So the new Amy Poehler vehicle, Parks & Recreation debuted tonight, and critics everywhere are panning it. Critics, in fact, are aggregating other critics, in a collective gesture of panning. Some have admitted to feeling “ticked off.” Some are so angry, they’re drawing historic parallels between SNL and the Ku Klux Klan, through witty reverse acronyms (“TV’s great Kollege of Komedy Knowledge”).
To all these critics I simply ask, what the fuck is wrong with you? Granted, P & R does feel highly derivative of The Office, in form and content (same creators, after all). And in the half hour we’ve seen so far, Poehler’s Leslie Knope comes off like a blend of her Hillary Clinton impersonation and Michael Scott. The thing is, it’s only been a half hour. And newborns, as we all know, are universally ugly.
With all of the discussion of Parks & Recreation‘s alleged failure, these critics missed the more important, debut of the night: NBC’s all-brown lineup! That’s right; for the first and possibly last time in the network’s history (or any network’s history, for that matter), every single show of tonight’s comedy lineup was graced with a desi presence: Mindy Kaling killed it as desperate customer service rep, Kelly Kapoor, hollerin’ at Stringer Bell; Aziz Ansari, the brown delicious wonder himself, obliterated reductive stereotypes of rednecks; and Maulik Pancholy played the emasculated South Asian man to perfection as 30 Rock‘s Jonathan. Never mind that Jonathan was fired in the episode (is GE imposing some kind of brown quota?), and that My Name is ‘Earl’ had to take the week off for it to happen: this was history. Come to think of it, desis were the story on television, all week long. Even if we were the only ones who noticed.