What I Watched This Week: 13 Mar 2016

The Carmichael Show – “Fallen Heroes” (A-)
The best episode the show has done yet (and yes, I have a small sample size) that exemplifies all its greatest attributes: it’s funny, the cast has great chemistry and it manages to tackle a big issue (in this case, Bill Cosby and supporting artists who are terrible humans) without getting preachy.

Togetherness – “Changetown” (B)
The slight time shift gives it the feel of having to catch up, but aside from Tina’s domestic struggles, the whole episode feels like a montage. The show does montages very well, but I wanted a little more substance.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Terry Kitties” (B+)
A solid episode, but not reaching for the heights of last fall’s hot streak. Again, there are three stories (which is too many), but Terry and Jake teaming up (and petting kittens) is golden.

The Goldbergs – “12 Tapes for a Penny” (B+)
I’m a very irregular viewer of this show, but it hit home for me as someone who also spent a fortune with Columbia House (well, BMG in my case). There’s a warmth and specificity here that sets this show apart, but probably not enough for me to jump back in.

Modern Family – “The Cover-Up” (A-)
Yes, the main plot – which involves Phil hiding his attraction to a new client and Claire hiding the physical attention she’s received from her yoga instructor – is a little tone deaf. But it’s consistently hilarious. Flustered Phil is the funniest Phil. Jay’s video rants and showdown with a comment troll (guest star Jon Polito) also bring the laughs, as do Mitch and Cam’s attempts to get Lily to ride a bike.

The Americans – “Glanders” / season premiere (B+)
The premiere picks up right where the finale left off. It’s all about Philip as he has to reckon with killing Gene, along with lingering memories of killing a bully in a fit of rage in his youth. The rest just feels like setting up, so it’s not quite as compelling. But Matthew Rhys could read the phone book in Russian and I’d be glued to the screen.

American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson
“The Run of His Life” (A-)
“The Dream Team” (B+)
Slowly but surely making my way through this. It’s wildly entertaining, though too interested in showing us the Kardashians as kids. But that’s a small appeasement for a ridiculously stacked cast. From the bombastic John Travolta and Courtney B. Vance to the quieter work of Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown. This is a great miniseries so far.

The Wire (Season 4) – “A New Day” (B+)
Mayor Carcetti is on the warpath, trying to clean up every department in the city. Omar’s finding common ground against Marlo. But the scariest stuff is happening in the schools. Kids are getting beat up right outside the school and it’s only getting more violent.

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