Best Episode of the Season: New Girl Season 4

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“Background Check”
Winston Bishop’s evolution from most pointless character on New Girl to one of the most essential characters on TV is completed in Season 4, and “Background Check” is the high point of this journey. Jess is worried that Winston’s police academy background check will be ruined by some meth she accidentally stumbled across, but really, she is worried because deep down, she just does not believe that he has what it takes. Ultimately, Winnie the Bish gets to show off how capable he really is while remaining adorably goofy, and in the meantime, the pressure-filled situation gets everyone else into some high-stakes, sweaty shenanigans.

To read my original review of this episode, head over here: http://www.starpulse.com/news/Jeffrey_Malone/2014/11/05/new_girl_season_4_episode_6_review_the

Best Episode of the Season: Bob’s Burgers Season 5

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BOB'S BURGERS: Bob needs more time to plan Linda's birthday surprise and sends her out of the house in the all-new ÒEat, Spray, LindaÓ episode of BOBÕS BURGERS airing Sunday, May 3 (7:30-8:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. BOB'S BURGERS ª and © 2015 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

“Eat, Spray, Linda”
Linda spends her birthday going missing and being forced to wear a plastic bag, but because this is Bob’s Burgers, it ends up being one of the best birthdays ever. In a way, it is Bob who receives the best present, as his search for his wife results in discoveries about her life that make him a little confused about how much he has been in the dark, but also make him even more in love with her.

To read my original review of this episode, head over here: http://www.starpulse.com/news/Jeffrey_Malone/2015/05/04/bobs-burgers-season-5-episode-18-recap

Best Episode of the Season: The Last Man on Earth Season 1

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“Alive in Tucson”
Actors often note the difficulty of acting opposite nothing, but in the pilot of The Last Man on Earth, Will Forte proves how powerful a lone wolf performance can be. True, there have been other great cases of solitary acting, but as Phil Miller, Forte’s performance is the sort that seems like it is meant for acting opposite others. This debut episode sticks completely to a premise that should not work according to how television is normally understood, but it proves to be a successful experiment.

Best Episode of the Season: The Middle Season 6

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“The Graduate”
Sue finishes up high school, and everything goes wrong. Sure, “Sue does x, and everything goes wrong” describes 99% of Middle episodes, but this time is exponentially more painful. A happy ending seems impossible, even for preternaturally sunny Sue, but then the most amazing resolution happens. It helps to have been a fan of The Middle from the beginning for this moment to have maximum impact, but Eden Sher embodies all there is to love about Sue Heck so thoroughly, with every part of her journey that led here present in her smile.

To read my original review of this episode, head over here: www.starpulse.com/news/Jeffrey_Malone/2015/05/14/the-middle-season-6-finale-recap-the-g

Best Episode of the Season: You’re the Worst Season 1

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“Finish Your Milk”
You’re the Worst reveals its true self in its antepenultimate Season 1 episode. The fact that its cynicism was just a front for its sincerity is hinted at as early as the pilot, but in this edition, the emotions come pouring out unmistakably. Jimmy makes himself known to Gretchen’s parents against her wishes. He is not trying to prove a point – he legitimately wants to support her and stand up for her. But their romance is a struggle, so these overtures initially lead to strife (brilliantly represented with split-screen editing). Suffering happens when an effort is made, but You’re the Worst argues that that pain is ultimately worth it.

Best Episode of the Season: Rick and Morty Season 1

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“Rixty Minutes”
Ah, yes, the episode in which Rick hooks up the TV with a converter that receives programming from every conceivable dimension. What could be just a series of quick gags … is a series of quick gags, but not just a series of quick gags. Each program makes you want to live in that world to figure out what, for example, would compel someone to make a commercial for fake doors that turns into an existential short film. This is a canny movie, as it sets up potential callbacks (with depth) for future episodes. Season 2’s “The Ricks Must Be Crazy,” indeed, features a Ball Fondlers movie. Perhaps there is also a world in which Turbulent Juice is recalled.

Best Episode of the Season: Kroll Show Season 3

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“Karaoke Bullies”
This is the sort of episode that would not make any sense to a first-time viewer. But I would guess that it would still manage to be amusing, nonetheless. In its unrelenting specificity, it achieves comedy gold. Jenny Slate melts hearts as Niece Denise attempts to sing Bryan La Croix songs uninterrupted. Nash Rickey confuses “karaoke” with “karate.” Masterful impressions of basketball players and Kelsey Grammer intersect. And “Pawnsylvania” returns to deliver regionalisms and pun-based misunderstandings.

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