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 (October/November/December)
10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/04 - The Exes - Seasons 1 & 2
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/06 - Kenan & Kel - The Best of Seasons 3 & 4
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dharma & Greg - The Complete Season 2
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Broad City - Season 1
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/02 - The Simpsons - The Seventeenth Season (Blu-ray)
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - Family Guy - Volume 13
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Saturday, December 20
Monday, December 22
- Steve Carell (The Office) - Watch Steve on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Christine Baranski (Cybill/Welcome to New York) - Christine talks about Into the Woods on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
- Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
- Donald Faison (The Exes/Scrubs) - Donald drops by The Better Show, so check your local listings.