Off Topic TV Roundup: Oct 7-13, 2013

How I Met Your Mother: Broken Code (9×04)

Rating: ★★★★★

So you know how I didn’t like last week’s HIMYM? Well this week made me remember why I loved this show.  If nothing than for the new and improved digital Marshpillow and Tim Gunn.

To be honest, the weakest part of the episode was Robin and Lily’s storyline. After realizing that Robin has no other girl friends, Lily tries to find one for her. But after seeing Robin with someone else she immediately ruins the friendship. The two were funny, but in comparison to the A-storyline, this was lackluster.

I can't handle Marshall's face.

I can’t handle Marshall’s face.

Meanwhile, Ted seemingly convinces Barney that he was just there to hold Robin’s hand to comfort her. But Barney punishes him by making him rewrite the placement cards multiple times, move his stuff down into the dingy basement, and make him bunk with all of the doves for the wedding. Finally, after all of this, he starts the bachelor poker game without Ted and renames his new best man Billy Zabka.

Realizing that Barney is actually not ok with what happened with Ted and Robin, Barney states that the Ted violates the Bro-Code. They bring in Marshall via Marshpillow to be the lawyer and dictate whether or not Barney is right. I love Lawyer!Marshall almost as much as I love Marshall just on his own, plus being in form of just a head on a body pillow made it even more amusing.

The problem is resolved when Ted acknowledges that he still has feelings for Robin (shocker), but he won’t ruin what is happening between Robin and Barney. Barney makes Ted his best man again, and forgives him.

Reviewed by Therese

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Brooklyn 99: M.E. Time (1×04)

Rating: ★★★★★

Four episodes in and the series keeps getting stronger. At this rate, Brooklyn Nine-Nine could end up being my favorite of all the shows I review.

Boyle is assigned a DOA and Captain Holt assigns Peralta and Diaz to be secondary on the case. Santiago warns Boyle that Peralta is a terrible secondary from all the times he served as her secondary. Peralta immediately shows his colors by telling Boyle to carry his bag out to the car which he will be driving, but after getting scornful looks from his teammates, Peralta relents a little and lets Boyle pick the music. This leads to a rendition of ‘Consider Yourself’ from Oliver! that made me howl from laughter.

At the scene of the DOA, Peralta immediately steamrolls Boyle and makes the call that it’s natural causes. Diaz tells him to back off and let Boyle take the case. It makes me happy to see Diaz stick up for Boyle. Maybe she does have a soft spot for the little weirdo.

Peralta agrees to not do anything unless he’s directly ordered and immediately emphasizes that when the new medical examiner Dr. Rossi (played by Mary Elizabeth Ellis) arrives on the scene. Without telling Boyle who is expecting an autopsy of the body in the morning, Peralta goes out with her and has sex with her later that night. Sex that with the right amount of temperature play and role playing makes Diaz and Santiago determine that it was definitely weird dead guy sex. I have to say, Ellis pulls off the necrophilia fetish rather well that it’s a perfect mix of funny and creepy. It definitely made Dr. Rossi one of my favorite parts of the episode.

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When Holt asks for an update on the case and says he’s going to give Dr. Rossi a call, Peralta immediately jumps in and volunteers to go down to the M.E.’s office. Of course, Boyle thinks it’s Peralta being a good secondary, but really, it’s for more dead guy sex. When Diaz realizes this after an hour and a half and a breakthrough Boyle has about the case being a murder instead of natural causes, she takes Boyle down to the office to expose Peralta. As recompense for delaying the case, Peralta agrees to serve as Rossi’s assistant on the autopsy.

She does come to the conclusion that it is a murder, but not before being completely gross and fascinated with the body and turning Peralta off of dead guy sex forever. Boyle and Peralta arrest the guys wife for murder and decides to be a good secondary and do all the paperwork for the DA’s office. Hey, maybe there is hope for the man child yet.

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While this is going on, Santiago gets a feeling that something is wrong with the captain after he throws his police portrait away and sets out to find a way to make him feel better. I have to admit, most of my favorite jokes from this episode come from this plot. Between her awkward bow to the captain, her failed attempts to make him feel better and Jefford’s getting really caught up in his artistic police sketch of a purse snatcher, I was giggling constantly throughout the b-plot. However, the best joke was the running joke about how impossible Holt is to read.

I have to give Andre Braugher props for having such a straight faced delivery on both happiness and sadness in the flashbacks that it made the flashback of him yelling at Scully even funnier. Also, just put “Scully! Fetch me my oils” on a permanent loop on my headstone. I want people to know Terry Crews was my ultimate cause of death.

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Santiago does eventually realize what is bothering Holt after his complete insistence about getting the crime stats in for a month. After some furious research, Santiago finds out the numbers haven’t changed since Holt became captain, but that’s a good thing because the precinct has had dips under new leadership in the past. She assures him that he’ll earn getting his portrait on the wall soon enough and with a slight smile, he thanks her and dismisses her. Santiago stands victorious at her desk, and she later assures Jeffords that the Captain likes the oil painting he did.

A friend of mine said that Brookyln Nine-Nine is what happens when you mix Parks and Recreation and Reno 911! together. I’d definitely say that’s an accurate description. There is the ridiculousness of Reno 911! there, but it ultimately has the heart that makes me squeal at Parks and Recreation every week. With Fox ordering more scripts of the show, it gives me hope that there will be more episodes like this one ahead.

Reviewed by Ashley

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The Mindy Project: Magic Morgan (2×04)

Rating: ★★★★☆

Mindy has a tough week after her break up with Casey, made worse when she’s tripped over by a parcel on her way in to work. She confronts the owner, attorney Cliff Gilbert (Glenn Howerton), and threatens to sue him but he easily shoots down her claims. Mindy leaves his office but not before breaking a few things in his.

204-006-mindy-project-magic-morgan-photos-lightbox-tbdAt work Mindy has to tell her colleagues about her breakup when Jeremey renames the practice after the all of the doctors. Morgan’s love life isn’t going to well either as his ex-girlfriend is getting married to the perfect guy. Meanwhile Danny isn’t the biggest fan of Peter and he tells Jeremy to fire him but Jeremy refuses.

In her apartment Mindy tries to drown her sorrows with alcohol and when that doesn’t work she tries to have sex with Morgan when he turns up to her home. Her brilliant plan is to use Morgan’s magic, which allows girls he’s dated to find the perfect guy straight after dating him, to get over Casey. At first Morgan refuses but then agrees after seeing how miserable Mindy is.

In the men’s’ locker room Peter gets too up close and personal with Danny’s junk and that is the final straw. Danny and Jeremy are about to fire him but then Jeremy decides that Peter deserves another chance.

Mindy changes her mind before anything can happen between Morgan and herself, and when she sees him naked she is completely horrified, which hurts Morgan’s feelings (aww poor honey) and she kicks him out of her apartment. The next day Mindy gets a call from Cliff Gilbert, who tells her that she Morgan’s suing her for sexual harassment. The only way Mindy can get out of either having to pay $20,000 or go to court is if she’ll go on a nice date with Morgan.

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Peter, Jeremy and Danny help Mindy prepare for the date she is really reluctant to go to. Seeing one of Casey’s shirts makes her breakdown in tears but the guys comfort her enough to get ready for evening with Morgan. The date starts of a bit awkward and when it’s over Mindy is ready to get out of there but Morgan insists that she visits one last place with her. He takes her to a quarry he hangs out. There Mindy is finally able to start saying goodbye to Casey.

In the morning Mindy meets the attorney Cliff in the lift at work and there seems to be a little bit of a spark between them.

Overall a good episode though I wasn’t a fan of Mindy coercing Morgan into having sex with her, that is a total no-no. But I did love how all the guys cared about her and I also loved the friction between Danny and Peter, I am looking forward to their shared scenes together in future episodes.

Reviewed by Chioma

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New Girl: The Captain (3×04)

Rating: ★★★☆☆

You know, it’s been hard for me to like Schmidt this season. This episode did not help. Sure, was the notion of The Captain funny? Yeah. But it kind of made me more frustrated with Schmidt.

Nick’s impotence, brought on by a fear of commitment, left a lot of room for some pretty hilarious jokes between him and Jess. The battle for Nick to get it up lead to some Papa Smurfing and readings of Indian food menus, but ultimately it lead to failure.

Unsure of what to do, Jess somehow thinks turning to Schmidt is a smart idea. And then takes his advice to doing what can only be imagined as the most degrading sexual moves in the world.

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But all is well when Jess and Nick fight through it, and Nick’s emotional floodgates open to him telling everything he feels. Frustrated he didn’t get what he wants, Schmidt starts cutting up condoms and downing birth control pills so they can’t have sex.

Winston, who has spent the episode pimping out his cat not realizing he’s being hit on, stops the madness and has a loft meeting to straighten things out. Nice to see that the crazy catman is the only sane one in the bunch…kind of.

In the end, Nick and Jess are going strong, and Schmidt finds himself at Cece’s delivering a note only to get rejected.

Reviewed by Therese

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This is a world without Parks and Rec promo videos on youtube.

Parks & Recreation: Doppelängers (6×04)

Rating: ★★★☆☆

I’ll admit right off the bat that this isn’t my favorite episode of Parks and Recreation ever, but Parks and Rec on an ehhh day is better than most shows on a good day.

Pawnee and Eagleton have officially merged, which leaves a bunch of Eagleton city employees left out in the dust. To help with the merger, each Eagleton employee is matched with their Pawnee equivalent to determine who should stay and who should go. I feel most of the episode’s humor comes from the way the Pawnee department interacts with their Eagleton counterparts.

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For Donna, it’s Craig, a super excitable and passionate man who claims to have carried the entire Eagleton parks department on his shoulders. After meeting the rest of the Eagleton department, it’s easy to see why.

Tynnyfer is a socialite type who pops Xanax like candy and who April declares “the worst person she’s ever met.” Of course, they immediately bond with April being a clever grouse who mimics Tynnyfer completely. For Ron, it’s Ron Dunn (played by Sam Elliot), a man of few words that Ron immediately takes to, but is disgusted by as soon as he realizes what a massive hippie he is. Like doing yoga, conserving the environment, and listening to Morrissey kind of hippie. I have to admit that I rather liked Eagleton Ron, but just because he reminds me of so many aged hippies I know. It was like a little piece of home from Eagleton.

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Tom’s equivalent is a computer program named ERIC, but since Tom wants to keep his job, he pulls some sneaky tactics to make it look like ERIC is a real person who’s also a douche. I wasn’t overly fond of Tom in the first few seasons, but it was nice to see one of his classic character tropes come back so he could keep his job in the department.

As Leslie works at being the merger czar, Ann comes to her with the news that she’s thinking about leaving Pawnee with Chris. Despite the clever use of distraction waffles and a photoshopped picture of Shirtless Joe Biden riding a horse, Leslie doesn’t take to the news very well. In fact, she takes it out on Donna, who is flirting with the idea of leaving her job to let Craig take over. When Ann tries to call her on it, Leslie just gets more upset and moves to create a loyalty pledge for the Parks department so that no one else will leave.

When the department refuses, Leslie tries to force friendships with the Eagleton department. This causes Ron to yank her out of the conference room and have a serious discussion with her about the way she’s treating Ann. Sometimes, Leslie gets upset for the weirdest reasons, but I love it when she does. Unlike most female characters on TV, Leslie gets mad like a little kid and reacts appropriately so. It’s like she completely ignored how women are “supposed” to get mad and it’s beautiful.

Still, Leslie comes to her senses and apologizes to Ann, asking if it’s a good time to talk about the move. It was a lovely ending spot for the episode to see the two of them sitting down to talk it out. I know it will be hard for Leslie, but I’m glad she’ll be moving to a place of acceptance.

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Chris and Ben work together on helping Eagleton slash their budget, bringing back their old dynamic from before they started working in Pawnee. It’s exhilarating for them to be back together at first, but at dinner that night, they realize how exhausting it is after the “meth-like high of solving accounting puzzles.” (I think now is a good time as any to remind everyone that Ben’s dad played Mike on Breaking Bad.)

They also realize that they’re very different than who they used to be when they came to Pawnee and part of that is because of their partners. Chris then breaks the news that he and Ann are considering moving. Ben takes it like a champ of course, but that also serves as a reminder of  how different he and Leslie approach things. It isn’t good or bad. It just is.

As I said before, it isn’t my favorite Parks and Recreation episode ever and it’s hard to see me rewatching this episode a lot in the future, but it’s still a wonderfully solid episode with character moments that remind me why I root for these guys.

Reviewed by Ashley

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