The Only TV Column That Matters™ was skeptical about Warren the Ape when it premiered in June—seriously, a Greg the Bunny spin-off? On MTV? But it works on all the right—and so many very, very wrong—levels: Warren the Ape is a better commentary on the (wait for it) monkey-see/monkey-do business of Hollywood than Entourage, a more accurately sad portrayal of "celebrity rehab" than Celebrity Rehab (made all the better with recurring Dr. Drew Pinsky check-ins), and more scathingly funny than anything MTV has deigned to run since Human Giant. Hell, Warren's two-minute Bad Po Fo exploitation-flick trailer was more hysterical "Fabricated-American" fun than the entire Greg the Bunny series.
Where Warren the Ape is sarcastically spot-on about life in Hollywood, Louie is painfully on-target about real life—specifically, the middle-age white dude's life, and it ain't pretty. Louis C.K.'s less-wacky-more-cranky take on the Seinfeld sitcom (here's my stand-up routine, now here's the semi-related situation) is the bravest weekly risk on TV right now because it doesn't always go for the easy laugh—in some cases, Louie actively avoids any laughs. Which makes the jokes that do land all the sweeter: A recent episode found Louis verbally assaulting a young women at a comedy club for interrupting his set, which led to another confrontation outside with a drawn-out sob story about the career plight of comedians, ending with Louis' comic friends wondering why he didn't just dial it back a little and "get laid." Oh, and Ricky Gervais shows up once in a while and steals the entire show.
Yes, Psych—it's not just for your mom and her cats to enjoy between NCIS reruns. The series about a "psychic" detective (James Roday) who's really just observant and his multi-nicknamed sidekick/childhood pal (Dule Hill) isn't edgy in any sense, but the rapid-fire pop-cultural references come off like a roomful of writers locked in a death match to one-up each other. (Has The Lair of the White Worm been used as a punchline, like, ever?) You don't get service like that from The Mentalist.
Thursdays (Comedy Central)
After a series of hit-and-miss TV movies, Futurama is finally back in its weekly groove after being rescued from the Fox scrapheap by Comedy Central in 2007, and robo-asshole Bender is back on track to becoming America's Most Beloved Cartoon Character. OK, that last one is about as likely as me explaining the premise of Futurama here again—I've been writing about it since 1999, people!
The Whitest Kids U'Know
HBO and Showtime get all of the hype for being as profane as they wanna be, but IFC's originals as sometimes as filthy as their premium-channel counterparts—and they're not even masquerading as Emmy-bait "art." The Whitest Kids U'Know, starring the New York City sketch-comedy troupe of the same name, can do dumb (shopping for a vacuum cleaner that won't "rip your dick off"), faux-literate (Poseidon and the Devil trying to eat spaghetti with giant pitchforks), pithy (like America wouldn't buy an insta-heart-attack-inducing "ButterBar") and political (like America wouldn't vote for "sociopathic narcissist" Clint Webb) without breaking a sweat. Did I mention WKUK also like to dress in drag, whether the sketch actually calls for it or not?
Sundays (Adult Swim)
It's a Grey's Anatomy spoof that's actually funnier than Grey's Anatomy, starring comic heavy-hitters Megan Mullally, Rob Huebel, Lake Bell, Ken Marino, Erinn Hayes, Nick Offerman, and Rob Corddry as ... a clown-faced doctor who treats every malady with "the healing power of laughter." I'm now ready to forgive Adult Swim for deviating from the cartoon-only format.