I Love Television
NBC: Cruel and Unusual Punishment!
I'm no stranger to cruelty. I firmly believe in the adage "humor trumps cruelty," but if it's a choice between making someone cry or delivering an insanely hilarious joke—well, that's why they invented Puffs lubricated tissues.
Example! When I was younger, I was fond of terrifying people. Not just scaring them—but actually pushing them to the edge of sanity, where bodily functions act erratically or shut down completely. A fave gag would be to wait for my neighbor to unload groceries out of his car trunk at night. When he'd take a bag into the house, I'd hop inside the open trunk. Upon returning, he would reach inside for another bag of groceries, and instead feel a human body. Now most people would say "BOO!" at this point. But as I am extraordinarily cruel, I'd wait an extra five seconds—to ensure my victim was at the height of confusion—and then scream "AIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEYYYYARRGHHHH!!!" at the top of my lungs, leaping out to strangle him. Oh, did I mention I was wearing a hockey mask?
Sooo... yeah. I'm well versed in the ways of cruelty. HOWEVER! I always did it for laughs and never to be a dick—unlike those cruel dicks over at NBC and their insanely cruel and dickish behavior toward the cast and crew of Community.
As you undoubtedly know, Community is an NBC sitcom about a tight-knit clique of odd community college students starring Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi, and that also kind of cruel dick Chevy Chase. After three seasons of great reviews, a cult following, and so-so ratings, NBC abruptly yanked the show from the schedule, replacing it with reruns of 30 Rock. It took an insane amount of nagging from fans, but they resumed broadcasting the show in March of 2011—without promising to pick it up in the fall. (So far, only slightly cruel!)
Then without warning, the show's production company, Sony (in association with NBC), announced that show creator Dan Harmon was fired—umm... cruelly forgetting to inform Harmon of that critical piece of info—and being replaced by two new writers. Though offered a job as "creative consultant" for the show (which in industry-speak is one step higher than a jizz mopper at a porn store), Harmon told them in so many words to "go screw."
Shockingly, NBC gave Community a fourth season—ordering a scant 13 episodes instead of the usual 25—and scheduled it to return on FRIDAYS (instead of its sweet Thursday-night slot) starting on October 19. Hey, waitasecond... it's way past October 19, and still no Community? How come? Because the dickishly cruel NBC yanked the rug out from under fans AGAIN by rescheduling it for the spring. This time, Community won't return until at least February 7, 2013 (if at all, right?), which means their Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas episodes won't run until... hmmm... I dunno... maybe April?
NBC? You guys are CRUEL DICKS. And not "funny" cruel, either. Word to the wise, my network friends: You might want to keep your car trunks closed after returning from the grocery store. Because someone might try to add a bag full of "AIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEYYYYARRGHHHH!!!"
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14
10:00 FX AMERICAN HORROR STORY
In “I Am Anne Frank, Part 2,” we discover if that really is Anne Frank! (Which might explain some things.)
10:00 SPIKE EDDIE MURPHY: ONE NIGHT ONLY
An all-star tribute to the king of ’80s comedy, Eddie Murphy!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15
8:00 NBC 30 ROCK
Tracy plays Jack as a villain in a new movie, which kind of sorta makes Jack INSANE.
9:00 HBO CROSSFIRE HURRICANE
A historical documentary of the Rolling Stones featuring tons of archival footage, interviews, and music.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16
9:00 CW AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL
A one-hour retrospective of “the best Top Model freak-outs.” Yesssssssssssss.
10:00 CBS A SALUTE TO WHITNEY HOUSTON
A tribute show devoted to Whitney, starring Jennifer Hudson, Usher, CeCe Winans, and more!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17
11:30 NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Host: The Avengers’ Jeremy Renner! Cue lame Hawkeye jokes.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18
8:00 DSC MYTHBUSTERS
The guys examine myths regarding lasagna. There are myths regarding lasagna? Like what? Like it’s “not delicious”?
9:00 AMC THE WALKING DEAD
Rick and the gang start to feel like prison life isn’t as awesome as they once thought. Plus, ZOMBIES.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19
10:00 ABC CASTLE
Castle and Beckett go on the run with a witness being pursued by the mob. Sounds more fun that it is.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20
8:00 FOX RAISING HOPE
The family helps Jimmy win a contest by selling candy bars—possibly laced with crack?
9:00 FOX NEW GIRL
In an attempt to get her divorced parents back together, Jess launches a Parent Trap–style plan. Best plan evarrr!!
Cruel… but festive. @WmSteveHumphrey