‘Tis the season to be merry, folks, and if this week’s holiday episodes are any indication, I’d say that spirit of Christmas is abundant this year. There were so many great things to watch this week that I felt a tributary post was due. So, here you are, the best of TV: (fair warning, if you’re behind on your DVR, do NOT read this!)
Happy Endings: This is rapidly becoming one of my favorite shows currently on television. We haven’t seen chemistry like this between a group of friends since, well, “Friends.” Each character brings something distinct and cool to the group dynamic and they all manage to be both likable and realistically flawed. I loved the whole Max-as-Santa thing. For someone who hates kids, he sure is a sucker for the little tykes. Eliza Coupe continues to impress me with her comedic timing and this week, Alex became slightly more relevant during an interesting moment with ex-fiance Dave. Honestly, though, I couldn’t care less if they kept on not knowing what to do with her character because Elisha Cuthbert is so cute and charming, it doesn’t really matter what she’s doing.
American Horror Story: Violet is dead. Who saw that coming?! A few episodes ago, she downed a bottle of pills in a spontaneous suicide attempt and now we find out, she succeeded. I, for one, was flabbergasted. And none of the horror, the sorrow and the devastation was lost on me. A mad shout-out to Evan Peters for bringing such rich depth to his character. Tate is one evil, scary, demented kid and yet, I find myself wanting so much to like him. Scenes like the one in which he reveals Violet’s dead broken body (to Violet) are what keep me from turning totally against him. And Jessica Lange is fantastic as his lunatic mother, also evoking equal amounts of fear and sympathy.
Parks & Recreation: Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson and the rest of the Pawnee crew have become the people I wish I worked with. How do they manage, week after week, to be so charmingly sweet without even a hint of cheesiness? Kudos to the writers and to everyone of the cast members for walking this delicate tightrope with such ease and grace.
The Office: This season, the first without Steve Carell, has been lackluster, in my opinion. It wasn’t until this week’s Christmas episode that I really felt like I was watching that most beloved show that has long been a favorite of mine. Andy makes sense as the choice for Regional Manager and though he has gotten plenty of laughs, the writing itself has been sub-par, missing fruitful opportunities for both the humor and the satire we’ve all come to appreciate from this series. Drunk Erin cracked me up and even though I was rooting for her and Robert California to hook up, I’m glad they went their separate ways in the end. I’d hate to see such a scandalous affair endanger Erin’s job at Dunder Mifflin and I think Andy’s head may have exploded if such an event took place. On the other hand, that could have been an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the pre-anger management Andy we haven’t seen since Season 3. Or, perhaps, a chance to show his growth as a character, that he wouldn’t allow jealousy to dictate his behavior. The pranking between Jim and Dwight was wonderful and I loved Darryl’s heroic tuxedo-sporting gesture. The Transiberian Orchestra’s Carol Of The Bells montage with Dwight, Creed, Gabe and that creepy warehouse dude rocking the air-band was supreme.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: The gang attended their high school reunion this week and, true to form, outrageous escapades quickly ensued. The waitress has fallen off the wagon yet again and Frank managed to worm his way into the party wearing the name tag of one Nikki Potnick. Mac’s real name is unveiled here and you’ll never guess what a ridiculous moniker it is. My favorite, though, was Charlie passing out on the bathroom floor after sniffing a combination of bleach and ammonia. I would NEVER want to hang out with these shmucks, but damn are they funny. Can’t wait for Part II, the conclusion of the reunion!