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Ranking the Best TV Episodes of the Week

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 9, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 9, 2015 |

19. Saturday Night Live — A fucking disaster.

18. The League — The AV Club’s grades for the last four episodes: B-, C, C, B-. That’s not exactly going out on top.

17. Doctor Who — They really stuck the landing on that episode, didn’t they?


16. The Walking DeadFiller. However, the possibility that Deanna might have killed her son is intriguing.

15. The Good Wife — Jeffrey Dean Morgan is great, but he can only get you so far, and these side diversions over at Lockhart Agos are becoming problematic in that they add so little to the main narrative. That Peter is now running for President while Alicia still works as a bail-court attorney is also eye-rolling. Peter would spend less than 24 hours under the national media microscope before they realized that he wasn’t living with his wife, and that they’ve both been banging other people.

14. Last Man on Earth — Apparently, the way to make Phil/Tandy more likable is just have a handsome, strong, man with common sense and a perfect smile punch him. Who knew?

13. Homeland — This one felt kind of filler-y, too. I do like seeing Saul turn up the Carrie-levels of paranoia.

12. Nathan for You — I like this show. I hate watching it.

11. Life in Pieces — Jordan Peele returned. He was fun.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine — I was way to moved by seeing Rosa and Captain Holt crying together.

9. Flesh and Bone — I love the Whiplash aspects of the show, and the gratuitous nudity doesn’t bother me because I’m a human male. I also think Rachel Hay is terrific in the lead role, but the writing is a little too blunt and on the nose. (See also: Starz’ Ballet Drama ‘Flesh and Bone’ is Both Mesmerizing and Disturbing)

8. Ash vs. The Evil Dead — It might very well be a monster-of-the-week format, but the episodes are short, very funny, and violently bloody, so I might be OK with the series if it never develops a full-fledged mythology.

7. Fresh off the Boat — The ABC sitcom perfectly got to the heart of what is wrong with Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles.

6. My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — As the dust has settled on the new season, this is only one of two new network shows I’ve stuck with until November (the other being Life in Pieces). This week’s episode was the perfect example of why.

5. The Knick — You know what’s really cool about The Knick? You find out cool stuff like the fact that, at the turn of the last century, doctors injected people with malaria in order to fight syphilis (and yes, that is based on actual history).

4. You’re the Worst — I do not suffer from depression. My capacity for repression is so vast that I can’t hang on to sadness for more than a few minutes at a time, but this week’s episode? I fucking felt Gretchen’s sadness deep, deep down in my soul. See also: ‘You’re the Worst’ Continues to Be the Darkest, Saddest, and Now Scariest Half Hour of Television On the Air

3. Casual — When Michaela Watkins’ character asked her husband — locked in a garage — why he cheated on her, and he somberly told her the truth? Gut. Punch. (If you’re not watching this show, and you’re a shallow, superficial man, I should note that Eliza Coupe was in this episode, and she spent quite a bit of time very, very naked. Is that reason enough to watch?) (See also: The Best New Show of the Fall is Not on Cable or Netflix)

2. Fargo — The third episode drifted, but the fourth came back strong, reminding us why Bokeem Woodbine is at the top of the 22 Unimpeachable, Unassailable Reasons You Should Drop Everything And Watch Fargo.

1. The Leftovers — This episode actually answered some of the questions we’ve had all season long (the deal with the goat, for instance), introduced a new theory (lensing) and gave us maybe the most intense, piercing scene of the year, in the face off between characters played by Carrie Coon and Regina King. When Erika tossed that rock back through Nora’s window, my heart damn near hit the floor. (See also: An Open Letter to Damon Lindelof, Co-Creator of ‘The Leftovers’)

Shows I quit this week: Screem Queens. I watched the first 10 minutes, got interrupted by something shiny, and realized that it just wasn’t worth continuing. Also, The Muppets, until someone tells me that it’s completely turned around.

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.

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