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Community, Parks And Recreation, The Office, And Whitney: Holiday Episodes Reviewed

NBC has a line-up full of Christmassy goodness ready to go tonight as their two-hour comedy block gets merry and bright. There’s also music, presents, and just a little bit of drama to go around. NBC has a little something for everyone here.

While Community, Parks & Rec, The Office, and Whitney are all full of holiday recognition, if not all-out cheer, and worth checking out tonight , I’d say it comes down to Community and Parks & Rec as the two best episodes of the night, but in the spirit of Christmas, I’ve given each show an award for something.

Community - 8:00 p.m. ET

“It’s a feeling you get when your brain finally lets your heart get in its pants”

Award: Best use of music and twisted holiday gleefullness.

The holidays are most definitely not being ignored by NBC tonight and it all starts with a very special episode of Community. And, by “very special,” I don’t just mean there are songs and bizarrely gleeful glee-ness and an appearance by Saturday Night Live’s Taran Killam, but because this is the last new episode of the series that we’re going to see for a while. Fortunately, it’s a good one! Much in the way that last Christmas’ episode of Community was really the result of something not quite right in the mind of one of the characters, such is sort of the case in this year’s Christmas special as one by one, the study group falls under the spell of the Greendale Glee Club choir director. Madness (and music) ensues. It’s pretty brilliant.

Parks and Recreation- 8:30 p.m. ET

“We need to get Leslie something that erases the enormous emotional debt that has built up over years of this gift-giving imbalance. Everyone start thinking of ideas.”

Award(s): Best use of Christmas to further the overall plot of the show. Also, sweetest holiday-themed moments.

“Citizen Knope” has Leslie finding a way to continue her work in a less official capacity while on suspension. Ben also sets out to find work. Meanwhile, everyone else is trying to come up with away to pay Leslie back by coming up with a Christmas present to top the well thought out gifts she’s given to all of them. Ron Swanson charges toward this task like he’s trying exact some kind of nice-vengeance. Leslie’s campaign aspirations are not put on hold for this episode, which is where the continuity part of the award comes in.

The Office - 9:00 p.m. ET

“So there was talk of oatmeal.”

Award: Best use of awkward tension (in some cases alcohol related).

Christmas on The Office is always a special affair and “Christmas Wishes” is no exception. Once again, the staff at Dunder Mifflin gathers to celebrate the holidays, which in Erin’s case means drinking away the awkwardness brought on by the arrival of Andy’s girlfriend Jessica. Meanwhile, Andy attempts to grant everyone their holiday wishes. And Dwight and Jim are ordered not to prank each other. It’s the first Christmas episode without Michael Scott but there’s enough drama and humor to go around nonetheless. There’s also a great Darryl moment.

Whitney - 9:30 p.m. ET

“This is a bloody mary eggnog. A bloodnog.”

Award: Best guest stars.

Whitney and Alex attempt to avoid family during the holidays. Of course, that doesn’t go as planned, but we are introduced to what might be the grossest sounding cocktail ever invented: The bloodnog (a bloody mary eggnog). Tune in if only to see PEtter Gallagher and Jane Kaczmarek playing Whitney’s dysfunctional parents.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.