- How I Met Your Mother
- Raising Hope
- New Girl
- The Mindy Project
- Happy Endings
- Don’t Trust The B—- In Apartment 23
- Modern Family
- The Big Bang Theory
How I Met Your Mother – “The Over-Correction”
I fear I have the same complaint every week with HIMYM: That because we know where the Barney and Robin storyline ends up, it’s hard to get invested in anything that involves them not being together. This episode didn’t work for me. Patrice is a joke character who is best used sparingly, so involving her with a storyline about Barney finally maturing just cheapened the idea. The other storyline – Marshall and Lily’s mom and dad, respectively, hooking up – was just OK. Joke wise, this episode relied on a lot of classics like Ted’s red boots and the interventions. But at this stage in the series, those bits have played out. When was the last time HIMYM made me laugh with something original? I can’t remember. Also, “family with benefits” is the grossest thing this show has ever said.
Best moment: Robin hoping the intervention was about her drinking.
Raising Hope – “Last Christmas”
This was a silly, light Christmas themed episode. Virginia bought into the whole Mayan calendar thing, so the Chance family celebrated the holidays early just to humor her. I didn’t laugh out loud much during the episode, but it was OK enough.
Best moment: “I just thought he would look at me as a good mom if three quarters of the population was wiped out and I was prepared.”
New Girl – “Santa”
I thought this was a really funny, really strong episode of New Girl, in which all characters were wisely used and at their best. As the gang hopped from one holiday party to another, we got to see Jess freak out about a romantic situation, Winston act as support for her, Nick screw up his relationship with his (stripper) girlfriend and Schmidt start to get over Cece’s rejection. But the important thing was how many laugh-out-loud moments there were in the episode. The Santa jokes, Winston pretending to break up with Jess, Schmidt wishing Cece a “happy moon festival” – it all worked.
Best moment: “I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! We have a black president, we have a black santa…now WHAT is he doing, he should be home getting ready!”
Runners up: “I feel like a bird! Is one of these not a door?”, Schmidt’s lap dance. “Eye contact!”, “Nick Miller: Turning lemonade into lemons since 1981.”
Happy Endings – “To Serb With Love”
Alex is rarely my favorite character on Happy Endings, despite the fact that Elisha Cuthbert is very, very funny in the role. But this? This was an excellent Alex episode – in fact, both of my favorite lines came from her. I liked that the episode found a good balance between rapid-fire wacky jokes and actual plot and character development. It presented the idea that if Penny is in a relationship, Max feels lonely and like a seventh/fifth/third wheel. It revealed that Alex hadn’t told her parents about her and Dave reuniting. And we got some fun, silly stuff from Jane and Brad. I’ll miss this show over the holidays.
Best moment: “Because of all the wars and the flash mobs and that garbage island. We’re post-Katrina, guys.”
Runner up: “It’s funny because it’s wasteful!”
Don’t Trust The B—- In Apartment 23 – “Bar Lies…”
There are a lot of problems with airing episodes out of order. Like, June no longer works in a coffee shop in season two, she just got a new job. But in this episode, she’s still a sassy barista. June and Chloe’s relationship is also different now than it was last season, so watching her freak out over Chloe renting out JVDB’s apartment didn’t hit the right tone. It was an OK episode, but I think ABC made a mistake in airing these out of order.
Best moment: “You are so lucky that everybody has an opinion on Jimmy Fallon. Otherwise you’d be totally busted.”
The Big Bang Theory – “The Santa Simulation”
This was another episode of TBBT where everything worked. Separating Raj and putting him with the girls was a refreshing combination, and Sheldon’s irrational, yet sort of sweet hatred of Santa Claus made for a lot of laughs during the game of “Dungeons and Dragons”.
Best moment: I’ve got to go with Sheldon’s performance of “Good King Wenceslas”.