A Sepia mutiny on NBC

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.

So, are you, like, all related?

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.

– Thumbu Sammy

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Thumbu

Brother of L. Augustus Del Pietro

10 thoughts on “A Sepia mutiny on NBC”

  1. Yet more Haterade:

    After checking out ‘P&R’ I’m pretty skeptical that it’ll get off the ground. Poehler’s appeal has atrophied steadily since her stint in ‘The Upright Citizens Brigade,’ and I’ve never seen Anzari be as funny as his cameo in ‘Conchords.’ (I say this after having suffered through an entire season of ‘Human giant’ bereft of even modest chuckles.) ‘The office’ comparisons are spot-on. As far as I can tell, there’s no legitimate reason for this show to exist: some of those reviewers refer to it as a vehicle, and I think the metaphor is totally adequate. Compounding the matter is the fact that the contents of the vehicle — Amy P and co. — aren’t especially rewarding in the first place.

  2. JC, so jealous of the uprising? I actually thought Brown Delicious was the better part of last night’s show, and I think the brown-loving author is right-debuts are always a nightmare. Just think about how awful ‘The Office’ seemed at its inception. However, I do think that Steve Carell carries that show almost completely, with the support of Rainn Wilson (whose antics are kind of predictable) and Ed Helms (who I might just like because he can harmonize), and maybe the romance between Jim and Pam, which has obviously become pretty lame (though still has some heart.) So, despite starring Paul Schneider, who I have had a thing for since ‘All The Real Girls’, I don’t know that the ‘P and R’ cast has the kind of sparks that will sustain it. Amy P’s baby-fat is kind distracting. But I’m hopeful. I would give it some time to air itself out and crank it up. Could turn out to be a real lane-splitter.

  3. And yeah, I’ve seen Midy’s blog but after reading Gmyneth’s, I think she is a goddamned genius: goop.com
    It makes you want to shoot her in the Apple.

  4. That was meant to say “Mindy” and “Gwyneth.” I must still be drunk. Sorry, TT. I thought posting under the influence was required anyway.

  5. When Kelli is putting on lipstick in her cube to impress Charles: “I’m hoping he’ll buy me a prime rib tonight.” CLASSIC!

  6. Very good observation! I didn’t even realize. That’s great though!

    If only the networks could step up their diversity (in a not “Look! We have ‘other’ people on our shows!” way).

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