- Raising Hope
- New Girl
- Happy Endings
- Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23
- Modern Family
- The Big Bang Theory
- The Office
- Parks and Recreation
I’m a big Halloween fan, so every year when comedies do special costumed episodes I’m one of the people laughing rather than groaning. There were quite a few good ones this week, and I can’t wait to see more on Monday and Tuesday.
Raising Hope – “If a Ham Falls in the Woods”
This was one of my favorite episodes of Raising Hope in a while. Putting Jimmy, Sabrina and their parents at a couples’ retreat hit all the right comedic notes, and helped reiterate why Sabrina and Jimmy are so good together. They don’t have twenty years of living together and knowing every little thing about one another like Burt and Virginia do, but they love each other.
My one fear was that they’d been mean to Barney in forgetting his birthday and having him stay with Maw Maw, but they even avoided that discomfort at the end when Jimmy mentioned that they were having a surprise party for him that night. And the Maw Maw stuff was funny without being over the top.
Best moment: I loved Maw Maw making Barney think he’d gotten ‘lucky’ with her, when of course his reaction was to be horrified.
New Girl – “Models”
Shows centered around groups of friends tend to get really good episodes out of those friends fighting. This week’s New Girl was no exception. Jess and Cece fought over Cece’s mean model friends, and Schmidt and Winston confronted Nick about him never holding up his end of the friendship. The question basically was “If we met these people now, would we be friends with them?” It’s a question most twenty-somethings have probably asked themselves, and sometimes the answer is no. The friendship is either strong anyway, or you drift apart.
Best Jess: “I’m going out tonight with Cece and her friends, and I’m going for promising ballerina turned streetwalker.”
Best Nick: “They were out of turtles! I bought a tiny cowboy hat for nothing.”
Best Schmidt: Brian Austin Green was his favorite rapper.
Happy Endings – “Cazsh Dummy Spillionaires”
Guys! I am SO happy Happy Endings is back. It actually premiered on Sunday in Canada, but no one told me and I missed it. Thanks for nothing, y’all. Some fans thought the episode was overkill and that the show has bought into its own hype, but I still enjoyed it. No, it was definitely not the best episode of Happy Endings, by any means. But it wasn’t a complete dud either.
Brad and Jane’s storyline was my favorite, followed by Penny and Max’s, and then Dave and Alex’s. I’m not into Dave and Alex dating again. I also really hate Dave’s hair. I really hope their relationship isn’t dragged out forever, because it reminds me of early episodes in season one, before I was really in love with the show. Alex is way better when interacting with the rest of the group.
Best moment: There were a lot of funny things in the episode, so I’m going with a weird underdog – Jane’s basketball rant, culminating in “also, Chris Bosh looks like one of Omar’s boyfriends from The Wire.”
Runner up: “I’m pretty sure this is a Banksy…”
…Apartment 23 – “A Reunion…”
Poor, sad James.
Is it possible? Was Apartment 23 funnier than Happy Endings this week? I think it was. All the ingredients were there for a great episode: Lots of JVB moments, Chloe being a bitch with a bit of a heart, and June being, to steal FOX’s word, “adorkable”. The Dawson’s Creek reunion was a smart way to kick off the second season, to draw in new viewers. I loved Busy Phillips’ cameo, and the fact that she had to sell her horse cha-cha to Mark Paul Gosselar.
Best moment: “Did these girls die in a drunk driving accident or something?”
Runner up: “Are we watching an old lady run for the bus?”
Modern Family – “Open House of Horrors”
Modern Family always does Halloween well, and this episode was another success. After scaring the crap out of all the neighborhood kids (and one adult, hi Phil!) the previous year, Claire became her street’s Boo Radley. So instead, she got her kicks by scaring Phil at his Halloween open house.
Gloria’s storyline was a little dull – being pregnant has made her a hothead, but she’s always been a bit fiery, so it didn’t seem like much of a stretch. I liked her costume though, and the “illegal alien” joke was great. Mitch and Cam’s storyline was my favorite, as they dealt with the repercussions of Mitch having sleepily, stupidly told Lily that her mother is a princess.
Best moment: Phil saying “Seriously, Gryffindor letting his mom carry his quidditch pole, how Hufflepuff is that?”
The Big Bang Theory – “The Holographic Excitation”
Without Howard, bernadette is just a really short person from Avatar.
This was a perfect episode of The Big Bang Theory to me. All the couples had great storylines that anyone could relate to, but tinged with the classic TBBT geekiness. I loved seeing Penny make an effort to have an interest in Leonard’s life, and discover that his work can actually be really cool. Amy and Sheldon’s disagreement over a couple’s costume was something probably familiar to a lot of people, and for the two of them it was extra hilarious.
I especially loved Howard’s incessant talk of space as a follow up to his anti-climactic return to earth. It’s something everyone can relate to – your friend does something awesome, but then talks about it so much that it just becomes a pain. I think many of us have probably been Howard at some point as well – I know I have.
The cherry on top of a great episode was the costumes, especially Howard and Bernadette as smurfs.
Best moment: “Couples costumes are one of the few benefits to being in a relationship.”
Runner up: “No, I don’t think so. Those dolls represent three things I don’t care for: clowns, children and ragediness.”
The Office – “Here Comes Treble”
The Office has done a good thing this year by finally giving Jim and Pam a way out of Dunder Mifflin, and I like that it has also given them some conflicts to work through. This week, it had to do with how much money Jim was investing in the company.
Meanwhile, Andy had an a capella feud and his nemesis was played by Stephen Colbert. So that was fun. This was by no means the best Halloween episode the show has done, or the best one I saw this week, but it was perfectly acceptable.
My heart kind of broke when I saw Toby present Nelly with flowers and then throw them against the wall. I would love for Toby to meet someone in this final season. And do you think it was Angela in the car, seeing Oscar kiss her husband? Or someone else?
Best moment: Creed covered in blood was not a Halloween costume, but “good timing”.
Runner up: Any and all jokes where someone was surprised to hear that Andy went to Cornell or sang a capella.
Parks and Recreation – “Halloween Surprise”
Parks and Recreation delivered something of a Halloween episode this week, since it started out with a Halloween movie screening in the courtyard. Chris Traeger came as his greatest fear, himself but old. Leslie was Rosie the Riveter, Ann was an Olympic cheerleader. Donna was herself, live-tweeting the movie. Amazing. When Leslie and Ann tried to scare Tom coming out of the bathroom but instead scared Jerry, who had a heart attack AND a fart attack. AMAZING.
Even funnier was Ron’s storyline with Andy, since they went trick-or-treating with his new girlfriend and her daughters. Ron interacting with kids is always hilarious, and I love him in this relationship. I hope the show can keep Lucy Lawless on forever, because I don’t want it to end.
And then the sweet part. Ben got another offer to run a campaign, this time in Florida. He thought about his future, and came back to Pawnee to propose to Leslie. *squeal* Yay! I still think Ben and Leslie’s future lies outside of Pawnee, but I’m glad the show isn’t using Ben’s new career to push them apart.
Best moment: SO MANY! Tom declaring “I just want to hear the doctor say that Jerry had a fart attack! Is that so much to ask?”; Ron only has one Halloween costume and wears it in every Halloween episode; April loudly thanking herself; the proposal of course.
This was a really, really great week for comedies. It shocks me that, looking back on these reviews, Happy Endings may have been the weak link. But I love the show and I’m sure it’ll pick up. If this was your first viewing, please, please don’t give up on it. Go watch season two, which is hilarious, and trust that season three will improve.
Tags: modern family, Raising Hope, The Big Bang Theory