TV Diary

a) "Portlandia"
Considering that Fred Armisen irritates me the most on SNL when he's doing goofy hipster type characters and Carrie Brownstein doesn't have much screen presence as an actress, I was surprised to not totally hate this. A couple of sketches in the first episode, particularly the one with Steve Buscemi, made me laugh, so maybe I'll give this more of a chance than I thought I would. People seem to get really weirded out about effete liberals satirizing themselves, but as far as that goes it's not as good as "Bored To Death" and better than "The Goode Family."

b) "Onion News Network"
I kind of watch as little video online as possible, so I'd never really seen much of this stuff when it was just on the Onion website, but what little I did see seemed funny, but I'm still kind of surprised at how well this came together as a TV series. Mostly it's that the host character, Brooke Alvarez, is like in the same universe of Colbert as just a ruthless satire of a cable news personality, and that she's able to just say these horrible things with the perfect dry delivery, but a lot of the pre-taped segments are good too.

c) "Onion SportsDome"
It's kinda funny that The Onion has 2 TV shows premiering on 2 channels around the same time, and I feel like Comedy Central took this one because the straight news satire is a niche they've already got kinda covered. But this is definitely the weaker of the 2 shows, although it's still pretty funny, and I'd probably enjoy it more if I was a sports fan, not that the humor seems to depend on that much.

d) "Fairly Legal"
This show first caught my attention with its hysterically bad name, but given the ultra generic original title, "Facing Kate," this is actually an improvement. Anyway I'm not too big on these kind of light fluffy USA shows, but Sarah Shahi is so blazing hot that I might end up watching this regularly, and the pilot was kind of charming.

e) "Perfect Couples"
David Walton was so funny in Fired Up that I've kinda been watching his career and was disappointed that NBC put him the absolutely awful "100 Questions," and then pleasantly surprised that they put him in a new show before that one had even been officially canceled. This one's not a whole lot better, but I don't think it's as bad as it's made out to be by the weird cabal of people on the internet who are angry that Olivia Munn has a career.

f) "Retired At 35"
Another super cheesy old school sitcom on TV Land to be paired up with "Hot In Cleveland," with more vaguely likable old TV stars. Perfectly pleasant little trifle, although it really depressed me that being on this show is what Casey Wilson's career has been reduced to, I thought she got a raw deal on "SNL."

g) "Skins"
I don't really need to have seen the British original to know this is absolutely horrible, like even when there were these crazy hot teenagers running around screwing each other I had a hard time paying much attention to the first episode.

h) "Being Human"
I don't really need to have seen the British original to enjoy this, it's a bit light and doesn't have a lot in the way of effects like most SyFy shows, but they did a good job with the casting, I could see this show gelling and staying on for a while.

i) "Off The Map"
I kind of inattentively watched this when the first episode came on, looks like another bland show about sexy doctors, but I realized later that Caroline Dhavernas, who I loved in "Wonderfalls," is in this and I couldn't place where I recognized her from at the time, so I might end up watching this again, although it probably won't get any better.

j) "The Cape"
Just an utter, utter bore, don't know why networks throw so much money at trying to make a nerd-bait show like this happen, even casting a girl from "Firefly" as insurance, and then totally shit the bed on the writing and the main actor. Also an object lesson that shows should never do the big 2 hour pilot unless they reeeeally know what they're doing.

k) "Minute To Win It"
Prime time game shows like this are always kind of annoyingly overlong and flashy, and this one has Guy Fieri hosting on top of it all, but I really kind of dig the weird random games they come up with to challenge people with on this show.

l) "Men Of A Certain Age"
This show is settling into its 2nd season really well. Not crazy about the Scott Bakula YouTube commercial thing, but the Ray Romano plots have been great and Andre Braugher is hitting all the right notes as usual.

m) "Primeval"
My wife really liked the first couple seasons of this show, then we never saw the 3rd, then they started airing a 4th season and it's almost a whole new cast and it's a little disorienting, but the special effects are still pretty damn cool for a British show.

n) "Fashion Police"
I never used to watch this show before Joan Rivers was on it, and it's weird to think of her as a draw but really after that documentary about her I do find her a little more interesting and appreciate her style of humor more, and this is really just a great excuse for her to be mean. Also E! keeps putting it on after "The Soup" so it's hard to turn off.
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You forgot Shameless
Well, covered Shameless last time, and I kind of make a habit of not covering the same show in 2 consecutive TV Diary entries so that I'm not talking about the same thing too much:
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