joel McHale playing sarcastic-but-lovable Jeff, but it was the rest of the characters, especially Troy (Derrick Comedy’s Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi), who’s always-entertaining end credit scenes keep me laughing consistently. While most every episode is an excellent example of good comedy TV, the stand-out episode of the season for me was the twenty-third episode, ‘Modern Warfare.’ Any show that can transform into a hysterical pseudo-post-apocalyptic warzone during the opening titles is worth keeping around for another season, which is fortunately the case here. It may not be up for an Emmy, but ‘Community’ should be on your Amazon wish-list.
Release Date: September 21st, 2010

4. Kick-Ass
Why I Can’t Wait: Usually, the further a comic book adaptation strays from its source material, the more I dislike it, but ‘Kick-Ass’ is a rare bird. Many things from the comic are expertly replicated on the big screen, most notably Kick-Ass’s costume and Hit-Girl’s foul mouth and penchant for violence most extreme. On the other hand, the romantic subplot, most of the other costumes, and several other pieces deviate considerably. Despite all that, it didn’t phase me. What I got was a fast-paced, violent, well-penned comedy action movie about real-life superheroes, and it was fantastic. Probably my favorite thing about the movie is Big Daddy, played by Nicholas “Will Work For Food” Cage, and his Adam West diction. The movie is unflinchingly brutal, uproariously funny, and absolutely entertaining. Thankfully, the wait for this particular release is almost over.
Release Date: August 3rd, 2010

3. The Office Season 6
Why I Can’t Wait: It’s ‘The Office,’ what more reason do I need? Season six started out strong, building up to Pam and Jim’s wedding, then staggered to find its footing, then returned to form to finish the season with some of the funniest and most game-changing episodes in the history of the show. For those who didn’t tune in, I won’t give away too much, but holy crap, Kathy Bates is awesome. Other new edition Gabe Lewis, played by relative newcomer Zach Woods, functions essentially as the new Jan but with far more hilarious results. CFO David Wallace’s arc near season’s end provided me with quite possibly my personal favorite moment in the show’s six-year run. ‘The Office’ is a show I can watch over and over, despite what episode it is. I look forward to watching this season in quick succession and will do a full review upon its release.
Release Date: September 7th, 2010

2. Modern Family Season 1
Why I Can’t Wait: Al Bundy and his dysfunctional family were a fairly influential piece of television history for many reasons, but unfortunately for Ed O’Neil, it would take almost a decade and a half to find another good fit, and lucky for us, said fit is ABC’s ‘Modern Family,’ a pseudo-documentary style look into the diverse nuclear family dynamic of the new millennium. O’Neil plays Jay Pritchett, father of Claire Dunphy (née Pritchett) and Mitchell Pritchett, all three of whom have their own modern family. Jay is re-married to a gorgeous Mexican woman considerably younger than him and has sub-sequentially inherited a wise-beyond-his-ears stepson. Claire is married to gloriously oblivious Phil and they have two daughters and one son, all of whom have their own niches in the show. Mitchell and his life partner Cameron begin the show returning from Vietnam with their adopted baby girl Lily. All three of these families are drastically different, but all united by true, real love that is conveyed on screen far better than any other show in years. The pilot still sticks out to me as my favorite episode, but all the episodes are great and it’s thanks to intelligent writing and brilliant acting. This is another show that will be back for a sophomore season and we’re all the better for it.
Release Date: September 21st, 2010

1. Parks and Recreation Season 2
Why I Can’t Wait: When ‘Parks and Recreation’ first debuted I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Amy Poehler as a driven, female Michael Scott in a show done in the same style as ‘The Office,’ except in a small town parks and rec department? In my day job, I work pretty closely with civil servants, so I wasn’t sure if it could be anywhere near as good as ‘The Office,’ which is very much a golden calf on my DVD shelf. By the end of season one, I’d completely changed my tune. ‘Parks and Recreation’ has a much smaller cast, allowing for a much more focused performance from each character, as well as a subtlety I feel ‘The Office’ lacks to a degree. The long, slow build of a surprise romance actually caused me to yell at the TV on more than one occasion. I am in love with every single character on this show in a much deeper, more emotional way than the larger cast of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton. Poehler’s over-eager Leslie Knope is full of heart, Aziz Ansari, who has quickly become my favorite comedian of all time, is spot-on in every episode as self-proclaimed Ladies Man, Tom Haverford, and Nick Offerman’s mustachioed anit-governmental head of the department Ron Swanson is one of the funniest characters of the new millennium. Rashida Jones’ Anne Perkins is the weak point for me, but through her we get Andy, who comes into his own this season and takes part in my favorite arc of the show so far. Aubrey Plaza’s apathetic April and Paul Schneider’s ex-swinger city planner Mark Brendanawicz round out the regular cast, a cast whom I can, and soon will, go on about at great lengths. ‘The Office’ still holds the title of my favorite show, but I have a sneaking suspicion that if season three of ‘Parks and Recreation’ is half as good as season two was, Michael Scott will need to watch his back.
Release Date: None yet, presumably September 7th or 21st

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