This was such a good week for sitcoms! Even HIMYM was pretty decent, and I haven’t liked that show since 2008. And in particular, I adored New Girl and The Mindy Project this week.
How I Met Your Mother – “Unpause”
I haven’t been talking about this show lately because it makes me so mad, but I actually enjoyed this week. “Unpause” was an example of how this season could have been good, if only it hadn’t been horrible. I liked both the present-day storyline and the Future Ted storyline quite a bit. (That said, the Marshall/Lily stuff is still bothering me, because the fight is too ugly.)
Barney getting so drunk that he reveals all his secrets was fun, and I like the idea of Barney’s entire career being one giant revenge plot. (If only we didn’t know that both Barney and Robin would get wedding day jitters. Thanks a lot, showrunners.)
Future Ted and his wife being at the Farhampton Inn when she goes into labor with their second child was another lovely look at their future together. I like the idea of the inn becoming this important place for them as a couple. I just wish we’d seen more of them as a couple and less of Marshall in an SUV this season.
New Girl – “Birthday”
I think this was the best episode of New Girl yet since Damon Wayans Jr. rejoined the show. It was great for everyone – Nick and Jess, Schmidt and Cece, and Coach and Winston. It was around this time last season that Nick and Jess kissed for the first time – and, this week on The Mindy Project, we finally got a long-anticipated kiss as well. While this season of New Girl hasn’t been as strong as the last, I think the relationship stuff is working. I’d like to see Mindy stick that out too.
This episode had a lot of “Best Moments”. I really liked Coach and Winston’s bake-off. I loved Ben Falcone as a hipster-hating gay bartender with no patience for Cece. And of course, the big birthday reveal was just fantastic.
The Mindy Project – “The Desert”
What’s that? I can’t hear you over the sound of my girly squeals. Mindy and Danny finally kissed! We’ve all been waiting for this since the show began. After all, as evidenced by that final montage, they have that kind of bickering, When Harry Met Sally opposites-attract kind of chemistry that rom-coms have told us is everlasting.
It’s very easy to compare this show, and this kiss, to New Girl‘s “Cooler” episode last year. But these characters are so different from Nick and Jess that I’d really rather not. This show has always been more focused on romance, while New Girl has always been more focused on friendship. New Girl has made the Nick/Jess relationship work pretty well so far, and I hope Mindy will too. Mostly because, I think there’s a ton of material here.
The episode overall, I thought, was great. Mindy and Danny stayed in California, and he tricked her into accompanying her to visit his estranged father. Morgan and Peter went back to New York, where they consoled Cliff – who they thought had been dumped by Mindy. The back-and-forth was a little disjointed, but I liked the callback to “You’ve Got Sext”, and loved Morgan and Peter’s fury when they found out that Cliff had dumped Mindy over practically nothing.
Mindy and Danny’s big fight in the desert was emotional, but still funny, and the perfect setup for a romantic reconciliation.
We were left with a “Happily ever after?” title card, and the show won’t be back until April. This is devastating. I’m going to miss it!
Modern Family - “Three Dinners”
I liked the premise this week on Modern Family – the three family components all had special dinners, each comical and a little disastrous.
Jay and Gloria had dinner at home with friends, and Jay reacted poorly to the news that his BFF Shorty was moving to Costa Rica. It was typical Jay behavior, but delivered some laughs. Mitch and Cam went for a romantic dinner where wedding talk was banned, and ended up involving themselves in a nearby proposal gone wrong. I liked the comedic twists and turns that the storyline took, and it was better than the typical bickering we see from those two.
My favorite, though, was Claire and Phil’s dinner with Haley. I really like what the writers and Sarah Hyland have done with that character this season. Claire and Phil intended to talk to Haley about her lack of direction, but she totally turned the tables on them – even paying for dinner and driving home in the end.
I don’t think there’s much special about Modern Family anymore – the show is stuck in a bit of a rut, and isn’t delivering fresh material. But it’s consistent and comfortable, and that’s not a bad thing.
Community – “Geothermal Escapism”
I haven’t watched Community in quite a while, but have been considering catching up on this season thanks to good reviews from critics and friends. One thing that’s made me hesitate is Donald Glover’s departure. What will the show be like without Troy of Troy and Abed? I don’t want to spend time catching up only to ditch the show again.
But I did tune in for Donald Glover’s last episode and I have to say, I loved it. I forgot how much I enjoy Community, and it felt like no time had passed. Having a school-wide game of “Hot Lava” was the perfect way to say goodbye. It had all the aspects of an episode like this that I love – references, intense competitive spirit, and heart. Troy departed to “Come Sail Away”, to travel on a yacht called “Childish Tycoon” (a shout-out to his rap identity) with LeVar Burton. Can’t get any better.
I’m looking forward to catching up on what everyone’s already seen this season, even though I don’t know what to except from Community without Troy Barnes. That said, I love Donald Glover and I’m excited for more Childish Gambino, and hopefully a comedy with FX.
Parks and Recreation – “Famers Market”
With Ben as City Manager now that Chris is leaving, Parks had to quickly address how Ben and Leslie would handle being married, and working together with such a boss/employee kind of relationship. I liked what this storyline did for that, and the silliness of sexy Swiss Chard provided good balance for a plot about Ben and Leslie’ work/life situation. It was also good to see Leslie lose for once, and realize she was being too intense and single-minded.
Andy as a children’s musical act was so brilliant, I almost can’t believe the show hadn’t already gone there. It’s a great career for his character, a kid in a man’s body. I also loved the Chris/Ann storyline, because I always like when Ann and Ron interact.
Best moment: Rob’s excitement over the excellent rectangle called an iPod.