For a long time, I was disappointed that NBC chose "The Office" as the show to air after the Super Bowl. That's in no way a slight on "The Office," which has been on an amazing sustained run, dating to when it returned from the writers' strike last spring.To read the full thing, click here.
It's just that it's in its fifth season and likely as popular as it's ever going to be. It doesn't really need the added exposure, whereas NBC has two other wonderful, underperforming comedies in "Chuck" (which has a nifty 3-D episode airing Monday) and "30 Rock" (which, next week, guest-stars Jon Hamm from "Mad Men") that could use whatever long-term boost -- if one still exists -- comes from getting such a gigantic lead-in audience.
Then I watched the first five minutes of the post-Super Bowl "Office" episode, titled "Stress Relief," and all doubt disappeared. "Chuck" and "30 Rock" are both brilliant and deserve bigger ratings than they get now, but this is the right episode for the biggest stage television has left. At a time when we all desperately need something to laugh at, this is an hour of concentrated, explosive, 180-proof comedy.
Friday, January 30, 2009
In today's column, I preview "The Office" episode that's going to air after the Super Bowl: