NBC’s Comedy Night Done Right…

>Last night’s Community featured our favorite community college study group choosing their spring semester electives. For those who can recall, this happened last season in “Beginner Pottery,” when Jeff, Annie, and Abed took pottery and Pierce, Britta, Troy, and Shirley took sailing in two parallel storylines that intersected for the episode’s climax. This time around, five of the seven characters were split into three different courses. The main culprit for why this didn’t work is the time constraints of a 20-minute broadcast.

Flaws withstanding, each individual storyline offered solid jokes, character development, and follow-ups to events from past episodes. While Troy and Britta taking a dance class was brought up for the first time since “Interpretive Dance” in the middle of season 1, the pair taking an acting class per the advice of their dance teacher was used as a means to further reveal Troy’s affection for Britta (something that’s been hinted at several times this season). This was pushed to the forefront in this episode and might be worth keeping an eye on as this season comes to a close in the following weeks. That said, Troy and Britta weren’t the only two whose relationship was hinted at as Annie, in a very limited role, made it a point to call Jeff out on his suspicions, claiming he didn’t understand romance after he rejected the notion that Pierce managed to win over a much younger woman.

Another thing this episode had going for it was the abundance of one-liners, and the delivery of said jokes, including a Veronica Mars reference (for the win, might I add). My only problem with this episode was the story-telling, but even the “filler” episodes of Community often manage to be better than the best episodes on most other shows.

The best, and funniest episode of the night, was Parks and Recreation, hands-down. Andy and April had a shotgun wedding and Audrey Plaza, who continues to wage a competitive war with Nick Offerman’s Ron Swanson for best-delivered lines on a weekly basis, was in stellar form. An example of this is when Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knopp was attempting to talk her out of the engagement and she responds with, “I’m gonna marry him. Then, I’m gonna divorce him and marry him again.” April and Andy have consistently been one of the better pairings on the show since the second half of the second season and their lack of rationality makes this unpredictable turn of events seem genuine. Here’s hoping that their originality will remain intact in order to prevent them from a Jim-and-Pam situation. Something tells me they will avoid that fate, though.

Other noteworthy events from NBC’s comedy block were last night’s 30 Rock, as well as Will Ferrell’s debut on The Office (which led to some pretty great interaction between Ferrell’s Deangelo Vickers and the Office cast, including a hilarious end-tag with the aforementioned Jim and Pam). While both 30 Rock and The Office have had uneven seasons, 30 Rock has found a niche in taking jabs at the NBC network’s current state of affairs. Last night featured Jack ranting about the money NBC throws around at the growing number of bad pilots and, with The Cape, Perfect Couples, The Event, Outsourced, Law & Order LA, and last night’s debut of The Paul Reisser Show, it’s no wonder why that shot was taken. NBC has invested in some really awful television this year. However, when a network has critically acclaimed series such as Community and Parks & Recreation, and mainstays in The Office and 30 Rock, there is potential for future developments. The network needs to figure out its identity, and I’m thinking that identity should be to expand upon the critically acclaimed appeal, and with the Wonder Woman pilot in full-swing, I’m not so sure that critical appeal is in NBC’s plans.

Until next time,

“It’s hard to be Jewish in Russia, yo.”


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