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The Blue & Gray Press | September 26, 2017

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Primetime Fall TV is Back and Just as Addicting

‘Saturday Night Live’

By MADELINE MCDONALD

This weekend’s premiere of “Saturday Night Live” was peppy with a hint of promise for the new season. Former cast member Amy Poehler hosted the episode, which included debut performances by four new cast members. Katy Perry provided the musical entertainment for the evening with her two hit songs “California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream,” though her voice was on the wobbly side.

Poehler reprised her role alongside Seth Meyers on The Weekend Update’s “Really?” segment, also featuring the debut performance of new cast member Jay Pharoah, who gave a stunning impression of Will Smith. The other new cast members were hardly featured in the premiere episode, but hopefully they are just as funny and entertaining.

‘Modern Family’

By NANCY BELLE

It has been said that “Modern Family” reinvented the situation comedy, and after the premiere of its second season, I have to agree. Jesse Tyler Ferguson stole the show with his physical comedy while struggling to build a playhouse for his daughter, Lilly.

In comparison, the other two storylines, where Manny once again has some girl trouble and Phil and Claire try to sell their old car, didn’t stand out as much. Most storylines centering around Manny seem to involve girl trouble, so it gets tiring, and Ty Burrell, who plays Phil, just isn’t that funny.

Still, I have high hopes for “Modern Family” and if Cameron and Mitchell’s storyline was any indication, the show’s second season should be even better than the first.

NBC Thursday: ‘Community,’ ‘30 Rock,’ ‘The Office’ and ‘Outsourced’

By JOSHUA LAWSON

“Community,” NBC’s breakout hit of 2009, may have gotten overshadowed by “Modern Family” at this year’s Emmys but there’s no denying that NBC has stumbled onto something great with the quirky adventures of Jeff Winger and his community college study group. The second season premiere let audiences know this show isn’t about to give in to a sophomore slump.

There was a plethora of laugh-out-loud moments and a guest appearance from the one and only Betty White, who fits in well with the show’s gallery of various off-the-wall professors, making an unforgettable introduction. “Community’s” second season looks to be very promising.

Moving an hour earlier from its regularly scheduled 9:30 p.m. time slot, “30 Rock” returned for its fifth season. Featuring a hilarious guest appearance by Matt Damon, who, it seems, will be showing up at least one more time this season, as the airline pilot Carol, Alec Baldwin going full-on mountain man and, of course, the increasingly ridiculous antics of Tracy Jordan, the season opener was a solid return for the critically acclaimed comedy.

“The Office” made an off-beat, musical, lip-syncing entrance into Steve Carell’s final season as the regional manager so many have loved to hate, Michael Scott.

While Carell’s departure will no doubt loom over the entire season, the first episode of “The Office’s” seventh year left the subject untouched, instead focusing on a new assistant in the office who the staff is growing tired with, though Michael thinks him terrific.

Highlights include new nicknames for the office staff, courtesy of the aforementioned assistant, Pam’s attempts to make up for ruining one of Jim’s pranks on Dwight and one of Michael Scott’s most over-the-top ridiculous moments so far.

NBC rounded off their Thursday night lineup with the new comedy “Outsourced,” about an American sent to India to manage a call center for a company called Mid-America Novelties.

That’s right, the show focuses on a company that tries to sell juvenile gags to America’s most low-brow demographics. Relying entirely on cultural discrepancies between America and India, “Outsourced” is not just a weak link in NBC’s Thursday nights; it’s a weak link in television.

Even characters with the potential to be likable, which do not include the lead or the long-legged blonde who found her way to India just to take part in what will hopefully be no more than one episode of will-they/won’t they romance, are used to no avail. “Outsourced” is one to miss.

‘Glee’

By NANCY BELLE

It’s good to know that “Glee” is still full of surprises.

The biggest surprise of the night was seeing Cheyenne Jackson, who plays “Danny the Canadian” on “30 Rock,” join the cast as the new coach of “Vocal Adrenaline.” Although his appearance on the first episode was brief, I’m excited to see more of him.

The lack of screen time for Kurt and Artie, two of my favorite characters, was disappointing, and I hope to see them more as the season goes on. Chord Overstreet, who plays Sam, should also have a bigger role. His cover of “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy was amazing, though his resemblance to Randy Harrison of ”Queer as Folk” is a little alarming.

“Glee” can only get better, and by the new talent this season, it looks as if it will.

‘House’

By CHRISTINE LAPLACA

Those who have been pining for a House-Cuddy relationship may finally get their wish, as this season began with a somewhat awkward but much anticipated romance between the two characters. While House and Cuddy spent the day together in his apartment, the team struggled to find a healthy neurosurgeon so the trauma center could remain open. Without a true case for House to work on, the episode lacked the usual medical intensity, witty comments and bickering between the team that makes the show so interesting.

However, the season is sure to be full of new medical mysteries, crude and sarcastic humor and many plot twists as one of the biggest questions of the series is answered: Can House and Cuddy be together?

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