'Louie': We're already on record as fans of Louis C.K., the brilliant stand-up comic and mastermind of this deconstructed sitcom on FX. Turning the "Seinfeld"-established formula inside-out, "Louie" is an unfiltered look at a shlubby, divorced comic and father of two (named Louis C.K., of course) addressing big topics like sex, politics and death with an honesty seldom seen on TV. There's no laugh-track, but that's only because this show is genuinely hilarious.
Annette Bening: Much has been made of Lisa Cholodenko's pitch-perfect family comedy "The Kids Are All Right," and with good reason. But among the many terrific performances is that of Bening, who stars as the practical better half to Julianne Moore's character and nearly walks away with the movie with a beautifully human, dinner-table rendition of a Joni Mitchell song. Let that be a lesson, Hollywood, actresses over 40 who actually look over 40 can still own the screen.
Superhero movies: Now that the dust has settled from the commercial cattle call that is the annual Comic-Con down in San Diego, can we all finally admit there's simply no place interesting left to go for the big-budget caped crusader epic? Apart from seeing what's next for Christopher Nolan's "Batman," we can't think of what can be gained from "Avengers," "The Green Lantern" or any other franchise-in-waiting. Except, sadly, lots of money.
Defining a city in song: First Jay-Z threw his hat in the ring for usurping Sinatra with "Empire State of Mind," then Katy Perry celebrated Southland summer glitz with the catchy yet self-satisfied "California Gurls." Inevitably both songs fall short of capturing the reality of a city beyond what very wealthy celebrities enjoy, so can we all just take a break from courting various chambers of commerce and go back to just writing songs instead of anthems?