Passing Opinion Off As Fact Since 2009

Passing Opinion Off As Fact Since 2009

Friday, November 12, 2010

NBC's Thursday Night Line-up POWER RANKINGS: Week 8

This Week: Community>The Office>30 Rock

Let's go to the big board...

1) Community
2) 30 Rock
3) The Office
4) Outsourced :(

This one picture perfectly shows why Community currently is the best comedy on Television - it tries the hardest. It cares enough to use every inch of the frame to tell the story in a way that gets more interesting with multiple viewings.

Take the above from early in the episode, Abed casually gives Annie chocolate. At the time it seemed like a funny non sequitur but eventually it provec to be more like Chekhov’s gun.

The big reveal that Abed is actually tracking the girls' cycles was briefly set-up last week in Abed Robocop vision. Similarly, at the time it seemed like a quick joke; however, because it is Community it gets brought up again in a way that is actually quite revealing of its character. It nails who Abed is; he is not meta for the sake of being meta, it is more a manifestation of his ability to relate to people. Or as Pierce said to Abed, "Did you take Annie's pen to make life more like Benny Hill?"

I loved Troy's reaction to Shirley's possible Halloween conception. In an episode where everyone became zombies came real stakes. This is why I am so impressed by the show; it has created completely real characters that exist in completely unreal world. Compare it to the other shows on the line-up that are much more rooted in the real world, yet the characters seem less human at times.

This is a shot early in the episode that was easy to ignore but on second viewing revealed so much about the episode/show. This was an episode about evolution, as set up by the first shot of Abed and Troy finishing the group's paper mache evolutionary chart. The 30 minutes acted as the show's character evolution update, showing where everyone in the group stands at this point in the series.

They used a bottle episode exactly how bottle episodes should be used. The episode highlighted the depth that exists in these relationships, which the series has been able to use to pull-off its more high-concept episodes (also it saved money that then can be spent on said high-concept episodes). It is these relationships that also made an episode with a fixed location (and no-puppies) so incredibly dynamic.

In the first episode of the season Betty White asked the class, "what is it exactly that separates man from animal?" The show suggests it is our ability to form relationships built on trust and respect that allows us to operate not for our own self-interest but for the betterment of the group. Or more succinctly, we are not like Annie's Boobs stealing each other’s pens.

To the victors go the spoils...

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