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NBC Finale Thursday: The end of a beginning, a centennial event and Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife

May
14

Here’s the rundown for tonight’s comedy line-up on NBC. I’ve been in a kind of denial about the approaching season’s end, but this is it for the season for me. I haven’t given much thought to summer fare yet, either.

Oh well, let’s enjoy it while it lasts — which is just a few more hours.

8:30 PM — Parks and Recreation

Rock Show Leslie attends an important meeting with a local bigwig while her sub-committee members go to Andy’s first concert since breaking his legs.

That is the worst picture of Rashida Jones since she left The Office. Not only is it decidedly Filippelli-ish, but it’s about as far a cry as you could get from the glam look she was sporting last week. I’ve never seen a woman be so pretty when smiling and so off-putting with a frown.

All I can say about this one is that it looks like a mega-dose of Chris Pratt’s Andy, which is to say, mucho awesome. He’s been the funniest thing about this show through the first five episodes of this short season, so funny I don’t think I can even repeat any of his band names. OK, Just the Tip, but that’s it.

It sounds strange to split Leslie up from her crew when this is the last glimpse we’ll have of the show before sometime in October. Hopefully, by then the show will return with its own voice apart from its Office roots but without sacrificing any of the funny it’s already bringing.

9 PM — The Office

Company Picnic — It’s the annual Dunder Mifflin company picnic and Michael and Holly are reunited, and Michael has some big plans for her. Meanwhile, the office competes in the picnic’s volleyball tournament. Guest starring Amy Ryan and Idris Elba.

This makes me feel old. How can The Office be 100 episodes old? It will be after this finale, about the least suspenseful finale since “Hot Girl” in Season 1. This looks to be in the spirit of “Beach Games” in that it brings the whole cast to a new, outdoor location and messes around with the show’s usual dynamic.

The addition of Wire veterans Elba and Ryan should really mix things up, though obviously it’s the latter that anyone really cares about right now. I already stumbled upon a spoiler, quite inadvertently, that I wish I hadn’t about this one. What I can say, and I think we can all agree based on past experience, is that the episode title will probably prove to have as little to do with the actual events of the episode as possible.

Check out this excellent interview with the show’s creator, or at least its American adapter, Greg Daniels.

And here’s a non-spoilery tip about the finale from Ausiello

Question: Anything new about The Office finale? –Cindy
Ausiello:
The twist ending I’ve been telling you about? Not a single one of you has come close to guessing what it is.

9:30 PM — 30 Rock

Kidney Now! — As Jack begins to build a relationship with his biological father, Milton’s health hangs in the balance. Despite Liz’s relationship track record, she draws public attention as a relationship expert after a talk show appearance. Meanwhile, Tracy’s high school invites him to speak at graduation and Kenneth must help him overcome embarrassing memories from his high school experience. Guest starring Alan Alda, Sherri Shepherd, Sheryl Crow, Mary J. Blige, Elvis Costello, Clay Aiken and Adam Levine.

I’m on record as not caring a wit about anything to do with Jack’s family. Still, it was a decent twist to have Alan Alda’s Milton, on learning Jack is his son, embrace him in the sure knowledge that he’d found the kidney he’d been looking for. I can only hope that they do as much with that storyline as Larry David and Richard Lewis did on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The Tracy-Kenneth plot seems out of left field for a finale, but based on experience we all know it will be where the episode’s laughs will come from. The Liz story has potential.

For the record, none of those guest stars interests me, except for Shepherd.

By the way, my colleague and fellow Remote Access’ory Heather Salerno interviewed Judah “Frank” Friedlander in anticipation of his upcoming gig at the Emelin in Mamaroneck Saturday. You’ll love, I think, the idea he dreamed up while on the phone with Heather for remaking the classic sitcom My Two Dads with a Goodfellas twist.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 11:00 am by Brian Howard. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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