Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “The 9-8” (A)
Another incredible episode in a season full of them. The invasion of the bizarro 9-8 precinct leads to gag after hilarious gag as they get on the nerves of every single cop in the 9-9. Damon Wayans, Jr. is a national treasure and a perfect foil for Boyle (rhyme intended) and partner for Jake.
The Muppets – “A Tale of Two Piggies” (B+)
If The Muppets doesn’t survive for a second season, at least they will have gone out on a positive note. And I mean that in terms of tone. It’s literally and metaphorically a big, self-esteem-boosting party. This episode takes on body positivity, but still has a few off-color jokes about Gonzo, Rizzo and Pepe’s bachelor pad. It’s still incredibly corny, but the Muppets have always been corny.
The Simpsons (Season 16) – “Homer and Ned’s Hail Mary Pass” (B)
AKA that other Super Bowl episode. This is one of those cameo-filled big shows that can be done very poorly if not done correctly. But it works here, even if the premise – Homer and Ned put on a biblical Super Bowl halftime show – is flimsy and ridiculous. This is more of the little moments (particularly Milhouse’s connection with Michelle Kwan and the history of halftime shows) working than the whole episode.
The Wire (Season 4) – “Margin of Error” (A)
This has been a solid season, even if I miss McNulty. I’m interested to see what happens in the back half of the season, because the show dropped two major bombs: Carcetti pulling out a win for mayor and Omar getting arrested for a murder he didn’t actually commit. Can Carcetti or Marlowe even consider these wins?