Last Thursday, the ‘Community’ two-parter picked up where it left off from the previous week and improved dramatically. ‘The Office’ managed an impressive episode even without Michael Scott, and we got a double dose of ‘Parks and Recreation’. It was a pretty good night for comedy on NBC.
I wasn’t a big fan of the prior week’s episode, ‘A Fistful of Paintballs’. Upon watching it again, I stand by my opinion. It just wasn’t a strong episode. Of course, as the first piece of a two-part season finale, it didn’t need to be. The first half sets up the second, and I suppose it did a fine job of that.
Maybe it’s because I don’t watch a lot of westerns, or because well-done ‘Star Wars’ jokes never stop being funny, but I thoroughly enjoyed ‘For a Few Paintballs More’. I thought it was a far better episode, and ridiculously funny at that.
While it’s difficult to pick a highlight in a varied and funny episode like this, I think the temporary romance between Annie and Abed wins out. They’re both very aware that his Han Solo character is just that, but Annie takes it while she can get it.
There are some absolutely beautiful shots in this episode, too. While it’s been established that ‘Community’ can break out of the traditional television camera style, it still manages to amaze.
While the previous episode of ‘The Office’ still seems like filler, ‘Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager’ definitely isn’t. It’s an interesting episode through and through, and gives Dwight just a bit of that power that he’s been craving since the get-go.
It’s nice to see a good old fashioned Jim and Dwight rivalry, with Jim playing some mind games and Dwight taking extreme advantage of the responsibilities he’s been given. Frighteningly, when Dwight gets bumped back down to salesman for firing a gun in the office (this isn’t a fireable offense?), Creed gets the helm.
One thing that stands out as just slightly weird is the show’s quick little bits of atheism that seem thrown in for no particular reason. Gabe telling Erin that he doesn’t believe in God is a fairly overt display, but more subtle is Oscar not saying “under God” during the Pledge of Allegiance. Perhaps this will build to something in the future? It certainly doesn’t have a real effect on this episode.
Parks and Recreation
Two episodes of ‘Parks and Recreation’ are a good way to wrap up any night. Two new episodes are even better.
Things start off with the first real fight between Leslie and Ann. Leslie thinks that Ann is moving too fast with men, and is disappointed that Ann doesn’t jump at the chance of a new job. Ann disagrees. They fight, they make up, and everyone’s happy in the end – especially the audience, since Amy Poehler is one of the few actresses who can play a really funny drunk.
There’s a lot going on in ‘The Fight’, but Jean-Ralphio’s raps are a surprisingly entertaining part of it. The role-playing by Andy and April is not. As much as I love Andy’s FBI character Burt Machlan, the whole thing gets old very fast.
The following episode, ‘Road Trip’, finally seals the deal on the romance between Leslie and Ben. The two of them are sent on a trip together, and as much as Leslie tries to fight her instinct with the help of banjo music and unsexy conversation topics, they finally end up taking the step and kissing. We’ll see how Chris takes it this week.
The side story between Andy and April is much stronger in this episode. They fight as the result of a game show put on by Tom, and then spend some time thinking things over. April turns to Ann for advice, which ends up being very funny. It’s also nice to hear a reprise of my personal favorite MouseRat song, “The Pit.”