You Be the Critic: Thursday’s Killer NBC Slate

By: CouchTater

Last night’s line-up of NBC comedies showed those shows at their finest. Let’s look a little closer…

Is it wrong that — brace yourself, ’cause I’m gonna say what I know a lot of us were thinkin’ — I didn’t miss THE OFFICE at all? The double-dose of 30 ROCK was just fine by me! (Favorite moment: Jenna’s GOSSIP GIRL character saying, “I’m 41 now. It’s time to die.” The whole GG subplot was brilliant. Remember the controversy back when the show first launched and people were ticked about Rachel Dratch being demoted and then, in essence, booted in favor of Jane Krakowski? Guess that all turned out a-okay, huh?) In other ROCK developments, how great was it to see Liz gettin’ her freak on — and with recurring guest hunk Cheyenne Jackson, no less? Loved her gay nephew and their dialogue.

LIZ: Is it going to be fierce?
RANDY: It would be if it was 2006.

Then there was James Franco, who — between this appearance and his run as GENERAL HOSPITAL’s serial-killing artist — may be well on his way to being named the oddest actor on the planet. Finally, I, for one, will never hear the name “Tom Selleck” again without bursting into fits of laughter. Those who saw know why. Those who didn’t… your loss!

Weaving COMMUNITY guest star Jack Black into flashbacks to scenes from previous episodes as if he’d been there all along was downright brilliant. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A little bit of Black goes a long way. We got about 2.5 minutes too much of him last night. This show — which I was luke-warm on when it started — has blossomed into an unlikely favorite. Interestingly, so has supporting character Senor Chang, whom I hated when he first aired and have since come to really enjoy. Favorite line of the episode? “Nobody will care about my time in rehab if they think I’m a writer!”

PARKS & RECREATION was probably the weakest of the shows last night, which isn’t to say it wasn’t good… but rather that it didn’t measure up to it’s siblings. I will say, however, that Chris Pratt’s Andy and Aubrey Plaza’s April are front-runners in the “favorite comedy couple” category. (You do know that in my mind, there’s an awards show held every season at which my opinion is the only one which counts, right?) Had to love Amy Pohler’s Leslie describing her perfect guy: “He has the brains of George Clooney in the body of Joe Biden.”

So that’s my take… what was yours? Favorite moment/lines of the night? Was I simply so drunk on the glory of new episodes that my expectations were.

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  • Josh Emerson

    The stuff involving Liz’s gay nephew is the part that I hated last night. I’m sick of these shows using gay characters as nothing more than walking stereotypes for jokes that aren’t funny. Tina Fey has always done this with gay jokes on 30 Rock and on SNL. It’s the one problem I have with her.

    James Franco was awesome though. I loved the relationship between him and the pillow. And then when he, the pillow, and Liz walked out of the bedroom together…hilarious. The GG thing was great too.

    Parks and Rec was weak. I expected a lot out of a Will Arnett guest spot and found it disappointing.

  • Josh Emerson

    Tracy: “Six! I knew it was a character from Blossom, but I couldn’t find the ‘Joey Russo’ button.”
    This was probably my favorite line!

  • Nick

    There were so many hilarious lines in the 30 Rock episodes, I couldn’t keep track. Krakowski may well be the funniest woman on TV, period. I still think Rachel Dratch could’ve offered a LOT of comedy to this show, but not in place of Jenna…just a different role.

    Sorry, 8pm belongs to Vampire Diaries, repeat or not. The show is just great.

  • Ace

    I watched Community and Parks and Recs since my husband doesn’t like Bones and Vampire Diaries was a repeat. I’ve now seen about 7 Communities and it is an okay show, but I feel like McHale would be put to better use elsewhere. And I really dont think I can watch anymore P&R episodes. I gave it one more shot and unless there is nothing else on again, I won’t be back.

    The 30 Rocks were hilarious though. I love when Jack and Kenneth have a lot of scenes together.

  • ct

    Josh —

    I’m gonna have to respectfully disagree, at least to a point. Do shows do that? Yes, often they do. But at the same time, it’s worth noting that comedy is, in large part, about playing on stereotypes.

    Jenna is the dumb blonde.

    Tracy could be seen as a character that plays into a LOT of black stereotypes.

    And the reason these things work is that, at heart, stereotypes — ALL stereotypes — are based on a nugget of truth.In the case of Liz’ nephew, every gay man knows people exactly like Randy. A lot of gay men WERE Randy… they came out and went through the “kid in a candy store” phase.

    The reason this particular storyline worked was that it played on the fact that Randy — this kid Liz felt incredibly protective of and went into “mothering” mode with — was actually far less of a babe-in-the-woods than Liz, who isn’t nearly as hip or cool as she might fashion herself to be.

  • grumpyoldman

    So we have confirmation of 6 people that actually watched NBC last night…I hope they can sell ads with an audience like that.

  • TVFan

    Great recap!
    Completely agree on all fronts. Sorry Josh, Gay nephew on 30 Rock was hilarious. Same with Jack Black. As for Will Arnett, WOW what a disappointment. Sorry, expected so much more from a Gob Bluth pop-in.

  • DeeDee

    I agree with grumpyoldman. No one is watching these shows so they can receive all the accolades and awards on the planet, and in the end it won’t mean a thing. It is the adverstising dollar that decides what stays on the air. I personally wouldn’t watch any of these shows. I tried watching all of them when they first aired and did not find them the least bit funny or entertaining. I would rather watch paint dry.

  • kelly

    I enjoy all 3 shows more than The Office.

  • J

    Gay cousin, not gay nephew. 🙂

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