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Let's Do It, Mah Dudes: Scoring NBC's Thursday Night Comedies

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | September 28, 2012 | Comments ()


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After a promising first week of the season, the second outings of each of Thursday night's NBC comedies, save for "Parks and Recreation" (which rarely goes wrong) were all disappointing. If it's going to be like this every week, we'll just limit our Friday morning recaps to "Parks and Rec."

Also, I know how fantastic "Louie" is, as well as "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," but our unofficial sister site, Warming Glow, covers those each Friday. Pajiba contributor, Josh, will have a "Louie" recap up over there at noon. WG will also be covering "Sunny," and I'll be covering "The League" over there starting in two weeks.

Weekend Update -- Why did they even bother if only one skit was political in nature, and -- aside from another strong Obama impression from Jay Pharoah -- it felt cursory, as though they were phoning in an anti-Obama skit just to even out the hammering they gave Mitt Romney last week. It was fairly disappointing all around, not to mention a "NFL Replacement Refs" skit (cut from the weekend's JGL show) that was already dated. (Grade: D)

Instead of reliving "Weekend Update," here are some fun Seth Meyers' bloopers, which I can only assume came from rehearsals.

Up All Night -- Maybe I was just in a bad mood, but I didn't think "Up All Night" wasn't that much better. I don't like it when a show takes a new development -- here, Reagan becoming a stay-at-home mom -- and goes through each wrinkle, one episode at a time. It's classic "Chuck" syndrome, where they spent an episode on every single stage of Chuck and Sarah's relationship, from the courting through the wedding, including all the various steps in an engagement. Plus, Sean Hayes' character was grating. Given "Up All Night's" ratings last week (a miserable 1.3 in the demo), I actually wouldn't be surprised if they moved "Community" into its time slot next month, and switched "Up All Night" to Fridays. (Grade: C

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The Office -- I should've known, even with Greg Daniels returning as the showrunner, that it was way too early of me to herald a return to form for "The Office," as I did last week. Last night's episode was typical of its late season quality: Mostly bland, uninspired, and meandering. The Jim and Pam subplot seemed to be heading somewhere, but it fizzled out (although, it was fun to see Roy's wedding, and to find that he's had some success). The Erin/Andy B-plot with Clark made Pete somewhat likable, but served little comedic purpose, and the Dwight/Nellie C-plot was almost tortuous. Why is Dwight getting the spin-off and not Creed? Grade: C-

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Parks and Recreation -- The exchanges that Leslie had with the soft-drink lobbyist were basically the best scenes in all of NBC's Thursday night comedies. The child size drink because it's the size of a little child! The high calorie Water Zero, in which the Zero refers to the amount of water (If you want no calorie water, you have to purchase Diet Water Zero Lite, which has only 60 calories). I cringed (in a good way) at Ben's attempts to act cool, and good for him for calling out April, who was being a little sh*t last night. Chris' spiral continues; I'm starting to feel really bad for him, but Andy was a lot of fun last night. Then in the end, Ron Swanson brings the heart. Not the best episode, but a solid one all around. (Grade: B+)

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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Mrs. Julien

    Parks and Rec continues to flail in a funny way, but not find its feet. I was embarrassed for the hedgehog and I thought his own embarassment was palpable in all of his scenes. They have all these uber-talented people and they just don't know what to do with them.

  • Kip Hackman

    Okay, a super specific criticism of the office. That lingering shot of Erin and New Jim sitting at the diner place eating dinner. I know what you're trying to do, and I don't appreciate it. Erin and Andy just got together not that long ago. At the end of last season. You're already going to go back to a love triangle? Really? Cuz the one with Jim and that forgetful chick worked soooo well. I mean, I get that the love triangle dynamic gave the show a lot at the beginning, but give me a break. I can only stand so much of the "will-they-or-won't-they" routine. Andy and Erin need to be just be happy and sweet/quirky. Also, the idea that they chose to mine that well for drama and not look somewhat seriously at what's going on with Jim, Pam, and this sports bar thing is infuriating. My need for completion is the only thing bringing me back to watch this thing end. Parks and Rec was good. April yelling at that guy awakened something in me...

  • Awkward Ben is my Favorite Ben. He's such a huge, adorable square and he's so painfully embarrassing. And Adam Scott is a comedic genius.

  • Also, Ron and Leslie's relationship is hands-down the best thing about that show. He almost fired her. Four times!

  • My prediction is Parks and Up All Night are done this year. NBC has zero interest in anything outside of the safe and mainstream. And the retooling on Up all Night has completely fucked it up. That was my favorite new show last year, but it's falling apart and a mess right now. I'm not even sure what the premise is at this point. "Mom and wacky friend stay home to raise daughter while husband tries to start a contracting business"? The show was unique before because Chris at home with Amy was portrayed realistically, and the antics at The Ava Show were good to show another (more professional) side of Regan. It's so watered down now they can't even find a realistic tone.

    They need to get rid of the new smarmy fuck on The Office. It's not funny, it's gross, date-rapey, and that guy is a scumbag. Why the hell are there new characters getting introduced in the final season? Why are they so irritating?

    Parks was great. Even an average Parks is a great Parks.

    SNL: "Seth, can I just say the "n" word real quick?" and Jay Pharaoh's Obama impression were the highlights.

  • No love for Aprils' death threat to fellow intern Ellis during the closing credits? That to me, was the highlight of the entire evening.

  • THE KISS ON THE NOSE. I died.

  • dizzylucy

    There are few things I love more than a Pawnee community meeting.
    "We're not taxing anyone's genitals."
    "Then we're outta here, boys!"

    Also loved Andy stripping down as soon as he crossed the finish line.

    Did enjoy Creed telling Nellie she didn't exist. If only...

  • I need to find a GIF of Rob Lowe collapsing on the track. He was excellent last night. As were Adam Scott's amazingly awkward attempts at bonding with the interns.

  • neonseattle

    is it just me or is christina applegate's character not likable unless maya rudolph is in the room?

  • Jezzer

    "...our unofficial sister site, Warming Glow, covers those each Friday."

    We're not dating your sister. We're dating YOU.

  • atoz15

    I can't believe you don't have a gif of what Andy "can do"

    That was the laught out loud moment for me of the night besides Ben Wyatt as a whole

  • oilybohunk7

    God, Andy and April together, even when they are apart, brings me great joy.

  • DeltaJuliet

    When he stripped down on the track, complaining about how awful running was, THAT was my laugh out loud moment. Mostly because I started running 4 months ago and I feel the same after every run. I love ANdy.

  • That collapse had me in tears. It was beautiful.

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