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Comedy Night Done Right Reviews: Week 3

Now for week three…

COMMUNITY

2.03 – “The Psychology of Letting Go”

After Pierce’s mother dies, the study group tries to help him cope. Jeff has a near-breakdown after he’s told that his lifelong healthy eating choices have not prevented high cholesterol. In the background of several shots, Abed delivers a baby.

First off, don’t worry if you completely missed the Abed thing. I missed it too, until I watched this compilation on Youtube. Call it cheating if you want, but us unobservant types need a little help sometimes. It was a pretty brilliant move on the show’s part: providing an in-the-background running gag can be incredibly rewarding for die-hard viewers and also offers an intimacy that explicit foreground stuff just doesn’t convey. As for Pierce’s crazy cult, I got a very special joy out of watching Chevy Chase carry around a giant lava lamp with a soul in it. I definitely want to see more of Pierce’s religious stuff! Last year’s episode “The Science of Illusion” (1.20), which revolved around Pierce trying to ascend into the next Laser Lotus level, was my favourite of the season. Donald Glover yell-crying “It’s not a meteor, it’s a cookie wand!” was my most-watched three second clip of the year. Go on. Watch it. You’ll see.

30 ROCK

5.03 – “Let’s Stay Together”

Jack appears before congress to discuss the Kabletown deal, but meets friction when a congresswoman (Queen Latifah) objects to the network’s lack of diversity. Meanwhile, Jenna tries to give Kenneth a competitive edge when reapplying for NBC’s page program.

Kenneth’s back and we got to watch Jenna turn into her mom in the process! All is right in the world again. Kenneth’s page audition was, in a word, amazing. I know I’m probably going to say this at least once for every actor on the show this season, but Jack McBrayer is a comedy god that I will probably worship ‘til the day I die (at age 32 in a horrible base-jumping accident. Trust me, I know. I took a high school probability course.)  Queen Latifah’s guest slot as an equal-opportunity crusader fit the plot perfectly but it felt like she was maybe a smidgen underused, especially in an episode that was mostly filler in the context of the series. Granted, race is a pretty touchy subject and we are talking about NBC here, but I definitely wanted to see her play a more active role, particularly with Tracy. But all Latifah-based disappointments were banished from my mind when Alec Baldwin delivered his final speech about the importance of immigration. And I quote: “Diversity is the engine that drives this country. We are an immigrant nation. The first generation works their fingers to the bone making things. The next generation goes to college and innovates new ideas. The third generation snowboards and takes improv classes.” Donaghy always says it best, am I right? Third gens holla atcha girl!

…Okay, I will never say that again. I promise. I’m sorry. Moving on!

THE OFFICE

7.03 – “Andy’s Play”

Andy nabs a role in Scranton’s production of Sweeney Todd and invites the whole office to the closing night. Things go awry when he discovers that Erin has given up her ticket to babysit Pam and Jim’s baby, an opportunity that could fulfill her dream of breaking into the lucrative babysitting scene. Michael, who was never called back after his audition for the play went badly, struggles with his bitterness.

You probably can’t tell over the Internet, but I am indeed a single white female (I know. I mask it very well.) This demographic makes me naturally prone to the adorableness of the goofy Andy/Erin/Gabe love triangle, and for this I am sorry. But seriously you guys: awwwwwwwwww! On one hand I want them to be together forever, but on the other hand I really really don’t because when Jim and Pam got hitched they got really boring really fast. A shallow and empty opinion you say? Why yes it is. But remember, the book ‘Twilight’ was written for girls just like me. I just can’t help myself. It’s encoded in my DNA, along with loving sparkly things and wanting to adopt Justin Bieber. Other than the miscellaneous Andy/Erin adorableness, Michael’s audition for Sweeney Todd basically stole the show for me. But alas: having been brought up in a home in which Steve Carell and other fellow Second City alums were worshipped like gods, this is probably something else I can’t help.  Do I still think the show is ailing? To an extent, yes – the show still feels like it’s relying super heavily on Carell, but I think there’s definitely potential to shift the attention to other characters if they continue to bring their A-game for the rest of the season.

What did you think of week 3?

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