Friday, 7 May 2010

Comedy Tonight Last Night

Another entry in my irregular series on NBC’s Thursday’s comedy slot: LAST WEEK'S ENTRY
I haven’t seen Community in some time. It emerged last year as a somewhat off kilter lead-in for Parks & Recreation. Like any show, it has its good and it’s bad but when it’s bad it’s really bad and for me last night was one of those “bad” episodes. The entire episode"Modern Warfare" centred on the community college students engaging a series of paintball face-offs in hope of gaining priority registration. One of the conceits that sometimes fail on the show is their tendency to veto the belief of there being a real college with students and the resultant being the main characters being the only students. Of course any show focusing on school has this issue but whereas others pull it off (see Glee) Community often fails. The entire premise of the school engaging in a paintball fight was just a bit too ridiculous, even by the standards of TV Land. I figure that Community aims to be a satire, but I’m never sure if their incessant use of clichés is lazy writing or some attempt to make a point (whatever that may be).
Parks & Recreation fared better. In another strong episode this time we saw Leslie dealing with an all night telethon in Pawnee. Amy Poehler continues to give some of the best comedic performances on any TV show; I’m really hoping Emmy remembers. Nick Offerman's attempts to liven the telethon with his chair making skills were indeed funny. The subplot dealt with Mark’s imminent proposal to Ann, but it seems as if the relationship may be heading south. (Honestly, the Ann and Mark relationship is one of my less favourite things on Parks & Recreation. Both Schneider and Jones are actors I like, but they just seem too normal together, combating the whole ridiculousness that should be Parks & Recreation.) However, the person who ended up stealing the show was Aziz Ansari's Tom. His meeting Detlef Shcrempf and ensuing drunkedness (after two lite beers) was golden, and nothing last night precipitated as loud a laugh as when he got up to do an impromptu version of “Turn My Swag On”. I’m going to be missing this when the summer comes.
The Office followed up a good episode last week with a very good one last night. It had much of what I liked, and less of what I didn’t. I’m wondering if my telepathy is working because I’m getting more and more of Ryan and Kelly, easily my favourite two people on the show. It makes sense that it was these two who planted the seed in Michael’s thoughts that his new girlfriend was cheating. Kelly’s awareness of pop culture (and her lack of awareness in everything else) never fails to amuse me, and Ryan’s tips on finding out if your girlfriend is cheating were quite helpful (Does she shower after sex? Does she shower before sex?). Even the iffy subplot of Daryl and Andy managed to work. Even though I didn’t expect it, I wasn’t too shocked to find out that Donna was married. Michael’s delivery was classic, “I’m the other woman?” The episode was filled with small cute moments like Michael’s mayonnaise and black olives (fake ice-cream) or Dwight’s attempt to pickup Donna at the gym in his sweaty repulsiveness.
30 Rock was back on the uphill, somewhat, even if it took a theme episode to bring out – celebrating Mother’s Day. The thing is, as enjoyable as the episode was the one thing that keeps preventing me from loving 30 Rock is the lack of character development – especially with the secondary characters. I’m guessing, though, now that Liz has realised that there’s no such thing as the perfect man she’ll stop setting her standards so high. The episode had some cute moments, though. Jack’s mother attempts to make Kenneth forget his name (which worked) were quite entertaining. It actually was quite fun seeing the cast interact with their “mothers”, though some were fake. All in a pleasant episode, but not quite stellar, but Jane Krakowski continues her excellence.
Community, "Modern Warfare": C
30 Rock, "The Moms":  B/B-
Parks & Recreation, "The Telethon": B+
The Office, "The Cover Up" B+
#3 Amy Poehler on Parks & Recreation: There are two types of diabetes, but only one type of caring: type 1 caring, and I hope you'll all be stricken with it tonight. (It works better in context, but still cracks me up.)
#2 Nick Offerman on Parks & Recreation: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day…don’t teach a man to fish and you feed yourself.
#1 Jane Krakowski on 30 Rock (in response to Tracy’s belief that we all have our faults): Yes, sometimes I sing too beautifully. 
What did you watch last night?


Luke said...

I love that you recap my favorite night on television. I personally loved seeing all the moms together. I particularly love Liz's mom Anita Gillette. I love when they skip out on stunt casting in favor of a little-known performer and it pays off!

Castor said...

Ah! I watched Thursday's comedy night for once. I thought it was a pretty average week like you graded it.

Simon said...

Surely you jest about Community. Okay, they lean towards cliches, but they take them and make them unique and hilarious. Last night's episode, especially...and they never said the whole school was into it. Maybe all those not interested in the game went home, and the rest were just really destructive. The action movie parody was fucking funny, okay? I loved it.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

luke it's weird none of these are my FAVOURITE shows but i always end up watching thursday night on thursday unlike so many others.

castor it was slightly above average, even though my thoughts sound most despondent.

simon admittedly the finale of paint fighting was good (if uninspired). glad to see community has its defenders, though.

Rachel said...

Watched the latter half of the night. The Office was ok for me. I'm kind of sick of them giving Michael a girl only for it to end. It's become a gimmick.

While watching 30 Rock, all I could think about when they kept showing Jenna's mom's half boob job was Kitty's botched boob job on Arrested Development, probably because I'm in the middle of rewatching the entire series.