Last Thursday’s NBC comedy lineup had some ups and downs, but this week is a bit more consistent. Even ‘The Office’ seems to be back on track. There isn’t anything tremendously good going on, but there isn’t anything that strikes me as awful either. Okay, there’s one show that absolutely failed on all levels, but we’ll get to that shortly.
This is neither the best of episodes nor the worst of episodes. ‘Accounting for Lawyers’ simply sits somewhere in the middle. It has a few cool moments, like Annie’s quick thinking with the chloroform and Troy’s freakout that follows, but nothing that makes it a standout episode.
It’s also a bit of a disappointment that David Koechner (and by “David Koechner,” I mean Rob Corddry. Thanks for pointing that out, that1guypictures!) isn’t used to fuller effect. He’s funny at times in the episode, but he mostly comes off as a bit of an ass. True, that’s how he comes off in most of his roles, but the man’s hilarious and it just doesn’t come through here.
The one problem I’m seeing with ‘Community’ in the coming episodes is that I’m really starting to feel sorry for Senior Chang. If he’s to be the enemy of the study group, then I think I’m going to end up on Chang’s side.
I also ended up feeling really sorry for Troy at the end. The poor guy really started to believe Abed was a cartoon. Sure, it’s his own fault for believing something so ridiculous, but he trusts his friend. Harsh!
’30 Rock’ is a show that’s generally good. The makers let a few really cheesy gags slip in, but the show is usually pretty strong stuff. This week’s opener is anything but. Jackhammers cut off curse words, and construction workers say lewd things. Way to go, ’30 Rock.’
It gets better from there, thankfully. Jack spends most of the episode making a video for his future son, which could honestly have been the entire episode for me. The best line of the show is when he explains that at Harvard Business School he was voted “Most.”
The ‘Cash Cab’ tie in is executed well, though the jokes get predictable pretty quickly. While it’s nice that Kenneth is still in the picture, his part in this episode isn’t really necessary. He just sort of floats around, not really adding anything to the show.
Paul Giamatti is a great guest star, and he’s both genuine and funny throughout. His crowning moment comes during a fake breakup with Liz. His reactions to all of her awkwardly phrased questions are a delight.
Incidentally, am I the only one who was seeing really strange and abrupt cuts to commercial? It seems like the end of every segment got cut just a sentence early.
This may come as a shocker, but I’ve got no hate for ‘The Office’ this week. None.
The show starts on a strong note, with Dwight plotting to open a day care center. He laughs evilly and then comments that though opening a daycare isn’t an evil idea, there’s not a good laugh for normal ideas.
There are two main storylines, both of which ending up being really entertaining. The more lighthearted of the two involves Pam, who just up and decides that she’s the office administrator. That’s as simple as it gets – she decides that she has the job, then goes about securing it. It’s funny and it’s great to see Pam get a win.
The real winner in the episode is Toby, who manages to break through Michael’s shell. It’s a great moment for us too, because Michael finally becomes a person again, instead of the crazy cartoon character he’s morphed into over the last few seasons.
If ‘The Office’ manages to continue on like this, we’re in for a good season.
‘Outsourced’ starts off with a legitimately funny moment of BBQ ribs being shown off over a webcam. This is the first and last funny part of the show.
I really want this show to be good, because I really think there’s potential for comedy here. The problem, though, is that we don’t know any of the characters and it doesn’t seem like we’re about to.
We know that the quiet girl is quiet and that the talkative guy is talkative. We know that the pretty girl is pretty and the tall guy is tall. We know very exterior details, but otherwise don’t know the differences between the characters.
There’s also the problem of jokes. The people who write ‘Outsourced’ seem to know what jokes are, and what situations have potential for said jokes, but they seem to forget to put them in the show.
I’m putting ‘Outsourced’ on warning. It’s got one more episode to prove itself to me. If it doesn’t shape up by next week, we’re through.