Sunday, December 11, 2011

TV Report: Weekly Comedy Rankings

If you read my blog fairly regularly (or follow me on twitter), you've probably noticed that my favorite hour of TV this fall has been Thursdays at 8pm on NBC with the double dose of awesome from Community and Parks & Recreation. Unfortunately, it seems like this past week's hour will be the last time these two shows will be paired up with 30 Rock replacing Community in the spring when the latter goes on its extended hiatus. When it does come back, it'll probably be on a new day/time slot and paired with another show. With that said, both shows are again on top of my rankings this week as they have done so in the past. I refuse to rank them against each other though, so here goes...

Regional Holiday Music (Community) - They were bound to do a musical episode someday, but I'm glad they were able to do so while also spoofing Glee and giving the fans a great half hour to go out on. The songs by themselves, with the obvious exception of Childish Gambino-like rap duet with Troy and Abed, weren't that spectacular. Joss Whedon has spoiled me on that front, but as a whole it was plenty entertaining. Props to Saturday Night Live's Taran Killam (boyfriend of How I Met Your Mother's Cobie Smulders) for crafting the equal part cheery-creepy glee coordinator. Show, you will be missed. Please come back soon.

Citizen Knope (Parks and Recreation)
- Heartwarming. That's what I got from this episode. I was holding back the tears at the end when Leslie Knope received not just an awesome gingerbread replica of the parks department, but also her co-workers and friends volunteering to take up her defunct campaign. It was all made the sweeter from the early setup with all of them proudly displaying the perfect gifts Leslie gave them (Ron even got sniffly). The B-plot with Ben was no less entertaining as he went around Pawnee trying to figure out what to do now that he resigned. I thought him becoming Leslie's campaign manager would be perfect and could still happen, but I was expecting it in this episode.

3. Symphony of Illumination (How I Met Your Mother) - With all the praise I've given those top two shows, it's this show and this episode that has been occupying my mind all week mostly due to the brutal performance by Colbie Smulders. I was one of the few people that didn't react negatively over the pregnancy cliffhanger from last episode. I trusted the show knew what it was doing and this episode proved it giving Smulders a non-Robin Sparkles episode for her to shine. She went through a roller-coaster of emotions, first freaking out about her pregnancy then reeling from the news that she not only wasn't pregnant, but is also not able to have children. Hard to watch especially as as Lily and Ted specially tried to figure out what's bothering her. The last scene of the episode with Ted and Robin especially wrecked me. What all of this means for Robin/Barney is unknown, but well-done to all involved.

At this point, just a few quick thoughts on the rest of the comedies this past week:

4. Bad in Bed (New Girl) - Justin Long should really be a series regular because his two episodes has been my favorite of the series. He has great chemistry with Zooey Deschanel and their antics together are hilarious. Schmidt's plot line also made me laugh out loud especially that outrageous moment when he pushed his very pregnant boss into the pool.

5. Christmas Wishes (The Office) - Even if this show isn't a favorite, I do tend to love their holiday offerings and this year wasn't an exception. I especially loved Erin's journey from shy receptionist to drunk woman scorned. Also thought Darryl/Val was adorable.

6. Express Christmas (Modern Family) - The episode itself was a bit bland, but I loved the different combination of characters this episode featured. With an ensemble as talented as this they can mix and match and usually deliver which they did here.

7. Grinches Be Crazy (Happy Endings) - Not their best episode, but solid enough. Max as Santa was good comedy, but the rest of the stories felt flat mostly due to writing and not the acting.

8. And the Reality Check (2 Broke Girls) - I admit I choked up a little when Max bid a tearful goodbye to Chestnut in the end and loved Caroline "acting rich" performance. Rest of the episode was just okay.

9. The Nutcracker (Suburgatory) - A bit of a forgettable episode, but what I do remember was pleasant enough especially that sudden kiss between George and Dalia. Also liked that we see how George is super awkward with the ladies.

10. The Speckerman Recurrence (Big Bang Theory) - Leonard trying to deal with his bully from yore was a bit of a snoozefest. Luckily, as they've done for more than a season now the ladies held the episode up. Amy Farrah Fowler, never leave this show.

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