In case you missed it, here were some highlights from Thursday’s multi-network night of comedies…
COMMUNITY – 8pm NBC
The second episode continued the new season’s “plan” of being “more grounded” on the surface, but as absurd as ever in practice. Annie’s (Alison Brie) obsession with a younger Asian doppelgänger leads her to start a rival club and a competition between the two to become the official Greendale Model United Nations. The study group does their best to give her a win until a smell proves to be a distraction. Meanwhile Britta (Gillian Jacons) reacts to one of her hippie-protest friends being arrested in the Middle East, by staging her pointless rallies, to challenge the authority of Chang (Ken Jeung), who’s finding life as a security guard less exciting then he thought. Also, the sexual tension between Annie and Jeff (Joel McHale) rears its always awkward head, and Abed (Danny Pudi) applies the science-fiction philosophy of alternate dimensions to the UN competition. The show’s third season is off to a stellar start, once again poking fun at everything ridiculous about college, in its unique way of blending inside jokes, comical characters, cultural stereotypes, and pop-culture references.
BIG BANG THEORY – 8pm CBS
In an episode that focused more on supporting characters, Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) has to deal with finding out that Howard (Simon Helberg) wants them to live with his mother, by agreeing to spend the weekend under her roof. The awkward triangle puts mother against future daughter-in-law, and shows just how much alike the women of Wolowitz really are, and just how much he still needs to grow up. Meanwhile, Amy (Mayim Bialik) mistakenly becomes convinced that Leonard (Johnny Galecki) has fallen for her, when he reluctantly escorts her to a wedding… or in her mind, the prom she never had. Where is Sheldon (Jim Parsons) through all this madness? Playing with his increasingly smaller toy trains… exactly what you would expect from one of the world’s most brilliant minds.
PARKS & RECREATION – 830pm NBC
It’s the battle for the soul of Ron Swanson, as ex-wife Tammy I (Patricia Clarkson), forces her way back into his life, turning the manly Ron (Nick Offerman) into a mustache-less obedient man-child. Leslie (Amy Poehler) seeks out the help of his mother Tammy 0, and other ex-wife Tammy II (Megan Mullally) in getting Ron back to his old self. Meanwhile Ben (Adam Scott) attempts to figure out just what Tom’s (Aziz Ansari’s) company actually does, and how they think they can spend millions on giveaways, models, and other frills, and expect to stay in business. Also, Anne (Rashida Jones) tries to shoot a new Diabetes PSA with high-maintenance lunatic Chris (Rob Lowe), and it forces her to evaluate what had made her date him last year. A moonshine drink-off for Ron’s soul, and former NBA stars Roy Hibbert and Detlef Shrempf arguing the importance of a business plan were highlights.
THE OFFICE – 9pm NBC
Now that the dust has finally settled, and Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) is officially the branch manager of Dunder-Mifflin Sabre Scranton, the office can get back to the day to day hilarity that viewers have come to expect. This week Andy concocts a point system to incentivize the staff to try and double their quarterly profits. In the process, he lets his team get him to agree that if they can pool a collective 5000 points, he will get a tattoo of their choosing on his backside. The office works harder then ever to get him to follow through with his promise, and even though Jim (John Krasinski) tells him that nobody expects him to, the entire staff takes a field trip to a tattoo parlor. New CEO Robet California (James Spader) tells the audience that he chose Andy because someone like him should be able to motivate the underperforming staff, and as unconventional as his methods, he’s clearly off to the right start. Also this week, Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Angela (Angela Kinsey) start walking together, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) unveils an unlikely iPad killer, and Kevin (Brian Baumgartner) decides to start speaking in baby talk… just like his mechanic. After a rocky stretch of episodes involving who would replace Steve Carell, the show is back in form, becoming less focused on a central character, and more of an ensemble cast where everyone gets to shine.
Follow me on Twitter @TommyRough