Something you don't expect any NBC show that isn't The Voice to be asking: "Are you better off than a year ago?" Leave it to cockeyed optimist Leslie Knope (the sublime Amy Poehler), the hopeful heart and resilient soul of Parks and Recreation, to set herself up for a smackdown in the too-soon season finale (Thursday, 9:31/8:31c), by posing this question at a public forum that she naively sees as a "victory lap" to celebrate her one-year anniversary in office. While Leslie contends with a Pawnee version of Tea Party-style opposition — in this town, more like "sweet tea," with extra sugar in a 512 oz. cup — Andy (Chris Pratt) adopts his bumbling "Burt Macklin, FBI" persona (always a win) to solve a mystery that could change one of his co-worker's life forever. NBC is certainly better off for sticking with this show as it has improved over the seasons to become the network's most reliably enjoyable comedy — even though this already eventful and possibly pivotal episode would have been better off without the subplot involving Tom's "Rent-a-Swag" business and his contentious relationship with Jean-Ralphio's horror-show sister Mona Lisa (Jenny Slate).read more
Music producer Phil Ramone passed away Saturday morning in New York, his family confirmed to CNN. He was 72.read more
If only they'd blacked out the ads.
What a bizarre Super Bowl Sunday it was, from the oddly imbalanced game to the 34-minute Superdome power outage that separated the Ravens blowout of the first half from the 49ers blowout of the second half, pushing a fairly gripping Elementary episode past prime time on the East Coast.read more