The Thursday Playlist: Sweeps Begin With a Community Body Switch
Here's something you've probably never heard anyone say while watching NBC's Community: Yeah, that could happen.
And so it is this week, with an episode (8/7c) by Oscar-winning screenwriter/goofball extraordinaire Jim Rash (Dean Pelton), in which Troy and Abed go too far - what else is new - in their obsession with cheesy body-switching movies. Before you can say Freaky Friday, Troy is adopting Abed's dislocated mannerisms while Abed channels Troy's giddy swagger. Donald Glover and Danny Pudi are, as usual, a joy to watch, even if the message behind their madness is delivered with a heavy hand reflective of this uneven transitional season. And who could blame Rash for giving himself some of the best bits, as the Dean imagines he has pulled off his own body switch with his numero-uno obsession, the unamused Jeff Winger (Joel McHale).
The final "sweeps" period of the traditional broadcast season has officially begun, which means I'll be getting a lot less mail over the next few weeks griping about repeats. The downside: My DVRs will start groaning about being overworked. Finale season, here we come.
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FOR LAUGHS: Thursday's top comedy, CBS' The Big Bang Theory (8/7c), presents a story I can certainly relate to, having been likened in the past to a "TV therapist" by correspondents in my Ask Matt column who have to be talked off the ledge when their favorite shows get canceled. This time it's creature-of-habit Sheldon who's in despair over being denied closure for one of his TV faves. Can Amy ease his pain? ... On CBS' Two and a Half Men (8:31/7:31c), Alan is suffering after being dumped by Lyndsey. Can Walden ease his pain? ... Pawnee may lose its local mini-golf course to budget cuts on NBC's best current comedy, Parks and Recreation (9:31/8:31c), but not if Leslie has her way. Although her choice of ally for her latest cause may raise Ron's prodigious eyebrows: obnoxious Councilman Jamm.
SO MUCH DRAMA: A road trip to New Orleans for Klaus, Elijah and Hayley on the CW's The Vampire Diaries (8/7c) sets up the "backdoor" pilot for a possible new series focusing on "The Originals," which come to think of it is a pretty ironic name for a spin-off. ... ABC's guilty-pleasure dramas are back from a three-week hiatus, with fan favorite Bailey in the hot seat on Grey's Anatomy (9/8c), as the CDC investigates a connection among the deaths of several of her patients. And the bizarre Huck (Guillermo Diaz) is the focus of Scandal (10:02/9:02c), as his backstory is revealed. ... There's a ticking clock on CBS' Person of Interest (9:01/8:01c), with Reese and Finch given only 24 hours to help their latest client, who has been poisoned by an unknown toxin. Too bad Detective Fusco's number didn't come up, because his past misdeeds have suddenly come to the attention of Internal Affairs. ... Sherlock reaches his first year of sobriety on CBS' Elementary (10:01/9:01c), but it's a mystery why he doesn't want to celebrate the milestone. ... Gina Torres (Suits) guests on another strong episode of NBC's Hannibal (10:01/9:01c) as the wife of FBI boss Jack Crawford (real-life husband Laurence Fishburne). She has a secret that for now she only feels comfortable spilling to her new therapist: Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Can we hear an uh-oh?
THE THURSDAY GUIDE: Sarah Jessica Parker returns to Fox's Glee (9/8c), enlisting Kurt and his roomies to help at a charity event, while back at McKinley, a power outage forces the glee club to go acoustic. ... Michael Kors returns to help judge Lifetime's two-hour Project Runway finale (9/8c). ... Marc Anthony is among the headliners performing at the 2013 Billboard Latin Music Awards, airing live from Miami (Telemundo, 7/6c). ... As the debate over firearms continues, CNBC explores the history and allure of America's Gun: The Rise of the AR-15 (10/9c), reported by Brian Sullivan.
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