Tuesday Comedy Roundup: Brooklyn Nine-Nine 1.04, The Goldbergs 1.03, New Girl 3.04, The Mindy Project 2.04

Brookly Nine-Nine S01E04 promo pic

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 1, Episode 4, “M.E. Time”
Directed by Troy Miller
Written by Gil Ozeri
Airs Tuesdays at 8:30pm EST on FOX

The Tuesday night comedies are generally a lot more entertaining this week as two It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia stars make appearances on other shows. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is shaping up to be one of the better fall comedies this year as it’s beginning to tone down the silliness and really find its stride. Jake’s ability to completely wind up Amy is a strong part of his character and one of the most entertaining parts of the show – the opening pre-titles scene this week is great. The show is starting to follow an extremely similar format to another of FOX’s shows, New Girl. With hilarious scenes before the opening credits and great flashbacks and cutaways, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is making up for the weak episodes New Girl is delivering as of late.

So far the show has been very focused on Jake’s silly nature and how it affects everyone around the office. Last week we saw a little bit more from the female members of the cast and although it was a good effort, the episode itself wasn’t that great. This week that all changes as “M.E. Time” does an excellent job juggling separate narratives and making use of characters we haven’t seen much of yet. Although the episode’s initial focus is on Jake and his inability to let others take control, the other characters (and guest star) are the reason this episode works. It’s really great seeing Mary Elizabeth Ellis in this week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, considering she no longer has a big role on Always Sunny and Jayma Mays just replaced her on CBS’ The Millers.

Charles gets a lot more screen time this week, and although he’s just referred to as Jake’s primary, it’s still a win. As mentioned before, the episode explores how Jake can’t let others be in control. With Charles continuing to struggle with respect and authority, Rosa steps in and defends him. The pilot suggests a possible romantic arc for these two, but Rosa continues to send mixed signals. Although there is no sign of Gina this week, the episode includes some entertaining B stories with other characters. Amy’s excessive need to impress the Captain is growing thin, but this week she kind of gets through to him. It’s Terry Crews as the Sergeant that is providing the entertainment in between though. He always gets stuck with ridiculous side stories, but unlike Winston on New Girl, it suits him well. By the end of the episode, Jake realises he should have just let Charles do his job and another regular format/occurrence is suggested, with Jake learning his lesson.


The Goldbergs, Season 1, Episode 3, “Mini Murray”
Directed by Troy Miller
Written by Alex Barnow & Marc Firek
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm EST on ABC

It’s another solid installment from ABC’s The Goldbergs this week as the show continues to prove it’s the best new family sitcom on television. Barry gets a lot more attention as the audience is presented with yet another of his “dreams”. There is a strong feeling that this will become a weekly occurrence, as just last week we saw him work on his rapping skills. As the show continues to explore how the parents struggle to deal with their realisations, more and more hilarious moments are being provided. Although Beverly is the strongest character in the family, it’s entertaining watching Murray struggle with his feelings too. The focus of “Mini Murray” consists of a really classic and recycled storyline: the father teaching their son the value of money by making them work for something they want. Barry is great this week as he finds he’s good at lying to customers and selling furniture. The progression of his success is enjoyable, as he begins to act more and more like Murray. Sadly, this all fades when Barry acts like a complete child when Murray is forced to fire him. Murray’s stubbornness when it comes to expressing feelings is particularly fun; a lot of viewers’ fathers are still like that.

As usual, Beverly and Adam’s story lines and scenes together continue to be the best part about the show. It’s really great to see Adam and Albert going against Beverly’s will becoming a regular thing. Her elaborate ploys to make a point or teach them a lesson are always rewarding. She is easily the best character and the length she goes to delude herself into thinking he’s still a baby is always extremely entertaining. This week’s episode should also be praised for its great depiction of younger kids watching horror movies. It’s slightly disturbing that a mother would purposely scare her son, but it feels believable. Adam’s trouble sleeping after watching Poltergiest is something we can all relate to. There isn’t much from Erica this week but watching Beverly barter with her works well. Along with Barry and his different dreams every week, it appears that The Goldbergs will continue explore why Beverly does the things she does.

New Girl S03E04

New Girl, Season 3, Episode 4, “The Captain”
Directed by Fred Goss
Written by J. J. Philbin
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm EST on FOX

Considering how weak this current season of New Girl has been so far, this week’s “The Captain” is a fairly decent episode. With Schmidt bitterly struggling with being alone, Nick and Jess continue to be the show’s main focus. This week’s episode carries on exploring how their relationship is growing and also addresses some problems a live-in couple can face. Although it is unpleasant and somewhat frustrating to watch Schmidt put all his energy into ruining Nick and Jess’s happiness, there are actually some entertaining moments this week. Watching New Girl address a regular problem for men in a creative way provides some hope the season is beginning to return to its old, hilarious format. Another indication that New Girl could be returning to its old humour is the way it employs a very classic element of the sitcom genre: not allowing the audience to hear what Schmidt is telling Jess.

The way Schmidt tricks Jess this week is a little uninspired, considering she’s been in a similar situation before. In season one we saw her struggle with guessing what Justin Long’s character wanted sexually, so when we see her make the same mistakes again it’s quite disappointing. Fortunately this situation provides some funny moments whilst moving the characters forward at the same time. It’s always entertaining watching Nick struggle with his emotions and this week he makes a real breakthrough. Although what Schmidt is doing is wrong, the audience can agree that things should go back to the way they were, the only difference being that Schmidt wants Nick and Jess apart, unlike most viewers. Schmidt’s actions work as a good platform for character building for Nick, as well as bring him and Jess closer together.

Winston gets a lot more attention this week but it’s still not good enough. Although he acts as the mediator for the rest of The Loft, his B story is even more ridiculous than usual. With Schmidt and Winston both single, there is a possibility that they could become close. However, Schmidt’s actions are stopping this from happening. As a result, Winston is spending more and more time apart from the rest of the characters. This week we see him transition into being an even bigger “cat-man” as he puts all his time and effort in getting Ferguson laid. At first it appears as though having a cat could be a good opportunity for him, as he meets the first woman who’s shown interest in him since Daisy, played by Riki Lindhome. Unfortunately the writers do not cater to Winston like they do the other characters and he obliviously ruins his chance with a woman who is genuinely likes him. Hopefully he can go back and fix this, or step up his game in general. It’ll also be interesting to see if this new and open Nick Miller is around to stay.

The Mindy Project S02E04

The Mindy Project, Season 2, Episode 4, “Magic Morgan”
Directed by Neal Brennan
Written by Tracey Wigfield
Airs Tuesdays at 9:30pm EST on FOX

The second It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star to make an appearance on another show this week is Glenn Howerton on The Mindy Project. Whilst Mary Elizabeth Ellis is only a guest star in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, it looks like Glenn is actually here to stay. “Magic Morgan” is peculiar, as the audience cannot understand each character’s motives throughout the episode. For example, Glenn Howerton doesn’t have a great number of scenes in this episode; at first it’s hard to understand why he’s on the show at all.

As Mindy is a self-procclaimed romantic-comedy enthusiast, it’s clear that humor will come through the way she chooses to deal with her recent breakup. It’s extremely funny, albeit a little confusing, watching Mindy make advances towards Morgan and the outcome suggests the season is about to become interesting again. As the audience watches the episode, it’s extremely hard to understand the reasons behind Morgan’s choices. By forcing Mindy on a date, it’s unclear if he has an ulterior motive. He always appears to be very open about his crush on Mindy and their dynamic works because she chooses to ignore it. So when we see the two of them on a date, it’s weird and unentertaining. Audiences probably would prefer to see Danny and Mindy in this dating environment, instead of her and Morgan. By the end of the episode we see a softer and less sexually aggressive side to Morgan, one that actually helps Mindy confront her feelings. It’s also suggested that Glenn Howerton is going to become Mindy’s next love interest. Hopefully this will get the show moving a bit more and trigger some jealousy on Danny’s behalf so The Mindy Project can really begin to entertain its audience again.

– Catstello

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