True TV | Still Smokin’: Bill Engvall Show, My Boys, Kathy Griffin, Battlestar Galactica, Weeds, Secret Diary of a Call Girl 

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The Bill Engvall Show, My Boys Thursday, June 12 (TBS)  Season Premieres: If the traditional joke/laugh-track/guilt-pang sitcom is dead, nobody told TBS—ironically, home to reruns of new-school comedies like The Office and My Name Is Earl. In Season 2 (!), The Bill Engvall Show is still a torturous throwback to ’80s family yukkers, like the network unearthed the Sitcom Generator 1000, entered “husband, wife, three kids, wacky neighbor,” got back this formless lump of a show and set about casting anyone wandering near the production lot. At least My Boys forgoes the canned laughs, cruising on the charm of star Jordana Spiro (as PJ, a luckless-in-love Chicago sportswriter surrounded by dude buddies—a bizarro Sex and the City) and sporadic flashes of Comedy Gold (usually via co-star Jim Gaffigan). Skip Bill; try PJ.

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List Thursday, June 12 (Bravo)
Season Premiere: Immediately following Bravo’s A-List Awards (perhaps you’ve caught some of the 386 hourly commercials for it across the NBC/Universal cable spectrum), it’s the fourth-season premiere of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List! Yes, The Only TV Column That Matters™ remains devoutly hetero—just because I find her hysterical doesn’t make me gay … right?

Battlestar Galactica Friday, June 13 (Sci-Fi)
Mid-Season Finale: The halfway point of the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica … take a moment, if you must … falls on Friday the 13th? That can’t be good. And if you’re thinking the identity of the last Cylon will finally be disclosed tonight, where have you been? Weeks of teasing “All. Will. Be. Revealed.” promo-promises have amounted mostly to revelations to the characters about one another, not much geek-useful to us on the other side of the screen—we already knew Baltar was the one who doomed the Colonies, duh; now explain his new hint of a Fu Manchu mustache, writers! Even though this episode is titled “Revelations” (oh, you bastards), don’t expect The Biggies to be unveiled until the BSG homestretch run in 2009. Take another moment.

Weeds, Secret Diary of a Call Girl Monday, June 16 (Showtime)
Season Premiere/Series Debut: When last we left pot-dealing MILF Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), her home was engulfed in wildfires (aided by a can of gas, just to make sure) and she was dragging the family south down the Cali coastline to work for her new gang partner/boss on the Mexican border—kinda throws a wrench in the cute “suburban mom sells ganja” mythos. Those who’ve been paying attention know that Weeds got dark looong ago, becoming its own breed of effdup comedy for effdup times, and it’s only going to get weirder (read: better) now that Nancy’s moving in with her estranged father-in-law (well-cast vet Albert Brooks) in the border town of Ren Mar. Meanwhile, back in what’s left of Agrestic, her former crew is pinning their marijuana crop on jailed Celia (continuing scene-stealer Elizabeth Perkins); logic and promo photos say they’ll all be reunited sometime this season.

Secret Diary of a Call Girl is 1. A sexy-smart British import about the life of a “full-service” escort, and 2. The answered prayers of Doctor Who nerds who lusted over sweet lil’ Billie Piper in the revival series a few years ago. Now, she’s Belle (the call girl) by night and Hannah (the real girl) by late afternoon, narrating the ins and outs—sorry—of her business with professional cool and commitment a la USA’s Burn Notice (I’ll just keep referring to it until it comes back July 10—squeal!). Secret Diary may not be the next great Showtime series, but it’ll do until the return of Californication (here comes another squeal!).

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