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

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 28, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 28, 2012 |

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



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-


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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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.