Friday, September 28, 2012

Was the Thursday Comedies Must See?

I just posted a link to my latest review for Road Runner, but there was some other TV that needed to be watched tonight as well.

The Office: The promise of this being the last season seems to have revitalized the writers, because this is the second straight great episode.  I'm actually laughing loud enough I could wake up my son, rather than bursting out in tears of sorrow from wasting yet another half hour of my life.  There were several funny little moments in today's episode.  The need to continually change the "wheel of chores" because "that isn't how you do a wheel" was great, and I love that in the end it just ended up being something similar to a contest at a fair.  Clark making up a news anchor trial to get alone time with Erin which backfired to him getting alone time with Andy while Erin ended up getting food with Pete was hilarious.  It also was a solid storyline to help establish both Clark and Pete as great characters, and allowed me to get a better idea of their personalities.  I love the little hint at Toby still having a crush on Pam, and how he had to try to cover his tracks after people caught on.  Another great moment was when Angela mentioned how there was still mystery with her husband (always called the Senator), and how that comment made Oscar choke on his soup.  I'm now thinking they'll be forced to do an episode where they eventually have Angela find out about the affair.  I laughed and learned a valuable lesson, 'no one believes you have a plan if you use a ridiculous font."  I also love that the plan was apparently to get Dwight to cut off her hand -- that could never turn out bad.  Kevin was great in this episode, especially when he wanted to pick a charity that gives goats to families from impoverished countries because that is a great practical joke.

It was an awesome episode, and one of the funnier ones in a long time.  It has also set up some interesting future storylines.  The big one is that Pam and Jim believe they don't have any secrets, but Jim has a huge one as the part owner of a new company.  I don't think they will dare to split the two up, but there is going to be some bumps this year.  They seem to be setting up for them getting complacent around each other, especially after Pam's former loser fiance Roy actually has seemed to turn out to be a great catch now.  Jim obviously is no longer content being at Dunder-Mifflin, which will lead to several new storylines.  I'd still rather the Oscar-Angela-Senator love triangle not become a major plot point but rather a running gag, but I sense they are building to something.  It also looks like Pete may try to win Erin away from Andy, which obviously will lead to some major event down the road.

As for storyline progression this episode was more about hints, but that doesn't matter, because it was actually really funny.  This is why I watch The Office.  

Parks & Recreation:  This episode totally made up for last week's premiere.  Last week seemed like they were missing the mark on almost all their jokes, and it just seemed so flat.  I was worried that The Office's goodness meant a switch of the shows' fates.  This week proved it is possible both shows can be awesome.

Soda tax storyline was awesome, and once again, Parks & Recreation is dealing with a topical issue.  They've talked in real life about coming up with deterrents to junk food and soda, and I love how the show turned a debated issue into great fodder for awesome humour.  I hope this won't drive me out of my beloved town, but I have to say the shots of Pawnee residents chugging large sodas reminded me a little of Brantford.  Well, except they were walking instead of using scooters.

I loved the list of names of Pawnee restaurant like Paunch Burger and Trough Slop.  I also laughed super hard over the sizes of soda, especially the child size -- called that because it is a size of a child if it was liquidized.  Andy trying to train for the police academy was all kinds of greatness including his need to strip down to his underwear because he was "burning."  Speaking of Andy, I also love that he was wearing nothing but a bandanna for underwear, because he couldn't do laundry.  April's standing up for Ben was both sweet (in her own crazy way) and hilarious.  Leslie's stress eating of sugar was also funny, but I love that she ended up getting a huge soda right before making a vote to try to cut down on soda consumption.  It was also great to see Ben get some his own scenes, and watch him try to suck up to all his interns including playing a game of ultimate Frisbee.

This episode had all the aspects that make this show great.  It also gave characters like Ben and Chris a chance to get the spotlight without sharing it with Leslie.  Though sadly Ron Swanson got little play this week, but he nailed it with every appearance he had.  I loved his take out order from Paunch Burger, and also how he tried to cheer up Leslie by announcing he tried to fire her four times.

It looks like Leslie's vote for the soda tax will likely lead to future storylines, especially if it leads to layoffs for fast food employees.  Ben having to deal with the spoiled interns will likely be a building storyline that he'll either overcome or lead to his return to Pawnee.  I currently like the switch back from Washington and Pawnee, and hope they don't reunite them too quickly.  The current arrangement makes the show fresh, and I felt the Leslie and Ben relationship just kept leading to the same insecurity storylines anyway.  I do admit April and Andy are awesome together, and so I hope he visits her often.  Leslie as a city councillor will likely open up several new stories, and the conflict she caused with fast food should make for a few great episodes too.

A rather awesome Thursday as both shows were very funny.  I have high hopes it will be a great season for both, and great way to say good bye to two great series (the rumour is Parks & Recreation won't make it to next year either).

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