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The 10 Best Television Episodes of the Week: "What? Oh Now a Brother Can't Twirl?"

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 3, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 3, 2011 |

Episodes Watched This Week: 33

The Runners-Up

28. “The Amazing Race,” 27. “Hart of Dixie,” 26. “Pan Am” 25. “Survivor,” 24. “Archer,” 23. “Terra Nova,” 22. “Community,” 21. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” 20. “Raising Hope,” 19. “The New Girl,” 18. “Weeds,” 17. “Awkward,” 16. “Sons of Anarchy” 15. “Prime Suspect,” 14. “Up All Night” 13. “Revenge,” 12. “Modern Family,” 11. “The Office.”

The 10 Best Episodes of the Week

10. “Parenthood”: OK, I still don’t like what they put Vince Howard’s character through, but I loved seeing Adam come to his defense, which provided a great “Parenthood” moment. I think Haddie will now disappear into the background for a few weeks so that the show can focus on Amber, who I think we all suspect will soon come out as a lesbian. What the show is missing right now, however, is more Joel. And where did Jason Ritter go? Also why aren’t Joel and Jason Ritter best friends? Make that happen, Jason Katims.

9. “How I Met Your Mother”: Why Victoria! Why! You are meant to be the mother goddamnit. Please come back. See Courtney’s review.

8. “The Good Wife”: By slowly developing the relationship storylines and building them around strong weekly cases, the “Good Wife” has managed to move the chess pieces around without forcing them into unbelievable, untenable situations. Chris Noth has gone from prison to the state district attorney, from sympathetic adulterer to villain, all without stretching credibility. I’m stoked that they also found a way to keep Eli Cummings on the show; when “The Good Wife” runs its course, he and Archie Panjabi could provide the basis for a spectacular spin-off series. This week’s highlight, however, was the stand-off between Josh Charles and Eddie Izzard.

7. “Happy Endings”: Damon Wayans, Jr. is the best thing in sitcoms this side of Troy Barnes and Ron Swanson. Is there a “Fuck Yeah! Brad Williams” tumblr yet? There should be. I also want a frolf T-shirt.

6. “Suburgatory”: This was my favorite new comedy of the season, eclipsing both “The New Girl” and “Up All Night.” I think Jane Levy is going to be a huge star, if not here then somewhere else. See my full review.

5. “Dexter”: Great opening to the sixth season. The question will be, as it always is with “Dexter,” is if it can maintain its momentum. See my recap.

4. “Parks and Recreation”: Am I beginning to detect a small rivalry between readers who prefer “P&R” and those who prefer “Community”? Show waaaaaaaaar. “Parks and Rec” won this round by a sizable margin.

3. “Homeland”: Seth is going to post a full review tomorrow, and I know that with the stacked Sunday lineup of shows, some of you may not have caught it yet. I won’t spoil anything. The show is free on Showtime’s website. Seek it out. I don’t know how Seth is going to come out on it, but I thought it was the best new show of the season. Easily.

2. “Breaking Bad”: I watch “Breaking Bad” live, without the DVR delay. Sometimes, I need the commercial breaks to decompress. See Dan’s recap.

1. “Doctor Who”: It was an outstanding episode of “Breaking Bad,” but I’m giving the nod to a “Doctor Who” season finale that successfully tied together a season steep in mythology and complicated story lines. See C. Rob’s recap.


Season Pass Deleted from my DVR This Week: “2 Broke Girls,” “The Gifted Man,” “Person of Interest,” and “Fringe.”

The second episode of “2 Broke Girls” was worse than the pilot. I’m done. I couldn’t make it through the second episode of “The Gifted Man,” which has already bogged down in case-of-the-weekitis.

Alas, I also finally pulled the plug on “Fringe” midway through this most recent episode. There is too much good TV to waste time on frustrating mediocrity week after week, even if I have devoted this much time to it. It’s time to cut my losses.

“Person of Interest” showed some promise in its pilot, but once the mystery of the machine was revealed, it turned boring fast. The second episode suggested that the show will also fall into the case-of-the-week rut that is so popular with CBS viewers. I allow myself one case-of-the-week procedural at a time and right now that slot belongs to “Prime Suspect,” at least until it’s cancelled by November.

Season Pass Previously Deleted from My DVR: “The Ringer,” “Free Agents,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Unforgettable,” “The Playboy Club,” “Castle,” and “Whitney.”

On the Season Pass Bubble: “How to Be a Gentleman” and “Hart of Dixie.” I do like to give shows, even middling to bad ones like these, at least two episodes before I can them.

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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.