Remember when HBO was raking in Emmys for sex, violence and morbid morticians? Those were the nights, though. The Sopranos. Six Feet Under. The Wire. Then there was Chappelle's Show. All TV worth slippin' Junior a sleep aid for. Well, somewhere along the line, things flipped: Now it's the networks that got that crack, and cable's gone out like Tyrone Biggums.
In the post-Chappelle era, Comedy Central is lost. Their schedule is schizophrenic, jumping from the sophisticated Daily Show to redneck standup. Even Boondocks is disappointing (Aaron, we feel your mission, but N-bombs on their own don't make for good satire). Meanwhile, HBO's scraping the bottom of the satellite dish. The Wire's between seasons, Larry David can only do so many dickheaded things before we get bored, and Rome managed to make women in togas dull. It's been, what, three years since the last Sopranos season? The last time Jersey's first family graced our screens, Flavor Flav wasn't even famous again. Speaking of which: c'mon, VH1. You can't cover up the fact that your pop-culture geniuses have lost the verve they showed back in the first iteration of I Love the '80s. Throwing C-listers at the wall and seeing what sticks isn't "programming,â€ it's "pasta.â€ And that goes double for you, Bravo.