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Underratedoverrated

July 19, 2009

UNDERRATED

Trent Reznor: We'd lost track of Nine Inch Nails in recent years, but now that Reznor has announced his band -- in its current form, anyway -- is calling it quits, we're reevaluating. Not only is 2007's "Year Zero" a darkly barbed gem, Reznor's been taking the idea of an independent artist in the digital age even further than standard-bearers Radiohead. Whatever's next for the uncompromising Reznor, we're listening.

'Party Down': We know Starz isn't exactly HBO or Showtime, but with original programming like this they're off to a good start. Created by "Veronica Mars' " Rob Thomas with help from Paul Rudd, this sitcom about struggling actors captures Hollywood life in a truer way than "Entourage" ever could. Plus, it's always a pleasure to laugh with people from "Wet Hot American Summer" and "Freaks and Geeks" again.

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OVERRATED

The 'In which we . . .' intro: Troll the Internet for a while and you'll find no shortage of blog headlines and pithy Twitter teases that introduce stories with a nonsentence beginning with these three tired words. At first we enjoyed the touch of wry humor undercutting the detached high-mindedness of this faux-pretentious phrase, but enough is enough. Subtitle this item "In which we beg for a new clever opening line."

'NYC Prep': After the parade shows dedicated to the times and trials of wealthy "Housewives," we shouldn't be surprised that their children would be the next natural progression for Bravo. Regardless, witnessing shallow and privileged behavior on the part of adults is one thing, but taking the same "reality" show theory and applying it to high schoolers just fills us with more sadness than schadenfreude.

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