Best Episode of the Season: Up All Night Season 2

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Season Analysis: Before the behind-the-scenes mess that was Up All Night’s hiatus that never ended, the show itself was already a mess during Season 2.  Doing away with “The Ava Show” removed all reasons for the existence of Maya Rudolph’s character and led to the departure of a perfectly decent supporting cast member in Jennifer Hall.  And it’s not like Will Arnett and Christina Applegate’s storylines were anything special, either.

Up All Night - Season 2

“Jerry Duty”
This episode was the rare (perhaps only) Season 2 episode of Up All Night that wasn’t about nothing.  Not about nothing in the good, Seinfeld sense, but in the worst possible sense of that description.  As in, nothing ever happened on this show in its ultimate season.  “Jerry Duty” was about Reagan never being able to see her brother as anything besides her screw-up baby brother and Chris and his old college roommate Jerry similarly not being able to see beyond their set images of each other.  That is an issue of human nature worth exploring (a comment I would not be able to make in regards to much else of Season 2).  It also helped that Jerry was played by guest star Rob Huebel, whose skill at playing actual human beings is underestimated, probably due to his being mostly associated with caricature roles such as in Childrens Hospital and Burning Love.

Best Episode of the Season: Up All Night Season 1

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Season Analysis: Up All Night established itself as consistently slightly better than mediocre.

“First Birthday”

You know that awkward situation when what is supposed to be a gathering of your friends and family gets out of your control, and you catch strangers becoming just a little too intimate with every nook and cranny of your house?  I don’t know that situation, because I have a big family and I see most members of my family either frequently or at least every so often, and they are generally considerate enough to let me know when someone I don’t know will be joining the festivities.  But I was able to imagine the uncomfortable scenario Will Arnett’s Chris had gotten himself into by agreeing to a joint first birthday party for Amy and neighbor couple George and Terry’s baby due to his inability to say no, and then discovering that George and Terry had invited every last one of their cousins, aunts, and uncles to the Brinkleys’ home.  More important, I was definitely able to relate to Chris and Ava’s desire to end the party when their guests would have preferred to stay put.  I like parties, but I also have things to do, and it is hard to do those things when people are just hanging around.  Chris enthusiastically kicking everyone out was a small-scale victory in his learning how to say no, but it was a significant one, and one that could inspire anyone who has had party guests who have stayed just a little too long.

Thursday is the Best Night of TV Ever!!!

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Year after year, Thursday continually proves itself to be the most loaded, most rewarding night of television, and I feel like singing that out in a blog post.  Here are all the shows that I have regularly watched on Thursdays this season (September 2011-now), ranked in ascending order of quality (of the current season).  And, for your entertainment, I have also included a memorable quote from several of these shows from their current seasons.

12. The Secret Circle
11. The Office (“I haven’t had this much fun since seeing Zoo E Desk Channel at the Cocarella Music Festival.”)
10. The Big Bang Theory
9. Up All Night
8. Awake
7. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (“Dennis is asshole. Why Charlie hate?”)
6. 30 Rock (“I finally understand the ending of The Sixth Sense. Those names are the people who worked on the movie!”)
5. Billy on the Street (“I LOVE MERYL STREEP!”)
4. Archer (“Thanks, Holly Hindsight.”)
3. Beavis and Butt-Head (“Masturbation frequency dialed in.”)
2. Parks and Recreation (“Anyone want to go to JJ’s for some after-dinner omelettes?”)
1. Community (“Boopy doopy doop boop sex!”)