Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “New Captain” (B+) / season premiere
Maybe I wanted more out of Bill Hader as the drill sergeant-like new captain, but how can I complain when Holt has to put on a pigeon costume and Gina talks about her fragrance Gina in a Bottle? And Jake and Amy breaking all the rules makes my heart singing. I’m rooting for these crazy kids.
The Mindy Project – “Leo Castellano is My Son” (A-)
The show finally begins to push the boundaries now that they’re on Hulu, what with all the talk of threesomes and cocaine use. Dan Bakkedahl may be leaving (which is sad but ultimately OK since the show never really knew what to do with him), but they have hopefully gained Eliza Coupe. Her presence, along with anyone from Happy Endings, is always welcome. This was just a great, character-driven episode that featured everyone acting their normal level of ridiculousness, instead of an exaggerated, unbelievable level.
The Muppets – “Hostile Makeover” (B+)
Another strong episode, with Josh Groban pulling double duty as Piggy’s new boyfriend and overeager producer. He’s absolutely terrific playing the heel. Fozzie and Jay Leno prove a perfect pair since they’re both corny comics, but the ongoing turf war between Bobo and the Muppet Newsman really had me in stitches.
The Simpsons (Season 9) – “The Joy of Sect” (A-)
An uproarious thorough skewering of cults (especially Heaven’s Gate and Scientology), but organized mainstream religion doesn’t get off so easy. (“This so-called new religion is nothing but a pack of weird rituals and chants, designed to take away the money of fools. Now let’s say the Lord’s Prayer 40 times, but first, let’s pass the collection plate.”) While Season 9 has finally had a questionable hit-to-miss ratio, its hits have been significant. Now repeat after me: “Nanananananananana leader!”