I'm in the middle of a sidebar updating session, but here's a roundup of what was halfway worth paying attention to on TV this past week. Chat it up in the comments, y'all! (Yes, I'm using my Paula Deen voice. Yes, there's a reason.)
True Blood (6/28)
I remain incredibly impressed with the way Alan Ball has developed Jessica -- in the span of three episodes -- into one of the most compelling characters on the Bon Temps map. Really love her pairing up with Hoyt -- sweet, curious Hoyt, the only character who's as much of a little boy as Jason. Speaking of whom, I forget whether I mentioned last week my contention that Jason Stackhouse's entire storyline is pretty much every porno fantasy you have ever had, come to life. That continues this week as he and the Newlins enter Stage 1 of their inevitable threeway of repressed Godliness.
Harper's Island (6/27)
Once again, I will sit here astonished and admit to you that this show has gotten legitimately awesome in the last few weeks. For a network show -- on CBS, no less -- there's some actual tension, and the kills remain more visceral than I ever expected. There was bone-crunching this week! And for the second-straight episode, the kill of the week packed an emotional punch. I know! In preparation for the July 11th two-hour finale, I'll let you in on who I've been saying is the (other) killer for weeks and weeks: Trish, the bride-to-be. I worked out a whole internal logic to it, too. Let's see how it pans out! (Spoil me and you die.)
Web Soup (6/26)
This aired in place of The Soup this week (it'll normally air on G4), and I have to say, my initial skepticism was somewhat won over. Mostly that had to do with host Chris Hardwick, who -- while my classmates were all whacking off to Jenny McCarthy on Singled Out back in the day -- I was quietly ogling as her put-upon co-host. He's cuter, grungier, and funnier now. The old redneck laughing about the guns was a little forced, but overall the show has promise.
The Real World (6/24)
Jesus, a Cancun season. We all should have seen this coming. First impressions? Bronne seems okay but is trying WAY too hard to be the offbeat Isaac of the group. CJ -- the "free agent NFL punter" (ha!) who is enjoying the freedom of not being tied down to a team (HA!) -- pulled a douchey move spooning with the already-irritating Emileeeeee. But CJ's body will forgive a multitude of sins. Pretty much all of them, really. CJ's body forgives ALL the sins. Then there's the one who looks like Rihanna, the one who talks like Shavonda, the Girl Without a Consonant, Piercy O'Clap-Magnet, and cute gay Derek who so far is a marked improvement over J.D. in that he doesn't seem to have deep-seated emotional trauma that makes him act like an asshole. So far, the season's all about puking and making out with cougar moms, but I'll take it over last season's dominant motif of "pranks we learned at summer camp."
The Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion (6/24)
My working theory is that Danielle tried to get someone from Dina's past to release a sex tape of him and Dina. But I'm willing to hear other ideas.
NYC Prep (6/23)
Okay, I'm definitely going to watch it. And I definitely agree they're all awful, though that pale-looking one has a bit of that Elle Woods crazy drive in her eyes that I respond to. And P.C. might be just awful enough to love. But they all just look so YOUNG! It made me suddenly go happy that Gossip Girl is a show where twentysomethings plays teens who act like thirtysomethings. Because watching actual teenagers who look their own age? Is incredibly creepy. I don't want to say "kiddie porn," because that devalues how evil kiddie porn is, but ... I bet watching actual kiddie porn would only make me feel 15% queasier than when I watch NYC Prep.
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (6/15)
I'm a week behind schedule, but that Paula Deen episode may well have been the greatest D-List episode ever. I adore Paula, and clearly Kathy does too. And man, Paula is so secretly raucnhy! I love it! And drunk gay assistant Brandon was a total hoot. Honestly, I say this about a lot of celebrities but I've never meant this more: I wish Paula Deen were my gregarious southern aunt who I could visit every month or so and laugh at eat ho-cakes and be scandalized when she said something like "circle jerk," but by some miracle of medical science I would not be related to her two gorgeous sons. Get on that, universe.