American Horror Story Casts Its Spell
The third season of Ryan Murphy’s ever more over-the-top anthology show focuses on witches, and the premiere didn’t waste any time in introducing us to its (all-female!) cast of power players. There’s Jessica Lange, of course, but also Kathy Bates as an immortal sadist, Angela Bassett as a voodoo witch, Emma Roberts as Emma Watson in The Bling Ring, and so much more. Watch out for 60 beautiful seconds of Lange snorting coke and dancing to “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida,” and don’t pretend that you can help loving this show.
Glee Memorializes Cory Monteith
In a surprisingly toned-down episode of television, Glee paid homage to its deceased star by centering an episode around memorializing his character, whose passing interestingly isn’t explained within the context of the show. There’s musical numbers, there’s a healthy dose of meta, and there’s Jane Lynch, all of which added up to a tasteful homage from a show that’s not always known for its taste. Glee‘s been rudderless for some time now, but the Monteith episode put it back on the rails, if only for this week.
Andre Braugher Hits Peak Deadpan
Brooklyn Nine-Nine focuses mostly on Andy Samberg as the central figure of its ensemble cast, but Andre Braugher starred in this week’s best running gag. Captain Holt’s famously unreadable, and Braugher is never more hilarious than when he’s telling a detective he just came back from the Bahamas and has “never been happier” after she’s asked if he had a rough weekend. Particularly masterful was the bait-and-switch of Holt breaking his cool and screaming at the department’s resident incompetent, who still can’t take the hint.
Sam Elliott Stops by Parks and Rec
This episode introduced the audience to the Pawnee government’s Eagletonian counterparts. Billy Eichner grated a bit as the overenthusiastic Craig to a typically unenthusiastic Donna, and June Diane Raphael did a solid job as April’s new frenemy. But Sam Elliott stole the show as Bizarro Ron, the freegan, yoga-doing mirror image of Ron Swanson. Nick Offerman and Elliott are as similar in demeanor as their characters are different in personality, and the meeting-of-the-minds vibe of the “Dunn and done” scene is pure gold.
Eddie Bids Adieu
Boardwalk Empire‘s fourth season has been a bit slow in getting off the ground, but “Erlkonig” offered at least a bit of action in the form of a major character death. Frank Capone may be more historically significant, but German valet Eddie has been with the show from the start, serving Nucky with a sycophancy that’s been equal parts hilarious and endearing. Unfortunately, Eddie’s troubled past finally catches up with him, and after an unpleasant run-in with a few agents from the FBI, he sees no other choice but to jump out a window. Rest in piece, Kessler.