Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday shows recap 11/18

Greetings friends of the Interwebs. Here's my recap of our Thursday-night shows.

No. 1 The Office "WUPHF.com"



I confess that this one had won before it even aired. References to "wuphf-ing" something are made on a semi-weekly basis in my office. This episode didn't disappoint though, effectively juggling four different stories (WUPHF, Jim's commission issue, Dwight's hay-play, and Angela's contract business). This episode is another in a long line of shows indicating how well the writers have grown the characters, featuring a particularly poignant scene where Pam tells Michael that Ryan doesn't really like him.

See, two years ago, Pam wouldn't have cared. But through everything - dating her mom, coming to her art show, helping them with the baby, the Michael Scott Paper Company - Pam has come to genuinely care about Michael.



Also, I'm glad they finally dropped the "intercourse contract" issue with Angela and Dwight. It was funny at first, but it got played pretty quickly.

No. 2 Community "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design"



This episode was enjoyable, and shows how popular the Dean character is: his role in this episode is bigger than everyone else's except Annie and Jeff. If Community makes it to season 3, I predict the Dean moving up to main cast. Clever spoofing of conspiracy movies, great cinematography, and great twist-within-twists at the end.

No. 3 30 Rock "College"



This episode was OK. While it gave Tina Fey a great opportunity to shine as a nerd-trying-to-be-cool-until-she-realizes-she's-a-nerd, there was still too much absurdism in the episode. "30 Rock" always works better when the comedy is understated rather than over the top. The throwaway referencs to the "puridonil cyst" or whatever was funny though.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Smoking Freducation

So in honor of today, the Great American Smokeout, I offer this important PSA of the Flintstones smoking:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ew - Zombies!

Watch "The Walking Dead" on AMC:


Though, technically, this zombie is crawling. Not walking.











Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thursday shows recap 11/11

So I have decided to start doing a weekly round up of the Thursday comedy shows I watch -- The Office, Community, and 30 Rock. I have been doing that sort of "ad hoc" for a while, so now I'ma gonna do it every week. I will rank them each against the others for the week.

#1 The Office - Viewing Party



OK so the thing with The Office is Steve Carrell is a great front man, but the show has a deeper bench than the '97 Bulls. The danger for many Office episodes because of this is that the Michael Scott storyline becomes too awkward or too over the top and it distracts from the other characters. This happens in the second act of the episode, with Michael's tantrum taking too much attention, but the storyline resolves itself terrifically with the reveal that Erin (who was raised as a foster child and hero-worships Michael) views Michael as her father figure. Once he realizes that, his spirits change immediately. This follows the general Michael meme that he is stupid but loving.

Also, the bits with Dwight and the baby, and Phyllis talking about human intimacy, were dynamite. Moreover, as a person who hates Glee, but is nonetheless intrigued by the idea of Glee, I love Kelly's rant against the show.

#2 30 Rock - Brooklyn Without Limits



This episode was classic 30 Rock, excelling in everything that makes 30 Rock a great show:

1) lampooning Jack's commitment to his company's political expedience (through a great guest appearance by John "Roger Sterling" Slattery)
2) likewise poking fun at Liz's knee-jerk liberalism
3) a storyline which is intrinsically female-centric (pants that make your bum look good)
4) portraying Jenna as eccentric, while not truly crazy (this is something they screwed up last year)
5) hardly any Kenneth

#3 Community - Cooperative Calligraphy



Although I generally like Community better than the other two shows, this week they had the weakest installment compared to the other two. It was still good though, with the tongue-in-cheek reference to "bottle shows" (low-cost episodes of a TV show that involve no new sets or guest stars -- term comes from the phrase "a ship in a bottle"), continuity with the rest of the series (Shirley's pregnancy scare), and some great performances. Community can't kill the goose by always doing over-the-top fantastical episodes like the paintball one or the zombie one; they need to rely on the strength of their characters and this was a pretty good way to showcase them.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Further proof Simpsons has lost it

Hey check it out! "The Simpsons" did this great episode called "Elementary School Musical" -- a spoof of "High School Musical" !!!



So creative! Oh but wait, "South Park" already did this, using the EXACT SAME TITLE two years ago! (Video here.)

Keep in mind that several years ago, the creators of "South Park" gave such deference to "Simpsons" that they titled an episode "Simpsons Already Did It" -- conceding that they could never compete with the grandaddy of their genre. Maybe it's time for "Simpsons" to do an episode titled "South Park Is Funnier"?

I submit that "Simpsons" has now finally and completely nuked the fridge.

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