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Underrated/Overrated

April 22, 2012|By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times

UNDERRATED

Romany Malco: Maybe better known by one of the names on his Twitter bio ("The Black Guy From '40 Yr. Old Virgin'"), Malco should finally make a name for himself as a top-tier comic talent in "Think Like a Man," a new film with stand-up star Kevin Hart. Malco was a scene stealer in Showtime's "Weeds" and the aforementioned Apatow movie, but his Web-friendly turn as life coach Tijuana Jackson on "Funny or Die" helped take him to the next level.

Playoff hockey: Regardless of whether the L.A. Kings continue their torrid pace or revert to the underdog No. 8 seed they are, few experiences in sports are as riveting as the NHL playoffs. You can have your strike-shortened NBA and the sleepy early stages of spring baseball, but for pure cathartic release and mind-scrambling skill, nothing beats hockey — no "Slap Shot"-styled violence required. Kudos to NBC for putting spring back on ice.

OVERRATED

Lena Dunham's 'Girls': She's the twentysomething auteur of the moment (every decade needs one), and her new HBO series could rack up tidy profits if the network had a dollar for every time the words "revolutionary" or "Sex and the City" were invoked in its wake. But this alleged comedy seems a familiar depiction of privileged, post-collegiate angst in New York City that's served with such awkward self-obsession that it's too unpleasant to be funny.

Boy bands, again: Just when you thought a stake had been driven through the "five boys and a melody" pop formula that begot New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys, the phenomenon is back with the U.K.'s chart-topping One Direction. Brace yourselves, everyone — this is how the siege begins before these groups start reproducing on our shores. Honestly, England, we'd apologize for that whole revolution thing if you'd just quit exporting this stuff.

chris.barton@latimes.com

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