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"You Were Big Cheddar?!" Highlights from NBC's Thursday Night Comedies

By Sarah Carlson | TV | December 2, 2011 |

By Sarah Carlson | TV | December 2, 2011 |

“Community,” “Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism”: B+

Solid episode, although Annie’s tendency to squeal and Abed’s Batman charade wore a tad thin. Her tearful Christian Bale impression saved the day, though. And Shirley’s past as Big Cheddar, beating down Jeff’s Tinkle Town? I only wish we saw more of her. Give me sassy Shirley over righteous Shirley any day, especially when Foosball — a vile game for vile people — is involved. Her and Jeff going anime to resolve their leftover-from-childhood battle was a nice touch. Also: I would watch Leonard’s Frozen Food Reviews.



  • “I wish there was a word to describe the pleasure I feel of viewing misfortune.” — The Douche (Nick Kroll)
  • “You called me Turkey. I love it!” — Jeff
  • “Let’s not leap to thing-doing!” — Troy
  • “Were you guys walking around with a soccer ball just so you could do that?! They left the ball and everything. I think they were literally walking around with it like a prop to use. It’s like a $25 bit and it’s not even that good!” — Jeff
  • “Aw, is that the grappling hook I got you for Christmas?” — Troy
  • “Once you make a boy pee his pants, you start thinking about where your life is headed.” — Shirley

“Parks & Recreation,” “The Trial of Leslie Knope”: A
BLKiss.gifEthel Beavers! Jerry is actually a Gary! There’s a Li’l Sebastian plush toy! (Someone buy that for me.) Can this show get any more adorable? Everyone in the gang was on board to help Leslie, who found herself on trial at work for her relationship with Ben. It only got stronger as Ben resigned to save Leslie’s job. Let’s just hope he doesn’t end up with a job in Eagleton. Still, there’s no stopping the Hedgehog when he’s in love. And who can blame him? His lady has mad iMovie skills:

  • “Marcus Everett Langley was Pawnee’s greatest lawyer at the turn of the century. His nickname was Old Stoneface because of his steely demeanor, and because he got in an accident at the rock quarry and dynamite blew up his face.” — Leslie
  • “Now my mouth feels like a spaceship.” — Chris
  • “I received adorable nicknames and amazing back rubs.” — Leslie
  • “I will hold myself in contempt of the court!” — April
  • “I can smell the sulfur coming off her cloven hoofs.” — Ron
  • “‘Any woman caught laughing is a witch.’ That’s true.” — April
  • “‘Crying noise, Crying noise. Nose blow.’” — Ethel Beavers

“The Office,” “Mrs. California”: Meh
I’ll admit I haven’t watched this show in a while, not since long before Carell left, and this episode only reminded me I haven’t been missing much. All the characters are still there, doing what they normally do. Except now a bloated James Spader is around for good measure. Maura Tierney guest starred as his wife, but even she couldn’t keep me interested in the plot involving her wanting to work at Dunder Mifflin and her husband not wanting her to and Andy and Jim getting caught in the middle and oh who cares. Ryan, at least, had the best line:


“Whitney,” “Up All Night”: Blah
Lordy, this show is bad. I haven’t watched since the pilot, and nothing has changed. As her therapist, guest star Chelsea Handler actually out-acted Whitney Cummings, and I’ll admit it: Several of her deadpan deliveries had me chuckling. A bit between the boyfriend Alex and one of the friends, Roxanne, involving a needle even had me laughing. But that was it. At least the show is moving to Wednesdays.

Sarah Carlson has a front-row seat to the decline of the newspaper industry and lives in Alabama. She also is looking for her own Ben Wyatt.

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