FUN FACT: according to creator Ken Tremendous himself, Parks and Recreation couldn’t write Joe Biden into an episode until after the election because, in his words, “There are complicated (and warranted) election rules governing any exposure for any candidate during a campaign. That’s why the senators who appeared in the premiere were all either not running or retiring. It was not in any way a partisan decision.” Politics!
- 30 Rock: Do you guys like Hazel? I know a lot of people aren’t fans, and maybe it’s just because I love Kristen Schaal on Flight of the Conchords, Gravity Falls, and Bob’s Burgers so much, but I’ve found her to be a enjoyable mash-up of Liz’s occasional craftiness and Jenna’s egocentric attitude, and…she was fired at the end of the episode, so instead, let’s talk about Aunt Phatso and “Get me a black coffee, and by black coffee I mean a Sunkist” and “I’m friends with Phil Harmonic, the worst rapper of all time” and calling Liz and Jack Grizz and Dot-Com and Uncle Tracy’s Black Teletubbies Rip-Off. Tracy was on fire last night.
- Up All Night: Oof. That was embarrassing. It’s like the writers looked at the TV Tropes page for “Thanksgiving,” and STUFFED (Up All Night-level humor there) every overused sitcom holiday gimmick they could find into this episode, from the dinner guest list growing to Reagan not knowing how to cook a turkey. And then there was the football game…At this point, I just feel sad for Will Arnett and Christina Applegate.
- The Office: This is an odd thing to say, but I could have used more “inside baseball” scenes about a small-town paper company trying to lure in some major business, in this case the white pages, or “The White Whale.” Instead, after a funny first half with the ladies in the office teaching Dwight how to interact with women in power (the show’s done this before, but Nellie’s description of Dwight’s face was spot-on), the episode quickly ditched that in favor of spending some time with Jan, whose appearance was supposed to be a surprise, except for the fact that NBC’s promos ruined the twist. Her emergence just made me feel sad about Michael Scott all over again.
- Parks and Recreation: I love the swag out of Jean-Ralphio…but Orin’s creeping up the list of TV’s best recurring characters. “Aren’t you supposed to be a sheep?” “No, you are.”
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to spend the rest of the day listening to Virginia Jordan’s album.