From the adorable lengths to which Leslie Knope went to cheer up Tom upon learning about the dissolution of his green-card marriage that involved taking the gang to a Rainforest Café-esque Dinosaur-themed restaurant and Pawnee’s local strip club The Glitter Factory (“I’ve gone on record that if I had to have a stripper’s name it would be Equality,” said Knope), the continuation of Andy’s futile attempt to win back Anne that culminated in a successful attempt to swindle Mark in Pool (“I know that legally Anne is now mine but it weirdly doesn’t feel that way”) and the overall awesomeness that is Ron Swanson (Note: I too will take a free breakfast buffet anytime anyplace!), there is very little we didn’t love about what was quite possibly the funniest episode of PARKS AND RECREATION to date.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for NBC’s original mockumentary THE OFFICE. Having gone on record as saying that I’m not the biggest fan of those Michael Scott-centric episodes that remove what little sense of normalcy the character exhibits — last night’s instalment that had a High School class known as “Michael Scott’s Tots” learning that Michael was not in fact going to make good on his promise from years earlier to pay for every student’s College tuition — had us anxiously wincing in pain as we waited for the other shoe to drop. Michael’s intentions may have been in the right place (revealing that years prior he truly believed he’d be a millionaire by the time he was forty). But, for a class to think that a manager of a local paper company was seriously going to be able to afford to pay for an entire classes College Tuition. Really!? It’s almost as unbelievable as the way in which Jim got bested by Dwight.

As for 30 ROCK, while there was nothing NOT funny about Liz Lemon’s meltdown as she transformed from level-headed writer into crazy-insecure actress and the High Def hi-jinx that ensued (Who else caught Alec Baldwin looking like an early 90’s version of himself in HD?), a stellar episode was tarnished slightly by Frank’s somewhat predictable transformation into his very-own version of Liz after he was put in charge of the TGS writer’s room while Liz was off shooting the pilot to DEALBREAKERS. Not to mention Tracy’s mission to score an ‘EGOT’ (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) that had us scratching our head over THE VIEW’s Whoopie Golberg and Sherri Shepherd (Tracy’s wife) in the same episode.

And finally, the night’s biggest head-scratcher was reserved for BONES. A show which not only should be embarrassed by the ridiculously blatant product placement for FOX’s upcoming James Cameron epic Avatar (What is this, SMALLVILLE?). But for so blatantly borrowing their central mystery from King of Kong, one of the most enthralling documentaries we’ve seen in recent memory. That said, we’re not gonna lie, Punky Pong is kinda fun!

  • parks –stupid don’t watch
    30 rock * after i finnaly decided it had nothing to do with music and was for new yorkers ,only, stopped watching. Any way it wasn’t funny and got boring after 5 minutes.
    Bones was great funny, moving, and had a strong message for those who looked for it.

  • Ace

    I didn’t watch any of the ones you listed, but Fringe was great last night. Love Walter being protective of Astrid :).

    I really hate that they have decided to push FF’s next episode back until March. If ABC wants to cancel it, they should go ahead and do it. One of the most interesting things about the show is that it is real time leading up to the date in April. Which should be one of the last episodes of the season. It just seems like they are going to get off doing it this way.

  • Josh Emerson

    Jame, 30 Rock is my favorite show and I can guarantee you I’m from nowhere near New York and have never even been there. That’s a ridiculous comment.

    The Office had to be one of the most awkward ones ever last night, which I know they were going for. I imagine ‘Scott’s Tots’ probably didn’t know that he was only the manager of a local paper office still.

    But the best show I watched last night is one I downloaded: BBC’s Gavin and Stacey. I love this show. I cringe thinking about what the Americanized ABC/NBC version will turn out to be like.

  • bws

    So yeah, I’m really getting tired of Michael this season on the Office. It’s just too over the top. The show seems to be shooting for maximum uncomfortableness instead of max funny. All I’m left laughing at is Dwight lately. Sad. Just not doing it for me this season.

    So FF will have a season 1, part deux, starting in March. I think that with a straight-thru run they’ll hit 22 episodes, right on schedule. Not as big of a cliffhanger as they should have had given the long layoff. I just don’t care about Simcoe as a character. They could kill him off tomorrow and I would feel nothing.

    I have 9 P&R sitting on my DVR. Need to get to that over the holidays.

  • mohammad

    the office needs to end. it’s getting terribly unfunny and i don’t understand how people aren’t catching on yet. it’s a shame people don’t give parks and rec a chance when it’s been hilarious.

    30 rock was great!

  • Ron

    Why all the bitching about product placement on Bones when this kind of advertisement has been going on on TV and in the movies for decades.So, they built a show around it so what, I kinda enjoyed it and didn’t pay the pitch that never you mind.Ya’ll critics have nothing better to write about.
    Watch the TV or the movie and forget about trying to see how many products you can find and you’ll see that you’ll enjoy the series or the movie much better.

  • Over the past few weeks P&R has quietly sneaking up there to take the top spot away from The Office. I can’t make it official yet because The Office has been my favorite for so long, but if this trend continues…we may have a new champion on our hands.

  • TVFan

    LOVED everything on NBC, and was disappointed in Bones, but understand the reality of TV. Gotta pay the bills somehow. And where was the mention of Private Practice. Addison FTW

  • Allison

    Am I the only person who was disappointed by the abrupt end to the Dealbreakers talk show on 30 Rock? I’ve been looking forward to it all season!!