Girls: The Good, the Bad and the Funny

by Rachel Stein May 21, 2012 6:00 am
<I>Girls</i>: The Good, the Bad and the Funny

I'm one of the few people who isn't horribly annoyed by Hannah as a character or Lena Dunham as an actress, so the fact that she was front and center in this episode didn't bother me -- especially since it meant we got to see her parents again. (Raise your hand if you thought there'd be more exploration of her dad allegedly being gay!) What I didn't like about "The Return," however, is that the quality of its writing felt more like a student film -- especially in its pacing -- and that I instantly compared it to last year's dark comedy Young Adult. I know it's my own fault, but when you're writing about an unhappy and sexually frustrated young female writer coming back to her hometown from the big city with hopes to confront a few demons, it's hard not to draw a few comparisons. Unfortunately for Dunham, she's no Charlize Theron (to say the least) and so indulging in a proverbial trip home wasn't as powerful as it was supposed to be.

Parks and Recreation: Who Made the Comedy Grade Last Night?

by Rachel Stein February 17, 2012 10:41 am
<i>Parks and Recreation</i>: Who Made the Comedy Grade Last Night?

If I had it my way, every single episode of Parks and Recreation would be wonderful, and we could spend Friday mornings going over funny lines and cracking up at all of the crazy shenanigans witnessed in Pawnee -- that's what happens most of the time, and what I expected to happen with the return of Louis C.K. as Officer Dave. Like most people who go on the Internet, I love basically everything about C.K. (and can vouch that Live at the Beacon Theater is well-worth the $5), but Dave just didn't do it for me, nor did "Dave Returns" as an episode.

Community: The How-To YouTube Videos We’d Most Like To See

by Ethan Alter December 2, 2011 12:35 pm
<i>Community</i>: The How-To YouTube Videos We’d Most Like To See

So far, Season 3 of Community has evenly divided itself between high concept outings like "Remedial Chaos Theory" and "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux" and more standard sitcom narratives like "Geography of Global Conflict" and "Studies in Modern Movement," with the former episodes generally proving stronger than the latter. Given the mostly weak competition, "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" was probably the best "normal" episode Community has aired this season; the A and B-storylines were juggled far more effectively than in "Advanced Gay" (the show's worst outing so far this year) and the writers still left plenty of room for their pop-culture flights of fancy, from the welcome return of Abed's Batman -- who emerged from his Batcave (actually the Dreamatorium) to investigate the theft of his super-special Dark Knight DVD -- to the dead-on Dragon Ball Z-homage during Jeff and Shirley's epic, revenge-driven foosball game.

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