Best Buy vs. Little Guy
In the first of several promised episodes dedicated to a single small business, Nathan for You‘s season premiere saw Nathan Fielder champion a stand-alone electronics store against the local Best Buy. His strategy involves an alligator, feigned mental illness, and a fake reality show, and it’s as delightfully insane and successful at roping in innocent civilians as the best Nathan for You gambits. As long as you’re immune to secondhand embarrassment, this show is still a must-watch.
Don’t Call Her Crazy
Kudos to Rachel Bloom. In a single episode of her new CW comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, she managed to assuage critics’ apprehensions, or at least this one’s, about the premise (a musical!), the title (gross!), and the viability of a YouTube star on a major network. The story of a corporate lawyer’s search for love and self-discovery in the glamorous Inland Empire, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is yet another self-assured dramedy from a network coming into its own.
Speaking of! How great does a show have to be to start with a child kidnapping and keep the tone light—but never disrespectful? Jane the Virgin great. The show’s second season premiere was typically fast-paced: Jane and Rafael get the infant Mateo back from Sin Rostro, Petra injects herself with Rafael’s sperm, and Michael continues to pursue his ex. But as ever, the narration keeps things both comprehensible and enjoyable. Bless you, Narrator.
What’s Up with Gretchen?
Not a side bitch, as we learned in Thursday’s episode of the same name. But the answer, and how Jimmy handles it, may have much more dire consequences for their relationship. Gretchen’s been sneaking out not to cheat, but to have solo sob sessions in her car—and instead of being concerned, Jimmy’s just relieved, and leaves his girlfriend to cry with an ear-to-ear grin on his face. It’s a devastating episode of a comedy that’s still one of the laugh-out-loud funniest on television.
In yet another instance of “Empire couples soap opera plots with IRL social justice and doesn’t give a flying fuck if that offends you,” Hakeem and Jamal give their latest pro-Luscious music video a Black Panthers theme. It’s a scene that inspired widespread comparisons to Dr. Dre and Tupac’s “California Love” and provoked criticism from those who also found Cookie’s gorilla suit a bridge too far. However you feel about it, Empire‘s second season continues to go big rather than go home.