Saturday Night Live – “Emma Stone/BTS” (C-)
Though mostly apolitical, the show felt even more slapdash than usual, with lots of so-so celebrity impressions trotted out, especially in the weak cold open. Only occasionally was Emma allowed to show the super-weird brilliance she’s brought to the show many times before. Case in point: the excellent short “The Actress.”
Game of Thrones – “Winterfell” (B) / season premiere
An hour of table-setting doesn’t exactly make for exciting TV. At least Jon knows what we’ve all been yelling at the TV for the last few episodes. (“That is your aunt! Stop that!”) But of course the production still looks like a million bucks, with an excellent shot nighttime scene with the show’s best jump scare ever.
Barry – “Past = Present x Future over Yesterday” (A-)
A dramatic push forward, even if it feels a little overstuffed. Forced to confront his past, Barry really is trying to a better person, but it’s negatively affecting all his relationships. The reappearance of Sally’s ex Sam is sure to bring Barry’s violent tendencies out in horrible fashion, but it’s also possible he just runs away from the hard work of confronting his enemies without hurting them.
Veep – “Pledge” (A)
The nastiest, funniest episode of the season, and a strong contender for the show’s top 5. The abortion clinic scene and Jonah’s disastrous attempt at sensitivity training had me laughing harder than I’ve laughed at anything all year.
Killing Eve – “Nice and Neat” (B+)
Basically an homage to Misery, with even more incredible acting from Jodie Comer and a new killer for Eve to hunt.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “The Bimbo” (B)
A deeply silly episode, with a ridiculous A-plot and an even more preposterous sub-plot. It’s all consistently funny, but nothing truly special. Marc Evan Jackson really shines, though.
A.P. Bio – “Personal Everest” (B+)
Tim Heidecker continues his incredible year, playing an asshole who never shuts up about how he climbed Mount Everest. Once again, it’s the kids who learn more than Jack, but that’s not a bad thing.
Killing Eve – “Do You Know How to Dispose of a Body?” (B+)
When an opening title card can make me laugh, I know I’m in good hands. Picking up “30 seconds later” after the finale, the show is really just Eve and Villanelle doing whatever they can to get out of their bloody situations. While Eve is racked with guilt, Villanelle has no problem murdering (mercy-killing?) a car accident survivor. The constant punctuation of dark humor makes me glad the show hasn’t lost a step.