30 Rock was off last week, so it was 50/50 as to who would win this Thursday. But who did?
Community had a terrific Halloween episode last year, and last night’s was also really strong. Halloween just jibes well with what the show likes to do, and this one worked better for me than the other “concept” episodes this season (the Apollo 13 one and the Charlie Kaufman/Jesus one). I guess zombies are easy to adapt to any situation, so it doesn’t require a lot of setup—it gets straight to the joke-telling. (Good ones, too. “I’m a sexy Dracula.”) Even though it was another parody episode, they reigned in Abed’s meta-jokes to one or two good ones. (“Make me proud. Be the first black man to make it to the end.) The fact that it was all superfluously set to an ABBA soundtrack made it even better—it shows they had time to focus on something other than how to pull off a zombie parody. My complaint, and it’s minor, is that, at its heart, it still came down to being cool versus staying true to the study group, with Troy playing the part of Jeff.
The Office: Costume Contest
The cold open was great. They never really pay too much attention to Stanley, so it was kind of amazing to see how he doesn’t pay much attention to anyone else, either. I also loved the twisted logic that surrounded the Scranton coupon book—how they all believed it was worth $15,000, and how they gave it to Oscar based on dim Survivor-style logic. I’m not, however, really that interested in The Office continuity. I’m interested to see who they get to replace Michael at the end of the season, but I don’t really want to follow a trail of breadcrumbs to get there. To me, the show is much more about the characters that then overarching story. I know they need one to put the characters in different situations, but I don’t tune in every week to find out who is going to replace Michael. (Maybe it’s because I got really frustrated with the way they advance things, then regress them. Jim’s in Stamford! Now he’s back! Now he’s co-manager! Now he’s back! Now Michael, Pam, and Ryan are gone! Now they’re back! Except Pam’s a salesperson now! Except she’s not!) So, since I’m not really invested in the future of the company, the Darryl storyline kind of fell flat for me. And I love Olyphant, but I don’t care why he didn’t call Pam back, and they still haven’t allowed him to be funny yet.
It will never be Outsourced. I watch the beginning of Outsourced because the DVR catches it. As far as I can tell, most episodes start with the staff being startled by and screaming at the novelties they’re selling. This week, a staff member didn’t believe that the spider on his desk was remote controlled, even after it was demonstrated for him. Now tell me the show isn’t offensive and condescending.
So, who won Thursday?
Hooray! It’s back in the game, after weeks of the Thursday crown going back and forth between The Office and 30 Rock. I don’t think it was a coincidence that Community won the week of a Troy-centric episode. More of those, please!
Now, there’s a secondary—but also important—question. Who made a better Lady Gaga: Dean Pelton or Gabe Lewis?