Thursday, December 26, 2013

REVIEW: 'Ground Floor' Stages Karaoke with a 'Pitch Perfect' Reunion in 'Woman on Top'

TBS' Ground Floor - Episode 1.07 Woman on Top

When Brody's hyper-competitive ex-girlfriend from business school, Heather (Anna Camp), comes back into the picture, Jenny's worried that Heather's a better match for Brody. When they all take the stage for karaoke, the sparks begin to fly. Meanwhile, Mansfield realizes that his office has become a boys' club and decides to get in touch with his feminine side.

On paper, the plot of "Woman on Top" is something that has been frequently seen on multi-camera comedies. Remington Trust is called out for not being a good workplace for woman. So then, Mansfield goes out and hires Heather (a pretty great Anna Camp) who also happens to be Brody's ex-girlfriend from business school who he hasn't told Jenny about. Wacky hijacks ensue because Jenny wants to prove that she isn't threatened by Heather and her plan completely backfires.

It's all familiar territory but Ground Floor has crafted it in such a way that feels current, fresh and, most importantly, funny. That has everything to do with the performances. Briga Heelan's Jenny was the clear revelation during the pilot but she has gotten better and better as the season has progressed. Skylar Astin absolutely sells singing Pink's "Just Give Me a Reason" as an apology and desperation of needing Jenny's love. The pause before Jenny takes hold of the mic was an incredibly earned moment of pathos and the strongest bit Heelan has done yet. That scene plays like two people fighting for their romance to stay alive. Even though we all knew Ground Floor wouldn't split the two up at this point in time, that didn't play in their characters actions and reactions. This show is so strong because it knows that. So that climatic does play as a make-or-break moment for Brody and Jenny and not simply conflict to fuel an episodic story.

The Brody-Jenny duet was the clear highpoint of the episode and that moment could have just elevated everything else around it. However, the rest of this half-hour was very good as well. I very much enjoyed Camp's presence here. I wish they were keeping her around for another episode or so but I like that they very much kept the door open for her to return in the future.

Some more thoughts:
  • Who Got to Swear This Week? - Anna Camp and John C. McGinley (who got the full on bleep).
  • Jenny: "She was a little pitchy." Clearly the Pitch Perfect reference that just had to be in this episode.
  • I know Brody and Jenny have been dating for awhile, but how long has it actually been?
  • Heather adds Stevia to her coffee! And to think, the Stevia business thought they were doomed after Lydia and Breaking Bad.
  • Didn't quite understand the recurring gag with Threepeat doing errands for Heather. But it was a joy to seem him interacting with the rest of the gag during the final trip to the karaoke bar.