NBC Thursday: Paintball and Points of View

Well, it’s been another busy week, so I’m just now finding the time to do my NBC Comedy write-up. Without further ado, here we go…

Community.

EPIC. There was a lot of pressure on Community‘s cast and crew to make this paintball episode as good as “Modern Warfare,” and they succeeded. It was a great spoof on Westerns, and because it’s split into two episodes, we get to spend more time with all of the characters (Rather than see them eliminated rapidly over the course of ten minutes). Oh, and Josh Holloway is not exactly difficult to look at, though Jeff Winger might argue otherwise.

Honestly, I think it’s better to write less on this, and just beg those of you who haven’t seen it to WATCH THIS EPISODE. The good thing about Community is that episodes like this can stand alone for the casual viewer, but they also fit into the season arc for the obsessive committed fan like me.

Side Notes:

– Great use of Vikki and Leonard in this episode. (“This is the only life I know!”) Community knows how to show the love to its background players.

– Great quote in the tag for next week: “Resistance is as pointless as your degree.”

– What does that cone want?

– Loved the credits, was a little disappointed that it wasn’t a riff on the Community theme.

The Office.

Gosh, there’s so much to talk about, I should really just devote a full blog post to the recent changes. Last week’s episode was a bittersweet and loving tribute to Michael Scott and everything we love about The Office. This episode was the one that really mattered: this episode will be viewed as the one that proves whether or not this show can thrive without Steve Carrell. And from what I saw, I’m not so sure it can.

From the first minute, something was up, something about the tone just felt wrong. Then, it hit me, the writers don’t know whose point of view the show should take, so they just wrote the episode from the entire office’s point of view, which is obviously more difficult. While this works on a meta-level, where, like the employees of Dunder Mifflin, the writers are trying to figure out the hierarchy in this new, Michael Scott-less world, it makes the episode feel a little…frenetic.

So, what does that make The Office as a whole? A new show. They ripped its heart out and are now scrambling for the correct donor to replace it. There’s a new energy that was lacking before, clearly everyone’s giving it their all, but I’m not sure if it will be a enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I love The Office; it’s the first show that I ever watched from the minute it first aired, and I’ll watch it until it ends. But I hate that it will end one day like this: without Steve Carell.

Side Notes:

-Later that night, I caught a rerun on TBS, and it was so weird to see Michael Scott again.

-That was a weirdly heavy side plot with Jim standing up for the ladies of the office. There’s a whole ‘nother blog to be written about the comments this episode made on feminism.

-Awesome Dwight Quotes: “It’s like seeing sausage being made…once you see sausage being made, all you want to do is make sausage, ’cause it’s so much fun!” and “Congratulations on your one cousin. I have 70, each one better than the last.”

-“Now what?”

Parks and Recreation.

I’ve decided. Parks and Rec has the highest laugh per line rate, and I think it has a lot to do with the world the writers have built. Pawnee is a whimsical town, full of wacky, lovable characters that we get glimpses of in town meetings, grocery stores and city events. Its biggest competition is Eagleton, a city of rich people that blows Pawnee out of the water in terms of perfect lawns and iPod touches per citizen.

The way the main characters interact with this world gives way to jokes that seem almost effortless. I never concern myself too much with the plots of Parks and Rec. episodes, the characters are so well defined that we can just sit back, relax and enjoy the laughs…and after an episode of The Office that worried me, this show was exactly what I needed.

Side Notes:

-Best part of this episode? The look on Andy’s Face:

30 Rock.

This was a bit of an underwhelming season finale. There were some good jokes (see=Wool Mascot) and there were also some jokes that I found horribly uncomfortable (see Kenneth as Avery-replacement). Really, I just expected more from the season finale, but it was sort of ho-hum. Well, as ho-hum as 30 Rock can be.

Side Notes:

– I love seeing Victor Garber on TV, No matter what character he plays. So, it was nice to see him in 30 Rock, even if it was as the Wool President.

– “I like to replace the union soldier meat with boiled potatoes!”

-Best visual joke: Liz Lemon appears before a judge. His placard reads: ” Judge Gregory L. Dredd”

-“I don’t like to swear, sir, but ‘No Thank You!’ “


Finding a Mad Men Fix in This Crazy World.

A whole bunch of Mad Men drama went down while I was busy working RiverRun. I won’t go into all the sordid details; long story short, we won’t see Don, Peggy or Roger Sterling grace our televisions again until 2012. But all is not lost!

Think of this hiatus as an opportunity to spread the Mad Men love! Your friends, family and strangers on the street who haven’t seen this amazing show now have about a year and a half to catch up! Throw Mad Men viewing parties – it’s a chance for you  to see those great episodes again…and to grow the fan base. With a bigger fan base, hopefully we can stop these negotiations from ever being an issue again, and maybe we won’t have to face those ridiculous character cuts. Fans have power, we just might have to shout a little louder and buy some of the sponsor’s products (Chuck fans did it with Subway, we can do it with Unilever products).

But, if marketing Mad Men isn’t your style (even though you’d totally be living out the show in a nifty way), and you just need your 60s-era drama fix, “woot!” has made a list of six films that might just be able to fill that void. I, for one, hope to catch them all this summer…in between my Mad Men screenings, of course.


NBC Thursday in Brief

Sorry for the blogging hiatus! Just now recovering from the film festival. After a relaxing weekend in the mountains, I’m eager to get my blog on again! So, without further ado, NBC Thursday in Brief.

NBC THURSDAY IN 25 WORDS PER SHOW:

Community. Good Story Structure. Fastest Labor Ever. Will Rewatch for Chang Anecdotes. Love the continued references to St. Patrick Day “Event.” Love Duncan and Dean.

The Office. Sweet, emotional and Carell’s best acting. Cold open was overflowing with great call-backs. Didn’t cry. No Security at Scranton Airport? Miss Michael already.

Parks and Rec. Leslie rocks the Grecian goddess hair. Will be disappointed if Leslie and Ben don’t kiss by the last episode.  Love Frisbee Plates.

30 Rock. Condi tried valiantly to act.  Love Elizabeth Banks. Forgettable Tracy story. Will never look at bags the same way.  Hilarious Break-Up: “You + me = :(“