Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Boyle’s Hunch” (A)
The best episode of the season thus far, with loads of character-based humor and a plot that relies on the crew to be excellent at their jobs. Plus, plenty of jabs at the obnoxious art world and Boyle’s disgusting eating habits and sexual predilections. As usual, Gina is a goddess.
Fargo – “Waiting for Dutch” (A-) / season premiere
As a pilot, it’s more confident than Season One. It’s got a lot to set up, but it’s struck a perfect balance of tragic and hilarious. The direction is top notch and I can’t wait to see how this mystery unfolds. And bring on Brad Garrett!
The Mindy Project – “Stay at Home MILF” (A-)
Twice now, this season has ended on a melancholy note. Here, Mindy and Danny swap roles and both realize how tough the other has it. Simple sitcom stuff, but both are eye-opening experiences for their characters. This is also the most 2015 show on the air, treating Collette’s coming out like no big deal. I’m warming more to Garret Dillahunt’s Southern dandy, and nearly all the jokes landed. Hulu is the best thing to happen to this show.
The Muppets – “Pig Out” (A-)
While many of criticized the show for its nasty tone, I disagree that the show is cynical at all. But this is the first episode that really captured the joy of the Muppets. Piggy, hurt that the crew refuses to invite her to their nightly after-parties, take it upon herself to crash one. To everyone’s surprise, they have a great time, and the middle act, which takes place entirely at a karaoke bar, was simply magical.
The Simpsons (Season 9) – “The Last Temptation of Krust” (B+)
Like Troy McClure or Mr. Burns, you can always count on Krusty to be do literally anything for the money, no matter how degrading. Even his epiphany to do a transgressive style of observational humor is driven by the new audience with money to burn (literally). But of course, he sells out for the shadiest of all the products he’s ever endorsed: the Canyonero (“Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts! Ya!”).