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“Never Half-ass Two Things. Whole-ass One Thing.” Highlights From NBC's Thursday Night Comedies

By Sarah Carlson | TV | February 24, 2012 |

By Sarah Carlson | TV | February 24, 2012 |

The night’s winners: Jim Carrey’s gills, Ewoks, Ron Swanson’s/Nick Offerman’s boats and Will Arnett’s love of chicken dancing.

“30 Rock”: “Leap Day”
Another Steve Buscemi-directed episode, and interestingly, another parody on a popular story. Although throwing a little “Christmas Carol” flavor into a Leap Day story (on top of “Groundhog Day” nods) wasn’t as weird as the actual Leap Day story. Oh well — real life is for March! It somehow worked, and overlooking the real William and his scary teeth, the story was sweet. Jenna continues to have amazing lines; I think Fey enjoys getting to tone it down and play the straight woman opposite Krakowski. Jim Carrey’s appearance as one of the Leap Day Williams also worked; it’s pretty much the kind of movie he’d make in real life, and he knows it. Also nice appearances from Andie MacDowell and Steve Little as Sad Thad The Skin Tag Lad, who succumbed to Karolina Kurkova and the other hot bitches. Damn them!




  • Jenna: “Hey Liz, new Bluetooth?” Liz: “No, I’m talking to someone.” Jenna: “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t see people who look like that.”
  • Kenneth: “Of course. Take off my bald cap … not put on my wig.”
  • Jenna: “He’s peeping out of his shell like a, um, ugh, what’s that animal? You know, the one that crosses so slowly across the road, and then you swerve to make sure you hit it and then a car coming the other way swerves to avoid you and goes off a cliff, and then that night, you and your companion have the greatest sex of your lives because you’re both sharing a secret?” Liz: “It’s a turtle, Jenna.” Jenna: “He’s a turtle!”
  • Jack: “Just dab some scotch on your neck and make your eyes the color of a winter crystal so she’ll think you’re me.”
  • Tracy: “No one can hear you, Dot Com!”
  • Jenna: “If you’re really gonna do this, you’d better get a move on. Right now, there are models waking up from their coke binges; multi-ethnic bartenders with daddy issues; former ballerinas who had to quit because their boobs got too big — they’re gonna hear about the horny billionaire, and Thad’s gonna forget all about his little crush. They’re coming, Liz. Click click. That’s their stilettos. Click click.”
  • Kenneth: “Please get better, sir. I’ve dug too many graves.”
  • Jack: “Good — cry. Let your sadness form a hole inside you that can only be filled with money.”
  • Liz: “Looks like this time, the male will be in the Czech! That kind of wit is a thing she will never give you.”
  • Tracy: “What am I going to do with all this free food? ‘Remember where I came from.’ But we all came from the sea! Sea? Like the letter C, which is part of the alphabet. Alphabet soup. Soup kitchen! Kitchen —” Homeless Guy: “No, don’t keep going!” Tracy: The kitchen debate with Richard Nixon. Richard M. Nixon. The M Train. Soul Train? ‘Chicken Soup For the Soul.’ Chicken soup. Soup kitchen!” Homeless Guy: [Smiles]

WhosGinuwine.gif“Parks and Recreation”: “Sweet Sixteen”
A decent episode, but we’ve seen some of these plots before — namely, Season Three’s “Camping,” when Leslie goes crazy trying to brainstorm ideas and they all end up in a bed and breakfast. The same dynamic of Ron helping Leslie out was here, and while cute, it felt a bit like filler. What’s really filler, however, is Tann — or Havekins. The Ann-Tom relationship seems designed to give Aziz Ansari more lines, which is always great. But they obviously lack chemistry, not to mention appreciation for high thread counts on sheets, Paul Walker movies, Uggs and Ginuwine. The cuts to Chris looking sad about their relationship make it obvious he may want to reconcile; why not just do that in the first place? At least the relationship allowed April to be Aprily. Thank you, alcohol.



And what do you bet Offerman is rowing one of his own creations?


  • Leslie: “Ann, you beautiful rule-breaking moth.”
  • Leslie: “That’s the style now, Ron. It’s called lollipopping. All the kids are doing it.”
  • Tom: “Nobody owns me, cupcake. Not even you.”
  • Chris: “He’s healthier than ever.” Andy: “Did his leg grow back?! Ah, oh, no, that’s OK.”
  • Donna: “The Meagles are a cold people.”
  • Tom: “Not loving ’90s R&B music is No. 3 on the Oh No No list.”
  • Tom: “It’s always the most beautiful ladies who hurt you the worst.”
  • Leslie: “Crap on a catapult!”
  • Tom: “Ann, we consistently disagree on who wore it best; you still use an iPad 1; you read books all the time!” Ann: “OK. How about my own No No’s for you. You make me see terrible movies and then you talk through them; you put 20-inch rims on your Volkswagen Golf; and you insist on being introduced as The Brown Gosling.” Tom: “Everything you just said makes me like me more.”
  • Andy: “Chris, there’s something I have to tell you. I ate one of your soy bones.”
  • Ron: “Is this all the eggs we have?” Donna: “Yes. What are you making?” Ron: “Eggs.”
  • April: “Yes, but I hate them.” Andy: “I know you do, sweetheart.”

“The Office”: “After Hours”
I’ve got to say, “The Office” has impressed me lately. I’d given up on it a season or two ago, but getting back into the show now has been worth it. Jim and Dwight’s bromance is great, and this diversion of the Tallahassee contingent is working well. However, That Bitch Kathy was at it again, this time stepping up her black-bra-under-a-white-tank game. Ugh. Jim, ever wonderful, fought her off. It’s interesting, though, that while Stanley is the married one being unfaithful — his line, “Careful, Jim, it gets easier and easier” was so sad — he’s not the one getting locked out of other’s rooms like Nellie or run out of rooms in his underwear like Kathy. Jim’s bug hijinks were funny, but perhaps it’s time to be more direct. Same goes for Dwight. Meanwhile, the bits back at Scranton mainly proved that Kelly needs more lines. She knows her dots.



  • Nellie: “I can’t be hypnotized, Dwight. I tried it. I ended up smoking more.”
  • Dwight: “I got a great drinking game! OK everyone, empty your pockets. Whoever has the most seeds is the king, whoever has the least buttons is the hunchback!” Gabe: “What happens if you’re the hunchback?” Dwight: “Oh, you get kicked.” Jim: “How many buttons do you have?” Dwight: “40, always.”
  • Ryan, ordering: “I will have a glass of your oak-iest chardonnay please.” Erin: “And I will have a waffle with your maple-iest syrup.” Waitress: “Sorry, no waffles. Oh, OK, just forget it then. Forget it. Forget it.”
  • Phyllis: “If I wanted Jamaican food, I’d just hire a bunch of bodyguards and go there.”
  • Erin: “I like how guys just know stuff all the time.” Ryan: “Girls know a lot of stuff, too, and nobody knows more than you. Especially me.”
  • Erin: “It’s the fuzz!” Ryan: “Shhh! Do you want us to get scolded! Shut your beautiful, beautiful mouth, please.”
  • Kelly: “Five dots, Darryl?! Are you kidding me?! Three dots means ‘To be continued.’ Four dots is a typo. And five dots means, ‘Whoa, do not make me say what I want to say, baby, but if I did, it would blow your mind.’ Dot dot dot dot dot.”
  • Darryl: “I’m stranded on ‘Shutter Island’ over here.”
  • Gabe: “They don’t make these cords in boot-cut anymore!”
  • Dwight: “Pathetic, huh? A real man swallows his vomit when a lady is present.”
  • Ryan: “Six months!? OK, I’m in love with Kelly.”

ChrisChicken.gif“Up All Night”: “First Birthday”
That was definitely a mini-chicken cluck and dance we got from Will Arnett last night, and who can fault him for it? May it live forever. As Chris, he was in top form as a suburban dad trying not to lose all of his cool. The invasion of Gene and Terry’s people was great; we all know that so much of what is done for little kids, such as 1st birthday parties, really is done for the adults involved. I’m glad to see Molly Shannon back; movies and shows where she’s the lead don’t seem to work, but she’s great in an ensemble. If only she could have interacted with Rudolph and had a nice “SNL” showdown. Cute episode.


  • Nancy: “Nancy’s a little antsy in the pantsy, you know what I’m saying?”
  • Terry: “Our family loves making babies!” Gene: “And then we don’t die! Hahahaha!”
  • Reagan to Ava: “Please, honey, don’t go to crazy, OK?” Chris: “Or crazy at all. That’s an option.”
  • Chris: ” ‘Prissy Chrissy’? Wow, that just rolled off your tongue.”
  • Nancy: “You’ve got to get Ned off my jock.”
  • Chris: “Has society broken down, sir?! What is this, ‘Mad Max’?”
  • Gene: “My father was a Depression baby!” Terry: “Uh, you have an old-ass father, big deal!”
  • Chris: “Don’t you cry while I’m holding a baby!”
  • Chris: “A dryer sheet, are you f**king kidding me?”
  • Reagan, in the chicken suit: “I’m naked in here!” Chris: “Oh, you’re not the first.”
  • Ava: “I knew you would want someone else, someone dependable and stable, not unfairly maligned in the tabloids for ‘trying to run over Dion Sanders.’ “

Sarah Carlson is booking a trip on a Michael’s Craft Crafting Cruise.

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