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Thursday Night TV Open Thread

The most hyped and at least ostensibly anticipated episode of TV last night was Community’s Pulp Fiction parody/homage, which is why it was a real coup for The Office to come in with a surprise upset and steal the night’s Best Moment with Michael’s proposal to Holly and his announcement that he’s leaving the office/show. It was by no means the Jim and Pam wedding episode, and it was a known fact that all of these things were going to happen (wedding proposal, Steve Carrell leaving to pursue other projects, Will Ferrell, etc) but, and I feel like I’ve been really harping on this point all season, it is one of the show’s strengths (and let’s be honest, the show has plenty of weaknesses) that it is able to pull of genuine emotional moments. I was actually thinking about this last night, about how Community is so smart and funny, no duh, but about how even when it does approach genuine humanity, it does so through a knowing, winking filter of TV parody (not unlike the “moral of the story” speeches that South Park characters used to deliver at the end of each episode before their butts were all pooped out or whatever). I’m not sure that you could ever have a genuine, unironic human emotion on that show. You could get very close! But you would still miss the mark. (You could make this argument about 30 Rock, and I think you would be correct, except that 30 Rock basically avoids the emotion question altogether by focusing on absurdity, where as Community turns emotion INTO absurdity.) ANYWAY, LET’S WRAP IT UP, PROFESSOR BOOB TUBE! (The only thing more fun than watching TV is RUINING IT, right, you guys?) I will give Community credit for pulling a very clever switcheroo on people and make the episode actually be a parody/homage to My Dinner with Andre, but all of the Pulp Fiction stuff just reminded me of the Halloween episode, which is basically the Secretary’s Day of Hollywood costume designers. I did post a screencap of it after the jump, for those who want that kind of thing (see: NERDZ).

Well, nerdz? Your turn!