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Power Ranking the Best TV Episodes of the Week

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 16, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 16, 2015 |

27. Doctor Who — Shaky times. I fast-forwarded through the middle of this episode because I was straight-up bored and ready to get to the deus ex Moffat already. I’m anxiously awaiting the Clara send-off, if only because I know those episodes will be better than the last three.

26. The League — Three episodes left, and one of them is a Dirty Randy/Rafi animated episode. I cannot wait to rid my life of this final season.

25. The Good Wife — After last week’s garbage episode, I had hoped they’d turn it around, but seeing Alicia flirt with Jason then turn around and fuck her husband because she wanted to get laid may have been a powerful female moment, but it was a gross human moment for both Alicia and Peter.

24. Brooklyn Nine-Nine — “The Mattress” wasn’t the series best offering. It’s been a series that’s been off lately, but usually has a great moment or two to redeem each episode. We didn’t get a redeeming moment this week.

23. BlackishBlack-ish is in a little bit of a funk, too, and while I understand the need to resort to sitcom conventions in a 22-episode season, the “we accidentally left the deranged, womanizing fuck-up in charge of our children while we were out-of-state for an entire weekend” plotline was a little too Full House.

22. Supergirl — I don’t really enjoy this show as a grown man, but I am looking forward to watching it with my kids.

21. Fresh off the BoatFresh off the Boat is best when the rock-steady Jessica (Constance Wu) lets down her guard and reveals a heartbreak, as she did when she caught Eddie having a birthday party without her. That stung. Also, her response to Eddie asking, “Can I stop wearing underwear?” was perfect: “No, we’re not poets.”

20. The Goldbergs — Where’s Adam been? He’s the nominal lead in the series, but he’s barely getting any screentime as the kid who plays him struggles through puberty. In this week’s episode, there was a dog, and an Erica-centric A-plot where she decided she didn’t need a mother anymore until the heartwarming arrest.

19. The Knick — An unusually weak episode of The Knick, although seeing them play with that guy’s brain while he was still alive was cool.

18. Into the BadlandsReally cool fight sequences. Very mediocre premiere. It’s basically the very definition of a Peak TV problem.

17. The Middle — I’ve exchanged Modern Family for The Middle (which I’ve watched off-and-on throughout its run) and it’s a much better show, although it often hits weirdly close to home. I also still can’t see Frankie without being annoyed by Patricia Heaton’s politics, although I think about growing up similarly, and her politics are actually well-suited to the sitcom.

16. Last Man on Earth — Tandy’s tortilla chip run was exasperating, but I do like it when the series allows him to be likable, as it did here while he was trying to help a antagonistic Phil 2.0 redeem himself. Plus, the Andy Garcia impression was gold.

15. Life in Pieces — The vignette structure is a blessing and a curse. It can feel disjointed, but on the other hand, there’s always at least one or two that are good. The terrifying wood-carved ventriloquist dummy this week was terrifically creepy and hilarious.

14. The Grinder — Overall, it was a weak week of sitcoms, but it’s The Grinder that’s best among the network offerings, thanks to a welcome guest appearance from Michael Showalter.

12. Ash vs. The Evil Dead — I love that they held back Lucy Lawless until the third episode to inject even more excitement into the series.

11. Flesh and Bone — People that complain about The Walking Dead being misery porn should watch this show for comparison’s sake: At times, it feels like miserable porn. The final ten minutes or so of this episode left me skeeved out. (SPOILERS) It saw the lead of the show — a ballerina — basically forced to have sex with a man in order to keep her job, and she ultimately forced herself to vomit on the bed to get the guy off of her. It was brutal. The pit in my stomach gnawed through my stomach lining and into my intestines.

10. Homeland — This Allison business is getting very interesting.

9. South Park — This show has an incredible trust in its audience, because your typical outrage-driven Internet commenter would see this as an episode that was too harsh on police officers who are just doing their job, or as an episode that showed too much sympathy for cops who shoot minorities for no reason. It was neither. It was about how our culture is so eager to jump to conclusions. The South Park officer wasn’t a trigger-happy racist here. He was an idiot. The citizens of South Park, on the other hand, were trigger-happy idiots.

8. Saturday Night Live — Maybe the least well known host of the season also turned in the most consistently good episode.

7. You’re the Worst — I thought Jimmy was irredeemable after the last couple of episodes. A visit from his family changed my mind.

6. My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend This week’s episode places this high for this musical number about a man who loves his daughter deeply, but not in a creepy way.

5. The Walking Dead — It wasn’t a great episode until you began to read the tea leaves and recognize that Dwight was being introduced, and then you realize it’s setting up something really cool.

4. Last Week Tonight — Not just for John Oliver’s response to the Paris attackers, but for the longer piece on DraftKings and FanDuel.

3. Casual — It totally sucks when you find out your mom is boning the high-school teacher you’re in love with. This was the Rated-R version of the same plotline in Parenthood.

2. Fargo — The opening sequence overlaying a Reagan-speech over massive bloodshed would’ve made this episode the best of any other week, perhaps, except this one. The top two episodes this week, in fact, are in contention for two of the top episodes of the year.

1. The Leftovers — What the fuck happened? People who watch Fargo but don’t watch The Leftovers are understandably perplexed to see Fargo behind the HBO series two weeks in a row, but those who watch The Leftovers understand exactly why.

Also, 27 episodes of TV this week is why I still haven’t gotten to Master of None. I’m so ashamed.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.