The Simpsons – “Pulpit Friction” (C)
The first 10 minutes had this headed straight for “A” territory. The bed-bug opener was scarier than any Treehouse of Horror and the religious satire delivered by guest star Ed Norton was spot-on. Then there had to be a subplot about Marge searching for her wedding dress, Homer becoming a deacon and the return of the bed bugs. We’ve already seen Ned get jealous of Homer and Rev. Lovejoy feel useless. We don’t need them again. Stick with spoofing the pop-culture heavy, feel-good brand of Christianity that’s invading the Church and you’ve got something.
The Following – “The Final Chapter” (C+) / season finale
So much for finishing strong. Despite an intense first half-hour, this finale limped to the finish with a really half-assed twist. What a letdown.
Inside Amy Schumer – “Bad Decisions” (C) / airs Tuesdays at 9pm CDT on Comedy Central
Like all sketch shows, this was hit-or-miss. Unfortunately, there were a bunch of misses, and only one real hit: a split screen of what happens after a one-night stand. Amy can make clever dirty jokes, but the time has long passed to do a bit about 2 Girls, 1 Cup.
Modern Family – “Career Day” (B)
The show puts itself on cruise control, except for Ty Burrell and his arch-nemesis played by Rob Riggle. Read my review here.
The Americans – “The Colonel” (A) / season finale
A truly fantastic finale that made you actually care about the fate of every character. While I’m sure Damien Lewis, Jon Hamm and Bryan Cranston will having something to say about this, I’d give Matthew Rhys the Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series.
See you later: Community, Parks and Recreation, Hannibal, Happy Endings (I’m on vacation. Sue me.)
Hannibal – “Coquilles” (A-)
Though the twisty logic behind this week’s killer didn’t quite add up, Will’s fragility is making for increasingly compelling television. Gina Torres’ first minutes on-screen were heart-wrenching. I don’t know how this show is pulling all this off at once, but it’s magnificent.
Happy Endings – “The Ballad of Lon Sarofsky,” “Un-Sabotagable” (average: A-)
The return of two of the season’s best guest stars made for two of the season’s best episodes. Rob Corddry continues to play TV’s most preeminent asshole, this time as Jane’s boss Lon (aka The Car Czar). His fling with a newly single Penny was hilarious and disgusting. And even though Mark-Paul Gosselar was only on-screen for two minutes, he set into motion Max’s hilarious life makeover, turning “The Oakland of Gays” into something respectable.
Hannibal – “Ceuf”
Though I understand and appreciate Bryan Fuller’s sensitivity to recent horrific events in our nation, but I don’t get why he wouldn’t offer up the whole episode online, where only those who want to watch the whole thing, no matter how unsettling, could find it. Instead, we simply got clips of character development, excising the killer-of-the-week stuff and denying Molly Shannon her Emmy showcase.