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, we’re compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This week, some shows wrap up while others get going.
Pete Campbell takes a tumble on Mad Men
Even die-hard fans had been complaining that this season of Mad Men felt slow and repetitive — but that was before Matthew Weiner packed half a season’s worth of action into a single episode. There were many, many moments that could have made this roundup (Joan telling off Don for being a self-absorbed pig, Pete running into his father-in-law at a brothel, SCDP and CGC impulsively deciding to merge), but one stands out for the sheer glee it inspired in the show’s fan base: Pete Campbell taking a dive down the agency’s brand-new staircase. Granted, Pete was in the right this time around and Don very much in the wrong, but over the course of five weaselly, boorish seasons Mr. Campbell has more than earned his comeuppance. Also, the fall made for one of the most eminently GIF-able moments in Mad Men history.
Jinkx Monsoon wins RuPaul’s Drag Race
Confession: we almost forgot to include Jinkx’s victory in our roundup because it was such a foregone conclusion. The camp queen won out Drag Race‘s Season of the Fish over fellow finalists Alaska and Roxxxy Andrews for a number of reasons: she had a great underdog narrative; Roxxxy was too much of a bully to win; Alaska didn’t have enough conflict; and, oh, Jinkx is also really, really talented (exhibit A: her kick-ass lip sync against Detox). Seattle’s first, best, and only Jewish narcoleptic drag queen walked away from Monday’s reunion with $100,000 and the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. As the winner herself put it, “It’s Monsoon season, bitches!”
Community wraps up its uneven fourth season
To cap off its fourth, and possibly final, season, Community found a way to combine its two most beloved motifs: The Darkest Timeline and paintball, with a bonus installment of Troy and Abed in the Morning during the credits. Before Jeff graduates from Greendale, he needs to face his personal demons in the form of his evil doppelganger from another universe. Luckily, the study group defeats their alter egos with the help of Formerly Evil Abed’s supply of inter-dimensional paintball warp guns, convincing Jeff not to take a job at his old firm. This episode made up for a season that otherwise made Dan Harmon’s absence painfully obvious — in fact, it was even enough to convince Flavorwire’s Jason Bailey that a fifth season might be worth a shot.
Mindy accidentally gives a strip tease on The Mindy Project
In the latest of many misadventures, Mindy found herself at a Columbia frat party this week with her pre-med mentee. Outraged at the fictional Sigma Pi Tau’s in-house stripper pole, Mindy vows to tear down her “personal Berlin Wall.” Problem: she’s out of shape, and the pole’s firmly in place, so Mindy takes off her jacket and ends up doing something very similar to a pole dance. Of course, then the guy she just broke up with shows up and gets into a fistfight with Bill Hader before passing out on a curb… but at least our heroine struck a somewhat misguided blow for feminism first.
Christopher Guest’s new show proves a solid bet
Jason Bailey: “I spent much of my TV time this week checking out the first few episodes of Family Tree, the new HBO comedy (premiering Sunday) directed by Christopher Guest, created by Guest and co-star Jim Piddock. It’s a likable and frequently funny show — though, to put expectations in check, it’s not the kind of laugh-out-loud hilarity you might expected from the mastermind of Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show. Set (initially, at least) in London and concerning the genealogy quest of one Tom Chadwik (Chris O’Dowd, from Bridesmaids and The IT Crowd), it is much more tuned to the rhythms, style, and references of British comedy series than their American counterparts. This isn’t a bad thing, of course, merely worth noting — and there are some big laughs here, from O’Dowd’s Michael Bluth-style nonplussed reactions to his family and friends to his response to a description of The Mikado (“Are you drunk right now? It’s like a foreign Teletubbies”) to a wedding ventriloquist act with an unexpected mention of female circumcision. It’s not a laugh riot, but it’s enjoyable, in a quiet, modest sort of way — and since the four review episodes conclude with Tom on his way to America (where Guest regulars like Fred Willard and Ed Begley, Jr. await), it’s mighty promising as well.”