New Girl- A-
So, it’s back to normal on New Girl, which means an abnormal amount of chaos — in this case, even more insanity than usual as Jess helps an unprepared CeCe pack for her new life in the loft, while her new principal (#BringBackBooger) is a coquettish jerk who takes advantage of Jess’ need to people-please to run her to her ragged end. Meanwhile, Winston is at his Winston-iest best from his opening line “well, it’s too small to be a cat hotel, and too big to be pants, so it’s not mine,” to avoiding his cop crush partner, Nasim Pedrad’s Aly, and crashing repeatedly into his new partner — and even more awkward doppelganger — Dunston. Even the lightweight C-plot farce involving Nick and his acceptance of a barroom flasher is the sort of subtle character-building that is New Girl‘s wheelhouse.
– Jason Thurston
American Crime Story – B+
Conspiracy theories are the order of the day — both the every-day-more-complicated defense assertion tangled web that would prove the murder scene a staged set crafted by corrupt cops out to get O.J., and the multiple suspicions of deception, double-crosses, and chicanery at the center of the now-fracturing Dream Team. Christopher Darden whisks a beatdown Marcia Clark to his friend’s birthday celebration (road trip!) where a more-than-tipsy Clark dizzyingly lays out the apparent absurdity of a police set-up in what may be this already intense series most captivating sequence, before the vacation descends into flirty awkwardness. As a rift builds between Clark and Darden, the double-stuffed defense team begins to suffer for its bloat as various egos imagine elaborately orchestrated slights; however, they do get it together enough to actually conspire to trap Darden into one of the most famous missteps in American judicial history. Of course, whether you believe O.J. faked his discomfort, the gloves don’t fit, and it’s a stirring way to end another compelling episode. Or it would be if they didn’t add a coda of a dispirited Darden drunk dialing an apology to the Goldman family, in a scene that feels somewhat off and ham-fistedly melodramatic.
– Jason Thurston