Roni’s Review of NBC’s Thursday Comedy Line-up

I went into the night sorting through old papers, ready to stop if something caught my attention.  Took a while.

Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday:  While I’m always happy to have new SNL, I felt perfectly content just listening to it in the background.  A good, shallow concept for the “You lie” skit, nothing particularly memorable from the Weekend Update portion.
Parks and Recreation:  They lost me from the beginning, with the lengthy “Parents Just Don’t Understand”.  Didn’t really show that they had much to go off of.  The documentary style works well for “The Office”, but didn’t seem to add anything to P&R.  Amy Poehler was lackluster and there weren’t any breakout people in the cast.
The Office:  A solid episode.  I have watched every episode, after working with obsessives this spring.  This makes it difficult for me to see the episode through the eyes of someone that doesn’t have investment in the characters.  That being said, this was a particularly good episode, breezing by with a bit of funny for the different characters.
Community:  I went in with low expectations.  I like Joel McHale (and have a connection to him.  Go to the bottom of the blog for further explanation.)  I also went to community college and definitely see the potential for comedy therein.  Regardless, I wasn’t sold on concept alone.
All in all, a great show and one that I hope will get better.  It had a great mix of heart and humor.  Chevy Chase wasn’t fantastic, but perhaps his character will develop.  The chemistry between John Oliver and Joel McHale was great.  Even the romantic relationship between Joel McHale and the main chick didn’t annoy me.  I definitely will watch again.
My two cents on Leno:  Didn’t watch this episode, but watched part of the one from the night before.  Here’s my confusion:  Why was it pitched as being different from The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno?  Wouldn’t the attraction be Jay Leno himself and what he was doing before?  Isn’t that what he does well?  Who would buy that the show would be that different or that anyone would really want it to be?  I still don’t understand why any critics or demographics were potentially misled by ads.  Any other situation seems fairly implausible.
My connection to Joel McHale:
Joel McHale was finishing his last year in the UW PATP (graduate acting) program during my first year as an undergrad.  I never met him (that I’m aware of).  It would have been fairly impossible for me to not have passed him in the halls at some point.  I have friends that had him as a TA in their acting classes.
In any case…  During that year, there was a stage show called “Trippin'”.  It was billed as a “live-action stage sitcom parody.”  In said show, Joel McHale played a character in what was the pilot episode.  Later on, Shad Willingham played the character in the middle of the series.  I was aware of Trippin’, seeing ads for it in the Drama building, but never went.  When I successfully auditioned for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, I began to develop friendships with people involved in Trippin’.  I was invited to be in one of their parody commercials, ‘Pirates’, a parody of ‘Aliens’.  Finally, for the Series Finale, I was asked to play Phlebotomy, the character that Joel McHale had played at the beginning.
Years later, I heard Joel McHale on Loveline and tried calling in.  They wouldn’t accept my call based on the ‘Trippin’ story, so I called again to say I was a fan of him on Almost Live!.  They let me on and I said I was a fan, then proceeded to bring up Trippin’.  Briefly, he showed recognition, but seemed a bit thrown off and not really sure.  At the end of the call, he jokingly (?) said “I have no idea what that guy was talking about.

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I went into the night sorting through old papers, ready to stop if something caught my attention.  Took a while.

Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday:  While I’m always happy to have new SNL, I felt perfectly content just listening to it in the background.  A good, shallow concept for the “You lie” skit, nothing particularly memorable from the Weekend Update portion.  Hopefully Megan Fox will pull of the season premiere.

Parks and Recreation:  They lost me from the beginning, with the lengthy Parents Just Don’t Understand.  Didn’t really show that they had much to go off of.  The documentary style works well for “The Office”, but didn’t seem to add anything to P&R.  Amy Poehler was lackluster and there weren’t any breakout people in the cast.  Don’t think I laughed out loud once.

The Office:  Solid all around.  I have watched every episode, after working with obsessives this spring.  This makes it difficult for me to see the episode through the eyes of someone that doesn’t have investment in the characters.  That being said, this was particularly good, breezing by with a bit of funny for many different characters.

Community:  I went in with low expectations.  I like Joel McHale (and have a connection to him.  Go to the bottom of the blog for further explanation.)  I also went to community college and definitely see the potential for comedy therein.  Regardless, I wasn’t sold on concept alone.

All in all, a great show and one that I hope will get better.  It had a great mix of heart and humor.  Chevy Chase wasn’t fantastic, but perhaps his character will develop.  The chemistry between John Oliver and Joel McHale was great.  Even the romantic relationship between Joel McHale and the main chick didn’t annoy me.  I don’t always like pop culture references, but I felt like all of the John Hughes stuff was done well.  I definitely will watch again.  In fact, as it’s DVRed, I’ll put it on again.

The Jay Leno Show:  Didn’t watch this episode, but watched part of the one from the night before.  Here’s my confusion:  Why was it pitched as being different from The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno?  Wouldn’t the attraction be Jay Leno himself and what he was doing before?  Isn’t that what he does well?  Who would buy that the show would be that different or that anyone would really want it to be?  I still don’t understand why any critics or demographics were potentially misled by ads.  Any other situation seems fairly implausible.

My connection to Joel McHale:

Joel McHale was finishing his last year in the UW PATP (graduate acting) program during my first year as an undergrad.  I never met him (that I’m aware of).  It would have been fairly impossible for me to not have passed him in the halls at some point.  I have friends that had him as a TA in their acting classes.

In any case…  During that year, there was a stage show called Trippin’.  It was billed as a “live-action stage sitcom parody.”  In said show, Joel McHale played a character in what was the pilot episode.  I was aware of Trippin’, seeing ads for it in the Drama building, but never went.  When I successfully auditioned for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I began to develop friendships with people involved in Trippin’.  I was invited to be in one of their parody commercials, ‘Pirates’, a parody of Aliens.  Finally, for the Series Finale, I was asked to play Phlebotomy (the 3rd actor to do so, after Shad Willingham had played him in the middle of the series).

Years later, I heard Joel McHale on Loveline and tried calling in.  They wouldn’t accept my call based on the Trippin’ story, so I called again to say I was a fan of him on Almost Live!.  They let me on and I said I was a fan, then proceeded to bring up Trippin’.  Briefly, he showed recognition, but seemed a bit thrown off and not really sure.  After I hung up, he jokingly (?) said “I have no idea what that guy was talking about.”

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One Response to Roni’s Review of NBC’s Thursday Comedy Line-up

  1. Jeremy says:

    I’m with you on Community. It was a pretty great pilot. I’m definitely pumped for future episodes.

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