Last night Whitney and I watched 30 Rock on some illegal filesharing service that I won’t name. We could have waited until today and then watched it on Hulu (I think. Right? I haven’t used Hulu much lately.) but we wanted to catch the premiere on the night of. I realize that NBC is a broadcast network, not a cable network, and that I technically should have been able to get it for free over the air or something but we only have a couple of laptops so who knows how to use TV anymore BUT I DIGRESS.
So we watched the premiere of the final season of 30 Rock, but we panned over watching The Office and Parks and Rec because, I’m reluctant to admit it but I can’t pretend otherwise any longer, both shows are unnatural zombies living far beyond their primes. We’ll catch up on them tonight.
Before anyone accuses me of having it in for Amy Poehler or Nick Offerman or anyone, let me say that I loved Parks and Rec in season 2. That’s why I can’t wait for them to be liberated from their Parks and Rec personas, free to play characters that don’t have the baggage of fandom expectations.
Rather than rattle off a list of reasons I’m ready to stop hearing about how Ron Swanson likes eating meat (omg bacon mustache lol you guise lol) or how I would have been satisfied with The Office ending as soon as Jim and Pam finally got together, or when they finally got married, or when Michael Scott left, or any moment after that — instead of all that I’m going to applaud 30 Rock for deciding that the story arc for their final season would be how an NBC executive (in this case, Jack but in reality I have no idea who to blame) is purposely running the network into the ground.
I think about how once Community finally starts up for its final season, how bizarre the whole thing will feel without Dan Harmon. Sure, the original cast and many if not most if not all of the same production crew will be there (again, I think, I have no idea) but with a different head writer / showrunner, the show will have a sort of podpeople / stepford wife / Twilight Zone feel — which might actually work to Community‘s advantage now that I think about it.
Again, I digress. 30 Rock is doing great at their creative semi-fictional / semi-factualish portrayal of the reality behind the move to upset every fan of NBC’s Thursday night comedies. Seeing how they’ve so fully embraced the impeding doom of what has been a television institution for so many years, I’ve decided I’m right there with them. Instead of wishing NBC hadn’t axed the only shows I watched them for, I’ve come to appreciate the full reality that I don’t really watch TV like I used to. The network is adjusting to the viewing habits of those they can track, the Nielsen households. As far as they’re concerned I and others like me are basically off the grid.
By the end of the year, there will be no more good shows on NBC. Or rather, there will be no more shows that I enjoy on NBC. They’re serving a different audience entirely, and who am I to judge? I’m some guy who has an easier time finding pirate video streams than just watching a traditional television broadcast. I’m not from the audience they want anyway, and for my skillset there’s more video content freely available than one catch watch in a lifetime.