TV Diary

a) "Hell On Wheels"
Given that I've never really fully loved or fully hated any of AMC's previous shows, I'm approaching this one with a lot of caution bordering on disinterest. First episode seems pretty good but almost determined not to surprise me or give me anything beyond what I'd assume from the advance promotion. Also, fucking Common.

b) "Rock Center with Brian Williams"
Brian Williams always comes off like such a bro but I never actually watch him on TV because I don't watch network newscasts, so I checked out his new primetime newsmagazines. I like this format, I used to watch "Dateline" all the time in the '90s, and there were some interesting stories in the episode I watched, but I dunno, just not something I make a point to watch much anymore.

c) "Allen Gregory"
I'm not sure how or why Jonah Hill became so overexposed, but I've kinda had my fill of dude. This show isn't necessarily bad, though, it's funny enough and has some potential, even if the whole premise and setup is a little odd and I'm not sure what groove this thing would settle into in a best case scenario.

d) "Good Vibes"
Another animated show about a kid voiced by a chubby funnyman, but in this case it's "Daily Show" weak link Josh Gad on a horrible flash animation MTV show full of cartoon T&A that is basically a Big Johnson t-shirt come to life (and this is actually the second recent MTV series I have compared to Big Johnson shirts, after "R.J. Berger"). Quite possibly the single worst television show of 2011.

e) "Man Up"
Between that new Tim Allen show and the already canceled "How To Be A Gentleman" and this, there's a lot of stupid new sitcoms on this air this fall that are overtly about men being manly men and even have 'man' in the title. And of those, this is easily the best, but that's not saying much. Just a mildly ingratiating single camera sitcom with a decent cast that doesn't feel like it's built to last.

f) "Once Upon A Time"
This has a good cast and is doing fairly interesting things with the potentially awful premise, but I haven't really paid it enough attention to totally grasp what's going on, and my wife definitely likes it more than me.

g) "Grimm"
This other fairy tale-themed new show is much more my speed, though, mostly because it's basically a police procedural with some funky supernatural stuff and really cool painted-looking CGI effects, and just the right amount of levity.

h) "Dave's Old Porn"
I never thought Dave Attell would ever find a TV vehicle as uniquely suited to his dark debauched sense of humor than "Insomniac," but this show where he watches '70s and '80s porn with other comedians and occasionally porn stars might be it. The best part of this, besides the ridiculous concept and the remarkably relaxed and often surreal conversations, is that they basically talk on a couch in front of a green screen, and then show the porn they're watching in the background, with the people and the couch constantly moving around to, um, strategically block the more explicit shows.

i) "Boss"
I've only gotten into one episode of this so far and it hasn't really hooked me but I like the whole look and style of it, feels like it could get interesting.

j) "Terra Nova"
It felt very liberating to give up on this show, what a boring piece of crap it was.

k) "Beavis & Butt-Head"
It's hard to expect much from any show coming back after a decade or more away, but I have to say it's good to have these guys back. I was skeptical about them moving away from just watching videos but watching stuff like "Jersey Shore" really is inspired, and Mike Judge hasn't missed a beat.
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