That’s My Show?

So I’m watching Sunday Night Football on NBC (boring game, by the way. Cutler needs to step it up), and the commercials hit. There’s something about Bud Light, maybe that VISA spot where Morgan Freeman tells everyone to dance, and then this hits:

Low lights.  Calming music. And then things brighten.  Lights are pouring, literally pouring out of the sides of the frame. And everything moves in slow-motion as Pam smiles at the camera. Excuse me if this isn’t verbatim, as I don’t have a perfect memory, and I couldn’t find the promo on YouTube, but just as Pam flashes her pearly whites and Amy Poehler gives us a close-mouthed grin, the voice-over guy says (approximately), “Come to NBC Thursday Night, and smile with us.”

Shudder. Uggggh. Double Shudder.

Can this really be NBC’s ad campaign for what is supposed to be their tour de force of comedy? I sympathize with NBC, I really do. My two favorite comedies, “30 Rock” and “The Office” are on NBC, and it’s a shame they’re perpetually ratings-challenged. NBC has a ditch to climb out of, but this is not the way to do it.

I can’t think of one time “The Office” showed a scene in slow-motion, or with halo lighting, for that matter. “The Office” is a show about an awkward work space that’s fueled by the antics of a crazy, though well-intentioned, boss, and is humanized by Jim’s and Pam’s relationship. It’s not about the sentimental moments and the “ah, shucks” cheery smiles. “Parks and Recreation,” flawed as it may be, is a scathing satire of bureaucracy; you won’t find a touchy-feely moment in the show that isn’t followed by a joke about paper-pushing minutiae.

NBC isn’t going to fool any returning viewers with these ads, and if they manage to attract new viewers, they’ll instantly change the channel once they realize that “The Office” actually isn’t a primetime revival of “Leave it to Beaver.” Advertise what you have, NBC, don’t pretend your shows have been plucked out of the last-third of “Evan Almighty.”

And when the heck is “30 Rock” coming back? Sheesh.