What a blah night for NBC’s lineup (I’m not counting Outsourced; bring Parks and Recreation back!). After last week’s stellar Community showing, we were treated to a two joke episode (Abed as a “mean girl” and the Jeff/Troy zen trampoline). Neither plot really went anywhere (Abed simply restored the natural order of things by surrendering to guest star Hilary Duff, and the reveal that Joshua, the trampoline-keeper, was a super racist came out of nowhere). I love Greendale, but this episode did not work.
Over on 30 Rock, Jack, under pressure from Avery, left Liz mentor-less just when she needed him most (guest star Buck Henry as Liz’s dad took an ill-advised “gentleman’s intermission” from his marriage). The limited Jack/Liz interaction meant the other plots had to pick up the slack, and Tracy and Jenna’s “celebrity obituary” storylines just didn’t cut it. And getting back to Avery, Elizabeth Banks was never more unlikable than in this episode (don’t mess with Lemon).
Finally, The Office saw the christening of Cecilia Halpert. A few good moments (Jim and the makeshift christening gown, Toby vs. God, Dwight vs. germs). But Michael’s existential crisis leading him (and then Andy) to join the youth ministry packed no punch because the outcome was predetermined (like they were ever going to stay on that bus). All in all, a very weak night for three shows I usually love.