What I Watched This Week: 1 Nov 2020

Saturday Night Live – “John Mulaney/The Strokes” (B)
The weakest of Mulaney’s turns hosting, but still plenty of inspired silliness. He also had a great monologue, taking what was surely a note about enthusiastically going to the polls Tuesday and turning it into a wonderfully specific bit about how things will still be awful, no matter who wins the “Elderly Man Contest.”

The Simpsons – “Treehouse of Horror XXXI” (C+)
Another ho-hum entry. The Toy Story parody is fine, mostly notable for its animation style, which the show has used before. The middle section, featuring Homers from the multi-verse is a particular low point and shockingly laugh-free. At least the third part, a parody of Russian Doll (nearly two years after the show debuted), is clever, and could have supported a full-length episode.

The Mandalorian – “The Passenger” (A)
My favorite episode of the show to date: a thrilling, funny, at times creepy 45 minutes that represents what this show can do at its best, when it’s not all fan service all the time.

Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law – Season 1 (A- average)
I had seen a few episodes of this over the years, but now that it’s on HBO MAX, I plan on watching the whole thing. Though the animation and writing aren’t quite as good in this initial season, the highs are among the hardest laughs I’ve ever had.

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