"You Opposite of a Turd With Eyes." Highlights from NBC's Thursday Night Comedies
That winter hiatus was brutal, kids. Even though we don't have "Community" yet, the return of "30 Rock" and addition of "Up All Night" to the Thursday lineup makes for one beautiful tropical fish.
"30 Rock": "Dance Like Nobody's Watching"
The Lemon is back! And just as Tina Fey is rocking a post-pregnancy glow, Liz has a new outlook on life. She's happy, finally, which she can attribute not only to her time on the WNBA dance team Timeless Torches but to a new mystery man. (Please be Jon Hamm's character's twin brother.) It's nice to see her character getting to develop a bit -- less sloppy but still silly. She doesn't need desperationships.com! While her beau may surprise Jack, will he admit to himself that he's jealous? Jenna had some good lines as well, even if the "American Idol" knock-off "America's Kidz Got Singing" would have been dated five years ago. And Kenneth, well, he gets a reprieve thanks to his Rapture-ready outfit complete with green spandex.
- Liz: "It was my year! What, lupus just lets you cut the line?"
- Liz: "They weren't sweaters, they were dickeys! Happy 2012!"
- Kenneth: "On the bright side, Black Hell does have a jukebox!"
- Liz: "Maybe I'm in a good mood because I'm not being weighed down by redundant torso fabric."
- Tracy: "I took a real age taste that said I'm dead."
- Jenna: "Tracy, how do nice people dress?" Tracy: "Socks on their hands, no belt, roller skates."
- Jenna: "You don't have a little rate face. You opposite of a turd with eyes."
- Kenneth: "Time to die!"
"Parks and Recreation": "The Comeback Kid"
Damn it if this show doesn't know how to capitalize on its formula of the gang coming together to overcome whatever obstacles are in the way, from traffic "laws" to ice skating rinks. It's just so sweet. And if women weren't already swooning for Ben, a pair of Doc Martens and a Letters to Cleo T-shirt (which you can buy right here) should do the trick. His depression was as understandable as his claymation film, "Requiem for a Tuesday," was memorable. A solid episode, especially with the introduction of Champion and the repetition of "Get On Your Feet" as everyone slid around on the ice.
- Ron: "I don't want to paint with a broad brush here, but every single contractor in the world is a miserable, incompetent thief."
- "Did Someone Say Calzone?"
- Leslie: "See? There's more things to look at on the Internet besides naked guys, Ann." Ann: "... What?"
- Ron: "We have a philosophical difference on what constitutes a law."
- "The Low-cal Calzone Zone"
- Andy: "Windows are the eyes to the house."
- April: "Ew, don't make out. It's making Champion sad."
"The Office": "Trivia"
I've missed quite a bit of "The Office" during the past several years, but I enjoyed the lightness of this episode. I still don't see the necessity of Sabre and Robert California, etc., so as Dwight headed south to try to get a promotion, I welcomed the trivia bar distraction. Overall, a decent episode.
- Gabe: "You're really gonna like Bill. He has me toilet a lot of people for him."
- Kevin: "Ooh, what do blind people think about?" Erin: "OK, dogs, canes, signs, manholes, stairs, piano, darkness ... ."
- Dwight: "Listen, you're a perfectly fine toilet. I'm just an extraordinary piece of crap."
- Robert: "Florida is America's basement. It's wet, it's filled with mold, strange insects, alligators. Alligators are dinosaurs, Dwight."
"Up All Night": "New Year's Eve"
This is what "Whitney" is going for and failing miserably at -- delivering a funny, believable relationship. I haven't kept up with this show, unfortunately, but it's good to see Maya Rudolf has toned down her character and landed Jason Lee. Chris and Reagan just work, even as they argue over Borat impressions and Rock Band. A welcome addition to the roster. Nice drummer arm, Will. And, uh, nice jeans.
- Reagan: "I also made jello shots. I've got regular ones and virgin ones for people who just like jello."
- Missy: "I met him on J date." Ava: "I didn't know you were a J."
- Ava: "Holy Abercrombie and Fitch."
- Chris: "Man, you are handsome. I don't if you know that."
- Kevin: "Why would I want to be in a parade when I can stand off to the side amidst the aroma of cotton candy and horse crap?"
- Reagan: "Great, they're booing us. I hate when they boo us. You're so out of the band." Chris: "Oh, I'm out of the band? I quit the band. And it's not even your band!"
- Chris: "That'll work!" Reagan: "Totes!"
(Side note: When searching Tumblr for "Up All Night," you will find many a post dedicated to the British-Irish boy band One Direction, whose debut album, "Up All Night," was released in November. I take it they are considered dreamy.)
Sarah Carlson is officially a victim of the newspaper industry.