Yay, Parks and Recreation is back! Did you all play along with Gabe’s curmudgeonly drinking game? Are you all dead now because even though the drinking game was curmudgeonly, it was actually very accurate and really only missed, like, one of the bullet points? R.I.P. all of us! Though, we did get an answer to the question of why Ann is always at the office. Because she’s on retainer. For…being…a nurse? For the Parks Department? There was at least MENTION of an answer. The episode was honestly a little too “standard Parks and Recreation episode” to be excited about, save for the appearance of the guy from Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. (He’s not from anything else, right? And no one knows his name?) But it’s still always enjoyable and sweet and funny, so who can complain, especially when you have all the other shows to complain about. Community — I hardly even. I can’t even finish that sentence about it. I don’t want to hate all over it, because at least it’s TRYING to do SOMETHING, but that effort is so clearly fueled on narcissism and denial that it’s difficult not to dislike it. The Dean, though, continues to be perfect. His monologue about not knowing what he was going to say to people at the bank was my favorite part of the whole night. LOVE YOU, DEAN! As for 30 Rock, I’m happy to see that Liz’s life is actually changing and, because of the changes, heading in the direction of the show ending. That sounds bitchier than I mean it, but the show needs to end at this point, and it looks like they’re going to end it well. The Kanye West joke was incredibly upsetting, but the joke where Tracy called Jenna “Jane” was very good. Give and take. The Office continues to be The Office, but again, it was nice to see Kelly not acting like Kelly, and heading her character to a nice end-of-show end as well. Right? RIGHT?

Comments (64)
  1. Dean’s sudden self-awareness will probably go down as one of my favourite television moments ever.

    That’s all. Okay, bring on the gifs please.

  2. I’m not understanding the Ann-shouldn’t-be-there criticism, since I’m pretty sure they solved that like last season when they made her an employee of the health department or whatever. Remember? She has her own office and that grumpy office-mate? Or am I forgetting something and looking like a jerk?

    • You are correct. She works part time for the health department. They took care of that in the episode “The Fight” last season.

      Pay attention, Ann-shouldn’t-be-there critics!

    • Agreed. There is a specific and rationale reason why she is always there now.

      And she is not even on retainer or whatever. She literally works there.

      I find it kind of funny that they used a contrivance to get Ann into City Hall legitimately after seasons of her being there all the time for no reason (aside from friendship). And now that she is there there is no real need to create an excuse for her to be there because they have fewer and fewer scenes of them in the parks dept.

      I also think that this confusion is based on a valid criticism of Parks & Rec, which is that if you miss one subplot of one episode there is a whole aspect of the show that becomes unclear.

      Things just seem to change drastically in one episode without previous foreshadowing or build-up and then go unexplained thereafter.

    • Ann is technically the Public Health Public Relations Director, which is still unbelievable because she is a RN. Employees of Public Health departments, especially people in directorship positions–even PR, usually hold at least an MPH if not a MD. She’s clearly a product of cronyism, reinforcing my stance that Knope is corrupt and unfit to sit on the Council.

  3. I’ve got to believe I’m not the only one who checked Gabe’s list last night after Parks and Rec. RIGHT GUYS?

    I loved Community, and thought that it was the least narcissistic it’s ever been. Even though most of the plot took place in a “simulation”, I thought it was more grounded than most episodes. And unlike last week’s episode where I REALLY did not buy any of those relationships, Abed’s character arc payed off big time.

    • I loved Community as well. The Dean moment of self-awareness was the best part, but while it wasn’t as laugh-out-loud funny, I felt like it was one of the better ones as far as character development is concerned.

    • I wholeheartedly agree about Community. I thought it was the best episode since their break (faint praise, maybe, but I still liked it a lot). The character oriented moments are what I’ve always felt were the weakness of the show, but I thought this one pulled it off for a whole episode. All the convoluted impersonations and feats of dreamatorium engineering boiled down to a simple and honest point

    • I was waiting for Chris to say “literally” and he never did, UNTIL THE VERY END. Goddammit, Gabe.

  4. My absolute favorite moments from last night came from 30 Rock. Yes, Community was awesome but the line about Liz having an ex-black panther pre-school teacher and the gay porn scene FTW of the night.

  5. Was I the only one confronted with the sense, last night, with our two hour giggle fest finally restored, that all four of these shows are past their prime? That the shows seem aware of it, too? Isn’t kind of like 30 Rock and Community have become aware of the unavoidable stasis of their sociopathic, joke-as-despot approach to the sitcom, and are trying suddenly to make us care about their adorable collections of ciphers? Or, or, that the emotional components of Parks & Rec and The Office feel staid and flat, and those behind the scenes puppet masters are overcompensating with the emo, and it’s undercutting the existing levels of emo/humor (See Tom and Andy’s ex-girlfriend’s relationship)? Am I alone here?

  6. I actually thought community was alright and was glad we finally got some long overdue character development for Abed. That being said, one of the biggest unresolved issues of Community that has still not been addressed since Season Two’s Christmas episode is the whole affair of ABED’S MOM. Where is she? What’s her deal? Why did she feel the need to suddenly abandon her son? I’d really like a concrete resolution to that particular thread. That and the whole issue of Jeff’s Dad, but I’m kind of willing to overlook that because it probably wouldn’t be as interesting. It’s a shame that we wont get a resolution to these plots anyway since this show’s most likely gonna get cancelled. I don’t want it to, but it’s gonna happen.

    • Also Abed’s dad disappeared to Glee, maybe he wrote him out of his life and that’s why Abed has become even more insular than he already was

      • I assumed that as well. I think it’s safe to say that most of these characters have some kind of parental issues. Except Britta. I bet her parents are the nicest people on earth.

    • Within that episode Abed’s mom explains that she isn’t visiting Abed because she has a new husband and a new baby and a new family.

      I doubt that there is going to be any resolution beyond that.

  7. Community was great, really glad that after the hiatus they didn’t try and make the episodes more “accessible” , and are continuing with character exploration/weird jokes etc. 30 Rock was OK but what was the deal with the Cline Eastwood bit,that seemed more like a parody of the SNL skit than the actual commercial.and all the celeb. breakdown stuff was pretty boring. also boring, all of the offices boner jokes.

  8. I have this theory that Abed really, really dislikes Britta. Anybody agree?

    Also, I was glad that they confronted Annie’s crush on Jeff the way they did. Lots of good character self-awareness in the last few episodes.

    • I thought for a second that Abed’s whole role-play was a giant ruse so that he could get with Annie. Then I remembered that he’s a sociopath.

      • Although it did fit into the recurring theme of Annie crushing on Abed when he’s “in character”.

        And, it’s probably not that he dislikes Britta but instead:

        A) He doesn’t want to ‘lose’ Troy to her
        B) He is reflecting the groups agreement that Britta is the ‘worst’
        C) His way of portraying each member of the group ‘in simulation’, is by reducing them to one or two dimensional “TV characters”, and Britta is sort of the designated Butt Monkey of the group at this point

  9. Vampire Diaries last night was totally sweet.

    Can we start placing odds on who’s going to die? And where is Elijah? Just off being awesome?

    • It’s back! I haven’t watched it yet but I’ve missed it so much.

      Elijah is on some stupid hospital show which, let’s face it, I’ll probably watch even if it sucks because he’s so hot.

      • That’s some BS right there. Elijah is my favorite.

        I’m also worried for Jekyll/Hyde Alaric. Though from his scenes last night he would have a bright future as a Lifetime movie husband. The kind that are all nice and friendly until they get married and he becomes A TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSON.

    • Oh, and I don’t know about odds for character deaths, but I would like it if Jeremy and Bonnie made a suicide pact so we wouldn’t have to deal with them anymore. Wishful thinking, I know.

      • I wish they could find more for Jeremy to do. Like chopping off some more heads!

        • Haha oh Jeremy. Always the saddest/least liked of the gang. I’m down with his weird ghostly communication, but less so with his interrupting hot makeouts. COME ON JEREMY. We’ve waited so long!

  10. You guys, I missed the whole night because I went to this thing where Nick Offerman stood on stage and gave everyone his ten tips for living a meaningful life. It was really weird! But pretty amusing and funny, and he lead us all in a chorus of “5000 Candles in the Wind.”

  11. I normally dont find community all that funny but I liked Allison Bree’s british accent parody on the Dr. Who parody. Plus she’s REAL purty! Win win.

  12. The writing on The Office was kind of upsetting last night. In what world would that office meeting on impotence ever be considered a halfway realistic thing to occur in an office? Why are we supposed to believe that Nellie can hold on to the position that was never really hers simply by saying the word “no,” and how come the whole office is suddenly on her side?

    I think the show has a more general problem in that there are now a couple of unlikeable, cringe-inducing, actively antagonistic minor characters, with the lead being very sympathetic if a little flawed. This reduces the basic formula that made the UK and Michael Scott-U.S. versions successful, where we cringed at the manager but sympathized with him too. They need to get rid of “Robert California” immediately.

    • reduces* – reverses

    • this is probably the first episode of the american version of the office that I have liked. I chuckled during the meeting scene. rad scene.

      normally I abhor the american office because it plagiarizes from a british version of this same show

      • For it to be plagiarism, it would have to be unauthorized and uncredited. Since Ricky Gervais is credited, and an Executive producer, it readily acknoledges it’s source material.

        It may be copied, derivative, similar or a knockoff, but it is not plagiarized.

    • The thing is, Robert California is the explanation.

      How did the impotence meeting happen? They pretty much bring it up during the meeting … Toby has been beaten down so much at this point that he doesn’t even care anymore. It’s a bit of a case of the show sort of going constantly having to push itself further, but considering the characters have (mostly) all been there the whole time, it’s been a slow and steady change instead of a massive shift.

      As for siding with Nellie, it was Angela that sided with Nellie. The person that didn’t exactly have the best relationship with Andy, and is pretty much a bitch to most people. (Also, Nellie had been handing out raises to everyone in an earlier episode).

      Most of the rest of the office workers were going the non-confrontation route. They just wanted to stand aside and let thing work themselves out. This has been a trait that a lot of them have shown in the past. Specifically, ever since the introduction of Robert California’s wife, it’s been revealed that his ability to make people do something without asking is a side effect of him being extremely conflict averse, and not wanting to actually tell people what to do.

      The people involved are weirdos. Robert California is some kind of crazy person that just sort of took over a company through sheer personality, but no one really bothered to figure out it was a crazy person doing it. At this point, with the CEO being a crazy person, and the office being filled with a bunch of people that are used to Micheal Scott randomly holding meetings that have inappropriate subject matter (and put up with it because it’s an excuse to not work), it’s not that far out of the realm of possibility.

      The show has steadilly become more and more whacky and farcical, but within the world it inhabits, it follows it’s own logic.

      • I just feel like a considerable amount of the writing has been ad hoc lately. Why does the meeting happen? Because Nellie is self-serving and insensitive, except that actually she’s very sensitive to the problem she’s caused for Andy, except that now she lacks tact in addressing it, or wait, maybe she’s merely cruel and the rest has been a charade?

        We’re also expected to believe that Andy, who just drove across the country to win Erin and broke up with his girlfriend in front of a contemptuous bachelorette party, would be so weak of will so as to let a stranger just casually take his office. Andy has already proven himself to be better than that, but the show keeps walking backwards for the sake of contrived plot lines. You justified their actions well in terms of continuity, but I think that kind of reasoning falls flat because the characters are failing to ring true, although I admit this critique gets into subjective territory.

        • I agree with you, pickpocket. Most of these plotlines and many of the scenes feel much more contrived and forced and regressive than they used to, and I had the exact same problems you did with this episode. Plus, Andy’s leaving the office now and Nellie’s really the manager? OK, sure, good luck figuring out where to go with that one.

  13. One final point: why is it that I always have to request the alison brie gifs? Why doesnt the videogum community (ahhh?) pro-actively provide these gifs to me in automatic and quick fashion?

  14. How is there no .gif for Leslie’s “And your guy Bobby Newport is gonna have to show up. And he’s gonna have to open his mouth. And I’m gonna kick his ass.”?

  15. In general, Homestead Coupon Code has done far more harm than harm to Homestead Coupon Code. Top brass matter a great deal in Homestead Coupon Code and how sad is it. They’re sorry. There are gobs of kinds of Homestead Coupon Code and they all depend on what sort of Homestead Coupon Code you use. I chanced on an expos? on Homestead Coupon Code on MSNBC over the weekend.

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