Tag: Community

The Best TV of 2010 – A Repeat Viewing Part 1

The beginning of another year brings the inevitable, innumerable “Best of…” lists, highlighing every topic imaginable found in the previous year – from tweets to fleeting celebrities. So with that gentlereaders, I present my own contribution to the interwebospheres with the Best TV of 2010. More than just a simple compilation of series names, I’ve divided my choices into categories that delve a little further into why praise is so deserved and with hopes to bring those uninitiated into the dedicated viewer fold for any or all of these fine examples of television. First up, the overall best episodes.

These are 30 or 60 minutes that encapsulated everything that makes these shows great – acting, writing, et al. Of course it’s easy to place Mad Men and 30 Rock in this category and they both can do no wrong (usually), but even these stellar shows will rise above the high bar they’ve set for the rest of television.


Mad Men, “The Suitcase” – Coming in at the mid-point of a so-so fourth season, this episode is, I dare say, the drama’s finest as it showcased the amazing dynamic of its two strongest characters. Giving the bulk of time to just Don and Peggy as they try to tackle a new campaign for their client Samsonite, which was really just a device by writers to setup an all-nighter of cocktails, confessions and a chaste “sleepover,” allowed the acting prowess of Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss to shine most brilliantly and should guarantee them both their first Emmy wins.
Community, “Modern Warfare” – “Come with me if you don’t want paint on your clothes.” One of countless amazing lines found in this late-freshman year episode, the premise – campus-wide last-man-standing paintball game – seemed on the surface only a gimmick to pile on as many action movie cliches as possible. It ended up not only giving us a lot of clever “Oh that’s from…” moments (Spanish teacher Senor Chang as a John Woo movie-type villain is mind-blowingly brilliant), it was able to further develop and be true to the characters at the heart of the show – keeping an edge, being honest about relationships, without getting too schmaltzy – which makes Community one of my favorite new obsessions.

30 Rock, “Gentlemen’s Intermission” – From Liz’s father Dick Lemon in search of an extra-marital dalliance to Jack’s need for someone’s DIHC (that’s Drive, Intelligence, Humility and Chaos) in order to be fulfilled as a mentor and Tracey’s decision to make sure he leaves an obituary that doesn’t include a submarine DUI, this episode contained everything that makes 30 Rock stellar: quotable lines (“Albino ninja!”), absurdity (Tracey’s all-giraffe basketball team the New York Necks), a little low-brow humor (“She’s got just the right amount of DIHC for me. I hear it and I don’t care.”) and a perfect storyline for Jack & Liz, the greatest on-screen couple that will never fall victim to “will-they-or-won’t-they” sexual tension syndrome. Plus we get to see Liz completely fail at “seducing” her father dressed as Tootsie.

Spotlight on: Donald Glover

Thanks goes out to one of my faves in the blogosphere, Wacky (he of Wacky on the Junk, who commands not only my utmost respect in music selections but also television choices), for bringing to my attention this New York Times article on Community‘s Donald Glover. While seeming little more than the token black guy in the misfit cast of community college characters, his comic talent has elevated the easy-to-write-off-as-a-one-dimensional-jock Troy to hilarious heights. Of particular note are the coda moments he’s created with Danny Pudi capping off each episode of the Thursday night NBC hit. Not only has his part in these comedic gems caused me to sit up and take notice of his skill, after learning that his professional pedigree includes a two-year tenure on the writing staff of 30 Rock this rising star has earned much admiration from this faithful funny follower.

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Repeat Doldrums, or How I Spent My Holiday Vacation Evaluating 2009 and Sizing Up 2010 – NBC

Hello again gentlereaders. No, I didn’t forget about you these past two months, please blame my absence on the most hectic (wonderful?) time of the year. Now that the holiday season has passed, including the glut of repeats that come with it, I am back and focused as ever to comment, critique and celebrate the best of what’s to come in 2010 television. The musings are too much so I must make this a multi-part post.


I’ve made no secret of the insane amount of love I have for comedies, particularly the perfectly programmed 2-hour block on NBC’s Thursday night. While the Peacock appears to be making all the wrong moves in late night (the incomparable Conan in limbo and bland Leno is back, no words) they’ve at least made impeccable choices when it comes to scheduling the primetime funny this season.

Vets The Office and 30 Rock had some of their strongest episodes of their series’ histories – Jim & Pam’s wedding will go down in the annals of TV moments and “Dealbreakers Talk Show No. 0001″ not only gave us crazy Performer Liz who forgot how to wave like a person, we were treated to how HD alters the Rockers – Kenneth is a Muppet and Jack a young Alec Baldwin, classic.

Parks & Recreation became so enjoyable as its second season progressed that I found myself not just choosing it first among my DVR viewing selections the next day but actually watching it in real time! And even though newbie Community had some ups and downs, its ups (Senor Chang’s always quotable lines – “Hasta luego! Come on, hands 90% of spanish!”) far outweighed the downs.

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New episodes of all CNDR shows return this week, save for The Office (which is open for business again January 21st) but with an extra 30 Rock there’s no complaint from this Fey-natic, and we’ve got guest stars galore – Jack Black wandering around the Greendale campus on Community, Will Arnett romancing real-life wife Amy Poehler on P&R and James Franco stopping by as “himself” for an arranged celebrilationship with Jenna on 30 Rock.

Fall Premieres – Thursdays: Comedy Night Done Right

While tonight’s NBC comedy premieres don’t include crown jewel 30 Rock (that momentous day is October 15th), it does provide enough funny haha’s to cause a swell of joy with the return of The Office, a ho-hum “welcome back” to its spin-off Parks & Recreation and excited anticipation for newbie Community.

That’s What She Said

The Office, Thursdays on NBC 9/8cConsistently hitting the mark whether it’s with absurd, endearing or cringe-worthy situations The Office is continuing to deliver the guffaw goods even as it hits its sixth year. Coming into the new season the show opens three weeks following the events of last year’s finale with Michael Scott re-invigorated by the return to his post as Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, after his brief stint as a small business owner, and consummate couple Pam & Jim dealing with the very unexpected news that they’re expecting.

Having a child is going to make a huge impact on big kid Jim and will be the most interesting storyline that will most likely develop this year, as this life change will propel him towards an attempt to move up the company ladder again. It will no doubt have an effect on Michael as well who will re-examine his own feelings of where his future lies within DM and life overall.

A Great Place to Master a B.S. Degree

If we must wait another month for 30 Rock at least there is a new, promising show that acts as placeholder until Liz Lemon and the TGS gang return. Upon viewing the upfront trailer months ago I fell for Community instantly and knew it would be a perfect addition to NBC’s Thursday night comedy line-up.


Ably led by deliciously devilish Joel McHale (host of The Soup – Friday nights at 10/9c on E!, full episodes on iTunes, clips available at hulu.com), the snarky tone of the show is what pulled me in, plus centering it around community college is rife with potentional hilarity. Hopefully they don’t place too much emphasis on the melting pot aspect (pompous white guy – check; middle-aged, divorced lady – check; young, jock guy – check; socially-awkward nerd – check) and stick to the ace-in-the-hole delivery and presence of McHale to lead the comedic charge.

Meanwhile…dramas have a strong presence on Thursday nights as well and tonight FOX brings back solid offerings with Bones and Fringe (will dedicate more musings on the latest, greatest sci-fi/mystery from JJ Abrams and the Bad Robot team). And for those who still get thrills from the outwit, outlast, outplay game on CBS, Survivor begins a new run with contestants battling it out on the island of Samoa.


  • 9/8c – The Office, NBC
  • 9:30/8:30cCommunity, NBC (series premiere)
  • 9/8cFringe, FOX


  • 8:30/7:30c – Parks & Recreations, NBC
  • 8/7cBones, FOX


  • 8/7c – SNL: Weekend Update Thursday, NBC


  • 8/7cSurvivor: Samoa, CBS