Joel McHale in a scene from The Joel McHale Show With Joel McHale.

I was a little worried about The Joel McHale Show With Joel McHale, the eponymous host’s return to riffing on bad TV. The Soup, which he hosted for 11 (!) years, was a good time, but it ran its course—and after McHale’s thus-far so-so sitcom and movie career, a return to bad TV riffing sounded a little desperate and wrong.

Well, shame on me: McHale still rocks at this shit.

Granted, the first episode of this series—released each Sunday on Netflix—compounded my worries, because it was quite bad. The bits fell flat, and the timing of the gags and jokes was awkward. But then a funny thing happened: The show got really, really funny in its second and third episodes. Yes, McHale and friends have hit their stride, and this series turns out to be a happy return for McHale rather than a sad retread.

While a long bit with Jason Priestley in the first episode doesn’t work at all, Billy Eichner makes numerous appearances in Episode 3 that are pretty gosh darned hilarious. McHale goes from looking kind of lost to being totally into the groove by Episode 3, and the future for this series looks strong.

Long live Joel McHale, and may he make fun of shitty TV forever!

The Joel McHale Show With Joel McHale is currently streaming on Netflix.