Tuesday night is huge for television comedy. In order to make sense of all of the options, we've decided to rank them each week to suss out who is coming out on top.
Note: New Girl is on repeat this week, and while the Prince episode is admittedly great, we're leaving it out of this week's power rankings.
1. Trophy Wife
We almost didn't want to give the number one spot to Trophy Wife after bestowing that honor upon them last week. But since ABC aired yet another stellar episode last night—one that happens to wrap up a storyline that started last week—we decided to give it the top spot once again. For what it's worth, the deck was stacked. The episode once again revolved around Kate and Pete's plan for a real wedding to make up for their original elopement, which meant the arrival of their respective parents. Kate's zany mom Cricket was played by Megan Mullally, and Megan Mullally playing a character named Cricket was just as great as you might expect. Meanwhile, Pete's unspeaking parents—whose names are Francis and Frances—were played by veterans Bob Gunton and Florence Henderson. Yes, Mrs. Brady, was on this episode. The entire thing culminated in an adorable, surprise, only-possible-in-a-sitcom ceremony.
2. The Goldbergs
The Goldbergs is very much like its ABC Wednesday night counterpart, The Middle. It's not going to make any waves, content-wise or critically, but it makes domestic comedy consistently enjoyable better than pretty much anything else on TV. Last night's episode focused on the premature departure of Mr. Chair (Murray's living room throne, which he likes to sit in pants-less) that escalated to a full-out household war between Murray and Beverly. Sure, there are forced '80s references that can distract, like a Garbage Pail Kids joke a week after New Girl made one and a weird bit about microwaves, but when it sticks to what does best (a show about family), it finds the right balance between comedy and sentimentality. "For Your Own Good" revealed how many of us truly hate change, and in a way that strikes at the appeal of the show: familiar and comfortable.
3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Brooklyn Nine-Nine takes the third spot, but that's not to say it didn't have a good outing. In fact, it regained some of its momentum after losing steam last week. This week turned its attention back to Jake Peralta's growing crush on Amy Santiago. In general we're not sure how to feel about this storyline. Fox sitcoms have been packed as of late with will-they-won't-they couples—Nick and Jess, Mindy and Danny—and while Jake and Amy always had some sexual tension, the show is so good at doing so many things, we would hate it to become all about their inevitable romance. Still, this episode managed to funnel Jake's jealously over Amy's new boyfriend into something worthwhile. Jake, angry that Amy plans to spend the weekend in the Berkshires with her new guy, decides to take on an unsolvable case with Sergeant Terry. And there was an entertaining B-plot involving Gina and Rosa's secret bathroom.
4. About a Boy
How many of these Will-teaches-Marcus-about-girls story lines do you think we'll get this season? In a way that's the whole point of the show, and it's probably not a good sign that it already seems played out and droll. Also, we have to take issue with Will's fundamental advice from last night: in our experience girls do like magicians, because everyone does, duh. "About a Girl" got close to doing something interesting with the difference between pity and empathy but didn't go far enough to make a point, and the same sort of stale references popped up again (Zero Dark Nerdy), which means About a Boy is very nearly our least favorite comedy on Tuesday nights.
5. Growing Up Fisher
But that honor is reserved for Growing Up Fisher, which continues to be a one-trick show. This weeks gag was Mel falling into a hole in the sidewalk, which was supposed to teach him a lesson about trust, but really just felt like the writers thought making a blind guy walk into a construction site unawares was funny. Honestly, we'd rather watch a show about Runyen's family, which sells donuts for a living and doesn't mind bringing it with the Katy Perry karaoke.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.