Read about all the pilots I watched this week here.
Toy Story of Terror (B) / Halloween special
An entertaining diversion, but doesn’t have near the emotional impact of the films or the sheer fun of the shorts. Still, it’s better than whatever else ABC has brewing in their cauldron for Halloween.
FST (B) / series premiere
Googling the full title will get you into trouble, but this Adult Swim series has its sights squarely set on the murderous twists of shows like Revenge and Pretty Little Liars. It’s funny, to be sure, but maybe Adult Swim should start mixing it up and go beyond a show that shoots fish in a barrel. It’s already got three (Children’s Hospital, NTSF and Eagleheart, which returns in November). It doesn’t really need another.
The Simpsons – “Homerland 25” (B+) / season premiere
Maybe there’s still some gas left in the tank. Even though I’ve never seen an episode of Homeland, this parody — featuring a refreshing lack of subplots — still worked because it seems somewhat believable. Not an all-time classic, but still consistently funny, which is all you can ask in these twilight years.
Freaks and Geeks (Season 1) – “The Little Things” (A-)
I seriously considered giving this a B or B+ because the Sam and Cindy stuff feels incredibly rushed, even though that’s not the show’s fault. It was canceled before it could have played out slowly over the course of Season Two. But I had to bump it back up because Seth Rogen’s story is so strong. This was kind of groundbreaking in 2000, but especially complex for a character and actor like Rogen. Bravo.
The Simpsons (Season 6) – “Lisa’s Wedding” (B+)
Still the gold standard for The Simpsons of the Future episodes. The moral of the story – that your family is your family no matter how embarrassing – hit me in the gut this week. Still, it would have had a little more impact had Hugh not been such a horse’s ass from the get-go.