Yes, Chris Traeger, “thumbs up” is the grade I’d give last night’s Parks and Recreation. Yes, Chris Traeger, “dead” is the grade I’d give last night’s The Office. And Community, somewhere in-between.
- Community: In terms of plot development and characterization, “Paranormal Parentage” was a strong enough episode of television. It was well paced, landed its emotional moments (like Jeff calling his still-unseen, unheard father) and “Gus” reappearing as Pierce’s brother was surprising and touching. But for an episode of Community, it wasn’t all that funny. Too often the jokes that made me laugh did so out of familiarity — haha, Annie’s naïve; lolz, Troy’s wide-eyed wonder — with the exception of everything that came out of Britta’s mouth; Gillian Jacobs is absolutely killing it. #emmyforbritta
- Parks and Recreation: Ron Swanson, Herbie: Full Loaded fan. Who knew? LiLo should keep his flank steak, wet socks hangover cure in mind. Anyway, there was a lot to love about “Emergency Response,” one of the best Parks episodes of the season — Leslie’s fake newscast, Chris’ endorsement of therapy, “Ghost Jammed,” Ann (immediately regretting) asking Matt Walsh about his sperm, the return of Mouse Rat, the surprise announcement at the gala — but the two obvious highlights were the head of animal control discussing various ways to kill Pawnee’s birds and Ron’s stint on Pawnee Today, excuse me, You’re On with Ron. I would never stop watching that. Also, I’m going to cry during the wedding next week. No shame.
- The Office: The good: Bob Odenkirk as Michael Scott, Vol. 2. He is the only actor in the world who could pull off that role, and it only went to show how good Michael, Vol. 1 had it in Scranton; at least the Dunder-Mifflin gang acknowledged his Ace Ventura-quoting presence. Also enjoyed the return of Gabe and the pop-up announcement at episode’s end. The bad: ANDY. DON’T TRY TO MAKE US SYMPATHIZE WITH HIM. HE’S THE WORST AND DESERVES TO BE TREATED AS SUCH.