Tim Goodman), both stepped up to the plate and out did the up-and-comers known as Community and Parks and Rec.
Two things held it back this week for me. The abundance of recurring characters that returned for the finale kind of took away from the stars that we should have following more closely as the season came to a close. I really don't need to see Vaughn, the British professor, or John Michael Higgins seizing the day, if it means that I get much less of Abed and Pierce. Which is exactly what happened.
The other thing was how much sappy romantic stuff there was. As Alan Sepinwall loves to complain about, the Jeff/Britta thing was terrible for this show and it definitely hurt it again tonight. The whole scene at the Tranny Dance when Jeff was caught between Slater and a Buzzkill was terrible. That is until the entire crowd started getting in on it. Now that is the type of stuff we watch Community for. The crowd yelling out, "Team Britta!" or "Bring Conan back!" was hilarious.
I definitely haven't turned to the dark side yet, but Ron Swanson is definitely getting better in the last few episodes. He's being much less like Ron Swanson, that's what's better about him. If his character can continue this turn around into someone who hates on city government openly and giddily, instead of quietly and boringly, I'll enjoy him much more.
Through two episodes with guest stars Adam Scott and Rob Lowe and the latter is stealing the show. Again, Scott is being completely under-utilized as a dull straight man, considering the hilarious comedy chops he showed in Step Brothers. Lowe's character reminds me of his Benjamin from Wayne's World on cocaine. Between his "goal to run to the moon," pointing at Ann Perkins every time he sees her, and telling Ron to "focus up buddy" when he stopped massaging for two seconds, Lowe's Chris should definitely stick around in Pawnee.
Michael Scott absolutely held this season together. Last night that didn't change, he continued to shine the brightest, but everybody else seemed to step their games up as well. The cold open was again good with a great moment of Michael hating that the baby otter video was being watched over his, and then obviously gave into the cuteness and couldn't turn away from the screen while watching it. I also loved that his plan for punishment was make them work...and pay them...and give them their Christmas bonuses.
There was good Kevin stuff, we finally got an awesome Creed moment and Ryan was on point with his Woof bit. I love that he had a "woof on line one." And to boot, Jim didn't make me want to punch him in the face. He wasn't funny, a la the early seasons when he ragged on Dwight constantly, but at least he wasn't detestable like he's been the rest of this season.
Now maybe because it's because he is a two-time Oscar nominated actor, but boy did Matt Damon make his straight man guest starring role on 30 Rock look Oscar-worthy in comparison to Adam Scott on Parks and Recreation. Then again, maybe it was the writing by this once fantastic group at 30 Rock. It's hard to make lines like "Does that sound like more fun than me eating alone at the LaGuardia Chilis?" not hilarious. But then again Matt Damon did have a way of making it funny that he wished he had a terrorist on his plane, so I don't know.
The scene in which the loud music was playing and you couldn't hear Jack's voice was classic 30 Rock silliness without the complete weirdness they've had lately. The only man sitting there with a stereo? Great gag. That being said, I hope the whole Jack deciding between women thing is over because that got old half a season ago. We need new stories for Jacky D and quick.