We quickly switch over to FX, but the tag of Parks and Rec cuts of the beginning of Always Sunny.
10 p.m. – Because I missed the beginning of this episode, I was very confused. The Always Sunny gang is mid-conversation, and Mac is talking about getting “ass blasted” by the government. Was this a repeat?
No. This was, in fact, a direct reference to the episode “The Gang Runs for Office,” and started what was to be a meta semi-clip show episode, cleverly titled “The Gang Recycles Their Trash.” What was great about this episode was how self-aware it was, yet still maintained its distinctly Always Sunny charm/scumminess.
So, recycling plots from “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis,” “The Gang Runs for Office,” and “The Gang Sells Out” the group splits up to solve the problem with piles of trash taking over Philadelphia. Both groups realize that they need to correct their mistakes from before, and while Charlie, Mac, and Dennis are very successful with their limousine/trash pick-up/singing trio concept, Frank and Dee are not as successful. Bribing the same man who was found to be gay in “The Gang Sells Out,” proves to be difficult for the two, and while it’s not as fun as the other group’s plot, the taxonomy of various types of members of the gay community is kind of hilarious.
While the payoff of the episode – Dee’s Martina Martinez (via “Paddy’s Next Top Billboard Model”) rallies the striking garbagemen to attack the bourgeoisie who are throwing their trash on the streets, which ends up just being Mac, Charlie, and Dennis – is not fantastic, there are enough references to other episodes, both subtle and obvious, that I really liked “The Gang Recycled Their Trash.” With the reappearance of Mac’s duster and direct flashbacks to “The Gang Finds a Dead Guy” last week, it seems like Always Sunny is on its last hurrah. It would be a shame to see it go so soon.
Episode Grade: A
10:30 p.m. – Oh, The League, how you love your penis jokes. Between “vinegar strokes” and “eskimo brothers,” The League has some great phrases that can takeover an episode, but “The Hoodie” falls short of those classics.
It’s weird to see the start of this episode coincide with the first week of the season, rather than the present, but at least it’s accurate (Andre complains about Pete picking up and starting Ogletree.) But any sort of actual football banter on the show is a welcome sight, especially when there’s no suspension of disbelief, aka trips to Cowboys training camp. The point of the opening is to introduce Pete’s point evaluation system, which works for both football players and women, naturally.
The Pete plot line is fine and all, but it’s really just to show off how hot Melissa Ordway is, so there’s that. Otherwise, it doesn’t have too much of a role in this episode, and really is just something to balance out the circumcision part to this episode…and the plot to figure out what Andre’s penis looks like.
So, circumcision and Andre’s penis. Long story short, Kevin wants to leave his child, who I’m happy they’re still calling Chalupa Batman, intact, while Jenny wants to have their child circumcised. Of course, in a very League way, it comes down to who wins their fantasy football matchup. And, in a very League way, Kevin ends up losing.
Meanwhile, both Kevin and Ruxin visit Shiva for favors – Kevin for a recommendation on his performance, while Ruxin to find out what Andres nether regions look like. With the promise of getting her picture removed from the league’s trophy, Shiva visits Andre’s loft to tell the gang that Andre is indeed half-circumcised. And of course, Ruxin wasn’t actually going to let Shiva be taken off The Shiva, so she puts some sort of curse on them. So, predictably, when Chalupa Batman is having the brist, the doctor makes an error, and he ends up looking like…well, Andre.
You could see that coming as soon as Shiva “cursed” the group, so it wasn’t too satisfying. But what’s great about this episode is that Shiva’s curse could be a season-long arc that majorly affects some of the character’s fates this season. Pete never really has too much to lose, while Andre always loses everything. Ruxin is a bit of a wildcard because he never seems to have great luck with his wife…or Rafi. And as introduced last episode, Taco now has quite a bit of money to lose. So, despite an average episode by League standards, there is at least a sign of what’s to come the rest of the way.
Episode Grade: B
11 p.m. – Oh yeah! Real football. Having missed the only touchdown of the game, and with The League ending when it did, there wasn’t much left of Thursday Football for me to watch. I got to see another field goal, and got my wish in seeing the Seahawks fall to the 49ers. It seemed like a game we’d expect from a Ravens-Steelers matchup in past seasons, but with defense trending westward, it’s what we should expect from that division.
Oh, and Sherman. You mad?
Game Grade: A-
The night overall was pretty great for television, though up-and-down for FX. The excellent football matchup helped with commercials and my personal break between 30 Rock and Parks and Rec.
Thursday Night Grade: A-