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"Just Nut Up and Die Alone": Highlights from NBC's Thursday Comedies

By Sarah Carlson | TV | March 16, 2012 |

By Sarah Carlson | TV | March 16, 2012 |

“Community”: “Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts”
Ah, it feels good to be back at Greendale, but even though the show’s comeback from scary off-the-schedule time was good, it wasn’t quite as strong as I would have expected they’d go. We’ve already seen these stories before, and a lot: Troy and Abed struggling to be less “weird”; Britta ranting about gender roles and quickly losing composure when she finds herself fitting into them; Jeff letting his daddy issues come forth; etc. Still, a nice entry, complete with two dance scenes. Too bad Shirley didn’t get to walk down the isle officially, a vision in hypercolor and hammer pants.


  • Andre: “I have loved you ever since there was a Soviet Union and only one Damon Wayans.”
  • Abed: “It’s cool that Andre and Shirley are getting married again. There’s a whole generation that didn’t get to see the original.” Troy: “Let’s hope it’s more of a Bale than a Kilmer situation.”
  • Jeff: “Somebody tell Britta what an analogy is.” Britta: I know what it is! It’s like a thought with another thought’s hat on.”
  • Troy: “I’m feeling more normal already. Crab walk home?”
  • Andre: “Don’t you dare use your sexy voice on me.” Jeff and Britta: “Ohhhhhhhh.”
  • Jeff: “Shut up, Leonard! Those teenage girls you play ping-pong with are doing it ironically!”
  • Jeff: “What about babies?” Britta: “What about ‘em?” Jeff: “How many?” Britta: “Pick a number, dick, it’s not like it’s up to me!”

“30 Rock”: “St. Patrick’s Day”
This was standard “30 Rock,” from the presence of Dennis (Dean Winters) to the Irish jokes to Jack’s business epiphany brought about by something ridiculous, in this case the board game Colonizers of Malar. (Nice mix of references in that game, and I loved the homage to the “Game of Thrones” title sequence.) But the familiar territory worked for this episode. The writers know the characters and their respective schticks, and they stick to them. More often than not, the formula works, almost as well as confusing a lot of people by calling out “Megan!” on St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Liz: “Please. Without Germans, you wouldn’t have any of the Indiana Jones movies.”
  • Tracy: “Siri, kill Jenna!” Siri (a little later): “I killed Jenna Elfman, is that right?”
  • Criss: “I was a volunteer EMT.” Liz: “At Burning Man, and we agreed never to talk about that.” Criss: “At sunset, the cacti start to resemble people looking for hugs. It gets ugly, Liz.”
  • Megan: “You’ve got two minutes to fill a sock with quarters and then we go outside.”
  • Sue: “I’m a virgin … with white guys.”
  • Liz: “I love you.” Criss: “I know.” Liz: “You Solo’d me!”

“The Office”: “Get the Girl”
For what could have been a grand romantic gesture, Andy’s efforts in Florida to win back Erin fell a bit flat. Ed Helms always delivers, and he and Ellie Kemper work well together. The bit was cute, but perhaps it was brought down by the events in Scranton, which basically amounted to Nellie being ridiculous and Robert being useless. Jim wasn’t even believable in his confusion and pleas to the camera. It’s past time to wrap up the Florida storyline.

Only one line really stood out to me. Here’s to you, Georgette.

  • Irene: “Where’s the ring, Lancelot?”

“Up All Night”: “Baby Fever”
Will Arnett may be one of my favorite fictional dads at this point. His love for tiny socks melts my heart, and as usual, it was nice to see the gender roles flipped with the stay-at-home father being the one with baby fever. And even though Ava didn’t have as great a storyline as last week, she’s definitely no longer the random third wheel of the show. It’s a nice little triangle they’ve got. And … do you think they intend to make it a square, pairing Ava and Luke?

  • Reagan: “Let’s have six more, and then we can be like ‘The Brady Brunch’ after they added cousin Oliver. Which you know what? He did not add much. Like, swing and a miss, ‘The Brady Brunch.’ “
  • Ava [pointing to mean girls]: “Pill problem. Pill problem. Pill problem. Mystery STD.”
  • Chris: “Oh, I’m sorry, is looking exactly like Frank Sinatra not sexy anymore? It’s like so Rat Pack!”

Sarah Carlson is a TV Critic at Pajiba. She lives in Texas, where she’s busy burning DVDs onto LaserDiscs.

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