Community: Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design
Totally solid episode. Both the blanket-fort and the conspiracy theories were wild, out-there plots without really spoofing one specific movie, and it worked better that way (if for no other reason than there was nothing for Abed to point out, so he got to be a real character). Plus, who doesn’t like seeing Kevin Corrigan pop up anywhere? Its central weakness: It’s basically the “and that’s why you don’t teach lessons” episode of Arrested Development. There are far worse things to strive for.
30 Rock: College
For a show that’s already lean and fast-paced, how much better does it get when they decide to jettison a third plotline? Here, they just stuck to Liz and Jack—no Tracey or Jenna—and they were able to cram more jokes in by not having to do a set-up or payoff of the third plotline. Rather than giving Jenna and Tracy something to do, Liz just comes across them, sitting side-by-side on a couch, each gazing into a different hand-mirror. Genius! High-fiving a million angels!
The Office: WUPHF.com
I love Ryan. I love how he’s cycled through 10 different types of douchebags throughout the course of the show. I also get a kick out of every time someone gets a fax because of WUPHF.com. But, even more than that, I love how Michael was able to manipulate Ryan this time around—in his sad, pathetic, Michael way. I also liked Dwight’s plotline, because he was evil and curmudgeonly, but there were reasonable explanations why (for money and to heal childhood wounds), making it less cartoonish.
It will never be Outsourced. Maybe that joke about how “Native Americans” are called “Native Americans” and not “Indians” because they find the word “Indian” derogatory would have been funnier in other hands, but it wasn’t funny here.
So, who won Thursday?
Three-way tie! Cram your complaints, losers! I know it’s a cop out, but, really, a choice would have been arbitrary. All the shows last night put out really good episodes—and they all played into my personal preferences for the shows. Community had lots of Annie and Troy, not so much Britta, and didn’t overdo the meta jokes. 30 Rock minimized the Jenna but used her very well. The Office had Michael Scott in full-on competent mode, the Erin Stupidity Fluidity scale stayed within reasonable range (and it killed me that she said that eight years ago “everyone was getting their driver’s licenses”), and that god-awful contract between Dwight and Angela finally ended. I left the night feeling very happy. High-fiving a million angels.