Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Payback” (B+)
Hey, writers: Anytime you need a good subplot, please pair literally anyone in the office with Holt. You get gems like this: “I was a poet and I didn’t even realize I was rhyming those words.”
Togetherness – “Family Day” / series premiere (B+)
A good start for a good-natured show. It’s very low-key, which makes this episode a perfunctory pilot and not a grabby dramedy. But I love that cast, especially the relatively unknown Steve Zissis, who has to walk a very fine line as struggling actor Alex.
The Mindy Project – “San Francisco Bae” (A-)
So far, so great. Splitting the time between Stanford and the office is bringing out the best in everyone. And I think they’ve figured out the solution to making Dr. Reed funny: put him in ridiculous outfits.
Modern Family – “The Day We Almost Died” (A)
One of those bold, extremely hilarious episodes that Modern Family rarely tries but always pulls off. It’s a shame they don’t mix it up more often. Sexy Phil? An alpaca on the loose? Alex body-slamming Haley with her judo moves? This show should get crazy more often.
The Simpsons (Season 8) – “The Twisted World of Marge Simpson” (B+)
Arguably Marge’s best episode, only the writers short her by not giving this episode a real ending. Gang wars are funny when they’re animated, but it does a disservice to Marge’s dreams being thwarted again, and to a great guest turn from Jack Lemmon.