Watching Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock last night, I was struck anew by the ways these once-and-future SNL stars, Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler, have crafted sitcoms that could not be more different in tone and philosophy from each other.
30 Rock is, like its title, very “New York,” granite-tough. Even when Fey isn’t onscreen, her comic tone — cutting; ruthlessness wearing the mask of whimsy — slices through most scenes, particularly anything involving Alec Baldwin’s Jack and his business dealings. It’s kind of amazing to me that Fey gets away with making such fierce fun of NBC corporate masters like GE and now Comcast/Xfinity, aka, Kabletown. Last night’s brutal assertion that Com… er, Kabletown is a cynical purveyor of on-demand porn incapable of (to Jack’s old-capitalist way of thinking) creating anything new was, well, magnificent. (It also helps explain why, when I just went to my home “Kabletown” DVR to record the 1971 Paddy Chayefsky-written movie The Hospital, the screen menu was offering stuff like Hot Nasty Girls just a few listings down the screen.)
By contrast, Parks and Recreation is frequently as sunny as Leslie Knope’s smile, and, increasingly READ FULL STORY »