This TV season, we lost “30 Rock” to early retirement, but there are still plenty of sharp, silly and surprising sitcoms on the broadcast airwaves. As the season comes to a close for the summer, I’m handing out superlatives.
Most Valuable Program: “Parks and Recreation” pulled off a surprise wedding, showed us Ron Swanson has feelings and spent some time visiting D.C. But the most amazing thing is how, five seasons in, the show still got funnier.
Most Improved: “New Girl” got better when the writers realized the show was an ensemble comedy, not the adorkable story of Zooey Deschanel’s Jess. I also credit Jake Johnson’s breakout performance as the cantankerous Nick, whose will they/won’t they arc with Jess gave the show some emotional heft.
Most Likely to Succeed: While “The Mindy Project” still isn’t sure whether it wants to be a zany workplace comedy or a rom-com, no freshman sitcom kept me watching, or laughing, like “Mindy.”
In Memoriam: After three seasons, ABC axed “Happy Endings,” which had developed a rapid-fire comedic language of its own. There were rumors a cable network would revive it, but at the moment, “Happy Endings” is dead. I’ll always remember it fondly as the subject of my very first Express column.