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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
(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.