Tag Archives: Mindy Kaling

You Don’t Know What You Got ‘Til It’s Gone: Quick Thoughts On Last Week’s NBC Thursday Comedies

 

That’s how we felt about The Office.  As much as we’ve harangued the show this year for underusing or misusing Jim, rendering him no more than the Greek chorus, it turns out that we really need him.  Absent for the entire episode, save the cold open, we kept waiting for the camera to cut to him, to confirm the absurdity of the situation.  But he wasn’t there (Jon Krasinksi off shooting a movie, we assume), and without Jim to ground Michael’s insanity it was a runaway train.  Now, they could still cut back on some of the Jim reaction shots, but as long as Michael is around, we’ll need that balance.

Speaking of Michael, we’ll wonder if we’ll feel the same way when he’s gone.  Because, right now, we’re eager for him to get moving out of Dunder Mifflin.  The act has finally grown tiresome, and it often suffocates the other characters and the show.  We’re sure we’ll miss him, but that doesn’t mean we’ll want him back.  However, Kudos to Mindy Kaling and Craig Robinson for continuing your MVP seasons.

Parks and Recreation, welcome home!  Thank goodness you gave us that season two recap to get us back up to speed (we could have used that for The Office and 30 Rock as well, frankly), and it seems like you haven’t missed a beat.  We think it got a little too broad at times (Andy with April’s new boyfriend, for example), and the overuse of things like the “Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness” worry us, but it’s definitely picking up where it left off, as the second best show of the night.

Which brings us to Community.  Oh how we missed you!  And you were only gone for six weeks.  Don’t stay away that long ever again!  You guys came back from the Christmas break without any rust, setting up what we can only assume will be an even better second half of season two.  Looking forward to it.  KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

Oh, and Outsourced was awesome (jk!  jk!).

 

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‘The Office’: Eee Party

In last night’s The Office episode, “Viewing Party” Michael comes to view Gabe’s presence as a direct threat to his power, and subsequently sabotages said viewing party of Glee.  But wasn’t Michael Scott all in a dramatic tizzy a couple weeks back because he felt that Darryl was challenging his authority?  That just happened, right?  And he had the same reaction to Charles Miner (the indomitable Idris Elba) a couple of seasons ago, didn’t he?  And last year he grew petulant because co-manager Jim gave Phyllis permission to dress as Santa for the Christmas party, in turn sending Michael on a holiday cheer sullying temper tantrum.  Which is to say, we’ve seen it before, and, we think, we’ve seen enough.

Continue: The eventual Michael Scott departure, more sweet than bitter? Plus, Kevin in a blanket and Kelly Kapoor nails it…

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Kelly Kapoor Fashion Show at Lunch

A few weeks back we looked at the physical evolution of many of the employees at Dunder Mifflin.  Over at Vulture, the Fug Girls reviewed some of her best and, mostly, worst looks.

The Fug Girls Rate the Many Looks of The Office’s Kelly Kapoor

 

 

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No Clever Headlines, Just the Best ‘The Office’ in a While

Finally.  FINALLY.  This was the kind of episode we’ve been waiting for all season, that we’ve been waiting for since last season, and maybe even before that.   We’ve begun to feel like a broken record on this blog, constantly finding more negative than positive with The Office.  But, for the first time in a while, we can honestly feel good about the show.  Giddy even.  And it’s a nice feeling.

Continue: Tim Olyphant kills! As does the whole episode. But what does the future hold for Andy Bernard???

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‘The Office’: Mindgames & Makeovers

We won’t say that The Office is entirely back on track, but this week was definitely a marked improvement over the season premiere.  While we were at first disappointed to see that they were going to carry over the Michael spanking his nephew storyline – or as Michael refers to it, “corporate punishment” – because we rejected the ridiculous premise, this episode showed that perhaps in this instance there will actually be consequences to Michael’s actions.

(one quibble, however: the dictum that Michael would need to complete counseling with Toby came at the end of last week’s episode, in the final closing segment usually reserved for gags or non-essential content (or, on Community, raps), so the veracity of the punishment was in question.  We’re happy that they followed through with this plotline, but it shouldn’t have been introduced so offhandedly.  But we digress…)

The Michael-Toby dynamic has remained relatively stable over the course of the series, and by returning to and exploring this relationship “Counseling” was a success, allowing Toby to obtain a small victory over Michael by tricking him through children’s games into opening up emotionally, and by permitting Michael to continue his crusade against Toby, but not because he harbors a completely unjustified vendetta, but because, in a way, Toby is his arch-enemy, the Joker to his Batman.  “Counseling” sets them up as worthy competitors, not just petty rivals.  And while we hate to belabor the point that we’ve made on this blog over and over again that defensive, vulnerable Michael = good, and horrible, viscous Michael = bad, this episode certainly follows that pattern and supports that argument.

More: Who are these people and what have they done with the employees of Dunder Mifflin? A side-by-side comparison…

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Something Funny Happened on the Way to Five Thursday’s Ago

(This a post I intended to compose a month ago, but then the holidays hit, and then the Thursday night comedies went on winter vacation so there was no real rush to write this.  But with the comedy block returning tonight, save for The Office, this seemed like the right time to finally record these thoughts).

One month ago, on December 10, before the Jaypocalypse, NBC’s Thursday night comedies aired their Christmas themed episodes.  And something funny happened:  The Office, well, wasn’t.  At least it was very clearly the weak link in what was otherwise a very strong night of comedy.  30 Rock continued to be the joke-for-joke best show on television, Parks and Rec extended what has been a breakout second season, and Community turned in what might have been its best episode yet.  And The Office?  By far it’s weakest Christmas episode to date.  Sure, it had a lot of live up to – Christmas Party, Benihana Christmas – but it didn’t even equal last season’s Moroccan Christmas, which itself was rather a disappointment. And against the other comedies that night, it just didn’t measure up.  Something seemed off.

Now, I’m not out on the ledge yet.  But it’s certainly concerning.

Keep reading: Do they know it’s Christmas time at all? Plus Anthony Michael Hall and Julianne Moore!

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‘SNL’ & JGL: Full of Sound and Fury Signifying…What, Exactly?

Well, there was no denying that the energy level was turned up to 11 on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live, with a burst of adrenaline that was no doubt due in great part to Joseph Gordon Levitt’s raucous enthusiasm, and, perhaps, with the scathing reviews after last weekend’s January Jones episode, the cast and crew felt they had something to prove.  And they came out and put on an entertaining, upbeat, cue card independent show.  But was it actually any funnier?

Well, yes, it was.  But was it the “best episode of the season,” the superlative that many blogs have given it, so soon after they did the same for the Taylor Swift outing?  That assertion, like the Taylor Swift platitudes, is debatable.  Certainly though, there was no arguing it was better, and, at the very least, not nearly as lazy.  But in this case, let’s not confuse enthusiasm for a good sense of humor, or entertainment for comedy.  They’re definitely related, but one does not necessarily equal the other.

Over on his EW blog Ken Tucker provided an excellent commentary that’s quite similar to my own take (so if you’re in a rush and can only read his review or ours, read his), noting that while Levitt’s frenetic monologue performance of “Make ‘Em Laugh” from Singing in the Rain was impressive (especially his two off-the wall backflips followed by a well-executed pratfall) and a crowd pleaser, it didn’t exactly make you laugh.  It was almost more like a successful awards show opening number than a sharp, funny SNL monologue.  That being said we’ll be lucky if all future hosts can provide as much talent and effort as “regular Joe”  (However, with that kind of energy, one has to wonder if JGL was on more than just regular joe).

Read on: What’s Up With Kenan Thompson, Family Dinners & Pierre Escargot? Plus, Jason Sudeikis makes 12:50am safe again…

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