NBC's corporate mockumentary and its public-sector sorta spinoff were a matching, mirror-image pair. The Office began the year at a torrid pace, with a sidesplitting postSuper Bowl episode and a story line about Michael Scott (Steve Carell) forming a rival paper company that like Pam and Jim's wedding in the fall showed that this is both one of TV's best comedies and one of its best light dramas. While it has wavered a bit postnuptials, on a good week it's as sharp and deep as TV comedy gets. Meanwhile, after a shaky start, Parks found its offbeat voice, focusing on bureaucrat Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and the citizens and civil servants of Pawnee, Ind. Knope fights doggedly for a pet project (turning an abandoned pit into a park), battling red tape, an evil library department and her own overenthusiasm. This sly but optimistic civic satire may be the first distinctive comedy of the Obama era.
Next Ashton Kutcher