January 23, 2013

Quick Thoughts: Tuesday Night Comedies, Pt. 5

Still trying to get my stuff together, so here's another catch-all write-up for the Tuesday night comedies.

Ben and Kate: "Bake-Off"
It's a shame that this show failed to reach an audience because "Bake-Off" felt like the show finally figuring itself out and turning into something more than just a hang-out comedy with a kid mixed in. We got to see Kate grow a bit while still being hysterically awkward, and while I don't love the idea of love triangles, I somehow was OK with it when Will showed up out of nowhere to get in the way of her connection with the baker. Even Ben and Tommy grew up a bit as they're taking one of their get rich quick schemes seriously and are willing to fight for Rail Mall. Usually, BJ's the wild card whom I either like or loathe with not much in between, but I loved her tour of British accents and how she put Maddie's feelings before her own during the audition. I'll say it again, I'm going to miss this show when it's axed.

Go On: "Comeback Player of the Year"
I don't know how I feel about "Comeback Player of the Year." At first glance, Simone's the kind of television character who can wear out her welcome really fast because the whole free-spirited, hippie chick routine needs to be finely tuned in order to avoid the insufferable zone. For now, I'm liking her (and Piper Perabo's somewhat making up for Covert Affairs), but we know she's only here for a short time so no use getting too invested. I'm still not a Mr. K fan, but I did get a kick out of him bonding with Steven, and their teaming up with TO to prank Ryan. I also liked Anne helping Danny with the divorce, and that's a pairing I hope we so more of, but the clincher was the reveal that her ways as a lawyer were fueled by the anger she had for her dead wife. These kind of personal moments save the show, especially when it's not particularly funny, but this episode needed more balance... and more Carrie.

New Girl: "Pepperwood"
"Pepperwood" was great combination of straight wackiness that was grounded by those moments between friends that almost everyone can relate to. First off, Nick posing as Pepperwood as a way to find out whether one of her students was going to kill her was genius and another example of how Jake Johnson has lapped the rest of the cast when it comes to comedy. Also, for now I'll never get tired of watching Nick and Jess bicker, but I do fear the writers will eventually run their chemistry into the ground. The more subdued plot involving Winston and Schmidt talking about how the roommates talk about one another behind their backs brought the more human element while still being funny. Plus, it gave Cece the chance to bust out her creepy baby voice. It probably wasn't the best New Girl episode, but it was entertaining.

The New Normal: "Gaydar"
Up until now, I've been able to cut The New Normal some slack for its jumbled up ways because it is Ryan Murphy after all, but it was harder to do that with "Gaydar." Inviting John Stamos and Mark Conseullos over and ambush them with a game to figure out their sexuality was cruel even by this show's standards, and I don't know what Adler and Murphy were trying to prove. Whatever it was, the message was lost on me. That said, I like how the show's making an effort to turn Jane into a human being instead of Sue Sylvester, Jr. but it's taking some steps backwards with Shania. I still want to like The New Normal, and I do when it focuses on character moments over agenda items, but "Gaydar" was one of those instances where little to nothing worked.


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