Posts filed under 'Parks and Recreation'

Who Won Thursday: Really Long Season Finale Edition

Let’s go out with a bang, shall we? Verbosity here will hopefully make up for all the quick and dirty weeks.

Community: Pascal’s Triangle Revisited
I’m getting the sense that I liked this episode more than most. And, surprisingly, it had little to do with Troy eating his big cookie (which I loved). Sure, it boiled down to a love polygon, which is never my favorite part of any show. (I’ve heard lots of complaints that Jeff isn’t such a catch that two girls should be fighting over him—but to me that’s true-to-life. There are lots of girls out there that have mind-boggling crushes on guys who are no big deal—especially if they know other girls are into him. And Brita is no prize, either.) But I love how the show subverted its own love triangle by having Jeff kiss someone else entirely—and someone I personally like better than either Britta or Slater. (Hooray for uptight brunettes!)

As a finale, I think it did a fine job. There’s something to wonder about over the summer, but it’s not something huge or earth-shattering like a pregnancy or marriage proposal. Plus, they managed to avoid the temptation of ending on a sticky-sweet note, like Abed’s turning off the lights for a sense of finality. The last episode did nothing to reaffirm all their friendships, which was a relief.

Parks and Recreation: Freddy Spaghetti
It’s astounding how much Parks & Rec feels like it knows exactly what it’s doing. Towards the end of the season, it brought in two new characters, and nails exactly what’s funny and likable about each of them. They didn’t have to spend any time figuring out what to do with them. Rob Lowe had two fantastic scenes of upbeat positivity followed by pawning all the bad news off on Adam Scott. It was funny both times.

For being the final episode of the season, it did almost too good of a job. I can’t believe I might have to wait until midseason to find out what happens next. I want the government up and running again, because that’s what the show is about, but I’d be sad to lose Adam Scott and Rob Lowe.  I can’t wait to see how it plays out. I guess I’ll just hope for a swift death to Outsourced.

The Office: Whistleblower
There were some moments, but the second half of this season has really run out of steam. I chuckled at Ryan’s “Woof,” and Andy’s Woody Guthrie song, but nothing really made me guffaw—and there wasn’t anything really emotional in this episode, either, to take the place of the laughs. I’m intrigued at the idea of Holly returning, but other than that, it seemed like a weird note to end the season on. Michael and Jo went to her private jet for what reason, now? Did they even go anywhere?

30 Rock: I Do I Do
For a comedy that butters its bread with slapstick comedy and wacky situations, I’m really surprised at how restrained they were with Liz’s whole three-wedding dilemma. I thought it’d be one of those sitcom moments where she had to keep changing dresses in the cab. (Oh wait. That actually happened in 27 Dresses. Man, I wish I didn’t know that.) Wesley Snipes was delightfully weaselly as always, Elizabeth Banks had some great moments (her “Overshop” commercial being one of them), Matt Damon had some excellent pilot jokes (and dance moves), and they used Kenneth and Jenna the exact right amount. This is also probably the best of the finales, too, since they wrapped up the season-long arcs about Jenna, Liz, and Jack pretty nicely and without too much hand-wringing.

So, the tough question. Who won Thursday?

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4 comments May 21st, 2010

Who Won Thursday?

Look! A full post! On Friday, no less! And for a really tough week, too, because all four NBC comedies had me laughing out loud.

Let’s get to it.

Community: English as a Second Language
I hate how this show constantly boils down to a struggle between friendship and personal gain, with friendship always winning out. They really need a new conflict. No one loves her friends more than I do, but I’d seriously reconsider my relationships if I kept having to prove them on a weekly basis.

Parks & Recreation: The Master Plan
Who would’ve guessed that April and Andy would be the will-they-or-won’t-they relationship in this show? I pretty much love that, because it’s not like they’re Jim and Pam, two sweet people destined to be together and have the cutest relationship ever. It’s harder to root for them, but you can’t help yourself.

The Office: The Chump
I adore it when the whole office gets together to try and work something out. In this episode, it was how to shoot Toby, Hitler, and Osama bin Laden with only two bullets. The episode pretty much peaked there.

30 Rock: Emanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land
All the boyfriends return! Including the beeper king! And Wesley Snipes! (Though Wesley’s talking about “Russ and Rebecca” on “Chums” is no “gang way for foot cycle.”) It pleases me that all these guest stars seem game to return and be silly, like old John “Hook Hands” Hamm. (Knowing 30 Rock, though, they’re probably in it for the Emmys.) However, I find myself not really caring about Jack’s romantic dilemma. Perhaps that’s because, if I were Jack, I would have chosen Elizabeth Banks WEEKS AGO.

So, who won Thursday?

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6 comments May 14th, 2010

Who Won Thursday?

Another quick & dirty edition. So let’s get right to it:

Who won Thursday?

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May 10th, 2010

Who Won Thursday

This is going to be another lightning-round edition, because once again I was indisposed on Thursday and just caught up. What? I’m allowed to have a life! I partied on Thursday like all the young people do.  (So very tired.)

Anyway, who won Thursday?

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3 comments May 2nd, 2010

Who Won Thursday

Another quick & dirty edition. So let’s get right to it:

Who won Thursday?

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May 1st, 2010

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?

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7 comments March 26th, 2010

Who Won Thursday?

The question on everyone’s minds. Let’s get to it.

Community: “Beginner Pottery”
I dig it when Jeff goes crazy. Really, I do. The show does a great job of exposing the hypocrisy of being too good for community college—at first, it seems Jeff is just jealous that someone is putting in less effort and is getting more attention than he is, but it turns out he really cares about beginner pottery (and I love, love, love the dark turn they gave that at the end with the voiceovers). I wish they pulled back the curtain on Britta’s  activism that way—I still feel like I don’t know who she is at all, and I was shocked this week when she mentioned that she’d never gotten an A before. Why hasn’t she? I wish I knew. The subplot with the boat was mostly hilarious, but once again boiled down to a “we’-re-all-good-friends” message.

Parks and Recreation: “Park Safety”
Wow, something took its mean pills last night. Yeah, it’s funny when they’re mean to Jerry, but I can’t take too much of that all strung together. Even when they were trying to be nice to him—and not laugh when he said “twout,” for example—it was done in such a snickering and pitying way that it went back to being mean again.

The Office: “New Leads”
This episode was interesting in that it kind of acknowledged how much things have changed on the show. Dwight isn’t Michael’s lackey anymore, Jim has gone from being aloof and above it all to part of the corporate machine, etc. It was nice that they mostly addressed these changes. I’m not liking the direction that Andy and Erin are going in, though. I loved Erin when she first started—she seemed odd in that she was so eager to please Michael no matter what he asked her to do, but that he was the one putting her up to it. Now it seems like she’s not just a sweet person catering to Michael’s whims—she’s actually coming across and dim and weird. She’s rivaling Creed in her disconnect from reality.

30 Rock: “Don Geiss, America, and Hope”
Back to basics: Liz is unlucky in love and thinking about settling, Jack Donaghy struggles to be a Master of the Universe, Tracey is worried that his reputation will become too vanilla. The good news about the show sticking with its roots, though, is that its roots are what it does best. (Except for that “porn for women” thing. That was lame.) I particularly loved the adversarial dates that Liz goes on with Wesley. (Snipes!) Most women I know find Britishisms charming, so it’s hilarious to me that Liz is so turned off by them. (“Gang way for the foot cycle!”)

So, who won Thursday?

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2 comments March 19th, 2010

Who Won Thursday?

Competition was fierce this week, but there can be only one winner.

Community: Basic Genealogy
Usually, I dig how this show is warmer and fuzzier than the others. This week, though, the you’re-a-great-friend-no-YOU’RE-a-great-mom thing was too much even for me. And how many episodes can end at school-wide dances?

Parks and Recreation: The Possum
I could endlessly re-watch Andy tackle the possum—the sound he makes is just incredible. Also, Ron gets to try out his entire repertoire of angry faces when Mark doesn’t think his workshop is up to code.

The Office: St. Patrick’s Day
I love when the show has moments that feel like Classic Office. Megadesk is certainly one of those. The rest of it—Jo keeping them all late on St. Patrick’s Day—feels like a classic Office situation, but they didn’t really manage to wring enough jokes out of it. But, hey, it ends with the return of Todd Packer!

30 Rock: Future Husband
If you had to make me choose between John Hamm and Michael Sheen as hypothetical future husbands, I’d pick Michael Sheen. 30 Rock always wins Emmys for its guest stars because it seriously gets the best guest stars. Elizabeth Banks is still tearing it up, too. And I like how this episode picks up immediately where the last one left off, with a waffle in the DVD player.

So, who won Thursday?

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3 comments March 12th, 2010

Who Won Thursday?

So, the Olympics are over—NBC comedies are back! The question resurfaces: Who won Thursday? Let’s take a look at last night’s episodes:

Community: Physical Education
Abed’s constant pop-culture references are the center of the story instead of a commentary on the action when he tries to impress a girl by trying out some famous personas. I don’t watch Mad Men, so his Don Draper seemed a little shaky to me, but he does do a good impression of Joel McHale.

Parks & Recreation: Woman of the Year
The relationship between Leslie and Ron is quickly becoming one of my favorite things about the show, and I was pretty pleased with the way he spent the first half of the episode needling her, and the second half of the episode supporting her. The “lesson” he was trying to teach her, though—that awards are meaningless—was a little weak. This episode also featured some nice moments with TiFaux Dan’s Crush of the Moment, who is in a band that is no longer called Mouse Rat.

The Office: The Delivery Part 1 + 2
OMG it’s a baby girl SQUEEEEEEE! Even though this episode was obiviously all about Jim and Pam, there were lots of good bits with the other characters, like Michael throwing the keys to Jim’s car away, or Kevin’s “Ultrafeast,” or Dwight’s remodeling of Jim and Pam’s kitchen.

So, who won Thursday?

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1 comment March 5th, 2010

Chris Pratt: Stealth hottie

There’s plenty of hotness on NBC’s Thursday night lineup.

You could relish the sardonic smirk of John Krasinski on The Office. You could fancy the wonderful abdominal muscles of Joel McHale on Community (did you see last night’s underwear pool?). And on 30 Rock… well, there’s not a whole lot going on there, except for when they bring out Jon Hamm and his amazing jaw.

But one highlight of my Thursday night is always Chris Pratt’s portrayal of Andy on Parks and Recreation. Pratt plays Andy as not only doggishly loyal, but also doggishly stupid and doggishly adorable.

From what I understand, Chris used to be on Everwood when he was probably a good 30-40 pounds lighter. In fact, take a look at him when he was everything you’d expect the star of a CW drama to be — mop-topped, supple-skinned and just pretty enough to make it hard to take him seriously.

Now there’s the Chris Pratt I know in love. Essentially, take what you saw on Everwood — add marijuana, subtract a daily treadmill regimine, add scruff and raise the whole thing up to an exponent of earnestness. The current Pratt is a hundred times more appealing, with his approachable and affable personality and bearish physique.

Clearly, I have no point in writing this post other than relaying a fangirl crush, but I’d like to promote Mr. Pratt as one of network television’s most crushworthy actors. And I’d like to state for the record that I’m much more drawn to the simple and charismatic Andy over any gym-toned TV doctor on ABC.

A clip:

March 5th, 2010

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