Curb Your Enthusiasm – “The Shucker” (B+)
Forty-five minutes is way too long for any sitcom, especially one that meanders as much as this one. While the quarrel with the former owner of his house is amusing, it could have easily been cut out and this episode could have shaved 10-15 minutes off its runtime. Everything else is aces, especially his fights with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Steven Weber’s dynamite performance as the titular oyster shucker.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Return to Skyfire” (B)
A sequel that’s nowhere near as good as their Halloween episodes or the ongoing saga of Doug Judy. Still, there are plenty of laughs to be had.
This Is Us – “Number Three” (A-)
I expected Randall’s story to be the best of the three, and while it was compelling, it wasn’t as perfectly executed as Kate’s. But this trilogy represents the show at its very best.
Godless (A- average)
Though it indulges in some clichés, Scott Frank’s Western wisely sidesteps some others. He takes a little too much advantage of Netflix’s leniency with regard to runtimes (some episodes are an hour and 20 minutes, others only 40) but this is one of the year’s most satisfying shows, with plenty of excitement and character development. I’ll definitely be writing more about Merritt Wever and Jeff Daniels’ performances in my year-end wrap-up.