What I Watched This Week: 12 Feb 2017

Last Week Tonight – “Feb. 12, 2017” (A) / season premiere
However long this administration lasts, it’s going to feel like agony. So thankfully John Oliver refuses to settle for cheap shots, but goes in long on Trump’s committal to reading, regurgitating and reciting fake news. It’s dangerous, but Oliver defangs him a bit. This is going to be essential viewing for the resistance.

The Mindy Project – “Hot Mess Time Machine” (B+)
A nice return messes with the formula a bit, in a Groundhog Day homage that allows Mindy to be a good girlfriend for once. Maybe she’s turned a corner, but it’s pretty hard for a show (or a character) to change this late in the game.

This Is Us – “Jack Pearson’s Son” (A)
The show at its honest, gut-wrenching best. No bullshit, no narrative dead weight, just a beautiful collision of all its most emotionally compelling storylines.

Legion – “Chapter 2” (A)
If the pilot was a singular experience, this gives us a better glimpse into what the series proper will be like. And, as I said many times while watching the first two episodes, “Holy shit!” The editing, storytelling, acting and production design are on such a higher plane. This show has no equal on the air right now.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – “PTSDee” (B-)
A sloppy episode that takes three underdeveloped storylines and jams them all together. Even so, that gives us Dennis (in his duster and jeans) and Charlie (in suspenders and a propeller beanie) stripping to “Cat’s in the Cradle,” which is the kind of sick joke only this show could pull off.

Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special (B-)
Pretty damn funny, but also wildly inconsistent. I won’t revisit it like I do with Stephen Colbert’s Christmas special.

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