Southside Through and Through: Ranking the Best TV Episodes of the Week
24. Curb Your Enthusiasm — I finally quit on this show. It wasn’t this episode or anything. It’s just that I haven’t been enjoying it at all this season, and after Larry David’s turn on SNL, I have completely soured on him.
23. Nathan for You — I talked about this show last week, and how brilliant but awkward Nathan Fielder can be. Sometimes, the awkwardness overwhelms the brilliance so much that I can’t continue watching. That was the case this week when Nathan hired asexual employees to work at a computer repair store because he asserted that they would not be tempted to look at the sexy pictures people have in their folders. There was something about the whole segment that just felt mean spirited. Also, the awkwardness. God. It was too much.
22. Life in Pieces — Life in Pieces is back! It hasn’t improved since it ran off the rails last year.
20. SNL — A completely tone-deaf episode, although “Weekend Update” was great.
19. White Famous — Showtime debuted the new Jay Pharoah series last night. I didn’t love it. I’ll give it another episode or two, but it feels like we’ve already seen this show too many times. It’s Entourage plus Ballers plus Jay Pharoah’s impressions. Meh.
18. Kevin Probably Saves the World — This is not a great show, but it’s sweet, good natured, and earnest, and given how much of my life I spend writing about terrible things, it feels like a salve. I will never quit on you, Jason Ritter!
17. The Walking Dead — Brian will have more on the episode later today. I thought it was much better than last week’s episode, for whatever that is worth (last week’s episode was trash).
16. This Is Us — The montage of Rebecca introducing herself to Randall and then Randall’s daughter? DAMNIT. I still can’t escape this show without crying.
15. Mr. Robot — I dunno, y’all. The magic is gone. I still watch it. It’s still a pretty good series, but somewhere along the way, it crawled too far up its own ass and it can’t find its way back out. I find myself rewinding a lot, too, because I lose focus, and instead of writing recaps, I’m reading them, because I keep losing focus.
10-14, 21. The Mayor, Great News, Superstore, Speechless, The Goldbergs, Ghosted — I like all of these sitcoms a lot (except for Ghosted, which is just OK), but I don’t have any insights about them this week, except to say that The Mayor could potentially be the best of them all, but it’s already surrendered to a weekly formula that may wear out its welcome soon.
9. Black-ish — My son is old enough that our interests in certain television shows intersect, so we can finally watch TV together. It’s great. We watch Black-ish, The Goldbergs and Star Trek together now. There’s a lot of good family sitcoms out right now. In its fourth season, this is still the best.
8. You’re the Worst — OK, Gretchen ends up messing around with her boyfriend’s ex-wife; Jimmy tries — and fails — to make new friends; and then there was Lou Diamond Phillips and his lemon grove. What’s not to love?
7. Riverdale — Kristy has got the full rundown, and I really like her theory about Alice Cooper. Also, I finally understand why people find Archie so attractive now.
6. Better Things — Whenever one of my kids is being a little shit, I can always look to Frankie to put things in perspective. Good god, she is a mercilessly cruel terror. Can the teenage years be that bad?
5. American Horror Story — I have literally not made it this far into a season of AHS since the first season, but this has easily been my favorite season, in part because when people die, they stay dead, and because it’s actually doing a fairly remarkable job of both satirizing and echoing our real-life political culture.
4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — You know what? I was contemplating giving up on this show after last week. I just wasn’t feeling it. And then Josh Groban reminded me why I love it.
3. SMILF — I want to write about this more after I’ve seen a few episodes, but I loved the pilot. It reminded me of Fleabag, only more narratively straight-forward. It’s a show about being a single mom, and class, and Connie Britton is in it, and Rosie O’Donnell is kind of perfect as the Irish, blue collar grandma. It’s right in my wheelhouse, and I might be a little bit in love with Frankie Shaw, too.
2. Shameless — It’s so fucking good to have the Gallaghers back in our lives. Even better that their lives seem to be going well … for now. I’m sure they’re just building them up so they can rip them down again. They’re all in a better place than they have been in a long time, though, so I want to savor it.
1. Good Place — I have no idea where that reveal at the end of the episodes leaves us, and that’s part of the reason why I love The Good Place, which won’t be back until January.
(I haven’t seen this week’s Star Trek: Discovery episode yet, but I liked last week’s ‘Groundhog Day’ episode with Rainn Wilson).