NBC Thursday Night Comedy 9/30/10 Recap: “He Has a Lot of Issues and He’s Stupid”

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

’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.

The Office

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.


  1. Adam

    I love Community, it’s one of my favorite shows on television, and actually just ordered Season One on DVD (since there doesn’t seem to be a Blu-ray release in the works) because my Dish DVR crapped out and I lost all the episodes I’d saved from S1. This one for me was just sort of eh. Nothing I’ll remember a couple of weeks from now. On a side note, I don’t have the DVD’s yet, but it says that there are cast/crew commentaries on EVERY episode. I thought this was one of the major downfalls of Season Six of The Office, you know, other than the God-awful packaging and well…terrible season. They used to have lots of commentaries, at least 6-10 episodes a season with the actual cast. This year it was only like 3 episodes, only one with any of the cast and no one central to the cast.

    I LOVED the video to Jack’s son. Just an absolute classic, and I agree, could have watched an entire episode of that. Here’s hoping that there are deleted scenes aplenty somewhere. I didn’t get the abrupt cuts, or at least didn’t notice them, but I’ve noticed that Dish’s time sync is terrible. Practically every program, especially on NBC, cuts off early, forcing me to record over time.

    I think that Pam becoming Office Administrator may be a giant step in the right direction for the show, or at least a baby step. The show suffered when she moved to sales. I wish they could just get rid of Erin and move Pam back to reception, since Erin isn’t all that funny. That won’t happen though. And I agree with the reconnection to Michael as a person. I am bummed so far that Holly hasn’t returned. After last year’s finale, it seemed like they might bring her back, yet no sign as yet.

    Outsourced, for me, is on red alert. If it wasn’t part of the Thursday night NBC lineup, I’d already have deleted it from my DVR lineup. Its sole saving grace is that it follows three good shows, and I might as well watch it too. I have a feeling next week might be the killer for me. It’s just boring, not funny, and still borderline offensive.

  2. I also noticed the issue with abrupt commercial breaks during 30 Rock. It definitely felt odd.

    I really want to like Outsourced. The premise is solid and the cast seems pretty good. But where the hell are the jokes? The show is all setup with no payoff. I will continue to watch it for a while, I suppose. I keep reminding myself that the first couple episodes of Community were pretty lousy as well. Maybe this one just needs a little time to find its footing?

  3. Cast commentaries on every episode you say? That sounds like a DVD set worth picking up. I wish I could say the same for the ‘Firefly’ DVDs 🙁

    You’re right about Erin. When she first came on I thought there was a lot of potential, and her initial thing with Andy was pretty good.

    I completely forgot about Holly! It’d be nice to see her back for sure – she made Michael a far more likeable person.

    • Adam

      Yeah, according to Amazon, there are “Cast & Crew Commentary on Every Episode!” in addition to the standard outtakes, extended cuts, deleted scenes, etc. The commentaries were a huge motivation for me buying the set. I just love the old commentaries on The Office, you know, when it was actually the cast and not literally costume designers, caterers, and second assistant directors. Plus at $26.49, it’s hard to beat for such a decent show.

  4. that1guypictures

    Personally, I loved this episode of Community, but David Koechner was not in the episode. Drew Carey and Rob Corddry guest starred. IMHO, 30 Rock and Community were both great, The Office and Outsourced were just ok.

    • I almost didn’t recognize Drew Carrey at first. He’s like half the person he used to be. Gastric bypass, I assume?

      Edit: Some Google searching shows that he claims to have lost the weight through diet and exercise, without surgery.

        • Yeah, he does, which is why I assumed gastric bypass. The page I read claimed that, even though this wasn’t surgery, he lost the weight in a pretty short amount of time (a few months). That gaunt, sickly look is a typical consequence of rapid weight loss.

          If he’s genuinely healthier now and can keep this up, good for him for taking care of himself. But I do have to admit that I liked him better fat. 🙂

          • One of the important things I learned on my vacation recently is that the Ben & Jerry’s in Toronto tastes different than the Ben & Jerry’s in New England. It must be from a different dairy plant or something, but the texture is definitely not the same.

            Also, what they call a “hamburger” in Canada is not what I call a hamburger. 🙂

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