It was the kind of week where half of the decent programming was in re-run, and much of the other half that was airing first-runs shouldn’t have bothered. The reality shows were a snore: On “Survivor,” there were no twists. On “Top Chef,” it was the kind of week where everyone was mostly even, so the producers clearly made the elimination decision. And even “The Amazing Race” produced two of its dullest eps, back-to-back, since the “The Amazing Race: Family Edition.” Meanwhile, “Community” was disappointing; the closer “Lights Out” gets to its finale, the less exciting it is. After weeks of teasing what was behind the door on “Chuck,” they blew it open and disposed of it in one episode (although, it did finally set up the possibility of Sarah getting the Intersect). And I’ve already been yelled at for my thoughts on “Fringe” (It’s been a yelling kind of day). “Mad Love” continues to disappoint, as does “Mr. Sunshine” (I don’t know why I’m still watching either of those shows.) How bad was this week? If I were ranking a top seven, “Traffic Lights” might make the seventh position, behind “Community.” That’s how bad it was.
Or maybe both the TV showrunners and I have hit the March malaise, as everything gears up for the season finales in early May. I have 27 shows on my weekly schedule. Of the ones that aired, here’s the top five.
5. Raising Hope: Is anyone still watching this? It’s still good. I promise. This week, a mongoose attacked a snake, Mee Maw got a gun, and Sabrina’s skinny hips saved the day.
4. 30 Rock: Better in concept than in execution, this week’s reality-show version of “30 Rock” hit a lot of high notes (Jenna’s website, “Jenna’s Side”) and effectively skewered reality-show conventions, but the story itself was kind of weak, although I do not miss Tracy Jordan.
3. Chicago Code: This was the first episode that felt truly self-contained and Alderman Gibbons wasn’t a factor, but the rouse that Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke) pulled on Caleb Evers (Matt Lauria) to solve a murder and take down a prostitution ring was brilliant. But now it’s time to let Evers turn one around on Wysocki.
2. Parks and Recreation: Ron Swanson’s reaction to the unveiling of L’il Sebastian was enough by itself to make “P&R” the second best episode of the week.
1. Justified: Even though Boyd Crowder was largely absent, this week’s “Justified” was one of the best of the season, a mini-caper with a cool twist that also set up Winona for an interesting episode next week, where Raylan will be needed to help cover up her crime. The line of the episode, too, goes to Raylan: “You know where I’m from, asshole? Harlan County. (*punch*) Down here we know the difference between dynamite and road flares.”