Who Won Thursday?

Posted by Marisa March 26th, 2010 at 09:37am In 30 Rock Community Parks and Recreation The Office Who Won Thursday?

It was a tough call this week, but there can only be one winner. The shows:

Community: “The Science of Illusion”
The thing about Community is that there’s so much going on, and I enjoy a lot of it, but I also dislike a lot, too. It all gets mashed together into one episode, so it’s hard to figure out how I feel about the episode as a whole. In this case, of course I loved Pierce’s subtle transformation into the Cookie Crisp wizard and the admission that Britta is kind of a drag. I also really appreciated Annie and Shirley’s buddy-cop movie. But Abed’s running commentary on the whole thing really sunk that half of the episode. We can get that they’re making fun of buddy-cop-movie tropes without him telling us. Explaining a joke makes it less funny.

Parks and Recreation: “Summer Catalogue”
Parks & Rec is better than The Office for me because it does a better job of balancing out discomfort with sweetness. In this case, Leslie’s meeting with the other parks commissioners was hilariously uncomfortable in the vein of an Office episode, but the whole thing ends with Leslie and Ron’s life-affirming breakfast-for-dinner. (How great was it when Ron was cranky because he was hungry?) Also, I dig that April an Andy ended up on the cover of the catalogue. Awwww. But they’re sure taking their time with the Anne/Mark breakup, aren’t they?

The Office: “Happy Hour”
This is my favorite kind of Office episode: The kind where everybody gets together to go do something. You get to spend enough time with all the characters so that they each get one or two good jokes in, and they’re always the funniest when they’re getting on each other’s nerves. Then again, I asked TiFaux Jesse to turn this episode off halfway through. I couldn’t handle “Date Mike…nice to meet me.”

30 Rock “Floyd”
As much as I love seeing Jason Sudeikis act drunk—and Jack McBrayer do nightmarish sexy dances—this episode just wasn’t as tightly packed with jokes as last week. I completely forgot that the robot street performer was still on the show. They seem to only trot him out when they need someone to get jealous, but I don’t really know who’d be jealous of a Canadian robot street performer. Plus, the whole thing with Liz and Floyd was a one episode re-tread of their whole relationship. (He makes her crazy and things don’t work out.) It didn’t really advance their story at all.

So, who won Thursday?

Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC

Surprise! The Office.

Yes, I asked Jesse to turn it off. Half of the things Michael said and did made me put my hands over my eyes and slump down in my seat. This time, though, it was in a good, Classic Office way. And I like how they allowed Michael to bounce back from the Date Mike situation and be halfway normal again. (How much do I love the idea for “Somehow, I Manage” and its cover?) In fact, everyone got to be a little kooky but also halfway normal: Dwight’s attraction to Isabelle was totally creepy but it seemed to work on her, Andy and Erin were less stupid than they had been recently, and Oscar’s crush was believably misguided. The only person who was totally wacky was Kevin, but, c’mon, that was funny.

HOWEVER! While The Office wins Thursday, if I were to pick my favorite joke of the evening, it’d be Troy crying about how he didn’t understand the Cookie Crisp wizard thing at first because the Cookie Crisp mascot was a burglar when he was a kid. We had the same exact conversation in my apartment about that.


  • 1. Maggie  |  March 26th, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Once again I agree! Hooray for The Office! I got worried when you said the thing about turning it off, and was all prepared to write an indignant blog comment (is there any other kind?). I get so embarrassed for Michael, and I think it’s because I really do want him to succeed. Personally I just liked seeing him successfully (and completely unconsciously, of course) flirt charmingly with two different women. He’s not so bad. Except when he starts to think about things.

    I think this Floyd thing is going to be ongoing, and Liz is going to ruin their wedding/save him from marrying the wrong person, or something like that. But in my ideal world he does marry the blond lady and move back to New York and then we don’t see him for two seasons and he comes back in the final season divorced and they all live happily ever after with their adopted baby.

  • 2. Maggie  |  March 26th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Oh and my favorite joke was this one:

    Michael: So what do you do?
    Lady: I teach ESL.
    Michael: Oh wow, I thought you had to be born like that. Hey, what am I thinking right now?
    Lady: You’re thinking I said ESP.

  • 3. Marisa  |  March 26th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    For me, feeling embarrassed for Michael is ONLY okay when they do something to make ME feel better about it in the end. For a while, my favorite episode was the one where he took Tim Meadows to Chili’s, because I cringed the entire time, but he closed the sale in the end so I wasn’t left feeling like I wanted to crawl into a hole when it was over. They didn’t really give me that relief at the end of Phyllis’s wedding. This time, it worked out okay 🙂

    Parks & Rec is better for me personally because things are more consistently okay at the end of each episode, even if it’s just a nice talk between Ron & Leslie.

  • 4. sara  |  March 26th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Yeah, The Office made me incredibly uncomfortable last night. I’m at the point where I don’t think Dwight is funny, he just makes my skin crawl. I give 30 Rock the win, just because of Floyd. I love Floyd.

  • 5. jesse  |  March 26th, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I also think Parks & Rec goes for a different vibe from The Office — it’s a warmer show, probably as removed-but-vaguely-similar from The Office as The Office is from the UK version. So I don’t mind when The Office isn’t as sweet as P&R. Actually, it’s sort of a relief, because I’m wary of The Office becoming one of those workplace shows where everyone is (as Michael would like to imagine) a surrogate family. But the small-town likability of P&R is its own wonderful thing.

    Sara, I feel like this season Dwight has been getting too cartoonish — it’s funny, but sometimes feels as if they’re going for cheap “big” laughs. But on last night’s, it was more like the creepily intense but vaguely believable Dwight that I love from most of the show. I think the show has wobbled a little with the necessary lack of Jim and Pam between wedding and childbirth. It’s weird, because the ensemble is great, but sometimes they push Dwight and Andy a little too far up front to make up for the lack of Jim/Pam stuff. Although: I adore Erin the receptionist. Her stage-voiced “if you talk to me that way again, I’ll cut your face off!” was my favorite Office line of the night.

  • 6. sara  |  March 26th, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Dwight jumped the shark for me when he destroyed Jim and Pam’s kitchen. That’s where the show having no connection with real-world consequences really hit a breaking point for me. If that happened to you, you’d call the police. Jim and Pam were like, meh, it’s Dwight. I just … what?!

  • 7. Maggie  |  March 27th, 2010 at 10:59 am

    But Dwight built them a brand-new kitchen! And also the old kitchen had mold! It was crazy when it started but when he finished building the new one I came around.


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