30 Rock and Parks and Recreation brought the emotions, and Parks and Rec, the Ron in painted shoes. Yes.
- 30 Rock: Next week’s gonna be rough. I’m always surprised when 30 Rock pulls off something, dare I say, emotional, but by the end of “A Goon’s Deed in a Weary World,” a beautiful phrase, I was misty-eyed. Unlike another NBC sitcom, which I think (hope) is going to end with its main characters miserable, Tina Fey is checking off boxes next to all her creations to make sure everyone gets the happy ending they deserve. Jack has Kabletown, Kenneth is now the president of NBC (remember what Jack said years ago, “In five years, we’ll be working for him, or dead by his hand”), Jenna and Tracy have their egos to keep them warm at night, and Treme fan Liz and Criss are now the proud owners of a Lil’ Jenna and Lil’ Tracy (and his lizard). I loved this episode, but I hated it, too. 30 Rock has spoiled us with seven years of great TV, and it’s all coming to an end next Thursday. Even the thought of Ken greenlighting The David Alan Grier and Ms. Piggy Variety Show can’t comfort me now.
- Parks and Recreation: I’m surprised it took this long for Parks to get around to the topic of sexism in politics, but I’m glad that once they did, they gave the writing duties to Harris “Phish Fan” Wittels, who’s penned (typed? scrawled?) many of the show’s best episodes, including “Road Trip” and “Dave Returns.” He crafted some great lines for proud, spiteful trash collectors April and Leslie (biggest laugh of the night: “If I were 300 years older, councilmen…”), but also Ann Hanson, who’s at her best when she’s paired with Ron (second biggest laugh of the night: “I LOVE NOTHING.”). “Women In Garbage” was a much smaller episode than last week’s Indiana-spanning one, but it accomplished just as much. I mean, Ron Swanson said, “I love you” to Xena: Warrior Princess and Andy chugged a bag of Skittles. Now THAT’S plot development.
- The Office: THAT ENDING. I’ve spent so much time thinking about what the final season means for Dunder Mifflin as a whole that I haven’t really stopped to consider the fate of its employees, especially Jim but ESPECIALLY Pam. Jenna Fischer was legit fantastic, Emmy-winning fantastic, during her final scene in “Customer Loyalty,” when she broke down after her argument with Jim on the phone, and even knowing the camera crew would be revealed this episode, I was surprised as anyone at the context of how they appeared. When you break things down, it doesn’t make much sense why Boom Mic Brian would stop the cameras from rolling now, and not when Michael drove his car into a lake or myriad other moments throughout the show’s run, but I wasn’t thinking about that while the scene was happening; I was as devastated as Pam (who, I will admit, ONLY HAD ONE JOB TO DO). Look, she and Jim kind of suck now, and have sucked since the wedding, one could argue, but for years, they were one of the best TV couples, and seeing them on the phone last night, cities away from one another, reminded me of season three’s “Initiation,” when Jim accidentally called Pam and they chatted for the first time since they kissed. In a show’s final season, it’s impossible not to think of how we got “here,” and I kept coming back to that conversation, and all the years and episodes we’ve spent caring about them, and hoping they’d get together, and then, for some, hoping they’d break up. A part of me wants them to reconcile for nostalgia’s sake, but another part hopes Pam ditches that asshole Jim, and hooks up with Creed or Boom Mic Brian. I’m not sure if that great’s writing on The Office‘s part, or dreadful, but it’s nice to care again.
And 1600 Penn *fart noise*
And the Ron Swanson page…