By the time most shows hit their seventh seasons, they’re past their prime. They might still be funny, and even have great moments, but I hardly expect series-best quality episodes that late in the run of a show.
Parks and Recreation is not most shows.
Last night’s second episode “Leslie and Ron” instantly made it on my list of favorite episodes of the show, right up there with “Flu Season”, “Andy and April’s Fancy Party”, “Win, Lose, or Draw”, and “Leslie and Ben”. It was the perfect blend of funny and emotional that this show has always done so well.
Parks and Recreation - “Ron and Jammy”
Both episodes in this week’s Parks and Rec double feature were fun, but I especially loved the second one.
Tammy has long been one of this show’s best comedic weapons – her once a season appearances are always a highlight. Megan Mullally is fantastic in the part and totally commits to Tammy’s particular brand of psycho.
There were two things that were particularly fun about this installment of the Tammy saga. First, it made Jeremy Jamm funnier than he’d be in ages. The character had gotten a bit tired by the end of last season, but turning him into Tammy’s hopeless love slave gave Jon Glaser some really great material to work with.
Second, Ron and Leslie are barely on speaking terms in 2017 Pawnee. Seeing them unite to help Jamm detox from Tammy was delightful. It was particularly great to see them have a brief moment hinting toward reconciliation at the end of the episode.
Elsewhere in this episode, it was great to see the return of Lucy, Tom’s ex-girlfriend from a few seasons ago (played by the lovely Natalie Morales, which made me miss Trophy Wife). I really like Lucy with Tom – she seems to be a good fit for him – and I’m curious to see what the show has planned for them in these last episodes.
I also really loved April’s story in this episode. April is right around my age, and I’ve had (am sometimes still having) the same “what am I doing with my life” job crisis she had in this episode. I hope they explore that idea further and it wasn’t just an excuse to watch Ben look deeply and painfully uncomfortable at the morgue (although that was hilarious).
All in all, a great season premiere for Parks and Rec. It is so good to have the people of Pawnee back on my TV, even if it’s only for a few more weeks.
Mid-season TV kicked off this week so I’m finally back with another weekly wrap-up!
Episode of the Week
Parenthood - “How Did We Get Here?”
I knew this week’s episode was going to be a difficult one after the show left off in November with Zeek having what appeared to be a heart attack.
If you’ve been reading this blog or following me on Twitter for a while, you’ve probably seen me write about my dad’s heart attack. Needless to say, this was like stepping back in time to those first horrible few weeks in the hospital. I know the running joke about Parenthood is that the show makes everyone cry on a weekly basis, but I’m not exaggerating when I say I was in tears before the opening credits rolled – and stayed that way for large portions of the hour.
The episode opened with a silent montage of each Braverman child getting the phone call about Zeek. I remember the feeling of getting that message (I was on a plane that had just landed 1000 miles from where my father was), and how life-altering and terrifying it is to hear/see those words. The scene was done beautifully.
Tuesday night was the long-awaited (at least by me!) premiere of Marvel’s Agent Carter. Thankfully, it did not disappoint. I was thoroughly entertained by Peggy Carter’s adventures in these first two episodes and look forward to seeing what the show has in store for us in its remaining six weeks.
The two-episode premiere (more on that in a moment) re-introduced us to Peggy Carter a year after we last saw her in Captain America: The First Avenger. She’s working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve and, despite her qualifications as an agent, being treated as a glorified secretary by the majority of the men in the office.
Enter Howard Stark. After some of his more dangerous inventions fall into the wrong hands, Howard is being pursued by the SSR as a traitor. Stark, of course, claims all of his MacGuffins items were stolen – and he wants Peggy’s help to track them down and clear his name. That, essentially, is the framework for the series. In this week’s episodes, Peggy is chasing down a dangerous implosive chemical that Howard fears (correctly) has been weaponized.
Today marks a bit of a milestone for this blog – my very first post went live three years ago today! It’s crazy to me I’ve been at it for that long. What started on a bit of a whim just to have an outlet for my insane fandom ramblings turned into a project I truly love maintaining – and along the way I’ve added vlogging to the party, too!
The past two years around this time, I’d planned to make a post like this, announcing the blog-iversary and some of the new, fun changes ahead for the coming year. Life has had other ideas the past few Januarys, though – first my father’s heart attack in 2013, and then my big breakup last year.
But this year, things are great and I’m looking forward to making this site even better over the coming months. I plan on FINALLY completing a much-needed site redesign (which I’ve wanted to do for ages). I want to add some more regular features in addition to my weekly wrap-ups – perhaps running commentary on my Netflix binges (shamelessly stealing that idea from Previously.TV because I love it so much), more regular reviews, and whatever else strikes my fancy. I also want to try to change things up a bit with the vlog – more videos, some different kinds of videos, I’m not quite sure yet – but I have a couple of ideas I’m thinking about trying.
I, of course, would also LOVE any ideas from you guys – what would you like to read/watch? I always want to hear your suggestions for topics!
In any case: thanks for reading/watching/Twittering with me the past few years, and I look forward to enjoying more awesome TV with you in 2015!
I’m kicking off 2015 on the blog with another new video. This week, I preview some of my most anticipated new and returning shows for midseason. There’s a list of a few others (plus links to promo videos if they exist) after the jump.
It’s time for my entry into the flood of year-end best-of lists!
I had a hell of a time narrowing my list down to just 11 shows (I couldn’t cut it to just 10! And you’ll see a bunch of honorable mentions at the end), there’s just so much terrific TV out there now. These are presented in alphabetical order because trying to rank them would have been damn near impossible.
Agents of SHIELD
I don’t think anyone would try to argue Agents of SHIELD was anything but decently entertaining TV in the early parts of 2014. And then, Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out, and it was a whole different ballgame. Since the release of that movie (and the destruction of SHIELD as we knew it), the show has operated on an entirely different level. The stakes are higher, the focus on a serialized story stronger, and the character development better. The new characters added in Season 2 (particularly Adrianne Palicki’s Bobbi Morse) helped give the team some new, interesting layers as well. It drives me crazy that the series doesn’t have a bigger audience because so many people gave up during the early episodes.
I spoke about my love of Broad City in one of my vlogs this summer, and it’s one of my most anticipated returning shows in 2015. I love everything about this show. It’s hilarious, quirky, and the perfect showcase for two brilliant young female comedians in Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. They completely nail what it’s like to be young and living in New York City (in a somewhat heightened way, of course), and their friendship is a delight to watch.
I have written and vlogged about Brooklyn Nine-Nine a ton this year, so it’s appearance on this list shouldn’t be a huge surprise. It’s been my favorite comedy on the air for the bulk of the year. The ensemble is terrific – throw any combination of characters together and the show still works and gets laughs (it is very reminiscent of Michael Schur’s other show, Parks and Recreation in that way). Andre Braugher’s deadpan is a thing of beauty (his loud exclamation of HOT DAMN! was one of my favorite moments on TV all year). The show has also handled the Amy/Jake will-they-or-won’t they – which I was initially terrified would be an awful idea – in a really great way. They’re not leaning too heavily on it but are letting it exist in a way that feels right for both characters.