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Comedy Night Done Right EPISODE REVIEWS: Midseason Madness

COMMUNITY

2.13 – “Celebrity Pharmacology”

When the study group attempts to put on a play about drug awareness for some kids at risk, Pierce begins to act like a diva. The play takes a disastrous turn for the worse until Senor Chang comes to the rescue.

I love Joel McHale in fuzzy kitten ears as much as the next girl, but I’m definitely finding myself pining for more of that season one verve that the back end of Community seems to be lacking. We’ve seen a return to stronger story arcs that take a few episodes to work out, which makes me happy, but the punchier one-off aspects of the show seem to be lacking. I feel like a lot of the scenarios the show tackles aren’t being pushed to their limit, something a fresh and new comedy should definitely be striving for. On a more positive note, it was a relief to see Senor Chang championed a little bit more. If he’s going to be Shirley’s baby daddy, he needs to be a little more likable on the show, and taking a bullet for the team during the play definitely showed his character in a more positive light.

30 ROCK

5.12 – “Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning”

Liz uses the presence of Angie’s reality TV cameras to coax Tracy into behaving better.  Meanwhile, Jack decides to stage pre-taped telethons for disasters that haven’t happened yet – with catastrophic results.

I got about three texts about the Billy Joel bit on this episode, which was definitely a huge hit especially for people studying/working in the industry. Liz always loses one-upmanship matches against Tracy but she never learns her lesson, and consequently their out-crazy-the-crazy episodes are always the funniest. The outcome of Jack’s telethon was equally hilarious and almost South Park-esque, which definitely caught me off-guard. Still, we all know I’m a die-hard 30 Rock fan at this point, so I’m definitely showering the surprising twist with endless praise. A great episode overall – not outstanding, but definitely great.

THE OFFICE

7.14 – “The Seminar”

With his sales lagging, Andy decides to set up a seminar in order to bring in more customers. Jim, who signed up to speak at the event, rapidly backs out when he sees a mysterious stranger sign up to attend. Michael tries to simultaneously boost Andy’s sales and cheer up Holly with an improv act.

I have a feeling Andy may be up for Michael’s job when Steve Carell leaves at the end of the season – the show has been pushing his character pretty hard for the past season and honestly I couldn’t be happier. Giving Jim such a major weakness while simultaneously giving Andy the reins in the office definitely spoke volumes to the show’s general direction. I continue to intensely dislike Holly and her incredible harshness, but I guess it’s nice to see Michael finally happy and not “dead on the inside.” Erin’s story arc – in which she plays Gabe at Scrabble for the chance to pick the movie they watch – was very cute, and definitely gave Andy yet another boost on top of everything else this episode. It looks like everything’s coming up roses for the nard dog – and I’m totally excited to see where it goes.

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