TV Week: 20-26 Jan 2013

Girls – “I Get Ideas” (B+)
A total improvement over the premiere. Read my review here.

The Following – Pilot episode (B) / airs Mondays at 8pm CST on Fox
Suitably creepy, but the writing suffers from two seemingly opposite problems: it needs subtlety and oomph. It’s just not as smart as it thinks it is, or at least could be. Still, Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy are terrific. The same cannot be said for the rest of the cast, but my girlfriend and I are definitely hooked.

Modern Family – “Fulgencio” (B+)
Standard in-laws stuff, but that Godfather homage is some of the best stuff the show has ever done. Read my review here.

Parks and Recreation – “Women in Garbage” (B+)
A civics-heavy episode, but as usual, any time spent in Pawnee is the most delightful half-hour on television. That tag at the end, with Russell Westbrook fashion style invading middle school basketball games absolutely killed me.

Legit – “Dreams” (B+)
With a perfect balance of sweet and salacious, this is quickly becoming my favorite new show of the season. This is easily the best thing DJ Qualls has ever done.

Best Week Ever – “Week of Jan. 20, 2013” (B+)
A lot sharper than last week’s premiere, but that “Paul Lee Likes It” segment absolutely has to go. Note: I will no longer be reviewing this week-to-week.

The Simpsons (Season 5) – “Boy Scoutz ‘n the Hood” (B+)
Featuring one of the unsung guest star spots, Ernest Borgnine kills as a Junior Camper troop leader during an ill-fated river rafting trip. This episode also sneaks in some subtle sweetness into Homer and Bart’s relationship, even between gags about a Krusty Burger on an unmanned oil rig and the best sugar-fueled bender you’ve ever seen. “Let’s go crazy, Broadway style!”

Breaking Bad (Season 4) – “Thirty-Eight Snub,” “Open House,” “Bullet Points,” “Shotgun” (average: B+)
This stretch of four episodes was great for character development and the ongoing saga of Jesse as his own man. Still, I couldn’t help but feel the show was spinning its wheels a bit after Gus didn’t kill Walt during the premiere. But the last 10 minutes or so of “Shotgun” let me know the tension is about to get right up to where it should be. “Since when do vegans eat fried chicken?”

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