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+
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Wednesday, July 23
The Middle - "Change in the Air" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The first day of school is upon the Heck family, and Sue finds herself feeling a sense of freedom she’s never felt before with Axl not around to make her campus life miserable. But Brick, who is beginning middle school and afraid of getting a swirlie, avoids the bathroom at all costs. Meanwhile, Frankie becomes jealous of Mike when she discovers that Axl calls and returns his texts but won’t do the same for her; and Sue’s feelings for Darrin surface once again when Mike calls him over to help fix the air conditioner.
The Goldbergs - "Kara-Te" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Barry decides to sign up for the school’s holiday talent show but is bummed when the school doesn’t approve karate as a talent. Beverly is livid and brow beats the teacher in charge to change his mind. After the family watches Barry’s routine, everyone wonders whether he will be able to pull off the performance… or crack under pressure. Meanwhile, Erica gets coerced from Pops to also perform in the talent show, but will she?
Modern Family - "iSpy" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Claire and Phil decide to spy on Luke and Manny as they’re hanging out with one of their more questionable friends. Meanwhile, Gloria is furious with Jay because she thinks he had a dream about another woman, but Jay misinterprets her anger for another offense he committed. And, Cam secretly uses Mitch as a scapegoat to get out of attending a party, while Haley tries to keep her photography exhibit a secret from her family.
The Middle - "The Potato" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Frankie and Mike are forced to return the church van when it’s discovered that their car has been repaired, Sue – who has been driving the other car – begins to freak out because she’ll have to start taking the bus again. But when her parents tell her that she could get her own car if she got a job, Sue ends up working as a potato girl at a local mall eatery. Meanwhile, Frankie and Mike are called into Brick’s principal’s (Rachel Dratch) office and are informed that he has not attended any of his classes – and much to the family’s dismay, Axl begins to spend his nights back home when he becomes fed up with having to deal with his horrible college roommate.
Young & Hungry - "Pilot" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sofia encourages Gabi to start dating again; Josh discovers surprising news about Cam.
Mystery Girls - "Death Becomes Her" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The girls go under cover at Holly's old high school in order to prevent a senior prank.
Hot in Cleveland - "Straight Outta Cleveland" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Victoria gets a visit from the son she always forgets (Chris Colfer) and Joy and Mitch (Tim Daly) debate their compatibility.
Jennifer Falls - "Three Dates With My Mother" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Jennifer starts seeing a psychiatrist to help her deal with her mother, but even he might not be enough to break through to Maggie.
Wilfred - "Patterns" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Ryan gets sucked into the "End Game."
Love Thy Neighbor - "Lucky Socks" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Danny, Floyd, Sam and Drew have been temporarily evicted; Danny asks Hattie if they can crash with her.
Wednesday, July 23
- Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Watch Eric on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. He will be on SI Now at 1pm. He stops by PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:35am.
- Josh Charles (Sports Night) - Josh appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Hank Azaria (The Simpsons/Free Agents/Herman's Head) - Hank talks about the Showtime series Ray Donovan on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
- Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show/Cosby) - Phylicia appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.