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The Smart List

August 02, 2009|Denise Martin

You should be talking about: "Flight of the Conchords"

Yeah, yeah, "Family Guy" got the comedy series Emmy nomination Seth MacFarlane has long campaigned for. But you know what? So did "Flight of the Conchords," a truly alternative comedy centered on the New Zealand folk music-comedy duo. Get the complete Emmy-nominated second season on DVD this week. (Tuesday)

I've been obsessively talking about: BBC America's "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?"

I can't figure out what exactly Andrew Lloyd Weber heard in Helena Blackman that U.K. audiences could not. Viewers tried to vote her off several weeks in a row, and he just kept saving her and her warbling. Now, she's a finalist to play Maria in "The Sound of Music." Whaaa? (The contest was actually filmed in 2006, so if you really want to know if Blackman prevails, it's easily spoiled online -- but I'm not saying a word.) (Monday)

Find some time to talk about: "Paper Heart"

Charlyne Yi doesn't believe in love -- but she's willing to entertain the idea that it might be real. So she goes on a semi-scripted quest across America to find out, interviewing real-life couples of all kinds about that which makes the world go 'round. Along the way, she'll meet Michael Cera, Yi's real-life beau. Awkward meet-cute after awkward meet-cute fun. A twee overdose we're looking forward to. (Friday)

Sick curiosity makes me want to talk about: "Bollywood Hero"

Chris Kattan also tackles playing himself in a comedy series in which, after having been rejected time and time again by Hollywood, he ventures to India, where he's been promised a starring role in a Bollywood film, musical numbers included. I know what you're thinking, but it's on IFC, and the network's given us "The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman" and "The Whitest Kids U'Know," so this might be worth a try. (Thursday)

You could also talk about: "Cold Souls"

Paul Giamatti stars -- wait for it -- as himself, an actor agonizing over his interpretation of "Uncle Vanya," when the stress becomes too much. He learns about a high-tech company that promises to alleviate suffering by extracting his soul while he gets through his performance. Unfortunately for him, his soul gets "borrowed" for a Russian soap opera actress. Lucky her? (Friday)

-- Denise Martin

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