There are scores of TV shows out there, with dozens of new episodes each week, not to mention everything you can find on Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, and HBO Go. How’s a viewer to keep up? To help you sort through all that television has to offer, Flavorwire is compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This round, lots of shows come out of winter hibernation, including the now one-hundred-episode old Parks and Recreation.
Parks Celebrates Its Centennial
Andy’s back from London, it’s Leslie’s last day on the job, and Parks and Recreation is celebrating its 100th episode. Besides the surprise Paris trip at the episode’s end, “Second Chunce” was more about its protagonists’ growth than any showboaty celebration of how far Parks has come. With a Jennifer Bradley pep talk for Leslie, a brand-new job for Tom, and an it’s-a-boy reveal for Ann and Chris, Pawnee’s most dedicated civil servants are ready to resume business as usual. Or, in Leslie’s case, score a plate of JJ’s waffles and make out with Ben.
Stevie Nicks Stops By American Horror Story
The most hyped cameo in TV history (OK, probably not, but we were pretty excited) did not disappoint. There’s the obvious payoff of Lily Rabe’s Stevie lookalike character meeting the real deal, but Nicks upped the ante by playing a few songs on set. In the AHS universe, Stevie’s a white witch who’s best buds with current Supreme Fiona Goode, which makes about as much sense as anything else on that show. But anything that gives us Stevie-Lily tandem twirling/shawl gifting is totally acceptable.
The Simpsons Goes Full Miyazaki
Homer has a few too many, and for a gorgeous minute and a half he hallucinates an onslaught of animated psychedelia ripped straight from the filmmaker’s most iconic works. Patty and Selma make an appearance as Kiki of Delivery Service fame, but the highlight comes when the Kwik-E-Mart transforms into a Howl’s Moving Castle robot-building. “I am ruined by whimsy!” laments Apu, floating over The Simpsons team’s version of No Face.
Not One, But Two Bandit Plotlines
There’s Community‘s uneven Ass Crack Bandit, the newly re-Harmonized show’s attempt at a Zodiac parody. And then there’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Pontiac Bandit, protagonist Jake Peralta’s long-standing nemesis. Both episodes incorporated welcome guest stars (Ben Folds as a pot-growing professor on Community; Craig Robinson as “Doug Judy” on Brooklyn), and while neither episode was its respective series’ best work, it’s great to welcome Brooklyn back from its winter hiatus. And even a bad episode of Community packs in better pop culture references than an entire season of the average sitcom.
The FX drama has quietly become a critical favorite — not as widely celebrated as Mad Men or even network mate Louie, but still widely acknowledged as Very Good. Justified’s fifth season, its first since author Elmore Leonard passed away in August, debuted Tuesday night, and most recappers seem to agree that the neo-Western is in fine form. “A Murder of Crowes” took characters to Florida and Detroit, starting the action right where season four left off. Bring on the spring round of prestige TV!