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I finally got some sleep (the deprivation probably wasn't helping my state of mind) and then made myself watch other TV -- funny TV, even --so I temporarily feel a little better. Checkin' out the new extra-large NBC comedy block, where the quality gap between the first and second installments of each hour is hilariously glaring. 
 
1. Community

crackers4jenn 's reacting-to-previews/spoilers post about this episode set the stage for good times. Read that first. But the good times, they delivered.

+ I <3 Rich. Almost as much as I love Jeff scowling at Rich and passive-aggressively interrogating Annie about how old he is, among other passive-aggressive slants.

+ Quendra. =D

+ JEFF/ANNIE FEELINGS, THIS IS THE BEST. Annie chasing him into men's rooms, accusing him of being jealous and demanding explanations for this bullshit, with him all, "Relationships are complicated," which, you know what that isn't? A flat-out denial.

+ And now you can relive the epic moment forever.

+ HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH, AWESOME FAKE OUT. For like 5 seconds, I thought the show might be fake-faking me out and Jeff really was running to Annie, so I was sitting there with my jaw hanging open in disbelief. Then the door opened and I knew it was either Ken or Rich. By the time the camera swung around to Rich, I had fallen off the sofa in a fit of laughter at the marvelously shameless way this show exploits cliche expectations.

+ I am still so pro-Annie/Rich. Come on, they would be adorable. They could train heaps of Seeing Eye dogs together. ("You're too young" is CLEARLY not an acceptable excuse in my life right now. Even if saying that about not one but two Annie 'ships with guys in their 30s undermines the strength of my Life Unexpected convictions.)

+ The singsong "Troy and Abed in the morning" bit has really been a stroke of creative genius.

-- I don't understand why we can't just forget this whole gross Chang/Shirley nonsense (IT MAKES ME SO CHANGRY), but at least it makes Andre -- have we met Andre before? I haven't met Andre -- seem appealing, which is impressive given how unappealing a picture has been painted of him since forever.

+ Not that I didn't crack up at Chang creepily hanging out on top of a bookshelf. What do you want to bet he's been camped out there since, like, dawn, waiting for them to show up so he could make that entrance? 

+ BRITTA. How so uninterruptedly awesome, even while flashing guys for concert tickets?

+ Basically: this show is the only A grade that managed to come back from break as completely awesome as it left. Good work!
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2. I watched just enough of Perfect Couples to confirm that Kyle Bornheimer is wonderfully appealing in everything he does, and I would absolutely watch a show about the awesome normal couple (THEY HAVE A LABRADOR NAMED LUKE), but the other two couples make me want to stab things.

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3. The Office, "The Ultimatum"

+ The cold open was brilliant. Good to see Jim has in no way learned his lesson about crossing Dwight (clearly, bigger fear snowballs must be created).  I could have watched an hour of him smiling sweetly and making agreeable comments on Dwight's cute little group activities.

+  Michael's video to himself was some disturbing-slash-awful stuff. My face actually contorted into a "O.o" expression.

+ It turns out my mom may be a closet Michael/Erin shipper. Or at least, her exact words were, "I think Michael should marry that receptionist. They're both so clueless, they'd be perfect for each other." This is either the most awesome or the most disturbing thing she has ever said. 

+ Oh, that's it. Possibly out of pure spite, I am now bitterly invested in AJ/Holly. Sugar, we're going down swinging.

+ Kelly is just my hero lately. "Oh God, PLEASE STOP." Which is, for the record, always the appropriate response to Michael and Holly getting caught in a never-ending loop of grating weirdness.

+ I love how Kelly claims she might be pregnant because her resolution is getting attention through any means necessary. And how Ryan doesn't even bat an eye anymore. Hey, do you need a bonus scene of their crazy/wonderful dynamic? dollsome  wrote us one earlier today.

+ What the hell, Erin isn't even capable of complex emotions like anger; why is she snapping at Gabe when he didn't do anything? Screw your sense of impending doom, show.

+ Even though it quickly went downhill, I LOVE the idea of Pam meeting another office manager, getting all jazzed up about her awesome board of morale-boosting initiatives, and wanting to implement that in her own office. See, this is the kind of career path I love seeing Pam take an interest in.  And let's be honest -- that board WAS impressive.

+ Pam is getting way too familiar with the parking lot Dumpster. I feel like we need to stage an intervention, HIMYM-style, about her recent predilection for chucking creative efforts in there.

+ One of my favorite things is when someone (usually Michael) brings up the uncomfortable subject of Karen or Roy. So you can imagine how much I loved his, "When you broke it off with Roy, did you still tell him you still loved him? (No) But you did still love him. (I'm not, I'm not gonna have this...) Do you love him now? (No!)" line of questioning, and took particular delight in Pam's vehement response to the last question. As well as her self-conscious glance at the camera after the second one.

+ The lunch adventure was completely irrelevant, but I did greatly enjoy getting to look around the bookstore in the background.

+ One of those incredibly rare times where Michael says something touching and self-aware, at least if you cut him off before he's done: "My resolution? I never want to make Holly cry again."

Overall: Anything I didn't name was pretty bad, rendering this episode mediocre, but at least this was the best independent subplot Pam has had in a very long time.

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4. Forget stabbing, Parks and Recreation makes me want to light things on fire. Well, not things. People.
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5. 30 Rock, especially by comparison, was actually pretty delightful! I kept accidentally tuning it out or wandering away, but the parts I saw featuring Jack & Liz's dsyfunctionally stable relationship (now with accidental marriage) cracked me up.
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6. And Outsourced, which I really want to dislike, but its stupid absurdity keeps sucking me in now and then. I love the quiet girl, who kinda reminds me of a previous roommate (or: pretty much me), and the main guy's smiley all-American appeal is totally having the intended effect. At least it makes me laugh, which is more than 2 or 3 of the others can do on a regular basis.

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Am I crazy, or does "The Roommate" look like an amazing thriller? I do not see thrillers in theaters, which is a pity because by the time they come to the library all the excitement has usually worn off, but I really hope I can keep my enthusiasm up for this one. Hey, look, I have checked out two books supposedly about girls stalking/obsessing over other girls (non-romantic context) in the past week, and they've both sucked out on the obsession plot. It's my newest thing, for some reason. Someone needs to make it happen.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
muzzy_olorea
Jan. 21st, 2011 11:18 am (UTC)
I thought you'd given up on 30 Rock!! Heh! Wow, an episode you actually liked! I must rush off and watch this!!! ;D
rainbowstevie
Jan. 21st, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
I assumed I had, but Private Practice wasn't new so I had an empty slot and a tortured brain to occupy. I mostly only liked the parts with Jack & Liz, but their scenes were good enough to make up for everybody else.
eleigh
Jan. 21st, 2011 12:29 pm (UTC)
Jack & Liz accidentally got married? MUST SEE NOW.

Every thing about Community was wonderful. I don't think we've met Andre before and now I wonder if all the Chang/Shirley stuff was done intentionally to make Andre more likable?
rainbowstevie
Jan. 21st, 2011 09:12 pm (UTC)
They accidentally got married! It was ridiculous, and yet so plausible. Mosquito netting and Lemon's inability to understand French are involved.

Nice theory on Chang/Shirley.
eleigh
Jan. 21st, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
I just watched the episode! It was fantastic. Every time I watch an episode of 30 Rock I think I should watch it more regularly but it's never been one of those shows I feel the need to catch up on. Even though it's such a good show.
crackers4jenn
Jan. 21st, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
Not that I didn't crack up at Chang creepily hanging out on top of a bookshelf. What do you want to bet he's been camped out there since, like, dawn, waiting for them to show up so he could make that entrance?

HA HA HA! Oh, Chang.

One of those incredibly rare times where Michael says something touching and self-aware, at least if you cut him off before he's done: "My resolution? I never want to make Holly cry again."

No, no, I love that he continued on with his words. He doesn't want to make Holly ever cry again - unless it's from laughing too hard at his jokes. Or from their beautiful love-making. SO HILARIOUS. I mean, you definitely have to disconnect that part of your brain that produces visual images, but the sentiment is so wonderfully Michael. Which is why I think he is so perfect for Holly and she so perfect for him. I know on principle alone you want to root for AJ/Holly, but really, has there ever been a better match for Michael? Yes, they often delve into ridiculous character impersonations and then GET STUCK IN THEM, but I so appreciate that she is that woman that lets Michael just be Michael.
rainbowstevie
Jan. 21st, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC)
No, she's definitely soulmate material for him, I just...dislike him so much that I don't want him to be happy. Yeah, I'm spiteful against fictional characters that way.
aries11
Jan. 21st, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
As I said to another friend, I only saw the last like two minutes of "30 Rock", so I had absolutely no clue what was going on. :P I did, however, see an entire episode of "Outsourced" for the first time and ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would. I admit the singing of one of my favorite 80's love ballads helped. LOL.

I actually think The Roommate looks pretty good, too! In fact, I kind of want to take my roommate to see it.
rainbowstevie
Jan. 21st, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
I'd heard OF "Eternal Flame," but that was the first time I ever really heard more than a bar or two of it -- it was so pretty!

I kind of want to take my roommate to see it.
If you do, just make very sure not to accidentally imitate any of the crazy behaviors later recognized as warning signs. Avoid trying on jewelry, and such. :P
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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