2 Broke Girls (CBS) Series Debut: Since it premieres after the mega-hyped Two & a Half Men return with Ashton Kutcher (yes, that’s still happening), 2 Broke Girls will easily be the highest-rated new-series debut of the 2011-12 season—it doesn’t even have to be better than (blech) Mike & Molly, it just has to fill the 22 minutes between commercials. Fortunately, it’s as smart, charming and funny as you can expect from a laugh-tracked sitcom anymore (which bodes well for creator/producer Whitney Cummings’ upcoming Whitney, also a studio-audience throwback). This is almost entirely due to stars Kat Dennings (as snarky, “dead-inside” Max Black) and Beth Behrs’ (as newly destitute ex-socialite Caroline Channing) instant, easy chemistry as working-stiff waitresses and the show’s subtly authentic touches (finally, a shithole New York City apartment that looks like a shithole New York City apartment). Never mind that Saturday Night Live O.G. Garrett Morris is awkwardly shoehorned in as the diner’s wacky cashier (who owed him a favor?), 2 Broke Girls works. Unlike ...
The Playboy Club (NBC/KMYU 2.2) Series Debut: Damn. You don’t even know how big a favor local NBC affiliate KSL 5 is doing all of us by, however hypocritically, refusing to air The Playboy Club: It’s nowhere near as dirty as some shows KSL currently runs without question, and it’s the most convoluted pilot The Only TV Column That Matters™ has suffered through since last year’s sucktastic The Cape (which now looks like a model of restraint and common sense in comparison). As with ABC’s new Pan Am, this is a network jumping on the Mad Men retro-’60s bandwagon waaay too late, and then having the balls to pose it as “historical,” “suspenseful” and “not at all like an idiotic Lifetime Movie Network reject.” Mad Men touched on ’60s themes like women’s rights, racism, homosexuality and severely shellacked hair (star Eddie Cibrian could be Don Draper’s little brother from special ed) over four seasons; The Playboy Club beats you over the head with them all in the first episode, then throws in a mob-murder subplot, smarmy Hugh Hefner voiceovers and period-musical-act imposters (first up: Ike & Tina Turner!). Too much, too stoopid, too bad you might still happen across KMYU 2.2. (What's on KSL instead? We Are Utah!)
The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen (Comedy Central) It’s the end of the line for the crazy train: Charlie Sheen choked on the Emmys last night, and this Roast is essentially the death knell for whatever career he somehow still believes he has ahead of him. Even the roasting “stars” bench is shallow: Amy Shumer? Patrice O’Neal? Kate Walsh? At least Jon Lovitz, William Shatner and Slash showed up to lend some cred to this bloated 97-minute(!) spectacle that’s already several months too late. Sure, Sheen could rise again, a la Robert Downey Jr., but he could also be looking at a looong stretch as the new Andrew Dice Clay—and Entourage ain’t on anymore.
Also new tonight:
Dancing With the Stars, Castle (season premieres, ABC); How I Met Your Mother, Two & a Half Men, Hawaii Five-0 (season premieres, CBS); The Sing-Off (season premiere, NBC); Hell’s Kitchen (season finale, Fox); The Protector (series finale, Lifetime); Eureka, Warehouse 13, Alphas (Syfy); Basketball Wives L.A. (VH1); American Pickers, Pawn Stars (History); The Bad Girls Club, Hair Battle Spectacular (Oxygen); The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Bravo); Top Gear (BBC America); Ridiculousness, Death Valley, Cuff’d (MTV); Weeds, The Big C (Showtime)
2 Broke Girls: They’re like Laverne & Shirley … with filthy, filthy mouths.