With this afternoon’s announcement of the renewal of “Two and a Half Men,” and last night’s renewal of “Parks and Recreation,” it looks like NBC has finally done something right, while CBS may have made one of their biggest mistakes ever.
As a long-time fan of “Two and a Half Men, I heartily enjoyed the early years of Charlie Harper’s jingles and brother Alan’s escapades. Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer both teen idols, when put together on television, appealed to both men and women. As the years went on, the writing began to suffer, recycling the same predicaments, and even some of the same curvy actresses.
This season, with the loss of Charlie Sheen, and the addition of the generally affable Ashton Kutcher, the writing has become even more dismal. When Courtney Thorne-Smith thew up in the mouth of Alan, I realized that Charlie Sheen may have seemed crazy-but he was not stupid. It seems like the writers of this show almost taunt viewers to keep watching, despite an increasingly distasteful dialogue. Most of all, these are not characters we want to spend Monday night with. By renewing the show today, they did this show, and their fans a disservice. I suspect dollar signs is what kept it going, because it certainly was not because of great programming.
On the other hand, fantastic writing and character development are what makes the mockumentary sitcom “Parks and Recreation” so fabulous. Although the first two seasons were a bit uneven, the third and current seasons created characters and situations that were well crafted.
Leslie Knope, Amy Poehler’s character has bloomed into an enthusiastic problem solver. And although this current season has been all about political campaigns-something we Americans are weary of, yet with “Parks and Recreation,” it is fresh and fun. We all wish we had a candidate like Leslie representing us! We may not live in Pawnee, but we feel we do from Sweetums, the candy factory that supplies most of the jobs, to Little Sebastian, the miniature horse that captured the hearts of Pawnee.
The supporting cast from Adam Scott, the dorky boyfriend, to Nick Offerman, the Libertarian Ron Swanson. In Ron Swanson, Offerman has created the ultimate sex symbol. He orders up a side of beef and watches the women pander to him. And who knew that Rob Lowe was so hysterical? His portrayal of the super health nut Chris Treager is career changing. Add Aziz Ansari’s hyper kinetic head-spinning devotion to decadence, as well as Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt and you have a show that will not be short of good stories-because the characters are allowed to grow.
For weeks, we all worried that NBC did not see the value this show had, but by renewing them for an entire season, they have given this show more than a thumbs up. They gave this show an all systems running. Now let’s do our part and watch this great show!