A couple of NBC mainstays, "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation," return tonight, with "The Office" beginning its final season. One of the problems with "The Office" since Steve Carell's departure has been a dark, sad tone, a sourness to its characters' struggles. While there are funny bits* in tonight's episode, it still drifts into that grimness and even meanness again with Dwight, Jim & Pam and even Angela. I can see how some of those sorrows are leading the show toward its finale, but it's still not much fun to watch; it's as if all the sweetness was exhausted in Carell's farewell -- or sent over to "Parks and Rec," which for its premiere sends Leslie to Washington on Pawnee business, and accordingly leaves Ron in charge of the department barbecue. The results are consistently funny and yet optimistic; Lesile's indominability is underscored -- and there are some nice little moments with some political stars. Much more encouraging.
From my Twitter and Facebook files:
Wishing AMC would stop referring to "all new" episodes of "Into the West." Doggone thing first aired in 2005.
Presidential debate commission announces six segments for the first faceoff: "1. the Economy– I, 2. The Economy – II, 3. The Economy – III, 4. Health Care, 5. The Role of Government, 6. Governing."
I was hoping for The Economy, The Economy II: This Time It's Personal, Economy III: The Final Chapter, Economy IV: A New Hope, Economy Vs. Predator, and The Bad News Economy Goes to China.
(And realized, later, another great topic would be "Economy Goes Hawaiian.")
When "Marvel's The Avengers" hits video next week, check out the nice extra/teaser "Item 47," which ends with one of my favorite songs, the Cars' "Just What I Needed."
And, after reading a recent Sports lllustrated article, I think there's no punishment too harsh for the monstrous Rae Carruth.
*Including a good shout-out to Ohio, where two of the departing characters have moved.