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Great News - Competing Offer - Review: Why Does Everybody Know I Have IBS?

13 Jan 2018

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Workplace sitcoms are interesting because you really only see the characters you love at work. Occasional adventures outside of the office are little tiny glimpses into what's actually the regular part of someone's life. When we watch a show like Great News and find ourselves cheering for two people, let's, Katie and Greg, it's because we only see them at work. These characters would be totally different if we flipped the perspective around and Greg's life was the main point of view. Cat would be the nice girlfriend who we've been cheering for, with tons of inside jokes and odd glances and awkward first dates. Katie would be the season-long guest star that threatens Cat and Greg's relationship that the entire audience knows is just a delay to drag out their eventual engagement.

That's my boring analysis for why I don't care about Katie and Greg.

My fun(?) analysis is this: I watch this show because I like seeing the workplace hijinks, the random gags and talented actors. I've never once felt like a relationship needs to exist outside of Carol and Katie. Katie could come to work one day and talk about the person she's been seeing, then dating, then engaged to, then married, and we'd never actually have to meet them. They could just be a photo on her desk or someone that stops in once or twice and calls during lunch. This would be perfectly normal and honestly all I want from their personal lives. It doesn't have the same heartfelt moments that other workplace comedies with relationships have, such as The Office, Parks & Recreation, and Superstore. This brand of comedy is so bonkers and wild that a workplace relationship seems unnecessary.

That being said, I'm aware there are a lot of fans who want Katie and Greg together, and they probably loved this episode! I'm happy about that. I'm not aggressively opposed to them or dramatically wishing they were with someone else. I just don't want it to be the focus of my last few episodes of this show (ever, probably!).

Following up on last week's realization that she likes Greg, Katie shows up to work with her, um, breasts very prominent in the shirt she's wearing. Good for her! Carol is not a fan. Carol reminds her that starting a relationship while he's dating Cat is a terrible way to start, and she's right! Cat was too nice for this. She warns Katie to stay away from Greg for now. Remember, a few episodes ago Greg admitted to Carol that he likes Katie, but Carol promised not to tell. She also promised not to tell Greg that Katie likes him. For Carol, this is hard. I'd definitely mess up within a day because I LOVE meddling. I relate to Carol.

When Diana St. Tropez (Tina Fey) makes a surprise appearance by taking over every screen in the conference room, she warns The Breakdown team that they're being sued by billionaire Fenton Pelt and if they lose the case the entire show could shut down. Because it was their story that Fenton Pelt is suing over, she tells Greg and Katie they have to stay all night to make sure their story is air tight. What are the odds that this would happen right after Katie decides to stay away from Greg? In sitcom world, VERY likely! Hijinks are coming.

Carol's plot is a fun one for her character, pushing her forward in a way the show hasn't done yet. Greg informs her that it's abnormal for an unpaid intern to be around for a year and when she asks him for a job, he encourages her to come back with a competing offer. She traps the ladies of morning talk show Morning Wined Up, Kelly (Ana Gasteyer) and Mary-Kelly (Rachel Dratch!!), and convinces them to offer her a PA job on their show. She doesn't actually want to take it, she only wants it for leverage with Greg. I wonder how that will work out!

Meanwhile, Chuck takes it upon himself to go visit Fenton Pelt (guest star Jim Rash, aka the great Dean from Community but also great for so many other reasons) and convince him to drop the lawsuit. Fenton is obsessed with staying young, offering a lot of great physical comedy for Jim Rash
as he deals with the various technology in his body. All Fenton really wants is an apology from Chuck for outing his age during an interview in the 70s, but Chuck refuses to apologize. This leads to a hilarious montage as Chuck, Portia and more of The Breakdown gang prepare for a truly terrible break-in. The plan fails in less than five seconds, but it provides a lot of laughs. I watched this scene multiple times.

Katie and Greg's night together does not go well, unless you like vomit and kissing. Because Carol broke the thermostat earlier, the building is excessively hot. Katie can't keep her sweatshirt on and the room is steamy. They try to escape to Carol's house to work, even though Angie is there recovering from a vaginal surgery (I love Angie with my whole heart). Even this can't keep them apart, and when they almost kiss Katie chugs milk as a last ditch effort to remain unsexy (at this point, everyone knows she has IBS). It fails, and the two exchange a kiss while she pukes in the bathroom. I have to say, in a world of first kisses on TV, this was definitely the most original. Also the least romantic.

The episode ends on various cliffhangers. Chuck apologizes to Fenton Pelt, who secretly records it and uses it as leverage to destroy the media and paint them as liars. Diana is forced to suspend Chuck indefinitely, leaving his future with The Breakdown in limbo. Greg tells Katie that he needs time to figure everything out with Cat, and Katie eventually realizes Carol has meddled again. The two get in a big fight that ends with Carol storming out and accepting a job with Morning Wined Up.

On the bright side, does this mean we get more Rachel Dratch and Jim Rash? Because sign me up for that. On the down side, ugh.

I love character development. I love character's being challenged and pushed and growing from that. I don't love the idea of this being stretched out for the last few episodes. If it's fixed quickly next week, great! If Andrea Martin and Rachel Dratch take all the screen time for the final few episodes, hire Portia and invite Diana St. Tropez to lead them and Fenton Pelt comes on board as a never-aging consultant, great! I'll love all of that. Unfortunately, I am not a good enough person to be given something so perfect. Hopefully it all wraps up quickly, Carol rejoins the team and they all live happily ever after.

I realize this seems like I didn't like the episode. False! This episode made me laugh numerous times. The show is getting more confident with each episode. I critique it because I love it, and I critique it because I can. At the end of the day, this is a quality show and I've seen a lot worse things on screen than an ultimately harmless relationship developing between two fine actors. I also think I'd feel differently if I knew the show was coming back for a long run. Let's see what happens next week!

What did you think of the episode? Would you kiss someone by a toilet right after they vomit? Would you drink wine in an elevator with Rachel Dratch? Let me know!

My episode grade: B+