Televisionary: The Community of Parks & Recreation Will Big Bang Your Office

Thursday night TV! Comedy! Funny people! Laughter! Who needs dramas? Not NBC, man. Not NBC. Why would you when you have the best comedy (Parks and Recreation) and the most innovative comedy (Community) on television. Emmy voters definitely agree with me so you should too. My word is law. There is no room for dissent. So let’s get right into it, shall we?

Parks & Recreation

by Brittani

There are only two things I love in this world: Everybody and television. And my favorite show is Parks and Rec (that’s what the cool kids call it *wink wink*). After a first season that struggled to find its footing, Parks and Rec came back swinging with a stellar second season and unbelievably genius third. It doesn’t seem like it’s been around that long but this is already its fourth season and it’s settled nicely into NBC’s comedy line-up of hilarious shows with mediocre ratings. Really, the entire cast is perfect but Amy Poehler leads the charge portraying the unapologetic feminist/dorky person, Leslie Knope. Then there’s hot Rashida Jones who portrays a hot character not named Hot Rashida Jones. Maybe they should rethink that decision.

Leslie Knope with a Geraldine Ferraro action figure

“I’m Leslie Knope” picks up right where the last episode left off. I love when shows do that because it doesn’t afford the writers the chance to let the hiatus do the work for them (ahem, Ryan Murphy). Tommy Haverford is running Entertainment 720…probably into the ground, Andy and April continue being adorable and weird, Ron flees from Tammy 1, and Leslie struggles with how she’s going to handle telling Ben she’s running for office. This results in one of the most touching scenes ever on the show. I didn’t cry but I know people that did. All in all it was a solid start to the season. Although there was a lot of penis talk this episode, I promise there usually isn’t. LESBIANS AND PENIS. I think that’s how SEO works.

Perd: The lewd photo, just how big a deal is it?

Leslie: Well, frankly Perd, it’s just not that big a deal. If you know what I mean.

Perd: I don’t know what you mean but it had the cadence of a joke.


by Brittani

Community on the other hand had just an okay premiere. The third season began with the most meta of musical numbers, promising that this season will be a lot less weird. Which of a course was a joke on top of a joke because it parodied Glee which is super weird but still managed to be a ratings success and media darling. I’m fairly confident that this toned down more appealing version is a do-not-want situation for the biggest Community fans. Its uniqueness is part of what drew a lot of the abandoned Arrested Development crew to the Community bandwagon. You can’t just rip away the weird after bringing us claymation, Dungeons and Dragons, and an illegal magic trampoline. If less weird means less funny then it’s going to be a long season in Harmontown.

As for the actual season set-ups, I’m excited to see how Britta handles her newly decided major, if Chang continues to be ineffectual, and if Pierce will transform into a decent human being. New additions thus far include John Goodman and Omar from The Wire. This episode included a Downton Abbey reference which may excite some of you and Dr. Who references which will excite some of you A LOT.

Shirley: I don’t want to push it but this would be a great time to baptize him.

Also worth mentioning, I watched Revenge this week solely because the girl from Everwood (Emily VanCamp) stars. I will do the same next week using similar reasoning. I watched Whitney and wondered why the male lead had to hold back laughter throughout the entire show when I didn’t laugh once. That ends on kind of a low note. Take this. I’m sorry.

Damn it, GQ

The Big Bang Theory

by Lizz

Jesus christ. What is up with all of these double length premier episodes? What is network television trying to do to me? That’s right, Big Bang Theory started off the season with two episodes in a row. I’d like to pretend that I was all angry and wanted to take a walk or go canoeing, but actually I love to rot my brain in front of the TV on Thursdays so it worked out really well. Last we saw the whole gang, Penny had just slept with Koothrappali, Priya was about to go home to India and Jim Parsons hadn’t yet won the Emmy for funniest TV dude yet.

501: The Skank Reflex Analysis

As the title might suggest, Penny has to face the awkward consequences of sleeping with Koothrappali. So, of course, Penny decides she should leave LA. Luckily she discovers she didn’t actually have male-female penetrative copulatory sex with Koothrappali. Since that’s the only real type of sex, everyone can be happy and totally go back to normal as if nothing took place whatsoever. Plus then Penny got an acting job in a hemorrhoid commercial! If only this would happen in real life when you try to sleep with your friends. Instead you just actually sleep with them and it’s awkward forever.
Important Science:

Amy: You can’t blame yourself. When your prefrontal cortex fails to make you happy, promiscuity rewards you with the needed flood of dopamine. We neurobiologists refer to this as the Skank reflex.

The Answer to All Your Burning Question:

Sheldon: For the record I do have genitals. They’re functional and aesthetically pleasing.


 502: The Infestation Hypothesis

The second episode of Big Bang confirmed two things I always knew in my heart to be true. First, that you should never take a piece of furniture in from off the street. It probably has bedbugs or roaches. In this case, Sheldon’s OCD was actually correct and yes, there was something crawly and gross living in Penny’s chair from off the street. Secondly, that video-chat sex is a bad idea and your roommate can definitely hear you. I will say seeing Johnny Galecki (Leonard) try to have Skype-sex with Priya was pretty hilarious and indicative of how funny Galecki has to be since, wow, that man has zero sex appeal (could just be the wrong crowd).

King Sheldon:

Leonard:You know, some people might say that it’s great that we’re trying make things work long distance. They’d say things like, love is stronger than the miles between you.
Sheldon:When I rise to power, those people will be sterilized.

I’m Rooting For This:

[discussing what it would take to get Amy to convince Penny to throw out her chair]
Sheldon: Okay, name your price.
Amy: Kiss me where I’ve never been kissed before?
Sheldon: You mean like Salt Lake City?



The Office

by Riese

I was supposed to write about The Office but didn’t because it was my birthday. So just quickly off the cuff — I was fucking impressed. I was scared, because The Office is the only sitcom I actually like, but honestly I was impressed by how they handled the last few episodes of the last season and how they kicked off this year. I was sorta hoping they’d hire Ricky Gervais, Chris Rock or Ellen DeGeneres to be the new boss but you know. Anything could happen!

I’m actually interested in how this will play out — I think Andy seemed really human, like he actually wants to be a good manager? Which’ll be a compelling dynamic, I think. I LOL’ed like 56 times, too.

Also, Kevin is played out and needs to stop talking, I just cannot.

Aaaaaand that’s Thursday! What did you think?

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Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 328 articles for us.


  1. I wonder if Revenge is worth watching?

    I was so excited for Parks and Rec,can’t wait to see how Leslie will run for city council. Although I still wish I can find it in myself to like Andy. Oh well. And Tammy 1 working for the IRS, love it.

    • It was intriguing. Like there was soooo much set up which is what you expect given the name of the show is Revenge and they want to tell us what she’s getting revenge for. But as far as shows about rich white people go, it held my attention. Seems like she is gonna be a total badass.

      • Sounds promising, I hope they go the ‘Damages’ route, another badass woman on tv would be awesome.

        And LOL at ‘shows about rich white people’, there are some rich non-white characters on other shows, y’know. Like that leader of the Mexican drug cartel in Sons of Anarchy. He seems rich. :)

    • Aaaaah it magically appeared! Okay. I had a lot of feelings about The Office and now that I’ve calmed down a bit I forget what the feelings were. Mostly I think the choice for the new manager was brilliant but I don’t know what to think about Rob Indiana or whatever his name was.

      And wasn’t the whole planking thing hilarious?! Erin is so cute.

      • omg, erin is perfect. rob california or something. it’s so werd ’cause james spader was like this 80s john hughes movie heart-throb thing, and now he’s like, james spader who is not like that, and i still think of him as being in like, less than zero. anyhow, i think that it was good and i was happy.

  2. “Luckily she discovers she didn’t actually have male-female penetrative copulatory sex with Koothrappali. Since that’s the only real type of sex, everyone can be happy and totally go back to normal as if nothing took place whatsoever.”

    Omigosh, I knooooow, right? I was like, is this actually a plot element? They didn’t actually have sex because the sex they had wasn’t PiV?

    By the way, I am really pleased this Televisionary thing is happening.

  3. Galecki has no sex appeal? What are you talking about? I’ve waited five years plus two episodes to get him to take off his shirt!

    • I agree that there’s something weirdly cute about Galecki. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something there.

  4. Community gives me the exactly same proprietary-and-defensive-over-content-I-didn’t-create feeling that Autostraddle does, I think

  5. I can’t staaaaaaaaaaand Big Bang Theory, but I love Community to death. Doesn’t the dean say at the end of the newest episode that it won’t actually be any less weird this year? Community is so ridiculously good, you guys, if you haven’t watched it, you are making a terrible mistake. I think this season’s premiere was better than last years for sure.

    The Parks and Rec premiere was pretty solid. I stopped watching The Office about a year and a half ago because it got just painfully boring for me to watch, I felt like they were just recycling the same jokes over and over.

    Also, last night Supernatural premiered which was very important to me as well. Paradigm shifts!

      • I do. The whole musical number is about Jeff’s fantasy (also Dan Harmon’s fantasy) of the show being normal/attracting loads more viewers (“We’re going to seem like a mainstream dream & be appealing to all mankind!” also fuck you Senor Chang for mankind) but all the episode does is break that down. Literally when Dean’s office falls on top of him. The episode’s structure is all about undermining it’s we’re-gonna-finally-be-fine premise. (Sidenote, “we’re going to finally be fine” is a brilliant theme tune for this show/life, who can’t identify with that?)

        • I sincerely hope you’re right. But the whole Coen Brothers feel of the dean/vice dean interactions made me wonder about it. If the musical number was a fantasy inside of a fantasy and the budget news is a serious problem shot in a serious, pessimistic way (like Coen films), it seems too straight forward. It all seems SO in your face and heavy handed that I don’t really know what to make of it. What should comfort me is that Dan Harmon doesn’t give a shit what people tell him and he’s going to do what he wants. As you said, his fantasy and Jeff’s overlap so I’m hoping that he does still see it as an impossibility and won’t strive for that. But he’s gotta be tired of getting snubbed and maybe he thinks if he makes things slightly more normal, that won’t happen this year.

          • “But he’s gotta be tired of getting snubbed and maybe he thinks if he makes things slightly more normal, that won’t happen this year.”

            Maybe. :-///// I really, really hope not? I mean, I can’t know, but I know that the episode itself, to me, didn’t seem to think it was a viable option – more, fuck you, we’re going to be weird and that’s that. But I’m sure there is lots of external pressure to go for something more standard? ick.

          • I mean, they flooded the vents with Monkey-knock-out gas, and


            made CHANG their security officer. It doesn’t really feel to me like they’re going to hop on the conformity train, and with Dan Harmon and their writing team, plus their actors in general (how else can they keep Donald Glover) I think they’re going to keep pushing the envelope.

  6. I love Parks and Rec, so brilliant when Ron stabbed the thingy into the wall and grabbed his bag from the vent to run away from Tammy 1. And the awesomeness of “I’m Ron Swanson. And you’re Leslie fucking Knope”.

    But what was going on with Rob Lowe’s hair? It was very distracting.

  7. ““I’m Leslie Knope” picks up right where the last episode left off. I love when shows do that because it doesn’t afford the writers the chance to let the hiatus do the work for them (ahem, Ryan Murphy).”

    Truer words, and all that. And I really was unenthused (spell check is telling me this isn’t a word, and I beg to differ and therefore will use it anyway) about the “Community” premiere. I need it to be weirder… and I’m so sick of Chang. Also, they hinted at Jeff and Annie doing the deed and/or getting together and I so do not want that. I just like it the way it is, where I’m led to believe that any one of the characters could plausibly make out with/crush on/sleep with any of the other characters (but mostly Britta and Annie, just saying).

  8. I was a little disappointed in The Office premiere. After all the hype about who was going to be the new boss, with all the great guest stars, it turned out to be…nobody (Andy)?
    I didn’t find James Spader’s character to be all that interesting or funny, maybe they decided that since they couldn’t find anyone to match Michael Scott’s level of terrible/awesomeness, they wouldn’t even try.
    I was also sad to hear that Kathy Bates was gone, her character was so kickass last year. Letting someone talk her out of her job seems really OOC.
    I love The Office so I hope it gets better!

    • agreed, i was not excited by it at all. i dislike robert california almost as much as will ferrell’s character :/ good actors, crappy writing…

  9. I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVEEEEEEEEEEEEE The Big Bang Theory, its the greatest show ever!! Its like my new “Friends”! xD too bad Jenifer Aniston isnt in it!

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