Road to the Emmys 2012: Comedy
“2 Broke Girls”
Caroline summons up her inner Orthodox Jew to expand the cupcake business. Both she and Max wrestle with their consciences over whether to disclose non-kosher ingredients.
With the tension between the two boiling over, Pete and Ben are about to fight when they are distracted by the complete sloppiness of Alex’s bedroom.
“Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23”
Chloe schools June on how to be cool and confident as well as mastering the fine art of dancing with two guys at once.
More than one instance with New-Age enthusiasm meeting reality and falling flat, such as when Amy tells her ex she’s glad they can connect without the help of drugs. He agrees — and then snorts a line of cocaine.
Hannah meets her ex for dinner to tell him she has HPV and believes he gave it to her. He sets her straight and reveals he’s gay. And that he thinks her father is, too.
“House of Lies”
In the pilot, Marty shows the CEO of a mega-bank a film of irate customers, then explains how he can improve the bank’s image — by secretly screwing customers even more, resulting in uncanny social commentary.
“LIfe’s Too Short”
While many cameos standout, it doesn’t get better than watching a deadly serious Liam Neeson deliver the line, “I’ve got full-blown AIDS,” as he works on his aspiring standup comedy career.
The nonsensical drinking game “True American” that the gang ropes Jess’ new boyfriend (Dermot Mulroney) into was spot-on comic chaos. Lizzy Caplan as Nick’s lawyer girlfriend gave the show a spark, too, as a foil for Jess.
At a school dance, Dalia tells Tessa of a intricately detailed revenge plot she plans on carrying out against her over a period of years, culminating in the destruction of Tessa’s “organic catering lesbian adventure.”
“Up All Night”
Chris and Reagan flip-flop, crashing a loud party they reported. When authorities arrive at the scene, Chris’ “Hey Soul Sister” ringtone outs him as a cop-calling culprit with wildly unhip taste in music.
Selina visits a hospital, trying for some good PR after a “Meet the Press” slip-up that’s viewed as an anti-immigrant slur. The patients erupt in xenophobic cheers. “USA! USA! USA!”
When Whitney confesses a thing for Jon Hamm, a suited Alex goes all “Mad Men” on her, calling her “Dollface” and slapping her rear … and lighting a cigarette at the filter end.
Call us 14-year-olds, but the episode “Pride” found more jokes about sex with a stuffed-toy giraffe than we knew were possible, none of them remotely tasteful.
The inspired “Leap Day” episode, the return of Avery, and Margaret Cho’s hilarious Kim Jong-Il.
“The Big Bang Theory”
Wolowitz, growing more fearful as his NASA mission approaches, looks high and low for a graceful way out. However, nothing seems to work.
“The Big C”
Guest star Hugh Dancy finds there’s a steep learning curve when teaching Laura Linney and Oliver Platt the terminology and nuance of hookup culture at a gay bar.
In the darkest of the alternate timelines in “Remedial Chaos Theory,” all hell breaks loose. A brief glimpse reveals that Pierce dies, Annie ends up in a mental ward and Jeff loses an arm.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Larry embraces his tendency to say the wrong thing and becomes a “social assassin,” called upon by wimpy friends to confront people who have annoying habits.
Peers might look down on Becky Jackson (Lauren Potter), but she knows she’s royalty. An uncredited Helen Mirren voiced the Cheerio’s inner thoughts, expressing both the hilarity of her diva attitude and the sadness of her frustrations.
Among many: A duckling leads to an Afghanistan peace accord; the aunt with a secret; Louie’s sister’s pregnancy scare (and punchline); his heart-to-hearts with Dane Cook and Joan Rivers.
A proud graduate of Clown College, Cameron runs into a former partner (Bobby Cannavale) at a funeral and they decide to resurrect their act — Fizbo & Lewis — for one last performance at a children’s party in “Send Out the Clowns.”
Edie Falco’s flabbergasted Jackie can only walk away when an odd turn of events ends in her pill pusher (Bill Sage) getting struck dead by a passing bus.
An awkward party hosted by Robert California morphs into a cathartic bacchanalia of happy drinking, skinny-dipping and romance-kindling.
“Parks and Recreation”
Paul Rudd’s guest spot as spoiled rich politician running against Leslie ending in a riotous debate; plus, Kathryn Hahn as his cocky out-of-town operative and Carl Reiner as a Pawnee senior leader.
The show gets some delicious digs at Southern California eateries when Fred and Carrie pursue a favorite bartender, hoping in vain to convince him to return to Portland.
“Jimmy’s Fake Girlfriend” gave us a charming, funny and even romantic Valentine’s story. And, goodness, was that a “Marwencol” reference — Frank’s creepy but fascinating scale model of the town — in the terrific “New Natesville” episode?
“Two and a Half Men”
Beloved sitcom vets Georgia Engel and Holland Taylor emerge from the bedroom in housecoats to be revealed as “Golden Girls Gone Wild.” Clueless grandson: “I love Grandma’s pie.”
A grander gander
at gender| Emmy spotlight neglects cable comedies | New kids in town enter sitcom race | 2011-12 TV comedy moments to remember | Sitcom standbys in kudo contention |Defending champ ‘Modern’ impresses past TV toppers