Sunday's Rankings (5, 3, 2, 1 scoring)
(1) The Simpsons ("Boy Meets Curl") -- There were three things that vaulted The Simpsons into the week's top spot: (1) The show's first few minutes of "date night" satire. (2) The rapid-fire one-liners from the third act. (3) An abysmal effort from every one of Seth MacFarlane's shows. Truth be told, this was not a good episode. Eight years ago, the writers penned a razor-sharp send-up of Canada and the Olympics ("The Bart Wants What It Wants"). This time around, the comedic target was mostly the sport of curling -- a pop-culture piñata that's been beaten to death. the secondary story (Lisa develops an addiction to
(2) American Dad! ("May the Best Stan Win") -- How many times can this show go to the "Stan and Francine fight, Stan and Francine make up" plot? The cyborg Stan from the far-flung future should've been funnier (in a "caricature of a caricature" kind of way) but the first few minutes of his obnoxious Mexican-Canadian schtick killed off the comedy for me. And, as someone who works in the contracts industry, I can't stay silent on this anymore: Tearing up a contract does NOT invalidate the document! It doesn't! Whew...now I know how real cops feel when they see TV cops stick their finger in a bag of cocaine and taste-test it.
(3) The Cleveland Show ("Buried Pleasure") -- This one pretty much lost me after the Rear Window spoof. I'll be the first person to admit that The Simpsons isn't what it used to be, but that show's brilliant 1994 riff on the Hitchcock classic simply can't be topped. And, certainly not with the lowbrow, sophomoric set-up used here. The physical abuse storyline was simply bad slapstick, while the Rallo/Cleveland, Jr. "pregnancy" stuff was simply bad.
(4) Family Guy ("Extra Large Medium") -- Unfunny AND mean-spirited, this one will go down as one of the worst episodes of the show's run. I'm the last person to get offended by a fictitious sitcom family, but the Down's syndrome stuff was needlessly over-the-line. And, tying it to a throwaway gag at the expense of Sarah Palin's young son was pretty repugnant. McCain/Palin were mocked earlier in the evening on MacFarlane's The Cleveland Show and, infamously, in a Family Guy episode from last season in which Stewie (dressed as Hitler) wore their campaign button. You've made your point, Seth. Move on.
MVP: Let's go with Agnes Skinner. Her mocking "How's my ice taste?" line was positively Shaq-tastic and, for the first time that I can remember, she showed some love for her son, Seymour.
Quote of the Night: "I traded away my pearls. Without them, I'm just a big Maggie!" -- Lisa Simpson (The Simpsons)
The Simpsons -- 45
The Cleveland Show -- 40
American Dad! -- 28
Family Guy -- 26