Friday, October 5, 2012

The Funny Stuff: NBC/CBS Tour de force

Thursday is so going to be my favorite night of the week, despite the fact that I have a total of three and a half hours of TV watching to go through. 

Let’s get right into it, since there are so many.

30 Rock 

This show is great.  It’s full of absurdist humor that gets even better on the second viewing.  The plot is there, but secondary, so I’ll go through it, then hit up the litany of funny lines.

The show is back from hiatus, and Jack is throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the airwaves in hopes of getting Hank Hooper to leave the company to him when he retires.  They are mostly terrible show, and Liz realizes he is trying to tank the network to build get Hank to sell the network to his investor that will keep Jack in charge.

This segues into Liz’s A story, where she is trying to get out of being Jenna’s maid of honor in her crazy-pants wedding.  She realizes she should tank her responsibilities as maid of honor from Jack’s tanking of the network. 

And in other stories, Kenneth and Hazel are dating, and are super creepy.  That’s about it.  On to the funny lines!

Jack, to Liz: “Glad to be back in the greatest city on earth, despite our tiny, un-American sodas”

Jack, regarding his summer activities: “Liddy won the bronze at Baby Olympics in Horsey-Jumpy”

Jack, after hearing another terrible show idea: “Jonathan, bring me my green light!”

Liz and Jenna, after Jenna dumped a box of dead doves on Lutz: “Did you kill those doves?!” *Sarc* “No, I bought them at the dead dove store”

Frank and Jack, discussing a possible new show: “Can I have a hot wife?” “If you gain 50 pounds”

Tracey to Hazel, who just said something French: “How nice to hear a lady speak the language of the Nazi’s most enthusiastic collaborators!”

Tracey, having a startling revelation: “I’m a father of three, married for 22 years, and I run my own business…oh my God, I’m the most stable adult here!”

Liz and Jack, discussing how long Jack has been attempting to tank the network: “So how long has this been going on?  Seven or eight years?” “Six weeks.”

Liz to Jenna when telling her about her bachelorette party: “It’s a surprise…and there’s nothing worse than a surprise Lemon party”

Tracy, regarding his ‘gifts’: “It’s a blessing and a purse”
Up all Night

Chris and Reagan’s TV break, and they have to eat at the table like savages.  When they have absolutely nothing to say to each other, they just stare at each other awkwardly, saying how they should totally do this more often. 

Reagan complains to Ava, and she suggests topic cards for the next meal, which Reagan uses, much to the chagrin of Chris.  They have an actual conversation, and get all hot and heavy, and move to the backyard, until Chris freaks out about the neighbors possibly hearing.  He manages to insult Reagan, and to make it up to her, signs them up for trapeze lessons, which was one of Reagan’s childhood dreams. 

They get to the trapeze place, and get the standard waiver.  Of course, they completely freak out, and even though they make it to the top of the tower, neither one can manage to do the actual swing, and they have to be lowered down, much to their dismay “We’re still the coolest couple ever, swearsies!”

Later, Reagan is making noises, and Chris is in the bushes making sure the neighbors can’t hear them, even though the neighbor were clearly heard on the previous night, so whatevs.

In Ava news, she is on the verge of becoming a hoarder, and Reagan’s brother offers to help her sell her crap on Craigslist.  After selling one thing slowly, Ava decided they need to sell things faster, and they set up a garage sale.  Ava goes on a giving things away binge to Rachel Dratch(!), and gives away a mug she regrets.  Reagan’s brother shows her she doesn’t need to give away everything, since they have good memories too. 

This episode wasn’t quite as strong as normal, the characters regressed for the sake of the plot, not for character development.  Still, there were some good one-liners, and I was amused through much of the show.

Reagan, after Ava had an idea: “Darn, you’re brilliant when you’re day drunk”

Ava, after slowly selling one thing to one person: “I just wish there was a way to sell a bunch of stuff to a bunch of people at the same time…ooo, we could open a Marshalls!

The Office

The cold open was brilliant tonight.  Dwight is sitting at his desk, when Jim comes in.  Except, it’s not Jim, it’s a random Asian guy.  Dwight is thoroughly confused, because ‘you’re not Jim, identity theft is a crime!’  Pam even kisses the fake Jim, and Dwight pulls the family portrait saying “This is Jim!”  but the picture is of the fake Jim with Pam and vaguely Asian children.  Turns out Jim has a dentist appointment, and an actor friend.  Worth it for the Dwight freakout alone.

In episode plot proper, Andy is told by Nellie that he is related to Michelle Obama.  This, of course, gets Oscar’s panties in a twist, and he starts spreading around the office that Andy’s family owned slaves.  Because that is the first thing a person’s brain goes to when something like that comes out.

Anyway, he spends the rest of the episode first trying to say that there was no way, and when it turns out his family merely transported slaves(so much better, right?), he asks Nellie to find out if anyone else is related to someone embarrassing.

During this whole debacle, Pam is giving Nellie a refresher on driving over lunch, and finds out she made the whole thing up.  And suddenly, Pam likes Nellie.  Though, I guess, her little prank was pretty epic.  Anyway, Pam and Nellie come up with several other famous people that others could be related to.  They also talk about Pam’s artistic ambitions, and Angela’s crazy-pants ideas for children’s room mural requirements(Clothing NOT optional for all animals).

To end, Darrell gets pissed at Andy for ignoring his productivity suggestions, and storms out to the warehouse, where Jim follows.  Jim tells Darrell, in a roundabout way, about his on-the-side business, and Darrell is completely on board to go with, assuming Pam is supportive.  Which, whoops, Jim still hasn’t told her, so it’s not real, per Darrell and the whole world.  Pam and Nellie walk in at just that moment, and Jim decides to tell her then.

Nellie has convinced herself, and nearly Pam, that Jim is cheating, so she and Darrell wait anxiously outside the soundproof room.  They see Jim and Pam hug, and Nellie is mad, since she thought they were going to break up.  Anyway, Pam talking heads that she is weirded out/confused about Jim not telling her, and scene.

This was a decent episode, the character development for Pam, Nellie, Jim and Darrell was strong, and shows good promise for future development as well.  The other story was pretty lame, but there were some good lines here and there.


Erin as she talking heads about having to impress Andy’s family: “What is your stance on politics?  What is the best war to do?”

Darrell, in full life hack mode by pre-taping reactions: “Whoa, that person has really gotten themselves into quite a predicament”

Parks and Rec

The main plot of this episode was not really strong, but the b- and c- plots were great, so the evening ended on a high note.

In the main story, Leslie is settling into her new role, and is putting forth another new bill, one that will keep the municipal pool open longer.  There are a lot of cute children involved, and the porpoise call nearly saved it, but a half naked man on the toilet put a permanent pall on the whole thing.  That half-naked man is also a councilman, but he’s a LOT skeezy.  He wants Leslie’s office, and changes his vote to ‘no’ until Leslie switches with him.  She first tries to get one of the other councilmembers to change his vote, but he’s a doddering old man, and couldn’t understand the concept at all.

Leslie finally decides that she will just give up her office in return for the vote, and it was about as lame as you would expect.

In b-plot land, Chris has decided to implement a 311 line that the parks department will run, helping citizens with questions they may have about their government.  There were several quality moments in this plot, like when Jerry accidentally got a 911 call instead.  But the main action dealt with Ron, who was dealing with an increasing agitated Diana, who has a pot hole that the road people haven’t been fixing.  Ron recruits Andy to help him, and they go out to fix said hole. 

When they get there, there are two cute little girls dressed as princesses, and Andy dispatches of them in short order.  And by that, I mean they cosigned him into their princess playtime.  Ron goes about fixing the pothole, and Diana, played by Lucy Lawless, is totally into Ron, after he demonstrates his competence.  When they get back to the office, Diane shows up to ask Ron out, mostly because Andy left her a note saying Ron liked her.  So cute.

And in Washington D.C. Ben and April decide to go on a road trip, but are blocked into the parking ramp by a presidential motorcade for HOURS.  Typical.  They bond, and it is super fun.  First, they listen to Ben’s ‘Benji’s Cool Times Summer Jamz’ mix CD, then they read Ben’s Star Trek fanfic.  It is about as awkward and glorious as you can imagine.

And now, quotes!

Leslie, while giving her office tour to Ben: “I have my own private bathroom!”  “Occupied!”

Chris, giving himself encouragement: “Thank you chris!  You’re welcome chris!  I sound insane…I’m going to call my therapist”

April asking Ben if he is busy: “And writing star trek fan fic doesn’t count”  “ha ha ha…I…finished it last week”

Ben, regarding April being the little sister he never had: “Because the little sister I do have is normal…and not terrifying”

Andy discussing Ron/Diane: “Ron and Diane sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i…Hey, did you hear that bird?”

Andy, when Ron wants him to help filling the pothole: “For the last time, it’s Princess Rainbow Sparkle!”

Ron and Chris, discussing why Diane is at city Hall: “I fixed her pothole.”  “Is that a euphemism?”  “No.”  “Then great job!”

Big Bang Theory

I think I’m going to break up with this show.  This episode was terrible, and the laugh track was incredibly intrusive.  I cannot wait for Community to come back.  For a show supposedly about nerds, Big Bang fails at respecting it’s audience at all. 

Or maybe, it does respect it’s audience, one that isn’t nerdy at all, and just want to laugh at people that actually have half a brain.

To conclude:  Big Bang Theory, it’s not me, it’s you, and you can suck it.

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