NBC Thursday: Men Carrying Men

Community.

Community is a unique, revolutionary sitcom…or it’s at least dramatically different from a traditional sitcom, say, Full House or Family Matters. Why, you may ask? Well, when Joey was seriously injured, or Carl had a brace from when Urkel caused him to fall down the stairs, those injuries were gone and never spoke of again by the next episode. In Community, quirky misadventures have real-life consequences. Shirley’s pregnant from hooking up with Chang during a small-scale zombie apocalypse. (I can’t help but wonder…wouldn’t that virus have adverse effects on a fetus?) Pierce’s comically large leap from a trampoline ended in a broken leg and a pill addiction. Two events that would have simply disappeared in favor of the status quo on an old-school sitcom appear to be a part of significant character arcs in Community. One of the reasons I love Community is because of this commitment to continuity.

Favorite Callback: "Pretend You're Asleep"

Though Community will, sadly, never get the kinds of ratings Full House and Family Matters did, I doubt it will ever write out a character by having them walk up the stairs, never to be seen or heard from again; If it did, it’d probably be as an allusion to Family Matters (Never heard of this? Brush up on your Family Matters history).

In this week’s episode, Early 21st Century Romanticism, the gang is going to the Valentine’s Dance. Troy and Abed want to go with the same attractive librarian, so they ask her to go with both of them and then pick one. In the end, however, they learn that their (increasingly more intimate) bromance is more important. Jeff is trying to distance himself from the group a little bit, but ends up with a party at his house and Chang trying to secretly move in. Jeff kicks Chang out, proclaims his love for the study group, and, in the end, carries Chang from the garbage chute into his apartment, where he crashes on the couch. Gillian Jacobs does a great job in this episode playing up Britta’s desire to be as open-minded, and therefore as awesome, as possible….by mistaking a girl for a lesbian and, in turn, being mistaken for a lesbian. Britta has found a girl exactly like her (who also has a bizzaro-Annie), and things don’t end well as they both try to create a stir. Pierce slips further into pill addiction with a little help from Andy Dick and ends up unconscious on a park bench.

This episode was well-constructed, well paced, and, with the exception of Shirley, used the whole ensemble. I’m eager to find out what happens next.

Side Notes:

-Everyone but Abed and Troy was wearing black in the opening scene. These folks , or their costumers, really hate Valentine’s Day.

-The funniest part of the episode was the placement of Pierce’s speech around the opening credits.

-“BOOKS!”

-I’ve always been a BNL fan, glad the rest of the group is. (And so passionate, too!)

-I want to be friends with Magnitude.

-“Don’t mind if I Chang.”

Perfect Couples.

Bland, conventional, and was it just me or did the promos not match the episode?

The Office.

At last! This was an episode of The Office like we haven’t seen in AGES. The cringe-humor created by Michael and Holly’s PDA was spot-on. The small moments (like Stanley’s reaction to Andy completing his Sudoku) were perfection. Andy and Erin’s scavenger hunt reminded me of old-school Jim and Pam, and Jim and Pam’s hunt completely unrelated to scavenging was fantastic (and reminded me of the old days, while showing how their relationship has changed since they got married).

Speaking of Jim and Pam, it’s so nice to have John Krasinski back for a full episode, and it’s also great to see how goofy those two actors can be together. Really, everyone was on their A game in this episode, and I enjoyed every minute of it. If you don’t watch The Office regularly, this is an episode you need to watch.

Side Notes:

-We gained Jim and lost Kelly (where was she this episode?)

-I had so much fun watching drunk Jim and Pam: “BOOM. FACE.”

-“…and a shower.”

-I wonder how these episodes would feel if we didn’t know that Michael was leaving. Would they carry a different tone? I would like to think I wouldn’t be viewing every emotion through the lens of “Michael’s finally ready to move on with his life,” and would maybe get some other emotion out of his scenes.

-Also:

"He exudes sex."


Parks and Recreation.

This show is growing on me. I am just charmed by Pawnee’s love for Leslie.

Side Notes:

-Megan Mullally is crazy talented and does interesting things with jerky.

-Unlike the citizens of Pawnees, I love calzones.

-The scene with the police officers describing what happened is amazing, an awesome, and watch it.

-“I don’t want him within 500 feet of the library.” “That’s good advice for everyone.”

-In the second instance of men carrying men, Ron carries Tom out of the library after Tammy destroys him.

-“Right now, I hate you like my actual brother, Lavandrius. Who I hate.”

30 Rock.

In this episode, Liz heads to North Carolina! Well, sort of. The plane, piloted by her boyfriend [played by] Matt Damon, never leaves the runway. But I was still excited to hear Raleigh mentioned. This episode brought us “classic” couple arguments, a roving meth lab and the negative effects of EGOT-ing on Tracy. It was a fun ride.

Side Notes:

-Lots of hating on Canada in this episode, taking a page out of the HIMYM book there.

-Liz has apparently yelled at a police horse.

-“You’re breaking the extra bone that all Canadians have!”

-When asked to speak at Cornell: “Sorry, but Tracy Jordan doesn’t do safety schools.” Oooh, BURN, Andy Bernard!

Outsourced.

This time, I got bored before I got offended. Still didn’t stay through the cold open, though…I’ve got better things to do than watch cross-cultural discomfort…like watch House Hunters!

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