Thursday, April 25, 2013
Friends Coming to TV Land in June With 5-Night Marathon Event; Episodic Review: Community - "Basic Human Anatomy" Airing Tonight on NBC
On the next...Community:
NBC's Thursday night comedy that stars Joel McHale airs Thursdays at 8|7c and we have just watched the next episode that airs tonight (April 25). In the episode airing tonight, "Basic Human Anatomy," when Annie (Alison Brie) and Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) learn that Leonard (Richard Erdman) is actually holding the spot as the class valedictorian, they join forces to bring him down. Meanwhile, Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi) reminisce about one of their favorite body switching films and when they inadvertently re-enact a critical scene, things start becoming a little funky at Greendale.
Watching Community has been kind of hard this season. Not because it's been bad - it's felt slightly off at times, but remains a very enjoyable show - but because, after the firing of creator Dan Harmon, it's hard to objectively look at an episode and not wonder how Dan Harmon would've done it. No matter how talented the cast and remaining writers are, Harmon had such a distinct vision for the show that there was no way the show could've matched what it was under his control. That's why Community tends to be most enjoyable these days when it's not trying any big concepts and is just letting you hang out with the characters - you don't have to worry if the concept could've been better under Harmon, you just get the spend some time with a bunch of characters that are still among the best on television.
Having said all of that, tonight's Community - which, notably, was written by Jim Rash, who plays Dean Pelton - is one of the better ones of its current season, and it's one that many would consider a "concept" episode, paying tribute to the movie Freaky Friday. (Though, considering this is a show that turned its entire cast into Muppets two weeks ago, it's not all that big of a concept for Community standards). And yet, it isn't the concept that makes it such a strong episode - it's the small, intimate character moments make is such a stand-out. One of the things that Community has moved away from a bit without Harmon is its darker, emotional side - the side that wasn't afraid to take its characters out to a bar and put all of their serious flaws on display, or to give one of its characters a mental breakdown in its Christmas episode. This episode doesn't go quite that deep, but the emotion here feels more real than it's been in most of this season. Additionally, this episode just feels more comfortable than most of the season has - it doesn't feel like it's trying far too hard to re-create the Harmon years, which makes everything flow a bit more naturally. There's still some issues here and there - the Dean plot felt a bit over-the-top (a little ironic, considering he wrote the episode), the dialogue still feels a little stilted, and the show still isn't quite as funny as it was in years past. But other than that, this episode was really enjoyable to watch - and most importantly, it didn't make me stop and wonder if Dan Harmon could've done it better. B+
New on DVD/Blu-ray (July)
07/07 - Archie Bunker's Place - Season One (Mill Creek)
07/07 - Barney Miller - The Final (Eighth) Season
07/07 - Married with Children - Season Eleven (Mill Creek)
07/07 - Married with Children - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
07/07 - The Michael J. Fox Show - The Complete First Season
07/07 - Playing House - Season 1
07/14 - Growing Pains - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
07/14 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Third Season
07/28 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites - Season 7
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Saturday, August 1
Sunday, August 2
- Christina Applegate (Up All Night/Samantha Who?/Jesse/Married with Children) - Catch Christina on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Mark Consuelos (Alpha House/Hope & Faith) - Mark is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Jerrod Carmichael (The Carmichael Show) - Watch Jerrod on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Jeremy Piven (Entourage/Ellen) - Jeremy appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Jessica St. Clair (Playing House/Best Friends Forever/In the Motherhood) and Lennon Parham (Playing House/Best Friends Forever/Accidentally on Purpose) - Jessica and Lennon are guests on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC and on the AOL Build Show.
- Matt LeBlanc (Episodes/Friends) - Matt appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Ed Helms (The Office) - Ed is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Al Madrigal (About a Boy/Free Agents/Gary Unmarried) - Al will be on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
- Kevin James (The King of Queens) - Kevin appears on repeats of Rachael Ray and The Real, so check your local listings.
- Eddie Kaye Thomas (Off Centre/American Dad!) - Eddie is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Olivia joins the Chew Crew on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.