Television Blur (4/21/12)

How I Met Your Mother, “Now We’re Even” – While last week’s episode of HIMYM was very disappointing, this week’s episode dealt with the characters and the relationships at stake, which is when HIMYM is at its finest. Barney wants to distract his lonely nights by trying to make every night “legendary.” Meanwhile, Ted brags about how incredible living alone is. Marshall freaks out because Lily has a sex dream about someone other than Marshall. In the end, the story-line that had the most heart was with Robin trying to be well-known. She went up in a helicopter to cover some news and her pilot suffers a stroke. Her dangerous landing is covered on the news and she gains the fame she wanted. But more importantly, her near-death experience ensures that everyone contact her, including Ted who hasn’t spoken to Robin since she rejected him. You can always count on HIMYM to inject some painful, reality in their silly sitcom.

Smash, “The Movie Star” – Rebecca Duvall, played by Uma Thurman, makes her episode debut and… she cannot sing. Everyone gives her the movie star treatment and watches her in awe as she removes her coat, but once she opens up her mouth the ensemble is less impressed. Ivy has danced her way back into the production by the hand of Derek, which isn’t good news for Karen. Meanwhile, Eileen hooks up with Nick again, Dev flirts around and distances himself with Karen, and Tom and Sam go out on a date. The show keeps trying to maintain its steam from the beginning of the season, but it’s becoming stale week-after-week. Let’s see what kind of trouble Rebecca Duvall will create as there are only a few episodes left in the season.

New Girl, “Kids” – Cece freaks out because she’s late and might be pregnant, which introduces us to the theme of the episode, also conveniently titled, “Kids.” Jess agrees to babysit Russel’s daughter, who is also one of Jess’ students. She tells her roommates to be normal, but that impossible when Cece’s freaking out, Nick’s dating a high-schooler, and when Schmidt is being Schmidt. In the uninteresting story-line, Winston tries to calm his boss down to talk to Michael Strahan. While the first half of the show was slow, the second half made up for it with some classic Schmidt moments. And the “adorkable” scene of the episode was Jess and Nick sitting on the floor trying to talk to Russel’s daughter when she feels embarrassed admitting she has a crush on Nick. We all know the Jess and Russell relationship isn’t going to work out, but will the relationship last it to the second season? We’ll find out soon enough.

Community, “Virtual Systems Analysis” – You can always count on Community to provide the most engaging half-hour of television every week, and this episode was no different. In fact, this was arguably the best episode of the season. When Annie meddles in Troy and Britta’s afternoon by setting them up on an impromptu date, she fills Troy’s void by joining Abed in the dreamatorium. As she tries to teach empathy to Abed, she learns a lot about the group dynamic that Abed already knows. But in the end, she’s accepted in Abed’s imagination-playing room. I was thoroughly impressed with the technology used in the episode, as it was so easy to follow what was going on in the real world while it constantly flashed to the imaginary world Abed was creating. This was another Abed-centric episode, but since Community is a show that comments on the state of television, Abed is the perfect character to concentrate on frequently. In short, Community does it again.

The Office, “Angry Andy” – While Nellie is trying to weasel her way to take Andy’s managing position in Scranton, Andy has difficulty getting aroused with Erin. The word leaks out and Andy is embarrassed to no end. As the title suggests, Andy takes out his frustration of his embarrassment and how Nellie won’t relinquish his office with a rage we haven’t seen since Andy put his fist through a wall (which he does again). Andy is going to take some time off, but things are looking up, since the adrenaline resulted in Andy able to have erections again. The Office still has its moments, but as a whole it’s a sinking ship that really just needs to be put out of its misery. Nellie is a terrible character, Dwight is annoying without being the side-kick to Michael Scott, and they’re just recycling the Jim&Pam story with Andy&Erin. Let’s hope the end is near.

Parks and Recreation, “Live Ammo” – Leslie Knope is in the middle of a heated campaign for city council and finds herself in trouble when she pushes to prevent a budget cut to the Parks and Recreation department. As a result, the animal shelter budget is slashed, which means all the animals are to be put down. This doesn’t go over well for Leslie’s public image, so she adopts all of the animals. Meanwhile, Chris invites Ron to meditate in order to prove he’s capable of handling something he doesn’t want to do. But in the end, that doesn’t matter since Chris was informed that if Leslie loses to Bobby Newport, he will lose his job to someone of Bobby’s recommendation. The tension increases! There really wasn’t any Tom and Anne together, and that’s a good thing. I laughed the hardest when Andy was playing with the pet toy while he thought it was a pet. Hilarious.

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