Crashing – “NACA” (A)
In just 30 minutes, it pulls off the extreme difficulty of making really bad jokes be really funny, as well as staging just an incredible fight between Pete and Ali about not just their relationship, but about whether degrading your art for success is worth it. And it all ends with a series of Matthew McConaughey impressions.
This Is Us – “Vegas, Baby” (C)
A bit of much-needed levity, but many of the fights its characters have during what’s supposed to be a fun getaway rang hollow for me.
Waco – “Day 51” (A) / series finale
The tragic ending we all knew was coming. Dozens of people were murdered by the government. While the show didn’t as deeply explore its themes of the terrifying militarization of law enforcement, it still made its point. The performances were strong, even when the writing and direction wasn’t as stellar.
A.P. Bio – “Overachieving Virgins” (B+)
A mini-Election tribute is the basis of this solid episode that manages to be extremely funny, while being a little less adult in nature than the previous episodes. The pyramid scheme subplot is relatable, but could have been grafted onto any episode.
Atlanta – “Alligator Man” (A) / season premiere
What a joy it is to have this show back, and not just because I spotted two locations in my neighborhood – the Mrs. Winners and the Checkers – where Hiro Murai filmed. The show can still be anything it wants, as a side trip to the house of Earn’s uncle (played wonderfully by Katt Williams) turns into a standoff with police, complete with Schrödinger’s alligator.
Waco – “Stalling for Time” (A-)
The best episode since the premiere, as the standoff drags on for weeks. It also ends with the most wonderfully ridiculous moment of the year.