My Take on the 65th Emmy Award Nominations

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Earlier today, Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) announced the nominations for the 65th Emmy Awards. Like I tweeted earlier, nothing irks me more than Emmy snubs. Below is my reaction to the various categories from this year’s nomination list. Enjoy and argue with me. I dare you.

Outstanding Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory

Girls

Louie

Modern Family

30 Rock

Veep

The nominations this year are exactly what I pictured. While I’m pulling for a Veep sweep, the voters made a huge mistake in passing on the three most talked about comedies of the year: New Girl, Parks and Recreation, and the Netflix Semi-Original Series, Arrested Development. All of these shows are CONSISTENTLY funny, where as the sloe of nominees have been spotty in their respective past seasons.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Laura Dern, Enlightened

Lena Dunham, Girls

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Tina Fey, 30 Rock

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

While Lena Dunham is coming off her Golden Globe win, I think the prize will once again be rewarded to last year’s winner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as a part of the Veep sweep. Dreyfus made history this morning by scoring her thirteenth nod, surpassing Lucielle Ball’s record of twelve, making her the most-nominated comedic actress at the Emmys. Although I’m content with this year’s crop of nominees, I would have liked to see a little loving for the FOX Tuesday girls, Mindy Kaling and Zooey Deschenel. Both of their shows WEREN’T canceled *cough* Laura Dern *cough* and they were both hysterical.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jason Bateman, Arrested Development

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Don Cheadle, House of Lies

Louis C.K., Louie

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

With the many snubs Arrested Development suffered this year, I’m pulling for Jason Bateman. Other than that, no real surprises or snubs here.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory

Jane Lynch, Glee

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Julie Bowen, Modern Family

Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie

Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock

Anna Chlumsky, Veep

My jaw literally dropped when I saw that both Jane Krawkowski and Anna Chlumsky were nominated, but, once again, I’m pulling for the Veep sweep. But where is The Office star Jenna Fischer? She did some of her greatest acting and really held the show together in its final season. And that monologue she had that closed the series? Beautiful, and nominated in the writing category. Also, what happened to everyone’s thought that Jessica Walter would for sure take the prize for Arrested Development?

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Adam Driver, Girls

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family

Ed O’Neill, Modern Family

Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live

Tony Hale, Veep

Is it really necessary to have all these Modern Family guys here? I think not. Again, I’m loving Tony Hale and I’m pulling for the Veep sweep. But it would be shocking and painfully awkward if the award went to Adam Driver, whose controversial sex scenes caused many to question the validity of Girls as a television comedy. The guys from New Girl, Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield, deserve some recognition for their roles, especially after the “TinFinity” episode. Also, where’s Will Arnett from Arrested Development?

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes

Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon, Louie

Greg Daniels, The Office

Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock, 30 Rock

Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock

I was shocked to see that Lena Dunham did not get the trifecta of nominations here, as she scored acting and directing nods as well. I’m pulling for The Office here – specifically for the final testimonials of the show. Grab a few tissues and watch the ending.

Outstanding Drama Series

Breaking Bad

Downton Abbey

Game of Thrones

Homeland

House of Cards

Mad Men

This is the first time I have seen all the nominated dramas in their entirety. I’m not sure if I’m proud of that or not, but, alas, I would have to say that Homeland will have a very tough time reclaiming their title. I’m thinking Game of Thrones may steal the crown. But what about The Newsroom and The Americans? There’s just too much good television, I guess.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey

Claire Danes, Homeland

Robin Wright, House of Cards

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Connie Britton, Nashville

Kerry Washington, Scandal

Why did I just read Vera Farmiga’s and Connie Britton’s names on this list? Pissed. Anyway, it’s looking like another victory for Danes is slim and Robin Wright just might be the one to snag it from her. Regardless, I’m still rooting for Danes here.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Hugh Bonneville, Downtown Abbey

Damian Lewis, Homeland

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom

Jon Hamm FINALLY deserves a turn to take the prize, and if you don’t believe me just watch this clip.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Emilia Clarke, Game of Throne
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Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Morena Baccarin, Homeland

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

I am ecstatic about Anna Gunn, Maggie Smith, and Emilia Clarke, but the other three need some replacing. The talented Michelle Fairley led the water cooler episode of the year, Game of Thrones’ “Rains of Castamere,” and her snub was just not “fair.” Also, Kate Mara’s eye-opening performance as a corrupt reporter in House of Cards definitely deserves some recognition.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire

Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad

Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

Jim Carter, Downtown Abbey

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

Last year, Downton Abbey dominated this category and I am kind of upset that they didn’t do it again, given the amazing performances by Rob-James Collier and Alan Leech. Also, where are the Mad Men? John Slattery deserves better than this.

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

George Mastras, Breaking Bad

Thomas Schnauz, Breaking Bad

Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones

Henry Bromell, Homeland

Much like The Office writing nod redeemed Jenna Fischer’s snub, the Game of Thrones writing nod redeemed Michelle Fairley’s snub. If the words “Rains of Castamere” or “Red Wedding” mean nothing to you, you should reevaluate your life by starting here. But Julian Fellows may take the prize for also killing off an important character… No spoilers, of course.

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie

American Horror Story: Asylum

Behind The Candelabra

The Bible

Phil Spector

Political Animals

Top of the Lake

Holler at AHS for collecting seventeen nominations, topping the list of nominated shows this year. Kind of upset that Parade’s End didn’t make the cut, but it is well represented elsewhere.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum

Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter

Helen Mirren, Phil Spector

Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals

Elisabeth Moss, Top Of The Lake

This nomination should read, “Jessica Lange for The Jessica Lange Show,” because she truly stole the small screen as Sister Jude in American Horror Story: Asylum. Elisabeth Moss, a double nominee, took the prize from her at the Critics’ Choice Awards, so anything is possible.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie

Michael Douglas, Behind The Candelabra

Matt Damon, Behind The Candelabra

Toby Jones, The Girl

Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End

Al Pacino, Phil Spector

The Internet’s Favorite Son, Benedict Cumberbatch is nominated once again, but has traded his get-up as a modern Sherlock Holmes for a World War I uniform in Parade’s End. He won’t win, but he should.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie

Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Asylum

Imelda Staunton, The Girl

Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals

Charlotte Rampling, Restless

Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias

Sarah Paulson must win.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie

James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum

Zachary Quinto, American Horror Story: Asylum

Scott Bakula, Behind The Candelabra

John Benjamin Hickey, The Big C: Hereafter

Peter Mullan, Top of the Lake

Likewise, Zachary Quinto must win. Also the men of Top of the Lake took over the Critics’ Choice nominations, but only the Emmy voters only invited Peter Mullan to their show.

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The 65th Emmy Awards: Nominations

Here are this year’s Emmy nominations. My reaction to come.

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Girls
Louie
Modern Family
30 Rock
Veep

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Jane Lynch, Glee
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Adam Driver, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Tony Hale, Veep

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
Nathan Lane, Modern Family
Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie
Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
Will Forte, 30 Rock

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Molly Shannon, Enlightened
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Melissa Leo, Louie
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes
Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon, Louie
Greg Daniels, The Office
Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock, 30 Rock
Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, Girls
Paris Barclay, Glee
Louis C.K., Louie
Gail Macuso, Modern Family
Beth McCarthy-Miller, 30 Rock

Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Homeland
House of Cards
Mad Men

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Claire Danes, Homeland
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Connie Britton, Nashville
Kerry Washington, Scandal

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Hugh Bonneville, Downtown Abbey
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Emilia Clarke, Game of Throne
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Morena Baccarin, Homeland
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downtown Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Nathan Lane, The Good Wife
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Rupert Friend, Homeland
Robert Morse, Mad Men
Harry Hamlin, Mad Men
Dan Bucatinsky, Scandal

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
Carrie Preston, The Good Wife
Linda Cardellini, Mad Men
Jane Fonda, The Newsroom
Joan Cusack, Shameless

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
George Mastras, Breaking Bad
Thomas Schnauz, Breaking Bad
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones
Henry Bromell, Homeland

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire
Michelle MacLaren, Breaking Bad
Jeremy Webb, Downton Abbey
Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland
David Fincher, House of Cards

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie

American Horror Story: Asylum

Behind The Candelabra

The Bible
Phil Spector
Political Animals
Top of the Lake

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Elisabeth Moss, Top Of The Lake

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Michael Douglas, Behind The Candelabra
Matt Damon, Behind The Candelabra
Toby Jones, The Girl
Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End
Al Pacino, Phil Spector

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Asylum
Imelda Staunton, The Girl
Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals
Charlotte Rampling, Restless
Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum
Zachary Quinto, American Horror Story: Asylum
Scott Bakula, Behind The Candelabra
John Benjamin Hickey, The Big C: Hereafter
Peter Mullan, Top of the Lake

A Word on CAMP

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After watching NBC’s latest failure of a dramedy, Camp, I am convinced that the network will need to take a few more years to rebrand itself after losing The Office and 30 Rock this past year. And if they continue in the Hannibal/Dracula direction, I don’t think I would be too happy.

Camp follows the various adventures and mishaps of Little Otter Family Camp (and I’m still not sold on the whole “family camp” aspect of the fictional summer getaway). I feel as though there’s a new breed of helicopter parents that actually go with their kids to camp. And this brings up another point: if parents are present, why is there a need for counselors and CITs? But, alas, this show is just not worth thinking too much about.

The thirteen episode season was filmed in its entirety in New South Wales, and the cast is primarily made up of Australian nationals – which makes me question why us Americans are subjected to its pure awfulness.

THE OFFICE: Robtrospective

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Oh, where to begin this post. I don’t know if I want to do a traditional review of The Office series finale or just give a retrospective of my own (or a “Robtrospective”) of the show that has been defining American television for the past nine years. I’ll go with the Robtrospective.

To be honest, I didn’t start watching The Office from its pilot back in 2005. The first episode I saw was season three’s “Branch Closing,” and I kind of stumbled on it by accidently. Back in the day, our family only had one computer, but we each had our own user account that we could log into. However, iTunes used to operate on a computer-wide scale rather than restricting to each individual user’s account. That being said, my older brother’s iTunes would sometimes accidently start syncing when I would plug in my now-vintage iPod Video. One time, the computer recognized my iPod and began syncing The Office season 3. Being scared for my life, I quickly unplugged the device to avoid my brother’s wrath if I had so much as clicked on one of his iTunes playlists. However, I was too late. “Branch Closing” had been downloaded onto my iPod.

Now that it was downloaded, I figured I would see what the show was all about… and the rest is history.

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I finally started to watch the show religiously in the show’s fifth season, having caught up through my brother’s iTunes account. I remember being intrigued by the show’s mokumentary style, reminding me of my favorite show at the time, Survivor. The short-and-sweet testimonials never ceased to elicit a chuckle and the real-time lens scopes truly captured the essence of everyday life.

The show embraced pregnant pauses in a way that no other show had done before. It’s greatest foil, yet partner-in-Thursday-night-crime, 30 Rock, literally used all of its 22-minutes to spit joke after joke, reference after reference. What killed Tina Fey’s show (and many others like Arrested Development) was that it was too fast and too smart for the average television viewer. In contrast, The Office’s greatest triumph was that it appealed to the masses and the distracted. Missing an episode of the work-place comedy would not set any viewers back in terms of understanding the characters or their interactions – which is why it, along with its contemporary How I Met Your Mother, have already been syndicated on countless cable channels.

In the end, what The Office is truly about is the people and their relationships. And while the veteran employees will forever bask in the show’s glory, two latecomers truly kept the show moving following Steve Carrell’s departure from Dunder-Mifflin.

Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper) and Nellie Bertram (Catherine Tate) brought fresh new faces to The Office in seasons 5 and 8 respectively. Erin, the naïve receptionist, initiated many a love triangle around the office – most of the time not even realizing she was in the midst of them. Nellie, the pompous, British saleswoman, created much-needed tension in the show, as she vied for the position of Regional Branch Manager against Andy and Dwight.

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Regardless of whether you liked it, didn’t like it, thought it should have ended with Michael Scott’s departure, The Office is, and always will be, one of the greatest feats of American television – even though its roots do trace back to England. From inappropriate “that’s what she said” jokes to “Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica,” the show has taken on a persona of its own and will be cherished by generations and generations to come.

Pop-Pop and Circumstance: The COMMUNITY Season Finale

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The gang at Greendale bids farewell to their graduate, Jeff (Joel McHale), in typical Community fashion: by revisiting the Darkest Timeline.

In case you have forgotten, the Darkest Timeline was created in Season 3 when Abed initiated a dice rolling in order to determine who would go to the door to pay the pizza delivery man. Each of the six members were assigned a number and the episode followed the various situations the group could get itself into if the die had landed on all six sides. One of the timelines created from this is called the darkest timeline, in which Pierce is killed, Jeff loses an arm, and all of the characters become villains.

In last week’s Season Finale, Jeff – who knows his time with the study group is waning due to his fulfillment of Greendale’s curriculum – decides to rekindle the Darkest Timeline by rolling a die one last time. In doing so, Evil Jeff comes through the portal to make sure that Jeff does not consider staying at Greendale with his friends and urges him to take his old job back at the law firm.

Wow. I’m re-reading this as I type and it sounds so nerdy.

Ok. Moving on. So as Evil Jeff is assembling the rest of the Evils, Abed gets transported to the Darkest Timeline, where he stumbles upon Evil Abed, who explains the situation to him. My favorite part of the episode comes when Evil Abed tries to make Abed stay in the Darkest Timeline because NBC’s failed superhero drama, The Capehas become wildly successful in the alternate universe. A reluctant Abed refuses the gesture, but I could tell he was really torn.

Abed is able to return to the regular timeline with the special paintball guns that transport you between timelines and, with the help of his pals, he is able to send all of the Evils back to the Darkest Timeline.

The episode ends with a sad study group bidding farewell to their leader, Jeff, who promises to come back and visit next semester – which leads me to wonder whether or not McHale will be a series regular or a guest star next season. Also, Pierce graduates along side Jeff, but I think Chevy Chase has had enough with the show – granted he was left out of almost half of this season’s episodes.

With the season over, we are left guessing about the whole “Changnesia” thing. Who was Chang working with? Will that be brought up next season? Will there be another season? In the background of Jeff’s graduation ceremony, “Six Seasons and a Movie” is written on the chalkboard, which I hope is an indicator of the show’s longevity.

With 30 Rock’s departure in March, Parks and Rec‘s two weeks ago, and Community‘s last week, NBC Thursday has one last hurrah: The Office. Be sure to tune in to the hour long The Office: Retrospective, a look at the nine-year journey that the cast and crew took in creating the beloved and innovative television series. Following the special will be the last episode, entitled “Finale.” Slated to appear are Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak, and Joan Cusack. Unless NBC has been able to keep Steve Carrell’s return to the show under wraps, it seems unlikely that we will see Michael Scott in the office for the show’s final episode.

CNN Names Top 20 Shows of Past 20 Years

In the midst of studying for finals, I have been unable to fully engage with my weekly television lineup. However, I did manage to find this interesting article on the CNN Homepage, which documents the past 20 years in television, noting it as the “new, new golden age.”

Of the hundreds upon hundreds of scripted shows that are produced every year – many of which never making it to audiences – staff writer Todd Leopold chose 20 scripted shows that have, in their own way, changed the course of the television industry.

However, I argue that four shows have been unfairly shut out of this list so I felt the need to write this post. All of them are, in their own way, cultural phenomenons, becoming household names and essential reference points in everyday conversation.

First, the American adaptation of Ricky Gervais’ The Office, has taken the states by storm. In it’s nine-year run, the show has created meaningful story lines for its characters and has allowed audiences to feel welcomed in the work place – where virtually no work is done. As it closes on its final episodes, audiences are still sporting their Dunder-Mifflin tees, taking a pilgrimage to Scranton, PA, and spitting out, “That’s what she said,” in more inappropriate settings than Michael Scott could have even imagined. 

Modern Family is the next show that I feel was wrongfully left off of Leopold’s list. Much like All in the Family showed the first real family on television (before, shows like Leave it to Beaver had simply depicted the nuclear family in its perfect, carefree way), the ABC comedy has redefined the way we look at family. In the Dunphy house, we see your stereotypical family with a mom, a dad, and their three kids. Over at the Pritchett home, there is a multi-cultural, age-defying marriage. Lastly, at the Tucker-Pritchett household, we see a gay couple who has just adopted a Vietnamese child. Despite going against the norm, all three of these families prove week after week (in a less corny way than Full House) that families come in all different shapes and sizes, but at the end of the day their values still hold true.

The Walking Dead invites more than 10.8 million viewers weekly to its post-apocolyptic world, where the line between right and wrong is blurred like the smearing of guts on a window pane. That was a bit much, but you get the point. On Leopold’s list, he listed Mad Men and Breaking Bad in the top 20, but he clearing doesn’t understand ratings. TWD brings in more weekly viewers than the other two acclaimed series…combined. Not only that, but this show has taken the liberty of adapting a comic book for television and being called out time and time again for its graphic content. With season 4 in the works for October, the cast and crew aren’t looking back at humanity to be their judges.

Taking a trip across the pond (and back in time a hundred years), Downton Abbey has taken the world by storm. This period drama intricately intertwines the lives of the aristocracy of the early twentieth century, with those of their dutiful servants. Over its three-year run, writer Julian Fellows has developed each and every character in the enormous cast with such precision and detail that when an untimely death is brought upon one of them, the audience takes to the interwebs to vent their grievances. Moreover, Downton has been a recurring reference throughout other television shows, such as Modern Family30 Rock, and, most notably, Jimmy Fallon’s talk show, in which he had a recurring satyrical segment entitled Downton Sixby. 

You can read Leopold’s article here and comment with what shows you were surprised to see on the list or vent about those which you think should be on the list of the greatest 20 shows of the past 20 years.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/06/showbiz/golden-age-of-tv/index.html?hpt=hp_c4

COMMUNITY Plays with Puppets, PARKS AND REC Controls Animals, and THE OFFICE Takes the Stairs

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NBC’s Thursday night line-up, while not appreciated in terms of ratings, delivered big laughs yet again tonight with Community, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.

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At Greendale, the gang turned to puppet therapy in this Avenue Q inspired episode as the gang tries to cope with their traumatic hot air balloon accident.

Filled with musical numbers, the gang recalls (through their puppets) how they crashed and landed in the middle of the wilderness.

The show continues with their theme of random guest stars, bringing in Sara Bareilles and Jason Alexander into this episode (Sophie B. Hawkins was a musical guest last episode).

When the group crashes, Abed, who’s quick to make pop culture references, says, “We need to split into two groups: the survivors and the others,” a clear homage to Lost. Soon the gang stumbles upon Jason Alexander in the woods and they all indulge in wild hallucinogenic berries, causing them each to reveal a secret about themselves.

The guilt-stricken Shirley confesses after the fact that she didn’t mean to leave her children in the grocery store, causing the show to take a very dramatic, human turn. The rest of the study group reveals that they had forgotten all the secrets that were told that night, so Shirley’s declaration caught them by surprise.

In typical sitcom-fashion, they each tell their secret – in the form of a song (Avenue Q themed, remember?) and they range from the political activist Britta never having casted a vote, to book-nerd, straight-edged Annie cheating on her history exam.

The fourth season of Community had originally been delayed from September to October due to a lack of ratings, but was then pushed again to premiere in February, causing the untimely Halloween and Thanksgiving episodes. My guess is Christmas is next!

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Over in Pawnee, the Animal Control Department is out of…well, control. Chris, Leslie, and April take on the task of hiring the new deputy to take over the town’s department, only to face an unsatisfying round of applicants.

On the other side of the office, Ron Swanson catches a cold, sparking residential nurse Ann Perkins to take him to the hospital. In typical Libertarian fashion, Ron refuses to divulge specific medical information, which lead to my favorite line of the night:

Ann: For date of birth, you put “spring time.”

Ron: It’s true…

Meanwhile, Ben enlists the help of Tom and Andy to pick up a sponsor for his new job at Sweetums. The client, a cigar-smoking, perfume and fragrance salesman, does not live up to Ben’s expectations, or Andy’s for that matter. After a few mishaps, they lose his bid and Tom decides that portion of his Rent-a-Swag sales can be used for the charity.

At the end of the episode, a hopeless Leslie realizes the perfect person to take over as deputy for Animal Control: April Ludgate. The cynical April then comes up with an idea of her own for the Parks Department to absorb the Animal Control office, thus saving money and ending the crisis. After a brief, but warranted, heart-to-heart, April is named Deputy Officer with a plaque that Leslie had been keeping since her first week on the job.

With Ron discharged from the hospital, Ann advises him to eat well and take care of his body. In the hysterical last clip of the show, he contemplates ways of eating a banana and ultimately decides to stuff pieces in between a Paunch burger. Ron (and Parks and Rec) Swanson can do no wrong.

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The night ended in Scranton, PA, where The Office is gearing up for the release of their documentary that has been ten years in the making. I really like the approach the show is going for in its self-proclaimed “Farewell Season,” and argue that it’s even funnier than the Michael Scott days.

The elevators are broken at Dunder Mifflin, so Andy challenges his employees to prepare for Stairmaggedon (an obvious and irrelevant play on Armageddon) by taking the stairs and getting fit.

Andy receives the first reviews from the documentary, commenting that it will reveal the homosexuality of a public figure, causing an assured Erin to exclaim, “I bet it’s Katie Couric. I’ve been saying this for years.”

Following the trend of the past few episodes, Jim and Pam each seek marriage advice from the office’s most unexpected people: Jim from Toby, and Pam from Nelly. As deemed by my current Facebook cover photo, which is a snapshot of Pam crying and Brian the boom operator comforting her, I want their marriage to end. While others are ardent about living their lives vicariously through Jim and Pam, I feel as though the ending would be best for them to go their separate ways – and for Pam to take the kids.

In a nationally televised press conference, the Senator comes out with a surprised Angela by his side, causing a giddy Kevin to reveal that he knew the whole time.

Meanwhile, the new dynamic duo of Dwight and Clark tranquilize Stanley to bring him to a sales meeting. However, they didn’t factor in the broken elevator shaft or his hefty weight, so they settle by sending him down the staircase cocooned with bubble wrap.

The show ends the night of guest stars with Roseanne Barr playing a talent agent who recruits Andy in a conspicuous scheme, taking $5,000 for a start-up fee.

The Office, while way past its glory, should not be taken out of contention for September’s Emmys, which love to honor exiting comedies. It’s likely to see at least one nod for either this show or the already departed 30 Rock, which ended its six year run back in March.