This third season of Mike Judge’s satirical show is its strong, most focused one so far. While the show has established the dynamics among the characters long ago, the writers clearly have increased their focus on character development for this season, leading to a string of excellent episodes with surprisingly potent layers. “Death of a Propane Salesman” manages to propel a compelling narrative arc for Brittany Murphy’s Luanne – while the character has been an entertaining, poignant one throughout the show (largely thanks to Murphy’s staggering comedic talent), it’s here that Luanne becomes a surprising emotional center for the overall show. Other episodes like “Peggy’s Headache,” “Next of Shin” and “Nine Pretty Darn Angry Men” heighten the interactions among most of the show’s characters, and all of it adds up to the strongest, funniest and most satisfying season of the impressively layered sitcom.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)