Thursday Sitcom Review: Dueling Clip Shows, The Dundies, and Knope's 98% Perfect Match

To sit down in front of the TV this Thursday night and commit to NBC* was to witness an amusing juxtaposition.

At 8 o’clock, you had the Community study group “flashing back” to very funny memories that were new to us, yet not to the Chang gang. It was a spoof of the sort of “clip shows” Happy Days used to give us old-timers back in the day, but populated by fresh fare.

Then at 10 pm, 30 Rock marked its 100th episode by having Jack, Liz et al flash back to actual moments from the NBC series’ very funny past. While not an all-out Green It & Mean It-friendly recycling of old material, it was certainly in the vein of a classic clip show.

Community was every bit as wonderfully manic as Meg Masters’ TVLine teaser piece made it out to be. (And thanks to Meg for linking me to the Jeff/Annie “Gravity” shipper vid yesterday, lest I not pick up on that send-up.) Abed’s adventures as The Cape elicited loud belly laughs from me (“It’ll be on for three episodes!”/”Six seasons and a movie!”), while two montages — Jeff’s pep talks and the dean’s announcements — were other highlights.

As for 30 Rock, I was a bit on the fence about the episode — it seemed a bit of a cheat to get everyone trippin’ by way of some leaked gas — but I appreciated some of the more meta humor, like how they briefly worked in Jane Krakowski’s real-life pregnancy, and of course Alec Baldwin’s rooftop speech about how there’s no turning back for an actor who trades film franchises, Anthony Hopkins and Broadway for TV and being belittled by (gasp) Greg Kinnear. In the end, it was the Tom Hanks cameo, complete with “My Life” singalong, that sold me.

Jim Carrey Joins The Office‘s Star-Studded Finale

All told, ’twas a very strong night for NBC comedy – just as ABC enjoyed the day prior. The Office found a fitting way to tribute Michael (with a surprise singalong that made us as well as the outgoing boss man well up) and a painful way for Erin to dump Gabe (ouch!), while Parks and Recreation revealed why Leslie can’t couple with Ben just yet but is a perfect match for Tom N. Haverford aka he whose favorite movie is “books.” And Ron observing the wild life of the Grain & Simple? Hilarious.

* Though I like Mr. Paul Reiser (and once penned a Mad About You spec script for him/a pile on his desk), I cut away from NBC at 8:30 to catch the end of The Vampire Diaries – and just in time to see Katherine boogeying around, drunk. I stand by that decision.


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  1. kim says:

    Why isn’t outsourced a choice?

  2. Jenna says:

    Because Outsourced wasn’t on?
    Cannot get over how hilarious P & R was. Best comedy on tv.

  3. Joel says:

    Nine times out of ten I would seclect Parks and Recs, but last night’s Community was an instant classic.

  4. Becca says:

    the opposite of Joel, I normally like Community best, but last night’s Parks and Rec was just too perfect.

  5. kt_rekab says:

    Community was fantastic, this show doesn’t get enough credit, but it’s the most original comedy on TV. Office was great, the sing a long to Michael was special. And P&R continues to impress me!

  6. Rachael says:

    Parks & Rec by a mile. Community is way overrated. It tries to hard to be clever and dies on its ass every week.

    • Jamie says:

      Please elaborate. I love community and would just like to know what it is you don’t like. Feel free to give an example of it ‘trying to be clever, but falling on its ass’. I do happen to think Community acieves its cleverness, as I can not think of one other show that could combine Pulp Fiction and My Dinner with Andre like Community did.

      • Rachael says:

        Well, the fact it’s never funny is a pretty damn big failure for a so-called comedy. Every week my friends tell me how great it was, so I figure I’ll give it “one last try”. Damn show has made me laugh twice in two years.

        The episode you mention was a prime example of what I’m talking about. It was trying so hard to make clever jokes that it lost all potential of being funny. Same with the Jesus Abed episode, in fact, pretty much anything Abed ever does is ‘meta’ in a really annoying way. The Claymation was another one.

        Troy is the only character I can stand because the things he’s usually doing are more in line with what a sitcom should be like. I don’t understand how more people can’t see how pretentious this show is.

        • Gavin says:

          Allow me to rephrase your argument “I don’t like it so it’s bad and unfunny” “It’s different from every other sitcom in the past so instead of being full of groundbreaking new ideas, it must be wrong”

        • fr says:

          Just because you don’t get it doesn’t mean it’s not funny.

  7. Dean says:

    Parks for me, so many incredible moments. The best in my household was Leslie’s “F*ck you Ann”. So unexpected and hilarious.

  8. Junior says:

    Parks and Rec all the way! Ron at Grain & Simple was hilarious!

  9. Jenny says:

    I voted for Parks and Rec but to be fair, I wasn’t home last night in time to watch Community so that may have to change. But Parks and Rec is so funny every night! Love that show!

  10. Ashley says:

    Community gets my vote all the way – the best comedy on TV right now.

  11. Becca says:

    Community had a great episode. The Glee scene, Pierce and Abed, Pierce alone he was just so great, and Chang. Karate Annie. the dean’s outfits and tag. The cape storyline….

    • Kate says:

      Agreed! I really loved the way they used Pierce in this episode. He really looked like he was having fun jumping rope. It reminded me of the first season when he was in the band and just looked so happy. The Dean is hilarious and I’m glad he got his own tag.

  12. Nanda says:

    this Thursday was really great! Parks&Rec, Community and 30 Rock were amazing!
    Finally a Community episode I loved this season

  13. Amber says:

    It’s true what they say, the Dundees are magical. The Office brought back a lot of its old awkward magic, I really liked it.

    The only thing I liked about 30 Rock was that scene with Alec Baldwin talking about giving up movie franchises. That was hilarious.

    Parks and Rec was funny and cute. Books are also my favorite movie.

    The Paul Reiser Show…not on my radar out of protest for Perfect Couples.

    Community was the crown jewel of the evening, though I was really unhappy about the storyline of Britta and Jeff having secret sex, because Joel McHale should only be having secret sex with me. =) The whole episode was pretty inventive. Jeff’s end of the episode speech was the best.

  14. Jeremy says:

    “F*CK YOU ANN” from Parks & Rec. made me LOL so hard and played it back like 20 times.

  15. Adam says:

    For the past few weeks it was Parks & Recreation. But the return of the Dundies was great, so it was definitely The Office this week. Next week will be sad though!

  16. Kate says:

    Im gunna put this out there PERFECT COUPLES!

    I know it wasnt on but i want it back!

  17. Sarah says:

    It’s so hard to pick the best between Community and Parks and Rec and this week throw in the Office as well. The Office was as good as it’s been in years. Anytime a comedy can have a moment that turns me into a waterfall, I’m in. And there’s really no explaining how consistently perfect both Community and Parks an Rec are each and every week. I hated picking but I had to go with Parks and Rec. No other show makes laugh out loud, and loudly, so constantly.

  18. Kate says:

    I loved the Seasons of Michael on the Office, but I was dying over Parks and Rec. The cook off between turkey burgers and hamburgers was so epic, coupled with Tom Haverford’s explanation on his nicknames for things (“I call noodles long ass rice”) was hilarious and made Parks and Rec a staple in my thursday lineup!