- How I Met Your Mother
- New Girl
- The Mindy Project
- Cougar Town
- Modern Family
- The Big Bang Theory
- Parks and Recreation
- The Office
Phew! Quite a week for sitcoms. Click through for brief reviews.
How I Met Your Mother – “P.S. I Love You”
I’ve been pretty harsh on HIMYM this year (and for a few seasons now), but I’ve liked the three episodes we’ve gotten so far in 2013 and I’m actually looking forward to seeing what the show does heading into the final season. Though I was distracted by what felt like Abby Elliot’s Drew Barrymore impression, I like her as Ted’s crazy final mistake in dating before meeting The Mother. His determination to see her gestures as cute rather than creepy felt like classic Ted Mosby. Meanwhile, the Robin Sparkles stuff was as funny as always, especially for anyone who got the Alanis Morrisette analogy. I always cringe at some of the Canada jokes (I hate Tim Hortons! I can’t remember the last time I ate a donut!) but that doesn’t mean they’re not funny. This was a fun episode.
Best moment: My hometown got a shout out! Halifax, Nova Scotia! Walnut crunch!
New Girl – “Table 34”
If you were worried that The Kiss would ruin New Girl, this episode should have put those fears to rest. It was the perfect follow up, that delivered some great moments for Nick and Jess, as well as the other characters, all within a wacky setting – an Indian dating convention. Jess and Sam are over, but she needs to mend her broken heart and Nick needed to apologize. And the dating convention (and Schmidt’s grand speech) helped CeCe realize that she should be with the person she loves. There were so many hilarious moments – Nick and Jess building the table, panic moonwalking, Schmidt’s mic drop and Winston’s mojo are a few favorites.
Best moment: Hard to choose, but I’m going with “Yes, Nick, the West Coast’s premier Indian singles event, where 300 eligible Rajput Indians get together to see if they should get arranged married to each other is in our loft.”
The Mindy Project – “Harry & Mindy”
Ignoring the Jeremy/Morgan storyline, which was simply an opportunity to browse my Twitter feed, this was a perfect episode of The Mindy Project. The cold open, in which Mindy is suspected of being a terrorist whilst trying to meet The One at the Empire State Building, was gold. (And hi, Common!) I liked that Mindy wasn’t so invested in her relationship with B.J. Novak that realizing he was, as she’d suspected, in love with his BFF, crushed her. In fact, she was OK. Mindy forcing Danny to go out with said BFF was a great move, and Chris Messina had many great moments. These two are the heart of the show, and any time they interact – at or outside of work – magic happens.
Best moment: Everything in the cold open.
Runner up: “You can’t just spend the night in your office drunk, playing weird Bruce Springsteen songs on your tiny piano.”
Cougar Town– “Flirting with Time”
This week’s Cougar Town acknowledged a couple of things that we rarely see on the show – that Ellie has a kid, and that Jules has a job. And neither of them were particularly happy with those facts. Ellie was sick of being a stay-at-home mom since her nanny went on “vacation” (her mom died) and Jules was going through a house-selling dry spell. Because the episode played up beats that aren’t typical for the show, it didn’t really work for me. I can’t suddenly care that Jules isn’t feeling passionate about her job, because it has never been important. The one thing that worked was Ellie and Bobby’s chemistry, because Ellie’s harsh insults are always better when taken well – in this case, directed towards strangers, carnival-style, at Bobby’s short-lived food truck.
Best moment: Tom declaring that Ellie was insulting him before it was cool.
Modern Family – “A Slight at the Opera”
This was a lopsided episode for me. I loved Jay, Phil and Match golfing together , but I didn’t really care for the rest of the storylines. All my favorite jokes came from the golf part of the episode, particularly the “Cats in the Cradle” bit. Mitch and Jay’s relationship is a wealth of comedy that the show has always managed to use correctly, and I loved seeing how that has evolved now that Jay has a new baby.
Best moment: “Come on, he’s been alive a month. How hard is it to support your own head?”
Runner Up: Mitch recalling how his dad used to say “Nice throw, Nancy!” then adding “Nancy was our neighbor. I could never compete with her.”
The Big Bang Theory – “The Spoiler Alert Segmentation”
You know what’s not a good idea? Moving in with your girlfriend because your roommate spoiled the Harry Potter series for you. I mean, I take Harry Potter more seriously than almost anyone. But it’s a bad reason to move in together. Watching Penny struggle to give Leonard a reason why they shouldn’t was quite funny, though. Almost as funny as Sheldon’s reaction to Amy suggesting she become his new roommate. This was a solid episode.
Best moment: “Feelings? What am I, a hippie at a love-in?”
Community – “History 101”
A lot was riding on the season four premiere of Community, following showrunner Dan Harmon’s exit, continued on set drama, and delays in the premiere date. My expectations were never high. Some shows can remain good following the exit of a showrunner, but not ones that so specifically belong to the creator like this one. And, the early reviews were not good. I tried not to let other critics’ words stick in my head as I watched the opening and thought “Well, maybe this is OK.” But it was too meta and, more importantly, it went on too long. Setting the multi-cam, laugh-tracked version of Community in Abed’s head was the only way to effectively pull it off, but there was just too much of it. The cartoon bits lost me, and there wasn’t enough room left in the episode to make “The Hunger Deans” come together as a parody or a B-plot. I’m hoping subsequent episodes will better fit the right tone for the show – this one felt like it went too far.
Best moment: All student records are in a MS Paint file, which the Dean thought was future-proof. Best.
Parks and Recreation – “Ann’s Decision”
This episode? Amazing. First of all, the fact that they brought back the calzone goof was just perfect. Ron: “It was a calzone.” Chris: “It was literally just a small calzone.” It made my heart sing, that’s what. I need to watch that entire food poisoning scene again, because it’s impossible to consume all the greatness in one viewing. Suck it, Bridesmaids! You can be funny without vomiting on people’s heads! (Spoiler alert? Hope not.) Calzones were the culprit, and Ben can’t believe the betrayal. “As God is my witness, they are dead to me!” Second of all, there was some great Leslie and Ann friendship stuff, which is always great. And third, I adored April and Andy – particularly when Andy, with fruit rollups on his thumbs, pointed to himself during the meeting.
Best moment: “Never eat anything with a sauce I have to dip myself. Drizzle it on for me, I’m not your maaaaaiiiiid.”
The Office – “Couples Discount”
Speaking of meta (I was in the Community review), this episode of The Office was simply meant to recognize that Andy never should have been put in charge, right? He was gone for three months, and the office exceeded their targets and ran smoother than ever. I didn’t like most of the episode, because the Jim and Pam stuff made me sad. Until “Put your dukes up, Beasley” and then I knew they’d be OK. And I hated Andy. I wasn’t happy until Erin dumped Andy, and accidentally revealed his absence to David Wallace. All’s well that ends well? This wasn’t my favorite episode, sure, but I still overall really like how this final season has been playing out.
Best moment: “You didn’t really email me all that much. You retweeted me a lot, to be fair…”