The Simpsons – “Treehouse of Horror XXV” (B+)
A surprisingly solid entry. I found plenty to like in all three segments, particularly the first one’s vision of Hell as a school where Bart can actually succeed, but still has all the annoying parent-teacher conferences.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Halloween II” (B+)
Definitely a step-down from last season’s Halloween episode, but there’s just no way to accurately capture the joy I feel when I see Capt. Holt with a gleam in his eye from besting Jake or when I see Sarge dancing.
The Mindy Project – “The Devil Wears Lands’ End” (B+)
Classic sitcom mix-up stuff, but the cast pulls it off well. And who knew they could make Dr. Reed funny? Just drop the British accent and have him copy Peter.
The Simpsons (Season 8) – “The Homer They Fall” (B+)
Boxer has to rank among Homer’s sillier professions (though not any sillier than Lollapalooza freak), but the show deserves props for making the entire episode about his ill-advised foray into “the cruelest sport.” Somehow, the episode and its focus on violence in sports is even more relevant today. That’s how good The Simpsons is in peak form.
The Wire (Season 2) – “Hot Shots” (A-)
Another incredible, jam-packed episode. Ben is quickly becoming my favorite character, a good man who’s resorting to doing bad things. But I also love how the show is toying with your feelings about these characters: maybe the captain’s not such a bad guy, maybe the head of the port union is, and maybe this dead-end case is going somewhere after all.
The X-Files (Season 1) – “Squeeze” (A)
I’ve been watching the first season of the landmark sci-fi show intermittently with my friend Paul. This episode, co-starring Doug Hutchison as the monster of the week and Donal Logue as Scully’s smug academy chum, is the best one yet. Perfectly scary.