Community: (NBC, Thursdays at 8 p.m.) is finally back for its fourth season — having the unenviable task of taking over 30 Rock’s power spot, and picking up this responsibility after an extremely long hiatus when the show’s survival was still in question. While Community’s best seasons were front-loaded in the series’ history (as is the case with most innovative/experimental show formats), the fourth season premiere offers promise for a series recovery, even should this season be its last. This show is perfect for a light, partially disturbing, delusional view of an educational microcosm, and worth every strange second — even if it’s got something to prove. Catch up on the whole series with Hulu Plus.
by William Walter
Although winter seems to be coming to a close, we’re not out of the leaf-barren woods yet.
The winter months have entered their annual death throws in Florida. As temperatures swinging around, like a child playing with the state’s thermostat controls, our days and nights can be a tad unpredictable in the way of planning. So what is the only reasonable resignation that you can make when the weather dashes your plans? Television, naturally.
The second half of the winter season resurrects idle television series, welcome season premiers, and of course, the winter new series launches, whose success is about as predictable as this season’s weather. To help navigate some of the winter television programming, I thought I might volunteer a few programs for your DVR to gobble.
Today we’ll go through shows that will help to fight off your Seasonal Affective Disorder with commanding humor that practically extorts you into liking it, these shows are back with a vengeance and an ability to intimidate your blues away.
Archer (FX, Thursdays at 10 p.m.) is a dark spy comedy that latches onto the spy-nostalgia (spystalgia?) of the 60’s. In a confusing bath of anachronistic references and endless verbal sparring among remarkably functional sociopaths, narcissists, and psychopaths in a spy organization, turns out a brilliantly twisted work of art that will leave you moved to tears — possibly due to hyperventilation
Don’t let the animation scare you off from this show. The voice acting, profane and adult-related content and excessive violence will instantly remind you that you are watching a show on FX. If you aren’t ready to dive into a new story, you can find the first 2 seasons of Archer on Netflix.
Portlandia (IFC, Fridays at 10 p.m.) manages to catch its stride quickly in its third season. The show finds a pleasant balance in establishing returning sketch frames and uses these to provide a sort of continuity throughout the program. This balancing act pays off, ensuring a viewer loyalty that few sketch shows are lucky enough to hold. IFC’s comedy trends are always worth checking out. The unique, local focus on Portland provides an amazing platform for cultural criticism viewed through an absurdest lens. To follow it’s evolution, Netflix is still your go to spot. The new season is available through Hulu Plus, however.
Check back tomorrow as we review some darker new and returning shows that will contribute to your Seasonal Affective Disorder — if that’s your bag.