What I Watched This Week: 21 Sept 2014

And so begins another fall season. My erratic schedule these next couple months may prevent me from checking out all the shows I want to, but I’ll at least post something here each week. (Also, Hulu and Comedy Central: get your crap together so I can watch new Key & Peele episodes on my Roku.)

The Mindy Project – “Annette Castellano is My Nemesis” (B+)
Outstanding work from Rhea Perlman, but this show’s biggest problem now is trying to cram too much into 22 minutes. Also Tamra. Can she go away forever please?

Modern Family – “The Long Honeymoon” (B+) / season premiere
It would be easy for stasis to set in during the sixth season, but the show is sharp as ever. Three stories should always be the max for this show, because each segment was sharp. My favorite was definitely the Summer Without Alex, which made the Dunphys the happiest family on earth, even though it was really masking how little responsibility they had to be reminded of with the middle daughter gone.

The Mindy Project – “We’re a Couple Now, Haters!” (B+) / season premiere
I was a little worried how the show was going to be able to sustain the Will They of Mindy and Danny but I could definitely get used to this. Mindy’s gossipy ways seems like a legitimate obstacle for them to overcome, but wouldn’t be The Mindy Project if it didn’t end with Chris Messina doing a striptease set to Lenny Kravitz’s cover of “American Woman.”

Family Tree (Season 1) – “The Austerity Games,” “Country Life,” “Welcome to America,” “Civil War,” “Indians,” “Cowboys” (average: B+)
Christopher Guest’s HBO-BBC show will have to go down as something of a disappointment. It was never as howlingly funny as his mockumentaries. That being said, Chris O’Dowd was terrific and Nina Conti was nothing short of phenomenal. Episodes like “Civil War” showed off his increased directorial skill and “Cowboys” revealing a romantic bent I’d never witnessed in any of his work before.

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