TV Diary

a) "Extant"
It's weird that last year "I'm tryin' to give Halle Berry a baby and noone can stop me" was a Drake lyric and this year it's the premise of a sci-fi show about mysterious space pregnancy. The pilot for this was pretty intriguing but I hope they keep the story moving forward in some intriguing ways, it's hard to tell how enjoyable this will be to watch every week.

b) "Welcome To Sweden"
Apparently Amy Poehler has a brother and after he moved to Sweden he was able to get both NBC and a Swedish network to guy a fish-out-of-water show about his life there. So far it's just okay, but I like that they're not holding back on having everybody speak their own language with subtitles and letting the viewer in on the joke of what one side of a conversation or the other isn't understanding.

c) "Working The Engels"
Another show NBC is running this summer that's also running in the country it was produced, in this case Canada. I think this has some potential, I really like the cast and the whole thing is the kind of trad sitcom that doesn't get made by American networks much anymore anyway.

d) "The Last Ship"
This show reminds me a lot of "Last Resort" from a couple years back both in the title and in the way it's about a small group of people dealing with a worldwide catastrophe. That show had Andre Braugher and a strong pilot before it petered out, though, this just feels kinda hammy and boilerplate.

e) "Power"
I tried to give this show a fair shot and not assume that it being produced by 50 Cent guaranteed mediocrity, but then there were two different terrible recent 50 songs in the first five minutes of the first episode and the whole thing just kinda felt flat even when they were trying to juice it up with sex and violence and intrigue.

f) "Make Or Break: The Linda Perry Project"
This is being pushed as a corrective to other musical reality competitions, where someone who has industry clout and has written and produced a ton of hits sits in the studio with people and tries to make them create good songs and sound good on record so she can sign somebody to her label and put out their album. So far it's still pretty surface level about the studio process and has played up the reality show drama, but I still appreciate seeing a show that is at least somewhat about the studio process and not just doing karaoke onstage.

g) "Funniest Wins"
It amuses me that at the same time that Keenen Ivory Wayans is on the dullest season of "Last Comic Standing" to date, Marlon Wayans has another comedy competition on TBS that attempts to do something different. I like the idea of pitting traditional standups against internet people who've had viral videos and having them all compete in all these different comedy skillsets. But at some point you realize you're just watching the least funny people from "In Loving Color" and "Mad TV" try to train a bunch of YouTube and Vine comedians and it all gets pretty bleak.

h) "Reckless"
It's really really awkward how they try to pin this show on a big city Chicago lawyer moving to the deep south and then the old-fashioned southern lawyer she's up against is played by Cam Gigandet. Really just makes the whole show fall apart.

i) "Wil Wheaton Project"
I like Wheaton as an internet presence well enough but he's not totally confident enough to pull of a "The Soup"-style show like this, which I get the feeling is much harder than it looks. Still, the writing is decent and he's likable enough, it's a fun show.

j) "Masters of Sex"
So glad this show is back, really one of my favorite new shows of last year. I like the way they're setting things in motion to change between all the characters, since they have a real history to draw on they can just let the story expand instead of trying to keep everything static. Sometimes drifts into soap opera territory but the cast is great enough to make it work.

k) "The Bridge"
My interest in this show really waned over the course of the first season so I'm hoping they have something good up their sleeve. First episode was good, though, I always love seeing Abraham Benrubi turn up in different stuff now, he's really had a long career since "Parker Lewis Can't Lose."

l) "Nathan For You"
This dude's ultra dry sense of humor took a while to catch on with me but now I think this show is hilarious, all the little divergences from the 'main story' and running jokes in each episode really make it.

m) "True Blood"
I'm not really very invested in this show anymore but I'm not actively pissed about it like a lot of people are. Still, kinda glad they're wrapping up with one last season now. Jason Stackhouse is still hilarious as ever, at least.
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