Because Sunday night on FOX is one of the few times I actually make sure to watch TV live instead of catching it later on demand, I decided to start writing reviews for the entire night’s line-up. Here are my thoughts on this past Sunday’s installments. Normally, this would begin with Bob’s Burgers, but NFL coverage pre-empted the show this week.
The Simpsons – “Super Franchise Me” (NEW)
You can always count on The Simpsons to lampoon the aspects of American culture of which we are so proud. For this week, it was fast food franchises’ turn to take the hit. In particular, Subway seemed to be the target, as Marge decided to open a sandwich franchise store after her sandwiches become a huge hit around town. She soon learns that corporations don’t have their franchisee’s best interest at heart, after the company opens another franchise across from her store, forcing her out of business. Interestingly enough, because all of the main characters were involved with Marge’s plot, the episode didn’t really include any subplots, which is unusual for The Simpsons, but was also a welcome change. While it was funny to see the show once again take a shot at large corporations such as Subway and even FOX itself, the episode was exceptionally mediocre. It was very much what you would come to expect for a show in its 26th season, and it wasn’t quite good enough to recommend watching it on demand if you missed it.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “The Jimmy Jab Games” (NEW)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine was on its game for this episode, with the squad playing a sort of office Olympics in the absence of their boss. Some highlights included another great guest appearance by Kyra Sedgwick as Captain Holt’s rival, more great flirtatious chemistry between Peralta and Santiago, and the ingenious pairing of Boyle and Hitchcock, which involved Hitchcock blackmailing Boyle to help make him cooler in the office. I stand by my opinion that Brooklyn Nine-Nine features one of the best comedy ensembles on television right now, and this episode demonstrated this argument well. The only complaint I had was that the episode was plagued by some pacing issues, which I blame on FOX’s bizarre 4-Act sitcom structure. Definitely worth watching if you missed it.
Family Guy – “Quagmire’s Quagmire” (REPEAT)
Without a new episode to air, FOX repeated an episode from the past season, which I won’t count toward the final score for the night. The episode itself was one of the better episodes from season 12, featuring Quagmire finally meeting his match when he encounters a female version of himself working in an Apple store, only to find the relationship too intense. I guess it was a fun memory from the past year.
Mulaney – “The Doula” (NEW)
Let me just start by saying that Mulaney is so bad that even NBC passed on it. I do not understand how this show is on the air. The episode begins with the old-school narration “Mulaney is taped in front of a live studio audience” which is interesting since the laugh track they use after every “joke” is the exact same and the acoustics don’t match that of the set. Mulaney is trying so hard to be Seinfeld, which is evident even in the plot. In this episode, Mulaney dates a woman who is way out of his league, and he can’t make the relationship work because he is grossed out by her profession. She helps deliver babies. Instead of being some whiny jerk who can’t stand the thought of childbirth, he should be thanking his lucky stars this woman is even willing to date him. I’m sorry, but this show was so painful. The jokes weren’t funny, and the laugh track only brought more attention to the utter lack of humor.