What I Watched This Week: 18 Jan 2015

Togetherness – “Handcuffs” (B+)
I love how this show is simultaneously light and fraught with meaning. Amanda Peet and Steve Zissis make a winning duo and how can you not love Melanie Lynskey? Mark Duplass gets to be the a-hole, but I think that hat will get to be worn by every character this season.

The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore – “January 19, 2015” (B+) / series premiere
Wilmore has great command of tone, but the show’s still got some wrinkles to iron out. Still, it’s already found ways to distinguish itself from The Daily Show, which is the second-most important thing to establish here (after being funny, which it is).

Parks and Recreation – “William Henry Harrison” (B) “Leslie & Ron” (A)
Look, there’s nothing wrong with Leslie trying to save a future National Park site by invoking the name of our least impactful president, but it’s nothing compared to the stakes and emotional payoff of “Leslie & Ron,” which will go down as one of the 10 best episodes the show has ever done. The Leslie & Ron relationship is the beating heart of this show, and seeing them separated in the first three episodes of this season were tough to take. But man, was it worth it. Crying is now acceptable at funerals, the Grand Canyon, and this episode.

Parks and Recreation – “2017” (B), “Ron & Jammy” (B+)
Like Season Five of Community, the season premiere is a little rough (though the April and Andy scenes are wonderful). The second episode features the return of Tammy (Megan Mullally, this time stripping in the library), and that’s always a cause for celebration.

Saturday Night Live – “Kevin Hart/Sia” (B+)
Though nothing truly slayed me, this was a winningly consistent episode, and that counts for a whole lot with SNL, since it happens so rarely.

The Simpsons (Season 8) – “Mountain of Madness” (B+)
No one’s favorite episode, but definitely a solid entry in another terrific season.

Burns: “And Lenny will be paired with… Carl.”
Carl: “Aw, nuts.”
Lenny: “Hey!”
Carl: “I mean… aw, nuts.”

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