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UNDERRATED OVERRATED

Underratedoverrated

August 23, 2009

UNDERRATED

Mike Birbiglia: When we first saw this comic's stand-up special a few years back, we misjudged him as a hoodie-wearing Steven Wright for the Bonnaroo crowd. But after hearing him on "This American Life" we understand why he's graduated to off-Broadway. Awkward, humble and above all honest, Birbiglia's absurdist way with a story gets us laughing without seeming like he's trying to get a laugh.

Henry Rollins on KCRW: Both have been such fixtures on the L.A. media landscape for so long that it's easy to take them for granted, but who knew that these two seemingly distinct tastes would taste so great together? Yes, Rollins' punk rock Brahmin shtick can get old, but who else would dare introduce metal great Ronnie James Dio to the public radio station's tasteful airwaves? Rock on, Henry.

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OVERRATED

Series premieres: Now that the third season of "Mad Men" is underway, can everyone -- especially newcomers -- ratchet back their expectations? We, of all people, know how tasty those steaks from sacred cows can be, but the online grousing about the show's pace after the premiere was just confusing. "Lost" fans take note as well: These shows are marathons, not sprints. That's what keeps us watching.

Outrage over Tom DeLay: While we weren't planning to watch regardless, we still don't understand the hand-wringing that came out of the announcement that the deposed Republican congressman would be joining the cast of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." Anyone shocked by this bit of casting hasn't been paying attention. ABC would book Sasquatch tomorrow if he'd just come out of hiding.

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