Monday, October 25, 2010

Comedy Corner for week of Oct. 18: Plot Point Pet Peeves

A lot of last week's comedies contained a fair amount of "things designed to bug Todd" -- not a large enough dose to ruin my enjoyment of a full episode, but enough to make me squirm.


How I Met Your Mother (CBS 7:00): I liked the crazy activist, even if she did lead to one of my big plot point pet peeves, the "main character lies to potential girlfriend in order to make her an actual girlfriend," a.k.a. "The Frasier Crane Maneuver."  But, at least it lead to the great moment where Barney reveals the lie via giant signage.  


Running Wilde  (Fox, 8:30):  Why do networks insist on airing episodes out of order? Granted, it doesn't always impact the plot development, but when the 5th episode you air very plainly states that it happens directly after the pilot, it can't help but bother me to some degree.  


The Middle (ABC, 7:00):  I wasn't a big fan of this episode on the whole, even if they did avoid the obvious "picked up the wrong kid" reveal that I'm sure 99% of viewers were expecting with dread, but the payoff at the end with Takiuchi pulling a Brick almost made it worth it.

Modern Family (ABC, 8:00):  As much as I love this show -- and I do love this show -- there are moments where it causes me physical pain; Cam's idiotic racist impression was one of those moments. But that brief moment of uncomfortableness was made bearable by the comedic joy of the Dunphy's no-electronics contest, especially Haley's cunning plan. 

Cougar Town (ABC, 8:30): I enjoyed Laurie and Smith's pranking of the guys at the bar, although I hated that it was a set-up for the inevitable "Laurie gets hurt again" ending. 


The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 7:00): Once again, the Shamy premise leads to some great comedy; unfortunately, we also had to deal with one of the more disturbing examples of Wolowitz's mom based "comedy."

Community (NBC, 7:00): I was a bit surprised to have another episode focusing on religious ideas so soon after the one about Pierce's cult, but I have to say that Abed's positioning of himself as the meta-Messiah struck a much deeper chord in me due to his story playing out as a parallel of a Passion play; it definitely walked a fine line between "entertaining" and "uncomfortable".  Meanwhile, Jeff's transformation into the dad of the group was played very well, as was the not-so-juvenile-but-still-delinquent Hipsters.

30 Rock (NBC, 7:30): Not exactly the strongest episode of the season, although Jack's Reagening and Liz's flashback were great, and while a little over the top, the "FRAJER!!!!!" bit made me laugh.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX, 9:00):  Of all the different character pairings on the show, I tend to enjoy the Charlie/Mac dynamic the most; their special brands of stupidity/insanity just seem to compliment each other the best, and their efforts to get their moms to get along this week was no exception.

The League (FX, 9:30):  Have to say, between the addictive toilet seat, the notary gig, and this week's wedding video, Taco is officially my favorite character on the show.  Surprisingly, while this season has had its fair share of "pet peeve" moments for me, while most of the other comedies were getting under my skin, The League managed to skate by. 

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