TV Diary

a) "Shameless"
I always thought Emmy Rossum was hot but never had really seen anything she was in, so my jaw was pretty much on the floor throughout the pilot for this show, where she's in various states of undress for half the episode. William H. Macy seems to be having a lot of fun playing against type, but I don't know if I actually like his performance. Kind of waiting to see a few more episodes and see how it all pans out.

b) "Episodes"
I'm kind of burned out on meta showbiz comedy, and having a bunch of people who created or were in "Friends" and "Mad About You" jump on the bandwagon seems especially eye-rolling, but so far I think this has potential, the British couple have their moments and I feel like once this gets going it's just going to snowball and Matt LeBlanc is going to be hilarious.

c) "Bob's Burgers"
I love "Home Movies" so much that it's really just exciting in and of itself to have the creator and so many of the voice actors back together and doing something with a similar sensibility and those great offbeat comic rhythmcs in the dialogue. That said, the more traditional animation on this show looks like utter shit and it feels like it'll be a little harder to warm up to these characters, and in general it just seemed like another in a long line of failed attempts by FOX to flesh out their animation lineup beyond McFarlane and Groening, so I'm almost trying not to get too attached to it.

d) "Storage Wars"
A&E has done shows about so many offbeats hobbies and professions and habits that I'm aboslutely not surprised that they managed to make people buying and reselling the contents of storage units into an entertaining show. I especially liked the one where the guy ended up buying a storage unit owned by Suge Knight. It even had one of his big red suits!

e) "Strange Days with Bob Saget"
This is kind of a goofy show where Saget goes and spends a few days with some group or subculture, like a motorcycle club or a kid's summer camp or bigfoot hunters, and just learns about what they do. But it works because Saget's voiceover skills, well known to any "How I Met Your Mother" fan, are great, and he lets his humor seep in more with subtle asides and dry jokes in the narration than being all-out obscene like in his standup routines.

f) "Dean of Invention"
Dean Kamen is I guess a good figurehead to put on a show about inventors, but they also realized that he's not really a very entertaining TV personality and have some lady do most of the real hosting with Kamen just occasionally interjecting. The episode I saw about user-friendly planes was neat.

g) "Glory Daze"
With all the classic sitcoms TBS runs all day you'd think they'd know enough about the form to do decent shows themselves, but they always come up with some weak sauce like this. Even Andy Richter appearing, I guess as part of the deal with the new "Conan" show or something, can't save this from being totally unfunny and forgettable.

h) "Rizzoli & Isles"
I tuned in and out of an all-day marathon of this recenlty and wished I'd watched it regularly when it started airing. Law procedurals aren't really my thing but when it's kind of light and fluffy like this and is all about two pretty ladies I'm cool with it.

i) Industrial Light & Magic: Creating The Impossible
Semi-interesting TV documentary with totally distracting voiceover narration by Tom Cruise, kinda cool to get an overview of the history of the company beyond just its Lucas/Star Wars foundation, although it really was kind of hilarious and sad to watch them get all excited showing the dumb CGI bullshit they invented for those prequels.

j) "The Walking Dead"
Man, the one reason I'm still looking forward to the 2nd season of this was the news that Darabont fired the writing staff after this season wrapped. I still think they've got a lot of potential with this premise and cast and crew, the show looks great, but man on a plotting level they kinda shit the bed and the CDC explosion just kinda looked like shit beyond just being a lame way to end the season.

k) "The Good Guys"
I accurately predicted that this show would be short-lived when it first debuted, but it ended up growing on me over the course of its one season, which FOX weirdly stretched out from May to December, in addition to giving it a bunch of different and mostly lousy timeslots. I think they really found a good comic groove by the end of the 20-episode run, and it was fun when Brad Whitford would bring in an old "West Wing" buddy like Josh Malina or Gary Cole. And like when "Reaper" was cancelled, I will mourn not being able to see the staggeringly hot Jenny Wade on TV every week.

l) "Animal Hoarding"
I've watched some of the shows about hoarders and they could be kind of interesting and even entertaining, but one day my wife watched this and it was just too much for me, it just hurt to watch these misguided souls claiming to be animal lovers and mistreating and harming so many animals, it was just traumatic for me.

m) "Smash Cuts"
With "Tosh.0" and to a lesser degree "Web Soup" having finally figured out how to turn goofy YouTube videos into a watchable TV show, it's kind of entertaining to watch terrible syndicated shows like this still flailing around at it and failing miserably, this one trying to have a bunch of wannabe comics sit around as if in a dorm room riffing on the videos.

n) "I'm Pregant And..."
The episode about the couple where the father was a dwarf and the wife wasn't and the baby had a 50/50 chance of being a dwarf really sucked me in, because they seemed like such nice, genuine people who were just so happy to have their baby no matter how he was born.

o) "Cougar Town"
This show is kinda growing on me, and in the last episode Busy Phillips really killed it and proved herself as probably the biggest comedic talent in the cast. But this kinda feels like "Scrubs" what "Studio 60" was to "The West Wing," the creator of a good show trying to recreate that magic with some of the same people in a totally different setting, it just kind of feels rudderless and the occasional dramatic notes feel forced in a way that wasn't such a problem when the show was set in a hospital.

p) "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew"
This show has always been kind of a morbid fascination for me, because adding addiction to fame and narcissism really gives you an amazingly clusterfucky cocktail of insanity, and Dr. Drew gives it all just enough gravity that it doesn't feel like a total freak show. This season is especially surreal, though, since most of the people aren't even entertainers and are just kind of vaguely famous as fuckups who turn up in tabloids all the time, but after a while they stop being cartoons and are a little empathetic but still kind of grotesque and absurd.

q) "Scare Tactics"
Always meant to watch this since a horror-themed hidden camera prank show hosted by Tracy Morgan seems like an idea with so much potential on paper, finally checked it out recently. And it's aight, but sometimes a little awkwardly paced and the payoff isn't always great. I'm kind of impressed by the creativity and production values of some of the pranks, though.
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1st --- I didnt know Bob Sagat was on a show --- I need to watch that ASAP.

2nd --- Storage Wars is awesome!

C --- The Writing on "The Walking Dead" was pretty bad, so its good to see that they made that change. It really could be a good show. They should have did that to the Undercovers writers!
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