What I Watched This Week: 9 Nov 2014

The Simpsons – “Simpsorama” (C+)
Can’t say it’s any better or worse than that Family Guy crossover, but I did chuckle a few times. This episode seemed to be self-aware of how desperate it seemed. I probably would have given this a B- were it not for the last two minutes, which landed with a complete thud.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Jake and Sophia” (A-)
The strongest episode of this season. Who knew Eva Longoria would prove such a perfect foil for Andy Samberg? Even though I know we’ll eventually see Jake with Amy, I like where this is going. Could this be the Ross-Emily relationship everyone should have secretly wanted? As always, Andre Braugher is a national treasure, but we also got better-than-usual work from Chelsea Peretti, Joe Lo Truglio and Joel McKinnon Miller.

The Newsroom – “Boston” (A-) / season premiere
Corrects some of the issues with Season 2’s limp finale. Critics are saying it’s finally good, but screw ’em. This show’s always been great. Sorkin takes a more somber, direct approach to dealing with the Boston Marathon Bombings than his handling of the attempted assassination of Gabby Giffords. It sets all the wheels in motion, so these next five weeks are going to pass way too quickly.

The Mindy Project – “We Need to Talk About Annette” (A-)
Another winner, with terrific comedic timing all around. I wish Allison Tolman was sticking around a bit longer, because she’s just a breath of fresh air and just all-around delightful. She should be a new fixture on the show, not just a woman Peter dates to “find himself.” But everything else is rock solid, especially Danny’s complete oblivion to Mindy once Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” comes on. Glad we’re getting six more episodes.

Modern Family – “Queer Eyes, Full Hearts” (B+)
I can always use more Friday Night Lights references in my shows, and while this episode doesn’t focus nearly enough on football, it does exactly what the show needs to do in its sixth season: tell three main stories that each have enough to go on and keep it consistently funny.

The Simpsons (Season 8) – “A Milhouse Divided” (A)
Still in my Top 10. It’s an episode that’s almost unbearably sad, yet hilarious throughout, nailing visual gags, perfect line delivery and character jokes that never seem out of place. It also contains one of the 10 best lines the show has ever had:

Kirk: “I sleep in a race car. Do you?”
Homer: “I sleep in a big bed with my wife.”

The Wire (Season 2) – “All Prologue” (B+)
The courtroom scenes are dazzlers, but the rest smacks of filler and redundancy. But then they had to go and kill D. Damn, what a punch in the gut.

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