As 2011 draws to a close, THR’s chief television critic, Tim Goodman, weighs in on the best that the small screen had to offer this year. Among his picks are a few fan favorites (Boardwalk Empire, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and others that sadly won’t be returning in 2012 (Friday Night Lights, Men of a Certain Age).
3. Parks and Recreation (NBC)
There is something oddly comforting about the small-town world of Pawnee, Ind. There’s a bit of rural pleasantry going on — which is vivisected by the brutally funny jadedness and wisecracking of its city officials. Quirk is everywhere on Parks and Rec, but it’s not the stilted kind found on The Office. There’s a real likability to this series. Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman lead a stellar cast that populates one of the funniest fictional universes on television.