Summer TV Hangout 2015: Week 3

Well, I hope you all enjoyed your holiday as much as I did. Mine was only partly relaxing, as I had to move yet again. But I’m all settled in now and ready to continue this journey through The Simpsons and The Wire.

The Simpsons – Season 9

“Lisa’s Sax” (A-)
In his review for The A.V. Club, Kyle Ryan claims that this episode, with its frequent cutaways (much more than the typical Simpsons episode) served as a template for a young Seth MacFarlane to start Family Guy. It’s not hard to see why, but that’s not a knock to this episode. Like the best of early Family Guy, this episode nails all those gags, plus the simple story at its heart. Indeed, one of the strengths of the show’s Golden Age was that its flashback episodes never seemed like a lazy series of gags, but actually well-observed stories that expand our view of the characters we know well.

The Wire – Season 3

Omar's Playgirl pose
“Dead Soldiers” (A)
Easily the best episode of the season thus far, and one of the strongest episodes the show ever produced. “Dead Soldiers” pulls absolutely no punches, as characters get shot, beaten and humiliated. It’s a brutal but engaging episode throughout. Episodes like these are the ones you show when you want to convince someone that The Wire lives up to its “best show ever” claims.

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