What’s Funny This Fall

Courtesy of NBC

“Parks and Recreation” — Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC

Ron Swanson is back! In addition to the man with the greatest mustache, the rest of the Pawnee, Indiana Parks and Recreation team have returned to the small screen.

Last season’s viewers were left with a victorious Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) as the inaugural councilwoman of Pawnee, Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) about to jet off to Washington, D.C. to become a hot-shot politico, and the tumultuous couple Tom (Aziz Ansari) and Anne (Rashida Jones) drunkenly deciding to move in together.

The season five premiere last Thursday kicked off the season to a slightly underwhelming start, as Leslie and Andy (Chris Pratt) took a short weekend trip to the capitol to visit their significant others while Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) unhappily organized a staff appreciation barbeque that sent him driving off with the grill attached to his car.

Season five will most likely be filled with Leslie’s adventures as councilwoman of Pawnee, Ben and April’s east coast adventures and the rest of the Parks and Recreation department up to their usual antics.

“The Office” — Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC

This past Thursday marked the last season premiere episode of NBC’s “The Office,” marking the beginning of the end for the show’s ninth and final season. What can we expect? Show runner Greg Daniels told Entertainment Weekly that the show will be a “very big exciting last season” and that “all questions will be answered this year.”

Viewers can also expect old faces to make an appearance on at least one episode, including Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling) and Pam’s (Jenna Fischer) hotheaded ex-fiancé, Roy (David Denman).

Probably the most anticipated aspect of the final season will be the big reveal of the documentary crew that has been following the Dundler Mifflin crew around for the past eight years. The premiere episode on Thursday was the first time viewers heard one of the crew members speak, so hopefully by the end of the series we’ll see the faces behind the cameras.

“The New Normal” — Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC

The newest NBC comedy “The New Normal” focuses on David (Justin Bartha) and Bryan (Andrew Rannells), a gay couple living in Los Angeles who eagerly wants to start a family. They are lucky enough to meet Goldie (Georgia King) who offers to be a surrogate for their child. Goldie recently moved with her daughter to Los Angeles to escape their unfulfilling Midwestern life, Goldie’s opinionated grandmother Jane (Ellen Barkin) and her cheating ex-boyfriend. Nene Leakes, from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” also stars in the show as Bryan’s sassy and strong personal assistant.

So far, “The New Normal” has given viewers a slightly relatable cast of characters with relatable experiences played out on the small screen and characters that are reminiscent of actual family members and friends. “The New Normal” is funny, charming and easy to watch, with a quick and engaging storyline that keeps viewers interested, but not hooked.

“The Mindy Project” — Premieres Sept. 25 at 9:30 p.m. on Fox

Mindy Kaling’s hotly anticipated show has finally arrived! Kaling’s show, in which she writes, produces and stars as Mindy Lahiri is aptly titled “The Mindy Project.”

The premiere episode, which made its online debut a couple of weeks ago, presented viewers with a hyper-girly, full of spunk, highly educated and almost too-quirky-to-be-true version of Mindy Kaling in which she is an OB/GYN rather than a superb comedy writer.

The pilot episode laid out a cast of characters that was slightly reminiscent of Fox’s other quirky girl comedy “New Girl.” Hopefully, “The Mindy Project” will be able to forge its own path and give us a refreshing female character that’s not ashamed to be utterly obsessed with romantic comedies.

“Modern Family” — Premieres Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. on ABC

Leading with a whopping 14 nominations for 2012, the family-centric comedy will return this week. Last season, Gloria (Sofía Vergara) and Jay (Ed O’Neill) found out that they would be expecting a child, the Dunphy family was getting ready to send Haley (Sarah Jay Hyland) off to college and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) were ready to add to their brood.

In typical “Modern Family” fashion, the three family units will most likely run into problems that will be neatly and reflectively wrapped up in each episode, with humorous run-ins and happenings.