Television
Entertainment Television

Feast of funny in Thanksgiving episodes of 'New Girl,' 'Raising Hope'

Some of my fondest memories of my early single years (notice I said “early”) in Chicago have to do with the holidays, when my friends and I would get together and not only drink, but make Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Those get-togethers always were enjoyable and sometimes uncomfortable—I’m thinking specifically of the time I accidentally eavesdropped on some rather loud sex being had in the bedroom next to the pantry where I was trying to sleep.

Anyway, a friend introducing a new boyfriend or girlfriend into the group also could cause strange, funny and awkwards moments—a situation that Fox’s sitcom “New Girl” perfectly captures in its “Thanksgiving” episode airing at 8 p.m. Nov. 15.

It’s the best episode of the season so far. In it, Jess (Zooey Deschanel) invites a fellow teacher, Paul (guest star Justin Long), to have Thanksgiving dinner with her and her male roomies—who were planning to do nothing but watch football all day.

Naturally, things go horribly wrong. “Hank” the turkey (“Happy Hanksgiving!” Jess says) doesn’t fit in the oven, so she tries to cook it with her body heat and the clothes dryer is just one example. Anyway, myriad disasters lead Jess to a colossal meltdown that is one of the funniest scenes from the freshman series.

Long, who will apear in three episodes starting tonight, makes Paul just as adorkable as Jess is. I hope he’ll return to the show often, because they are quite the pair together.

I wasn’t sold on the show initially. I felt that Deschanel’s Jess was just a little too quirky to be believable. But she’s grown on me, and the support she gets from Jake Johnson, LaMorne Morris and Max Greenfield as her roommates and Hannah Simone as her bestie, Cece, is incredible. She may be the star, but they’re interactions with her—maybe I should say reactions to her—generate the most laughs.

I’ve loved Greg Garcia’s “Raising Hope” from the beginning for its endearing mix of sweet and salty moments. We get more of both in “Burt’s Parents,” debuting at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 15 on Fox. Shirley Jones and Lee Majors guest star as Burt’s disapproving parents, whose decision to have Thanksgiving with the Chances leads Burt (Garret Dillahunt), Virginia (Martha Plimpton), Jimmy (Lucas Neff) and Sabrina (Shannon Woodward) to put on the scam of all scams for them. Expect the return of Drakkar Noir, and to learn something about him you may not have wanted to know.

Watch the sneak peeks in the video player above, and make sure you tune in for the full episodes.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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