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"You’re the Best Grandma Ever, Grandma Jwow" and The 10 Best TV Episodes of the Week

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 31, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 31, 2011 |

Shows Watched: 28

The Honorable Mentions: 28. “Grimm,” 27. “Once Upon a Time,” 26. “Man Up” 25. “Prime Suspect” 24. “Chuck,” 23. “Survivor,” 22. “Bored to Death” 21. “Enlightened,” 20. “The Walking Dead,” 19. “Psych” 18. “The Middle,” 17. “Hart of Dixie” 16. “Community,” 15. “How I Met Your Mother,” 14. “Homeland,” 13. “The Office,” 12. “The Good Wife,” and 11. “Revenge.”

I checked in on “Psych” this week for the Halloween episode. Enjoyable but insubstantial, as usual. It’s really a much better summer show when there’s far less competition. It did feature a couple of neat guest stars: Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy) and Corey Feldman (in honor of Lost Boys). Kind of a waste of Feldman, but Swanson was well utilized in the vampire-themed ep.

Also, that was the best episode of “The Middle” this season so far (thanks, in part, to the “Wonder Years”-like music at the end) and, goddamnit people, “Hart of Dixie” gets better each week. I’ll also add that I gave “Man Up” a second chance: Still not great, but it was certainly watchable. As much as I loathe Dan Fogler, he’s decent on the small screen.

The return of “Chuck” was more of the same: Average entertainment. I like the characters enough to keep watching (particularly if Yvonne Strahovski wears lingerie every week), but the storylines seem no more compelling than they were last season. Also, what a waste of an almost unrecognizable Mark Hamill.

As for “Grimm,” I second Sarah’s review: I fell asleep twice and eventually gave up before I made it to the end.

10. Suburgatory: I thought this week’s Halloween episode was the best since the pilot; I loved Tessa’s costume (she dressed as a suburban Dahlia) and look! Jay Morh alert! What happened to his jowls?

9. Dexter: (Spoiler) Someone suggested last week that perhaps the Professor is Travis’ own Dark Passenger, and that they’re pulling a Fight Club, and now it’s all I can consider. It certainly lines up, and it fits within the show’s need for symmetry between Dexter and the main villain. It would be disappointing, though; what’s more disappointing is the possibility that Mos (“It’s Just Mos, Motherf*cker”) Def may actually be dead. It’s too early in the season to kill off this year’s best character, damnit.

8. Parks and Recreation: Some of you argued that “Community” was the better Thursday night show this week, but — while it had a lot of good lines — the episode fell flat in the wake of last week’s best episode of any sitcom this year. I thought “Parks and Rec” topped it, thanks to Andy and Ben’s subplot, and no thanks to the increasingly obnoxious Tom Haverford.

7. The League: I don’t know what I found more disgusting in this week’s episode: Geoffrey eating water cookies out of a urinal, the very idea of a pee bib (to protect against urinal back splash) or Rafi. Rafi is revolting, and the last person with whom I’d ever want to be involved in a Golden Gate.

6. Beavis and Butthead: How great was it to see these guys back on TV? Mike Judge still has it, and while I didn’t really care for the vignettes (I didn’t in the original, either), the commentary on the videos — and now MTV shows — is spectacular. I laughed. A lot. It was also nice to see music videos on MTV again, and that one with the baby? Christ. Christ!

5. American Horror Story: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, I know. I hated the pilot. Shut up. We’re allowed to change our minds. Zachary Quinto was fantastic in this episode, and I think I may have a little bit of a man crush on the gimp.

4. Boss: Another stellar episode; if you aren’t watching it, find it. It’s smart, absorbing, and immensely enjoyable. This week featured one hell of a satisfying piece of political gamesmanship, plus Kathleen Robertson keeps getting naked.

3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The best episode of the season so far, and destined to become a “Sunny” classic. Did someone in the comments say you could buy the “Chardee McDennis” board game online? It’s the Game of Games! I want it. I want to teach it to my children. And then I want to smash their dolls when I win.

2. Happy Endings: Baby Max! Little Arms! A Brett Butler reference! A lame Austin Powers costume that dovetailed perfectly into a transvestite subplot! The Halloween episode, in addition to the always brilliant characters, was also superbly constructed. It didn’t top last year’s “Community” Halloween episode, but it was easily the best Halloween episode of TV this year.

1. Sons of Anarchy: (Spoilers) H*ly Shit! Every episode this season feels like it’s ending on a season-finale like cliffhanger, and this latest was the most spectacular of the season. Unlike Juice’s suicide attempt at the end of last week’s episode, Piney isn’t coming back from this. I assumed it was coming to him, but I thought it would come much later. Kurt Sutter is doing a huge number on Clay: He’s become of TV’s most reviled villains, and I’m beginning to love “SofA” as much as I did in season two.

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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.