Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Stakeout” (A-)
One of the problems of shows with gifted ensembles (this one, Parks and Rec, Modern Family, Community) is they’re too afraid to limit them by focusing on just one story. They must add subplots, no matter how poorly drawn, to be inclusive. I can appreciate that, especially since all those shows are about inclusion. But it doesn’t always make for great TV. It may seem like I’m being harsh on an episode I’m giving an A-, but really, the picture book drags from the killer main story (Boyle and Peralta’s unraveling friendship) and the budding relationship between Diaz and Holt’s nephew (guest star Nick Cannon). But those stories are still so good that it almost doesn’t matter. But hopefully the writers figure this out soon.
The Newsroom – “What Kind of Day Has It Been?” (A-) / series finale
Basically the best series finale we could have hoped for. During Charlie’s funeral, everyone has a flashback to a great conversation with the man, and how if it weren’t for him, none of them would be there right now, for better or worse. I wanted a little more, but ultimately I just wanted more of this show, for better or worse.
The Colbert Report – “December 18, 2014” (A) / series finale
Couldn’t have asked for a better finale. Touching yet hilarious. I wish him the best of luck playing the real Stephen Colbert on The Late Show.
The Simpsons (Season 8) – “The Springfield Files” (B+)
Not one of the all-time classics, but does feature the lie detector scene, one of my Top 5 moments ever. The X-Files references are even funnier now that I’ve actually seen a few episodes of it, and Leonard Nimoy might be the best guest star ever.
The Wire (Season 2) – “Storm Warnings” (A-)
An explosive episode that left me desperate to start the next episode. McNulty redeems himself for the mishap at the brothel by almost single-handedly collapsing the Greek’s organization. Although that house of cards started falling the minute Ziggy shot his middle man. But even with a surprise appearance from Omar, no one — at least not this season — will every be as cool as Lamar. In his own words, he’s “the most dangerous man in America: a n—– with a library card.”