Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Great Comedy Round-Up

Due to not really having no clue how to criticise a comedy show beyond knowing I enjoyed it and laughed (or cried in some cases), I'm not actually going to do full on reviews for comedy shows. Instead I'm going to just kind of list them in order of their finales. (BTW Sit Down, Shut Up, the new show from the guys behind Arrested Development isn't that good and was a bit of a waste of my time).

So on with the list.

Scrubs - My Finale

Scrubs came back in a big way this and ended with the perfect episode. Whilst it is still to be seen whether or not this will be spoiled by the season 9 which will apparently take the show in a direction, at least we got 8 great seasons. If your a Scrubs fan then you know that Season 5 represented a bit of a down turn for the show and whilst we got some great episodes such as 'My Lunch', 'My Way Home' and 'My Musical' it just didn't feel the same. Season helped improve the show a lot and the 2nd episode of the season 'My Last Words' easily ranks in my top ten episodes of the show ever. Part of the reason this season was so good was because they knew it was their last and the fact that brought back some of the dramatic stories which made Scrubs the perfect mixture between comedy and drama in its early seasons. The other great thing about this season were the interns, with the best easily being Denise (Eliza Coupe) who I'd be more than happy to see Season 9 revolve around.

But this is Scrubs and as usual the main cast of the show was fantastic and the finale was just the perfect way to end the show, it might start a bit like any normal episode but by the end it just becomes this massive goodbye fest. Everyone gets their own special goodbyes with the best being Turk, Elliot, Janitor and Cox and of course we get all the closure we need. JD and Cox hug, we (sorta) find out the Janitors name and then we get this just amazingly perfect wrap-up to the series that starts with Cox saying how JD is the best doctor to come through the hospital and finishes with JD and creator Bill Lawrence sharing a quiet goodbye whilst an acoustic version of 'Superman' by Lazlo Bane plays in the background. 100% the perfect way to wrap up one of the best comedies of the 21st Century.

Party Down - Stennheiser-Pong Wedding Reception
I didn't see myself enjoying this show as much as I did. Party Down is easily my favourite new comedy this year and I would recommend so many people to go and watch it. Whilst I love the cast and writers I didn't think it would be able to fill the Veronica Mars shaped hole in my heart. Whilst it hasn't done so completely it managed to fill a hole I didn't know I had which was for the same kind of awkward comedy as The Office and the foulmouthedness of Superbad. Then there are the guest stars. Whilst it was fun seeing the likes of Enrico Colantoni, Jason Dohring and Alona Tal interacting with a truly great cast (Lizzy Caplan and Adam Scott have great chemistry and Ken Marino is just...amazing) I was actually shocked to see they had both Breckin Meyer and J K Simmons in one episode!! Those are two really big actors in comedy, and it looks like both will be back next season along with Paul Rudd (who created the show).

The shows premise is simple, each week this group of near total idiots goes and caters a new party but so much humour comes from what happens there such as at the high school reunion which ends with a character getting alcohol poisoning whilst trying to impress someone and then throwing up a small lake of vomit, or the party which ends with the birthday leaving her true friends going off with the popular people. Or my personal favourite the sex awards episode. The show can be found quite easily on the net and this episode just stands out as how great this show can be. And yes Kristen Bell was in the last episode and was superb, even playing a bitch she's still amazing, especially the last scene, I just had a small fit of laughter. Party Down is the best comedy to come from America since 30 Rock or possibly How I Met Your Mother, so do yourself a favour and track down all ten episodes of this great show.

How I Met Your Mother - The Leap

Whilst the goat wasn't that great, the finale and this season was still a lot of fun. We edged closer to finding out who the mother is and we got a fun guest spot from Sarah Chalke (who it looks like will be back next in the finale). Plus we got some truly spectacular Barney moments such as him breaking all the televisions, his want of a building that can breath fire or the fact he used Jesus as to why you should wait three days before phoning girls, oh and of course his Christmas carols. Barney Stinson (played stupendously by Neil Patrick Harris) makes this show as amazing as it is and whilst Season 4 wasn't as strong as previous seasons (where was slap number 4!!!) we still got a lot of great moments and it looks like Season 5 is going to be great with hopefully the reveal of the mother, Barney and Robin hooking up, two more slaps and an episode which has been describe as being the perfect How I Met Your episode. This show is still the best comedy in America at the moment and I can't wait for Season 5.

30 Rock - Kidney Now!

30 Rock is easily the most critically acclaimed comedy in America at the moment and whilst I prefer How I Met Your Mother it still deserves every ounce of that respect. The writing is still blisteringly fast and Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin are just superb as the leads of the show. This years finale definitely showed that the show hasn't lost any of its edge, continuing on with a string of superb guest castings from Steve Martin, John Hamm and Oprah. Then in the finale we got one of the lead actors from M*A*S*H (it's a really famous show in America) and it lead to superb moments such as getting in a massive string of musical guests to do a charity song about getting a kidney for this man. The song is absolutely superb playing up every single cliche about these charity songs and just hearing Cyndi Lauper proclaiming 'I'm one of the drunk ones!' was hilarious. Then in the perfect way to cap of another great season Liz says "We sure had quite a year" and then in possibly the most perfect meta way possible Alec Baldwin deadpans "What are you talking about? It's May". 30 Rock is just so madcapped and has a great supporting cast that I hope this continues on into a more successful future than what happened to Arrested Development

The Office - Company Picnic
This season started wonderfully for the Office with the episode Weight Loss and whilst we've had some great moments (the opening to the Superbowl episode and the Michael Scott Paper Company Arc) it didn't make the Office feel as great as it did in Seasons 2 and 3. The show is not bad at all but it still feels like a show that has hit 100 episodes and may be running out of stories to tell. Whilst we had some great guests such as Idris Elba and Amy Ryan (both Wire veterans), they only appeared at the beginning and the end of the Season and it as the middle that suffered the most, all that really happened there was the fall out of the Dwight-Andy-Angela love triangle and not much else. Next year does look like its got some good stories such as more from Jim and Pam (pregnancies and weddings) and hopefully more of Dwight and Andy's bromance but unless the show can shake up the formula (like they did briefly this season) it might be time to say that The Office should quit whilst the going is good.

My Name is Earl - Dodge's Dad
My Name is Earl was once a superb comedy, but now it's seriously 'meh'. Whilst the show did perk up briefly towards the end with Darnell's cover being blown, the show is just not as good as it once was. Even the occasional high point such as the Seth Green episode doesn't make up for a season of episodes like the diabolically bad 'Pinky'. The show has just lost so much of what made season 1 so great. Even trying to reuse things that made them great such as the Cops episode (this year dubbed 'Inside Probe') just didn't work. Then there was the finale which whilst fun just made me miss the old show. Even a returning guest star and finally revealing the parental issues on the show was spoiled by the fact the show got cancelled and they had the balls to finish with a "To Be Continued". Maybe if the show does come back, they'll be hit by the same bolt of lightning as Scrubs.

Parks and Recreations - Rock Show
This show is seriously 'meh' at the moment. I'm still contemplating whether or not to continue next season. However the strength of the cast (seriously Chris Pratt is great) and the fact it's from the guys that made the Office, make me want to stick around. Even though the show isn't popping quite right yet, neither did the Office in Season 1 or even 30 Rock at the very beginning. So what I'm left is a decent show that gets a few laughs (the big ones being Chris Pratt and a joke made Aziz Ansari (Scrubs) about Easter Eggs in the second episode). However a few laughs and potential don't make great shows. If they can maximize on their potential then the show could be really great. But at the moment you could quite easily miss this one (at least until Season 2 potentially blows me out of the water with funniness.)


IaSg14 said...

I thought the episode of 'My Name Is Earl' with the Witch Lady was pretty good. I also think Joy has the funniest lines now, especially in that episode.
Even if I didn't find out the 'Pinky' spoiler from you I would've seen it in the advert for the show on E4 because their advertising department is full of idiots who don't know how to promote a show without making it look crap (see their 'Big Bang Theory' trailers) or giving spoilers away.

Adam said...

I haven't watched the last couple seasons of Scrubs... I felt it was declining in quality. But I should probably catch up sometime. Maybe I'll rewatch the whole series with my girlfriend... hmmm...

30 Rock is awesome. Best comedy on TV right now, in my opinion.

And yeah, Sit Down, Shut Up was awful. Just awful.