Here we go here we go here we go again, with another batch of new NBC episodes, including the return of Parks and Recreation, a touching and shocking 30 Rock, and the non-return of Andy on The Office. Plus, 1600 Penn.
- 30 Rock: Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin, and Tina Fey are on the cover of next week's Rolling Stone, as Superman(s) and Lois Lane, respectively, and in an interview with Baldwin inside the magazine, he reveals that he nearly left the show after season five because it was a "low point." It's a good thing he didn't; otherwise we wouldn't have been treated to an episode like "Florida," which was predictably hilarious but also, by 30 Rock standards, had an honest-to-God story culminating in an unexpected ending. Also surprising: Jack's mom was a lesbian, probably from all the boiled blue Gatorade she drank.
- Parks and Recreation: What's better than penis hats and Babe Lincoln and Retta making a man dig for her and April in a pretty dress? Well: steak, alcohol, the return of Benji's Cool Times Summer Jamz Mix, boardgames (Settlers of Catan is kind of awesome), ice cream, and, obviously, a game of throw-and-catch with Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, and mentally ill cowboy Jim Irsay at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Pawnee guys made for the better half of "Two Parties," but the ladies furthered the show's overall plot more, with Councilman Jamm continuing his efforts to claim Leslie's plot of land as his own (not a euphemism — he's more interested in Ann). This issue's going all the way to to the top, to President Nick Cannon's desk in 2018.
- The Office: Not sure if I've laughed at anything on The Office as hard as Darryl's terrible basketball shot in years. (That probably says more about The Office than anything else.) It's about time we spent an extended amount of time at Athlead, too, because up to this point, it only existed as an abstract; now we know a little more about the company that's turning Jim into a cocky prick. More of a cocky prick. Back in Scranton, well, the writers aren't exactly being subtle with the "tearing up the place" metaphor, are they? It mostly worked in "Suit Warehouse," though, despite a tired "too much coffee=crazy" story, and the sight gag of the torn-up carpet when Pam and Darryl returned made me — shock — laugh hard again. Andy, still dead.
- 1600 Penn: So...how about that Manti Te'o?
Gah, only two more weeks of new 30 Rock episodes. Not ready for this at all.
BONUS SWANSON WISDOM