I don't have a ton to say about Mulaney this week, but what I do have can be pretty readily boiled down into three points:
1) This episode was overall significantly better than the pilot, with Mulaney seeming much more comfortable on camera and the average joke quality going up.
2) Mulaney still isn't nearly as funny as it should be, and it's far too willing to sell out its own characters and universe for a cheap laugh (my sitcom pet peeve).
3) Mulaney is at its best when it's coming from a mean, cynical, and incisive place. If it ever decides to live there instead of just visiting a few times an episode, it will be an excellent show.
Beyond that, Pedrad and Short remain the show's MVPs, Gould remains a non-entity, Mulaney himself remains a work in progress, and Motif still needs a character beyond "black guy." The new character working on "Celebrity You Guessed It" is a nice addition, and hopefully we see more of her as her coarseness plays into Mulaney's strengths both as a writer and a straight man. Ultimately, though, the show will live or die by its ability to transcend its format, as Mulaney fails whenever it behaves like what it is; a traditional multi-camera sitcom. The characters- at their best- are too dark and subtle for that world (Seinfeld comparisons be damned, suffice it to say there's a reason there's never been another Seinfeld), and the show's comic rhythm dies whenever they pause for a laugh.
The previous paragraph makes it sound like I liked this episode less than I did; there were several very strong laughs, most of the characters came significantly more into focus (sans Motif), and the A-plot storyline about the doula was exactly the sort of relatively fresh- and dark- concept that the show can thrive on once all the moving pieces settle into place. Between Mulaney's improvement, Bad Judge's near-180, and Cristela's shocking promise, I'm feeling a lot better about this project than I was a week ago (doubly so if Selfie ever lives up to its potential), though MLS and A to Z remain the worst parts of my week.