Top 5 Comedies of 2013
For the past few years, I have made it a point to rank my favorite shows of the year. As a TV podcaster, I feel it is important to give my opinions about what I've enjoyed in a longer format than I could do a podcast episode.
Parks and Recreation – Parks and Rec continues to be my favorite comedy on TV. Over the last two years that I have watched it, it has continued to develop into an amazing show. The ensemble is amazing and each character has developed into something special. We've seen Leslie and Ben's relationship to continue to mature and in 2013 we saw them get married in a very spur-of-the-moment way because their love was so strong that they couldn't wait any longer. She continued as a city councilperson, but that didn't go as planned and the town impeached her. Tom developed his own business which didn't last, but it showed us how ambious he can be when he sets a goal. Ron married Diane after finding out she was pregnant and showed his commitment to her by selling his cabin. April went to school and Andy got a new job out of town, but despite the distance their relationship endured. Ann was artifically inseminated by Chris (which rekindled their relationship) and although I don't like that storyline, it does give them a vehicle to have the characters move away early in 2014. Donna still continued to be awesome and Jerry almost retired. It is a well written, funny show with an amazing ensemble. It continues to get better and I wish more people appreciated this gem of a show.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – This new show was highly anticipated by many, and it was worthy of it. Starring Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher and from the creators of Parks and Rec, this show was great from the start. The show could have easily been the antics of Samberg and the rest of the cast reacting to him, but the creators transferred the success of their other show to make the rest of the ensemble just as strong and worthy of great moments. There's Rosa, who is tough as nails, but did manage to crack a smile for a photo as the ensemble gathered in the hospital for Charles who risked his life to save her (and got shot in the butt as a consequence). He is hopelessly in love with her but she won't have anything to do with him. He is the loveable side-kick to Samberg's character Jake. Then there's Sergeant Terry who acts tough but is a real softie when it comes to his family and the rest of the team (his other family). There's also Amy who is eager to please the new captain (played by Braugher) and to learn from him, but he never gives her the time of day. Rounding out the team is the most endearing character named Gina who knows everything in the office and is every detective's best ally. The ensemble is great and writing is amazing and I'm looking forward to seeing where it does from here.
Trophy Wife – This is another new comedy that was highly anticipated and lived up to the hype. I was a fan of Malin Akerman from 27 Dresses so I knew she had a lot to give to a starring role. Again, the ensemble is great (do you spy a theme?). Bradley Whitford (a TV veteran) plays the man now on his third marriage to a much younger woman who's ex-wives are still a vital part of his life. Wife # 1 is Diane (played by Marcia Gay Harden) is a successful doctor who is very prim and proper. She is very condesending to Akerman's character Kate and appears to do everything right with her twins Warren and Hillary. Hilary was recast by the wonderful Bailee Madison (OUAT, Bridge to Terabithia) in the second episode which was a very smart choice. The true star of the show is the character of Bert (played by Albert Tsai) who is absolutely hilarious. His mom is wife #2 Jackie, who is the polar opposite of Diane. She has no carreer path to speak of (although she has lots of creative projects) and practices alternative medicine. The two exes are so different that it makes me wonder why Pete married either one of them. Kate does her best to learn how to a parent and be taken seriously while dealing with the exes daily. She also manages to bring a lot of fun to the household with her best friend Meg.
Happy Endings – This is a show that had such potential but ABC didn't realize the gem they had. It was mildly successful in its first and second seasons on Wednesday night, but suffered greatly (with Don't Trust the B in Apt 23) in the third season on Tuesday night. By the end of the season both comedies were both canceled. ABC now has dramas on Tuesday, but none of them are doing exceptionally well in ratings. In the third season of Happy Endings, the show really hit its stride. The ensemble developed into very rootable characters. Penny almost got married, Brad quit his job to find a new dream (and Jane tried to be supportive), Max tried to improve his life and find love and Alex and Dave rekindled their romance (only to have it end again). The series ending at the wedding of Alex and Jane's older series and there was no real resolution for the characters. It was a brilliantly written series that deserved more respect than it received. VH1 has discovered the brillance because they have recently started re-airing the series. They aired every episode from New Year's Eve to Day and will be airing episodes weekly. I look forward to reexperiencing the magic on cable.
Cougar Town – This is another series that was treated terribly on ABC. After three poorly rated seasons on the network, they canceled it (with a well executed finale). Fortunately, the good people of TBS knew what a gem this show was and rescued it from cancelation. Season four did well by cable standards and they pushed the envelope just a bit because they know could. Grayson and Jules adapted to married life, Ellie continued to be snarky but brilliant. Laurie and Travis finally got together (!) after three seasons of flirting and Bobby finally has a successful relationship. In the finale, Jules discovered that her father Chick (played by Scrubs alum Ken Jenkins) was ill and the gang took him on a road trip. They really hit their stride in season 4 and I can't wait to see the stories continue. We are less than a week from the season 5 premiere. I look forward to catching up with the cul-de-sac crew who drink a lot of wine. Cheers!
The Big Bang Theory
Again, it's only my opinion. I welcome yours..