As far as I am concerned, 30 Rock and Community are two of the greatest sitcoms of the past few decades. That could just be that the sitcom format has evolved to the point where the bizarre meta-narrative offered by these shows is one of the few original ideas left. Community has a brilliant ability to dangle standard sitcom tropes in your face, make you think you know where the show is going, and then surprise you. 30 Rock is a television comedy about television comedy, always skirting the event horizon of its own humorous singularity. I’m not good at cosmological metaphors, so I hope that made sense.
Anyway, both shows have persisted despite, as the hipsters might say, being too good for the TV masses. Community even made a triumphant comeback from the brink of semi-cancellation. Still, it’s disappointingly unsurprising that NBC may “gently” cancel both shows, along with the almost-as-brilliant Parks and Recreation:
A trio of devastating television developments today: NBC reportedly plans to raze 75 percent of its beloved Thursday-night comedy lineup. The rumored casualties: 30 Rock, Community, and Parks and Recreation—all three of which represent some of the smartest (if only moderately watched) comedic output by any network right now. Instead of canceling the shows outright, the Peacock network will reportedly announce shortened final seasons for each at next week’s annual “upfront” presentation in New York City. The fourth Thursday-night sitcom, The Office, which is in its eight season, is predicted to remain on the air.
Bite me, NBC.