After all the hoopla about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert coming back -- and rightly so, I don't know how we lived without them -- but another essential piece of my "following politics via TV comedians" puzzle comes back when Bill Maher returns to HBO. He's coming back sans-writers, of course, but I don't think that means as much for him as it does for Stewart and Colbert. Maher's monologue is always the least essential part of any episode, and much as I enjoy "New Rules" (when they're not cranky-grandpa New Rules bitching about iPhones or whatever), the bread and butter of that show lies in the panel discussions. I don't agree with him on everything (which is part of the appeal, actually), but it gets some perspectives across that I might not get elsewhere, and it's certainly no easier on the mainstream media than the Comedy Central shows are. Anyway, perfect timing, Bill. I'm not sure if I can survive this election cycle on my own.
Elsewhere on the internet:
At UltraTart, Jessica enthuses about Gossip Girl which, true to my prediction, has become a reliable guilty pleasure, with enough subtextual innuendo to keep me interested even when the stories get too sincere. Jessica's also unwittingly enabling my One Tree Hill experimentation via Go Fug Yourself, so there's that too.
Stinkylulu prepares to cover VH1's Celebrity Rehab and shares in my Dr. Drew affection. Oh, Dr. Drew. How you put up with Adam Carrolla for so long is anybody's guess.
Over at That Bootleg Guy, my boy Cam'ron has found himself fixated on sports team music videos from the 1980s. What hast thou wrought, Super Bowl Shuffle? Anyway, he starts here, continues here, and crescendos right about here.
Finally, this is from a couple days ago, but Jezebel posted a link to this delightful British article about the wonders of the "big pant" underwear for ladies. Look, women's underwear is...none of my concern. I just like the very English sound of "big pants" and the idea that they can better put out household fires than your normal lacy thong.
It's Friday, folks, lighten up.
EDIT: Belated link to FourFour, which always gives me something I'm not expecting, be it hysterical Top Model recaps (okay, those I have come to expect), a defense of torture porn, or in today's case a reason to feel proud.