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September 23, 2009

TV Review: Community 1.1: "Pilot"

I'm not much of a sitcom fan: until this year, the only one I watched regularly was How I Met Your Mother, and I've never been able to get into The Office. But I decided to try Community because a) I'll try almost anything at first, in case it ends up being good, because I hate starting a show in the middle and b) I have a weird sort of affinity for community colleges. My dad has been a community college administrator for pretty much my whole life, and I worked at his college one summer, and then worked at a different community college for a while several years ago. So anyway, I like them.

This pilot was certainly watchable, which is a bigger deal than it sounds - so much TV comedy these days revolves around a sort of "uncomfortable" humor that I just don't like watching. But this was actually funny. I know everyone's excited about Joel McHale and Chevy Chase, but I barely know who either of them are; instead, I was excited to see John Oliver (from The Daily Show) and Patricia Belcher (from Bones). The writing was very self-aware - lots of meta pop culture jokes - but not in an annoying way. A Breakfast Club theme ran throughout, and the episode was dedicated to John Hughes, which was a nice touch.

My favorite line of the episode: "I discovered at a very early age that if I talked long enough I can make anything right or wrong, so either I'm God or truth is relative - and in either case, boo-ya!"

Still not sure about this one, but I'll give it a few weeks and see where it goes.

Grade: B-

Posted by Kat at 07:35 AM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2009

TV Review: How I Met Your Mother 5.1: "Definitions"

(I actually have finished socks to show you! And pictures from Ireland. And stuff. But apparently I'm in the mood to write about TV, so I'm going to go with it. Also, you can assume that there will be spoilers in all of my TV reviews.)

Overall: A satisfying premiere. Lily finds out that Barney and Robin have been secretly hooking up all summer and makes them define their relationship. Ted starts teaching at Columbia. The mother is theoretically in his class, but there's a twist on that. (Recap here. If that link is dead by the time you read this, try here.)

Ted: Enh. At this point, I really don't care how he met the mother. And his various antics involved in beginning his teaching career didn't really interest me. I guess this is why I don't generally watch sitcoms. The mother is supposedly in his class, but it's unclear whether it's the economics class he was accidentally teaching or his actual architecture class. I'm guessing the economics class.

Lily and Marshall: It's a sign of how little he had to do in this episode that I actually had to look up Marshall's name just now. He gives Ted a fedora and a whip so he can be Indiana Jones (who is a professor, you know). This is really only funny because it lets Barney talk about his "whip guy." Anyway, Lily does her normal adorable insanity thing and forces Robin and Barney to define their relationship. I know Alyson Hannigan annoys a lot of people, but I love her.

Barney and Robin: Okay, this is the only plot line I really care much about on this show right now. I love them together, and I love how they are trying to figure out what "together" means for them rather than falling into an out-of-character normal relationship. (See also: Gossip Girl. I guess this is my favorite plot device this season.) Barney as jealous non-boyfriend was great, and I love how they are extremely self-aware and in deep denial simultaneously. It's refreshing that it's both of them resisting commitment - shows how they're really perfect for each other, I guess. (An aside - wasn't there something about Robin possibly facing deportation? What ever happened with that? Was it resolved? I'm probably just forgetting. But wouldn't it be hilarious if they got married so she could stay?) Ted and Lily's exchange at the end of the episode was perfect: Ted knows they're lying, but Lily knows that they don't know they're not actually lying. I'm really looking forward to seeing where they go with this.

Grade: A-

Posted by Kat at 07:48 PM | Comments (1)

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