TV Diary

1. "My Own Worst Enemy"
In an absolutely dire post-strike slate of new fall shows, this might be my favorite by default, mainly because it fills the kooky sci-fi niche in a much more fun way than "Fringe." The premise is, of course, ridiculous, and derivative of many spy movies, but there are a couple of twists that are fun and they've got a big enough budget that it doesn't feel like you're just watching a scaled-down TV version of a spy movie. Having a more compelling lead actor than Christian Slater would be the only thing to bump it up to a seriously promising show, but he's still kind of entertaining and likable.

2. Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs
I wasn't super impressed with the first DVD movie "Futurama" came back with, Bender's Big Score, but I thought this one was pretty solid. J.G. is a much bigger fan of the show, though, and was really creeped out by the the whole high concept tentacle Heaven theme, which I found at least more interesting than the usual half hour "Futurama" plot.

3. "Sports Soup"
I have been singing the praises of "The Soup" as an aggregator of trash TV for years now, and these days it feels like other people are actually watching it, to the point that other networks are creating their own spinoffs. I haven't seen the one the Style Network that's hosted by Topanga from "Boy Meets World" yet, but E! previewed the sports version that the Versus channel recently, and it doesn't seem very funny. I mean, granted I'm not a sports buff at all, but most of the humor didn't require any real knowledge, I think the host is just kind of dull.

4. "Best Week Ever with Paul F. Tompkins"
I have long griped that Tompkins is by far the best thing about "Best Week Ever" and deserves to break out with his own show more than those "Human Giant" hacks, but having him host a slightly different format of BWE's same old crap isn't really what I had in mind. And him being onscreen more isn't really much of an improvement if he's just reading more scripted stuff from the show's lousy writers than staying within his more off-the-cuff usual persona. He's still better than the really annoying announcer voice that the show has finally rid itself of, though.

5. "Real Chance At Love"
Speaking of trash TV! It really is getting kind of amazing how successful VH1 has gotten at eating its own tail, and abandoning even the basic concept of 'Celebreality' to make a dating show about guys who lost a different dating show about a girl who lost a different dating show about Flavor Flav, who himself had a dating show not because he was once in a popular rap group but because he broke up with the other has-been he fell in love while taping "The Surreal Life." The only real entertainment value coming from this one, though, is that these guys have gone completely overboard with the nicknames for contestants, which include Meatball, Corn Fed, Bay Bay Bay, So Hood, Sexy Legs, and Stalker.

6. "Scream Queens"
This might be my favorite VH1 crap in a while, though, possibly because, while it's always fun to watch pretty girls compete for something meaningless, horror movies (and the thematic games the competition lends itself to) are a lot more interesting to me than if they're all just after a modelling campaign or dating some minor celebrity. And honestly, winning a role in a movie franchise that banks $30 million every opening weekend is not a bad prize at all.

7. "Samantha Who?"
I have to say, this is probably the best sitcom on TV that you aren't watching, assuming you're not watching it, and that you are watching "30 Rock" and "How I Met Your Mother." It's staying pretty solid in the 2nd season, still getting mileage out of the premise without completely exhausting the inventory of amnesia gags, which you'd think would get old really quick.

8. "Chocolate News"
David Alan Grier has had his moments over the years, but seriously, fuck outta here with this shit. It's no "Chappelle's Show" like the ad campaign has been trumpeting, but worse than that, it doesn't even offer something as smugly ballsy as "Mind of Mencia" for racial humor, it's just weirdly defanged and boring.

9. "The Daily Show with John Stewart"
Even though they've done a pretty good job at occasionally poking fun at Obama, and I'd always always always rather have a good president than a funny one, I have to admit that it's going to be a slight bummer that the hot streak the show's been on most of the year is inevitably going to stop, or at least slow down, after this week, especially with 3 of the better correspondents (Jones, Bee, Riggle) going off to do sitcoms in the next few months, although hey, more room for my fav at the moment, Aasif Mandvi.
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Totally agree with the "Chocolate News" write up. Its good for about 5 minutes, but overall its pretty dry. Def no Chappelle.

I hate the new "Best Week Ever" set-up, they should just call it the Paul F. Thomkins Show.
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