Let's get right into it, as I have a couple other subjects I want to tackle too, and studying for finals. IT NEVER ENDS!!!
Community: Continues to impress me, as tonight's Shirley-centric episode managed to cast a wide net over religion, holidays, and still find room for Anthony Michael Hall as the best community college bully EVER. Shirley dismissing all other religions was some great comedy, as you can say pretty much anything you want as long as it comes out of a matronly black lady. "Hashbrowns and applesauce, how nice". Pierce's vague cult/religion made me laugh, everybody booing Jeff for being an agnostic made me laugh, the capoeira throwdown at the end of the episode was possibly a top ten moment for the year in comedy. This show does big comedy well, and little comedy (The "its December 10th" running gag, "winterdoodles", Britta's constant gay jokes referring to the bully and the fight) even better. I'm really looking forward to the spring semester for this show.
The Office: This was so close to being the biggest Christmas downer in sitcom history, with Michael's jealousy of Santa Phyllis threatening the entire holiday party. Even worse, Michael (in classic Michael Scott fashion) misinterprets news from David Wallace (who probably deserves to be fired for continuing to trust Michael with sensitive information) as the entire office being laid off. Instead, it's a minor Christmas miracle, as Dunder-Mifflin appears to be getting a new corporate overlord in the new year. Michael heckling the party as Jesus was one of the funnier gags in a while, even as unrealistic as it is (but hey, who still thinks it's a documentary at this point?". His moment where he apologized to Phyllis at the end was also a nice sweet moment before the holiday hiatus. I would also be remiss in not mentioning Andy's ill-fated attempt to give Erin the "Twelve Days of Christmas" as her Secret Santa. Just the visual of her at the work with those scratches on her face was just the right amount of over the top. Even better, he managed to swoop in and salvage the bit after the credits with his Twelve Drummers Drumming finale. The Office is truly a master at hitting humanity's highs and lows in the course of an episode.
30 Rock rounds us out for tonight, and it was helped greatly by a genius performance by Julianne Moore. If there was a remotely plausible way for her and her Boston accent to become a regular on the show, I would be the happiest boy alive. Romantic Jack has usually been good for the show, although I read earlier that Elizabeth Banks is supposed to be doing an arc as another love interest for Jack, so who knows where this will lead. I know one thing though, I can't get enough of Boston accents/references/slang. Elsewhere, Liz tries to find Jack the perfect Christmas present (aka, bomb threat phoned into the train station to keep Julianne Moore there another day), and the writers invent a religious holiday in order to avoid Kenneth's Secret Santa exchange (combining the two worst things about the holidays: giving and rules). All around fun episode where we get to see the new guy sing, Lutz get tased, and Liz gets a to ride on Larry Wilcox's motorcycle. No muss, no fuss, and nice to have a (mostly) one and done episode after the slow "new cast member" storyline.