- How I Met Your Mother
- Raising Hope
- New Girl
- The Mindy Project
- The Big Bang Theory
- Up All Night
- The Office
- Parks and Recreation
How I Met Your Mother – “The Prenup”
I had a hard time getting into this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother, because Barney’s prenup was just too ridiculous to take. Barney’s always been an over the top character, but knowing that his marriage to Quinn won’t work out, I just didn’t have the patience to listen to all of his crazy demands.
I know I’m rather alone on this, but I’m also not into the character of Klaus. I’d kick him out of my apartment too. I liked the idea of Lily and Marshall arguing over how to handle their new baby, and I wish we’d gotten more of that.
So we knew one couple was breaking up by the end of the episode. I was hoping it would be Ted and Victoria, but I knew it would be Barney and Quinn. I wish the realization for Barney and Quinn that they don’t trust one another had been a little slower, and a little quieter. I just didn’t think the material was funny, and I’m annoyed at a relationship I actually cared about coming to such a stupid end – even if we know he’s supposed to marry Robin. (If that doesn’t happen I will lose it. Enough screwing around!)
Best Moment: Sigh. I dunno. Marshall’s dad and brothers tossing a baby around? I wasn’t particularly impressed by anything.
Raising Hope – “Not Indecent, But Not Quite Decent Enough”
I started out enjoying the season three premiere of Raising Hope. It progressed Jimmy and Sabrina’s relationship, dealt with the economic disparity in their relationship, and delivered some laughs. But then we flashed back to a goth Jimmy hooking up with Sabrina’s pre-nose job post-boob job mom, and I was out. It felt like a contrived obstacle that wasn’t silly in the warm, funny kind of way I need Raising Hope to be. Luckily, it all worked out – and I’m glad Jimmy and Sabrina are engaged.
Best Moment: Hope’s face when Virginia mentioned that Sabrina could help her go to a better school. They get the best cutaway shots of that kid.
New Girl – “Fluffer”
Nick and Jess have been one of those will-they-or-won’t-they TV couples since New Girl began, and I think the show is doing a very smart thing by acknowledging that in “Fluffer”. This was a really strong episode for Nick, but also let Jess have some really funny moments as well. I like that these two kind of acknowledged that they have something, but that neither one of them is ready to do anything about it. Jess has come a long way since being the girl who couldn’t say “penis”, and she’s much funnier as this weird but grown-up person.
There were also some really great moments between Schmidt and CeCe, which almost made up for the fact that I think that couple was broken up too soon. And Winston nailed that creepy thought-cheating face.
Best Moment: Schmidt covering up for a slip-up while posing as a Romney son by saying “We don’t drink the beers, we just buy them to support American breweries.”
Runner Up: “I don’t know what to do. I’m terrible at casual sex. I left him in there with crayons and paper like he’s kid at a restaurant, and I told him I had to check my fantasy football.”
The Mindy Project – “Hiring and Firing”
I always say that pilots are particularly hard for sitcoms, which is why I was particularly impressed by the solid first episode of The Mindy Project. But I think it takes several episodes to determine the tone of a show and flesh out the characters, and so far I like where Mindy is going. The second episode did a great job of showing us what kind of colleague Mindy Lahiri is, and setting up her and Danny as workplace rivals more than starcrossed lovers. For me, the episode had many laugh-out-loud moments, and I think they’re achieving a really good wacky, workplace comedy vibe.
I read some reviews from critics who weren’t keen on the end tag joke where Mindy pretended that Danny was an abusive boyfriend on a subway full of people. Personally, I thought it worked – and I rarely think jokes like that work. But I think Kaling has a rare ability to go a little edgier without seeming insensitive or like she’s trying too hard, and that’s something that could take this show to a really good place.
Best Moment: There were many, but I’ll go with the opening play on your typical TV voiceover, where Mindy is actually narrating her own subway ride.
The Big Bang Theory – “The Decoupling Fluctuation”
After an unimpressive season premiere last week, The Big Bang Theory returned with a stronger episode by focusing on one of my favorite pairings: Sheldon and Penny. Whenever Sheldon is in an uncomfortable social situation, Jim Parsons makes the most of it. Watching him navigate the difficult waters of knowing Penny might dump Leonard provided a lot of laughs.
Best Moment: Sheldon interrupting a sleeping Penny to discuss Leonard’s merits, such as his perfect driving record and the fact that he’s of average height in North Korea.
Up All Night – “Swingers”
Is it just me, or was this episode of Up All Night rather dull? We had two storylines this week that didn’t really intersect – Ava tried to recover from the cancellation of her show by selling a bunch of stuff, and Chris and Reagan tried to inject some excitement into their relationship by going to a trapeze class. I thought it started out pretty strong – watching Chris and Reagan suffer through dinner without TV was funny and relatable, but then the episode felt kind of stalled. I’m worried this show isn’t living up to the potential I thought it had.
Best Moment: Chris proclaiming “We do not stink!” before jumping off with the trapeze.
The Office – “Andy’s Ancestry”
Guys? The Office is back. I loved this episode. I thought this episode was so funny that thinking about how bad the past couple seasons were made me really mad. Pam and Nellie? I loved them together. The idea of Darryl leaving with Jim for the new project? Yes! Dwight teaching Ellie to speak Dothraki was hilarious and culturally relevant.
Best Moment: The cold open with Jim’s elaborate prank to convince Dwight that he’s always been Asian was hysterically funny to me.
Parks and Recreation – “How A Bill Becomes a Law”
Parks and Recreation is facing a challenge this season since two strong characters have been separated from the herd, and Leslie is splitting her time between the Parks Department and City Council. I don’t think the show is struggling with this, but the first few episodes haven’t been as fantastic as this show has been in the past. That said, I did like this episode. Leslie, her silly perm, and her attempt to get a simple, well-intentioned bill passed was funny. Ben and April bonding in D.C. fell kind of flat for me, but it still had a few good moments like Ben faking April out with the airplane tickets. But the best part for me was Ron fixing a pot hole and meeting a no-nonsense single mom. Ron Swanson in princess makeup is never a bad thing.
I feel confident that Parks and Rec will figure out how to navigate the new setup they have here, but I can’t help but think that things might be easier once Ben and April are back in Pawnee – even if it’s just temporarily.
Best Moment: Something about Jerry’s reaction to accidentally getting a 911 call on the new 311 help line really cracked me up.