What I Watched This Week: 16 Oct 2016

The Simpsons – “Treehouse of Horror XXVII” (B+)
Not a weak segment in the bunch, which is extremely rare for any of their Halloween specials, let alone one this late in the game. The Hunger Games/Mad Max: Fury Road parody was definitely my favorite, but the other segments had their high points too (setting a fight scene to a mellow Steely Dan track is just the kind of cognitive dissonance I can appreciate).

The Mindy Project – “Margaret Thatcher” (B+)
The most consistent start the show has ever had. The nurses’ strike ends and Mindy finds a new love interest and I didn’t roll my eyes at any of it. Well done.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Halloween IV” (A)
Several critics have said it’s time to retire this tradition, but I hope they never do. This is the show at its zaniest, and I love the byzantine plot it has to take to get to the end result.

This Is Us – “The Pool” (B)
A few clumsy scenes about racism, but this show still has its heart in the right place.

Atlanta – “Club” (B+)
After lots of experimenting (see below), this episode reminded me of nothing so much as Seinfeld, albeit with trap doors and a drive-by shooting.

“The Streisand Effect” (B+)
“Nobody Beats the Biebs” (B+)
“Value” (A)
“B.A.N.” (A)
This show’s greatest asset is its elasticity. It can be anything it wants, which you can’t say about any other show on TV right now. “Value,” focusing on Van, is fantastic, especially that first conversation. It’s amazing that one scene of an episode can convey so much about underlying resentment and disapproval. That’s a testament to the writing staff as much as the actors. “B.A.N.” felt like an episode of Chappelle’s Show, which some found disarming, but I found genius, especially the spot-on fake ads.

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