How it all began for television’s veteran comedies:
Annoyed with a line-cutter at a New York hot dog stand, Liz Lemon buys every hot dog and distributes them to strangers on the street. Liz’s two obsessions are on display: food and giving jerks their comeuppance.
Sterling Archer mouths off during a hostage torture simulation, and his mother/ISIS agency boss is pissed. Some Mother’s Day.
“The Big Bang Theory”
Sheldon and Leonard offer to donate their sperm. Thus marks the pique of Sheldon’s sexuality.
“Bored To Death”
Jonathan Ames is dumped by his girl for smoking too much weed and drinking too much white wine. He’ll become an amateur private detective, though the case of “Can you blame her?” needs little sleuthing.
The dean of Greendale Community College tries to make a welcome speech to new students, but everything goes wrong. And unlike every “Community” episode thereafter, no movie was parodied.
Jules Cobb stands in front of a mirror, surveying her physical flaws. One thing’s working out for her, though: As she’s aged, she’s looked more and more like Courteney Cox.
The gang lunches at a posh L.A. restaurant as beautiful girls throw themselves at Vincent Chase and not Johnny Drama, much to the chagrin of Johnny Drama. Which is crazy because, see, seven seasons later … it’s the same.
Peter says the worst thing Quahog citizens have to deal with are “Aunt Jemima’s Witnesses.” Pretty racy stuff; no wonder it got canceled.
An otherwise impeccably executed cheerleader routine is flubbed at the last minute, prompting Sue Sylvester to bark, “Think this is hard? Try being waterboarded.” From minute one, “Glee” brandishes its comic edge with panache.
“Hot In Cleveland”
On a plane with her three best friends to Paris, Melanie runs into her ex-husband with his much-younger new fiancee. Not yet in Cleveland, not yet feeling so hot.
“How I Met Your Mother”
The year is 2030, and future Ted says, “Kids, I’m gonna tell you an incredible story: the story of how I met your mother.” The kids look disappointed. “Is this gonna take a while?” one wonders. “Yes.”
We meet all three families in sequence. We don’t yet know they’re all related, but they share a deep family loyalty. And neuroses.
Jackie snorts the contents of a pill, then heads to the emergency room to work. Helloooo, nurse.
After calling Jim into his office to demonstrate his sales prowess, Michael Scott closes a call with “my good sir,” only to learn the client is a woman. That’s what she said … literally.
“Parks and Recreation”
Leslie Knope forces a drunk out of a slide with a broom. Who says the government never gets anything done?
“Two and a Half Men”
Alan walks in on Charlie about to get intimate with a woman. Winning.
“United States Of Tara”
Tara discovers her daughter’s prescription for the morning-after pill. Later, the daughter returns and T, Tara’s teeny-bopper alter-ego, warns that Tara’s on the warpath. Who can you trust if you can’t even trust yourself?
Nancy tries to ban sugary drinks at the school as gossips speculate where she got the money for her handbag. As her friends bag weed, Nancy reveals the bag is a fake. You’d think the show was called “Bags” or something.
New comedies might not make big Emmy splash | Serious business at ‘Big Bang’ table read | Comedy conundrum: Dark and stormy vs. light | ‘Community’ student Abed analyzes the Emmys | Veteran contenders | Where it began for top comedies | Rookie comedies enter Emmy race