"We'll See You After Regionals": Highlights from "Community," "Parks and Rec"
What a perfect send-off. Even though it's looking like "Community" will be back, at least to finish its third season, Thursday's episode was a bittersweet marker for fans. The hiatus has no end date right now, so even as we were treated to a brilliant takedown of "Glee" and a touching reminder of why we love the gang at Greendale, it's all we're getting for a while.
The episode was filled with fan favorites. Like boobs.
And "Glee" jokes. We've known for years now the study group can't stand the Glee Club (read: Fox's "Glee"), but the riffs on inane musical numbers, the ever-present bespectacled piano player and the constant talk of "regionals" -- that illusive competition always just around the corner -- were perfect. Even though Chevy Chase can't sing. "Fake butter and AIDS and 'Twin Peaks'!"
But as it almost always does, "Community" came back to its central theme: the friends form a family, and they need each other, and even if they're snarky most of the time, they aren't above donning Christmas sweaters and singing "The First Noel." They mock the manufactured schmaltz groups such as glee clubs revel in, not the actual joy that comes from music and camaraderie. "It's been a dark semester," Jeff said, and we in the real world can relate. It's been a dark year, and while losing a favorite TV show doesn't matter much compared to, say, losing one's job or home, it sure doesn't make the season any more merry. The last line was killer: "We'll see you all at regionals." Unfortunately, we don't know when that will be.
- Annie: "I'll be at the movies with my Bubby." Troy: "You're ... not taking both of them?" Annie: "Well, one's dead." Troy: "What?!"
- Jeff: "Merry Christmas, everyone. Glee Club just became History Club."
- Troy: "This guy's like human fro-yo."
- Jeff: "He let himself down when he left the house this morning wearing a sweater vest."
- Rad: "Glee! It's a feeling you get when your brain finally lets your heart get in its pants. Glee! It's like a drug that you use that turns pain into shoes and your shoes into dance!"
- Abed: "If years were seasons, this December would be the December of our December."
- Annie: "Pierce! They're just trying to pander to your demographic's well-documented historical vanity! Resist!"
- Pierce: "Baby Boomer Santa! I'm an American pearl!"
- Annie: "Boop bee doop bee doop boop sex!"
Note: I realized soon after writing last week's overview that "Community's" "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" probably deserved an A- rating instead of a B+, but I didn't change it. Y'all disagreed, and rightly.
"Parks and Recreation," "Citizen Knope": A
Continuing the feel-good trend, Pawnee's finest stepped up to show Leslie just how much she means to them by offering to help run her faltering City Council campaign. It was nice to see Leslie in her usual manic state, eating like Buddy the Elf, during her suspension from work, just as it was to see Ben step away from the boringness of accounting (but away from Jean-Ralphio's waxing lady). I'm also glad "Downtown Abbey" appeared in Leslie's word cloud. And the Marshmallow Ron Swanson? It needs to be sold in stores. As the campaign banner unfurled and her new staff members recited their respective titles, Leslie choked up, and so did I. Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.
- April: "These are the Black Eyed Peas. And I finally killed them. It's a Christmas miracle."
- Leslie: "Strawberry margaritas! ... I know the use for salgar!"
- Ben: "Calc-u-later!"
- Leslie: "Yes, because like the drug PCP, we are so fast-acting and powerful, we should be illegal."
- Ann: "Go throw up." Andy: "I didn't eat any." Ann: "Go throw up."
- Perfume CEO: "Don't talk to Eddie. Treat him like you would treat a person in another country that you paid $25,000 to hunt." Ben: "What are you talking about?" CEO: "What am I talking about? I'm talking about the best vacation of my life."
- Pawneean: "Her daughter is an idiot! Her daughter is an idiot! Her daughter is an idiot!"
- Jean-Ralphio: "Then she ripped the hair from my b-hole."
- Leslie: "Oh my God, I'm pregnant. Wait, what? No, that's not it."
- Ron: "Ron Swanson: Any other damn thing you might need."
Merry Changmas, everybody.
Sarah Carlson has a front-row seat to the decline of the newspaper industry and lives in Alabama with her overly excitable Pembroke Welsh corgi.