TV Diary

a) "Awake"
I realized when watching the pilot for this that this kind of morbid, high-concept show with a really complicated premise revolving around death is the kind of thing I love when Bryan Fuller does it with a healthy dose of humor and knowing absurdity on "Pushing Daisies" and "Dead Like Me." But this dour, relentless show, I really have no time for. The idea might've worked for a movie, but the idea of visiting these characters and this story every week, man, no thanks.

b) "Life's Too Short"
I thought maybe Warwick Davis would make this worth watching, but it's just kind of the same old Gervais shit, with someone else playing the fool so that they can get away with a lot of short jokes.

c) "Smash"
This has been pretty consistently entertaining, even if it has lagged somewhat since the pilot, particularly when they try to do these little dramatic moments with Debra Messing's family or whatever. And a lot of the theater world diva stuff is just so on the nose that you see every plot development coming a mile away. But whatever, it's a fun show, hot chicks, and the bar is pretty low for fusing music and narrative in a television series, so I have to applaud its success.

d) "Up All Night"
Can they just cancel this already? It's slowly turning into a live action version of "Baby Blues" and every single person in the cast should be freed up to go do something better. I mean this show is actually making me want to watch reruns of "Samantha Who?"

e) "Whitney"
This show is more aggressively mediocre than "Up All Night," but I kind of watch in horror almost every week just to see if they can keep running through every 'unmarried couple' plotline in sitcom history in record time on the quest to be a mentally challenged "Mad About You." I feel kind of bad for Whitney Cummings because she looks great on talk shows and stuff and then for some reason is a fraction as attractive on her own show for some reason.

f) "Breaking In"
I kind of think Megan Mullally is hot and hilarious so I welcome her addition to the cast of this show in place of the guy from "The Whitest Kids U' Know," especially since let's face it, Christian Slater is not really built to anchor the cast of a comedy by himself. Plus she fits in here a little better than she did as a similar second season substitution on "Party Down." Still not an especially good show, but it's slowly getting better, FOX's live action comedy lineup is actually getting to be pretty decent for the first time in over a decade.

g) "Breakout Kings"
I like that when "Breakout Kings" lost a cast member for the second season, they made the msot of it by killing that person off in a really dramatic fashion in the season premiere. This show is pretty dope, shame it's on A&E so nobody will ever notice.

h) "Bob's Burgers"
So happy this show is back, it bums me out when networks renew a newer show but then bring it back as a mid-season replacement, so there's this ridiculous 9-month break where they lose a lot of momentum in building an audience. Season premiere was great, though, the Goonies homage complete with Cyndi Lauper song at the end was inspired.

i) "Archer"
I still much prefer "Bob's Burgers" in the H. Jon Benjamin multiple TV show horserace, but this show is growing on me, at least when it's not making rape jokes all the time, the writing and the voice cast have settled into a really good rhythm.

j) "Community"
Speaking of networks putting shows on break, I wasn't really as freaked out by "Community" going off the air for 3 measly months as a lot of people were, but it's good to have it back. I didn't really get to sit down and give this week's episode my proper attention on Thursday, will have to watch it OnDemand, but it seemed good, aside from the increasingly tiresome meta handwringing about being "too weird" or not.

k) "Cougar Town"
Another show that was on break for too long, although oddly the thing that made the biggest impression on me about the new episodes was that they finally put the title card up after a little 2-minute intro. It used to really bother me that the show would go on for like 8 minutes and then finally they'd be like "oh, here's the name of the show" after it felt like it was half over.

l) "30 Rock"
Kristen Schaal isn't used here as well as on "Bob's Burgers" or "The Daily Show," but I'm enjoying her little arc as the anti-Kenneth. Also any new Dennis Duffy episode is welcome, dude is like the new David Puddy.

m) "Sesame Street"
My son is 2 and a half now, which means he's hitting the age where muppets are a big deal. He's way into Elmo, obviously, but his favorites are Big Bird and Cookie Monster. It's fun to see what "Sesame Street" is up to these days since I hadn't watched it regularly in over 20 years, there are some things and some characters I miss, and it is way too Elmo-centric, but as long as my son minds I don't.
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