NBC Thursday Night Comedy 2/3/11 Recap: “Huzzah! Is That Right?”

I find it hard to judge last Thursday’s NBC lineup. Either most of the shows were lame, or none of them could stand up to how good ‘Community’ was. Either way, it was all downhill after the first half hour.


I can’t speak highly enough of this episode of ‘Community’. The ‘Lord of the Rings’ style intro is just the beginning of one of the show’s best episodes. It’s not only hilarious, but actually derives some new humor from of one of the most mocked subjects in nerd culture. I’m talking about ‘Advanced Dungeons & Dragons’.

As a ‘D&D’ player myself, I’m happy to see the game represented fairly on a show besides ‘Freaks and Geeks’. This episode of ‘Community’ shows the game in a positive light, reflects on the play style fairly accurately, and also dredges up a bit of new humor.

The scary thing is that I’ve played games that go exactly like the one in the episode. Sometimes I was the heroic Neil, but more often than not I’m Pierce, who turns on the party for no good reason. Each of the characters in the show reminds me of the people that I play with on a weekly basis.

From Annie acting out sex with an elf maiden while Troy takes notes, to Pierce’s turn to evil and Chang’s terrifying Drow makeup, this episode is laugh-out-loud funny. That’s not an exaggeration either. I LOL’ed. Or I guess L’ed OL.

Other things I liked:

– The epic version of the ‘Community’ theme.
– Troy: “I attack them using my Additional Notes.”
– Jeff: “If that’s sarcasm, I can’t tell because everything in this game is silly.”

Perfect Couples

It’s not that ‘Perfect Couples’ is bad. I can’t think of anything in particular to call out as awful. I’m not crazy about some of the acting and I find the writing to be fairly boilerplate, but none of it is terrible. It’s not ‘Outsourced’, after all.

‘Perfect Couples’ is just boring, and this week’s episode is a perfect example. Aside from a few funny exchanges, there’s nothing to like here. A man-boy with a doting wife deals with his friends. They all seem to have plenty of money, they’re in pretty good shape, and they all love each other. There’s nothing of substance.

Dave eats too much, Amy shops too much, and Rex is in some sort of weird relationship. The solution, in the end, is for everyone to party. Well, it works for Rodney Dangerfield, doesn’t it?

There’s one really solid exchange in the show between Amy and Vance. When Amy opens a gift and realizes that it’s made of ivory, Vance responds, “I know how much you hate elephants.” Little moments like this give me hope.

I’m not going to stop watching ‘Perfect Couples’ yet. First, I really do think there’s potential here. Secondly, I don’t have a DVR and it’s easier to just watch straight through.

The Office

‘The Search’ is sort of a strange version of ‘Baby’s Day Out’ starring Michael Scott as the baby. It’s nonsensical and unfunny in the way that ‘The Office’ sometimes is.

I want to start with the good. First off, I still like Erin’s intense hatred of Holly. It makes me giggle every time. Second… All right, I only came up with one.

The gist of the story is that Holly won’t date Michael after breaking up with her boyfriend. Michael pouts, sulks and acts like a baby while on a car ride with Jim, only to be left behind at a gas station. He then proceeds to wander around and eventually steal food from a Chinese restaurant.

The only really interesting part of the Michael story is that he acknowledges that the cameras exist. He tells the crew to go away and then later ditches them. Could we be seeing some sort of story involving the reality show/documentary airing? I certainly hope so.

Dwight, Erin and Holly go out looking for him.Holly manages to track him down through instinct rather than deduction. She finds him on a roof and then they kiss. Yet again, Michael succeeds despite his best efforts not to.

The side story that takes place inside of the office isn’t much better. There’s a caption contest and Gabe sets up a few rules. He bans making fun of Sabre for obvious reasons, and puts the kibosh on pop culture references. The staff hates the rules, but I’m on Gabe’s side. I only wish he had laid the same rules down for ‘Parks and Recreation’.

Parks and Recreation

In ‘Time Capsule’, there are two stories happening at the same time. One of them is good, maybe even great. The other is just, well, not. It’s dull, easy and a few years late.

The good part, which is very good, stars Andy and Rob Lowe. (Yes, Rob Lowe’s character has a name, but I feel like if NBC can call him Rob Lowe in their commercials, I can call him Rob Lowe in my review.)

Andy wants to win April back, and Rob Lowe is there to help. He coaches Andy to embrace his strengths. His delivery during this far-too-short segment makes even the word “band” hilarious. The interaction between the two is great. Sadly, it’s very far in the background.

The other half of the story features Leslie putting together a time capsule. Guest star Will Forte comes in, chains himself to a chair, and demands that the ‘Twilight’ books be placed in the capsule. Yes, there are ‘Twilight’ jokes… Nice timely ‘Twilight’ jokes.

There’s a public meeting to decide what goes in, with plenty of arguing. In the end, they decide to put a recording of the meeting in the time capsule and have a movie party. Well, it works for ‘Perfect Couples’, doesn’t it?

30 Rock

We get another disappointing episode of a show that’s usually very good. At least the earlier seasons are. Things seem to be slipping a bit for ’30 Rock’.

Liz goes shopping for baby supplies with Avery, covers for her pregnancy, and tells people that she’s pregnant. Hilarity ensues. It should anyway, but it doesn’t.

There’s one funny moment where Liz uses her pregnancy to make Tracy and Jenna be nice and hold hands, but it’s over fast. The setup seems ripe for comedy, but it’s quickly abandoned in favor of dullness and cheap jokes.

Jack meets the new exec that he’ll be reporting to and hates his style – treating everyone like they’re part of the family and letting employees make suggestions to upper management. To save himself from having to listen to his underlings, Jack puts out a new voice controlled television to impress the boss.

Jack’s innovative voice controlled TV annoys me for several reasons. Things like this exist already, and prototypes aren’t supposed to work flawlessly. Also, this is a product that would be made by a television manufacturer, not a cable provider.

None of this bothers me as much as the incredibly easy gag that follows. Jack says “crap,” and the television changes to ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’. Way to be edgy, ’30 Rock’. Now that you’ve shown a Reality show in its fifth season who’s boss, how about taking a shot at a young adult vampire book from 2005?


  1. I’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons in my life, but that episode of Community was hilarious.

    I didn’t find the rest of the lineup as awful as you did. In fact, I laughed pretty hard at that Kardashians gag.

  2. HuskerGuy

    Same as Josh, I’ve never done D&D and knew very little about it going in but I thought that episode was fantastic.

    We’ve only managed to watch Community from last week, the others are still sitting on our DVR.

  3. that1guypictures

    I’m really digging Perfect Couples, and I thought Parks was pretty phenomenal this week. I’ve given up on Office and Outsourced, and of course I thought Community was amazing, and as usual, too short. I wish the show could go on for another 10 minutes or so every week!

  4. Adam

    I’ve never done D&D, so I might have found the episode even funnier if I had, but I totally loved it. I had to rewind and see if it was the same director as Paintball. But it wasn’t.

    Also, don’t want to rain on your parade, but they acknowledge the documentary crew fairly often on The Office – They get Jim busted when Jim, Dwight and Michael prank Utica (by not ducking down), Jan would often ask if the cameras were in Michael’s office, and when Holly and Michael first kiss, they talk about turning their microphones off, but then turn them up, among other situations.

    • I don’t know if I’d describe that as fairly often. I guess what I’m looking for is something involving the documentary itself, though I’m aware that it’s incredibly unlikely that we’ll see it.

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