10. Boardwalk Empire: I didn’t see this week’s episode; if it were on a different night, I could keep up, but there are already too many shows on Sunday night and I can’t fit this one in before the post deadline. However, I understand that this one was either a great episode or a horrible one, depending on your perspective. I mention it only to remind you to check out tomorrow’s recap and express your feelings there. Also, to say that I wish I’d backed this horse instead of “Dexter” this season.
9. Psych : The rest of the options this week were weak, so “Psych” sneaks in by virtue of The Shatner, who showed up as a con man this week. The long con in this seemed to go on forever, but the payoff was nice and the Dule Hill’s blooper scene at the end killed. Don’t look now: Dule Hill’s dancing skills may be the spiritual successor to Turk.
8. The League: Has the reverse intervention been done before in a sitcom? This was kind of like the Fun Bobby episode of “Friends,” plus Will Forte’s testicle brain. Plus, Nick Kroll on painkillers: Corndogcorndogcorndogcorndog. Television gold, people! Television gold!
7. Homeland: A somewhat slow episode is punctuated by (spoilers) an intense explosion scene and an interrogation scene with Al Zahrani that included this choice line: “I suck cock and I love it! Yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy.” Brody is also now running for Congress, and suddenly “Homeland” feels a little off center, like its reaching for a “24” style climax when I thought it was a smaller scale series.
6. The Good Wife: This is the first of two episodes in this week’s ten best episodes that dealt with a missing child, and kudos to both shows for not going the John Welles route. The way that it unfolded this week (spoilers) made the break-up between Alicia and Will feel natural. Right. Suddenly, Peter is a likable character again, which complicates everything. The return of Michael J. Fox and another temping job offer does not make it any less complicated.
5. Sons of Anarchy: Good episode, but the first part of the season finale is simply setting up what I can only assume will be next week’s number one show. I still think Tara is going to bite it, but that Clay will probably survive for another season that will more directly pit Jax versus Clay, although I don’t have any idea how that will work.
4. Parks and Recreation: Another funny and adorable episode, the second kindest, warmest show on television (after number one, below). What does Ben’s resignation mean for Beslie? They have to find some way to keep them apart because their chemistry is part of what’s propelling this show forward. And to those who claim they lack chemistry: Shut it.
3. Boss: I know very few of you are watching (ratings suggest only around half a million people tune in), but I stand by what I wrote in my original review of this show: It’s going to catch on in between seasons. People are going to find it on Netflix Instant or in some other media vehicle, and it will slowly develop a following. This show is flat-out amazing, and Kelsey Grammer’s Tom Kane is the worst human being on television. And yet I can’t stop myself from rooting for him. The show is building toward a monster finale this week.
2. Community: A surreal mix of comedy and pathos, foosball and Batman, sweetness and light. It was another stellar episode in a series of stellar episodes after the season’s slow start, which makes the its impending departure from the schedule all the more painful.
1. Parenthood: “Community” was amazing this week, but the fall finale of “Parenthood” demonstrates once again the capacity for love and forgiveness that this fully-dimensional family has for one another. You know that overwhelming feeling you get at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life? Jason Katims manages to channel that into every episode of “Parenthood,” the warmest, kindest show on television.