What I Watched This Week: 19 Jan 2020

The Outsider – “Dark Uncle” (B+)
As Chris and Andy mentioned on The Watch, this is an exposition-heavy episode. But because it’s shot and delivered with such panache, it’s completely captivating. The arrival of Cynthia Erivo portends good things, because she’s already shown such humanity in a character that’s seemingly not big on emotion.

Curb Your Enthusiasm – “Happy New Year” (B+) / season premiere
A little baggy in its first half, but by the second half, my sides were hurting with laughter from so many great sight gags, including Larry donning a MAGA hat to get out of talking to people and Cheryl gagging on talcum powder.

Schitt’s Creek – “The Job Interview” (A-)
The section of the episode where the titular action occurs was a scream, with Larry Air serving (I assume) as Canada’s answer to Spirit, where there two cornerstones are “No seat switching and ‘complimentary’ is not in our vocabulary.” One hopes Stevie wouldn’t settle for such an obviously crappy job, but there’s still plenty of season left for her to find her bliss. Bob’s obliviousness makes him even more of a poor sap, but Roland and Jocelyn showing up in a sacrificial way for Johnny and Moira is what this show is all about.

The Good Place – “Patty” (A)
A trip to the real Good Place rights last week’s wrongs. They’ve reached paradise but of course there’s still another challenge. This time, it’s not sabotage from the Bad Place, but the limits of eternal comfort. The last scene, between Chidi and Eleanor absolutely wrecked me. Heaven isn’t about having instant access to pleasure, but about getting to spend enough time with the people you love.

The Good Place – “Mondays, Am I Right?” (B-)
Easily the weakest episode the show has ever done, and the while the plot is necessary to get through, this is the least breezy it’s ever felt.

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