a) "In The Flow with Affion Crockett"
It's weird to see a "Wild 'N Out" cast member get his own network show, especially since Affion Crocket is just another Aries Spears/Jay Pharoah type black comic who trades in spot-on impressions of a few rappers and black actors and has no other discernible talent or charisma, plus Crockett is just kind of sunken-eyed and unpleasant to look at. But I will give him some credit that his rap-themed sketches are generally pretty spot-on, especially the Drake and Kanye impressions.
b) "Heidi Fleiss: Protitutes To Parrots"
My mind was blown when I saw the title of this show on the cable schedule, but actually watching it for a few minutes was only slightly more absurd or less depressing than watching Fleiss on "Celebrity Rehab." Apparently Mike Tyson had a show about his love of birds too, which makes this part of some bizarre pattern.
It feels like between this and that stupid "Hard Times of RJ Berger" show MTV is getting more into scripted comedy shows that are going for some kind of bawdy teen sex movie niche that is just kind of gross. This one has its moments of entertainment but mostly it's just aggravating watching them trying one-up the moronic slang of Juno
into increasingly nonsensical neologisms and obnoxious quips.
d) "State of Georgia"
This is one of those times when people are just going to roll their eyes and worry that my TV addiction has reached a new low when I saw that Raven-Symoné's new show on ABC Family is actually kind of hilarious. She and the other girl on the show have this kind of weird fast zany "I Love Lucy" kind of vibe with their antics, totally surprised me.
e) "Combat Hospital"
This show is pretty well written but it always falls flat when Michelle Borth is at the center of it all, I don't know if she just has a really small voice or if she generally comes across as blank or kind of dumb, but she just really cannot carry a show like this. And it doesn't help that it feels like there's less and less Elias Koteas with each episode.
So far this show hasn't quite lived up to the giddy thrill of the initial premise's absurdity and some of the huge laughs in the first couple episodes, but I'm still enjoying it a lot, and have been interested to see how far they push the whole ridiculous concept. He may be the straight man but I'm kind of gaining an appreciation for Elijah Wood's comedy chops too.
This show has really shaped up to be, if not necessarily more than the usual legal procedural, than at least a really good one that is driven enough by the characters' long term arcs and relationships that it doesn't feel very procedural at all, which I like. Definitely a contender for best summer cable series of 2011.
h) "Franklin & Bash"
This, on the other hand, has turned out to be more of a standard procedural than the kind of wacky sophomoric variation thereof that was initially promised (and somewhat delivered upon).
i) "Platinum Hit"
One of the most amusing things about this show was how over the course of the season it slowly transitioned from being co-hosted by Jewel and Kara DioGuardi to just being hosted by Jewel with DioGuardi occasionally showing up as a judge. In one of the last episodes they mentioned something about her having a new executive position at a label so maybe she actually just was busy with other stuff but I'd like to think the producers just realized she's terrible on-camera and/or hard to work with and gradually minimized her role (while also letting Jewel wear progressively more eye-popping outfits). The show itself ended up being pretty good, some of the competing songwriters actually had some talent and while I wasn't thrilled with the winner, at least it wasn't that fuckin' Nick guy.
j) "Top Gear USA"
I don't watch the UK version all the time but I recognize it as a great show enough that I feel sad that this even exists. Adam Ferrara, that's seriously the best you could do?
I've long been one of the few people who's been kind of disappointed in this show -- I love the segments of Louis C.K. doing standup but the narrative stuff often just feels kind of slapdash, when it's not outright pretentious. But it's really clicked and started to become engrossing for me in the last few episodes (specifically the ones with Joan Rivers, Pamela Adlon, Dane Cook and Doug Stanhope). Now I'm like OK, it's living up to the hype, at least some of it.
l) "Donald J. Trump Presents: The Ultimate Merger"
Apparently this started last year as a dating show for guys competing to be with Omorosa, which really doesn't sound very promising at all, but now the celeb is Toccara Jones, who I find much more attractive, so I've tried watching this a little bit, but really she's barely in it and otherwise this is just usual reality show doldrums.
m) "The Big C"
The brother was really the best part of this show in the first season, and it feels like they've really minimized his role and dulled his personality/background this year.
n) "True Blood"
This season has been kind of a mixed bag, Sookie's story being more insufferable than ever but the rest of the show mostly firing on all cylinders. Mostly I'm just happy that there's a lot of Jessica this season.
o) "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson"
I'm so rarely up late enough to watch this show these days, but when I am I'm still occasionally amazed by how different it is from every other late night show. Recently I tuned in one night and Ferguson was not only doing the show from Paris, but would just walk down the street with two guests at the same time, Eddie Izzard and Kristen Bell, just hanging out and talking together, which was really unexpected and cool.
In a weird way the only impression this season has left on me so far is the storyline about Ari splitting with his wife, the whole thing of him being a dedicated family man always felt like the secret heart of the show to whatever extent the show has a heart, almost kind of a violation to switch that up. Still, he finally banged Constance Zimmer so I'm happy about that at least.