Picks and Pans Main: TV

updated 06/07/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/07/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Jersey Couture

Oxygen, June 1, 10 p.m. ET/PT |

bgwhite bgwhite   


If Big Love had been seminal, the trickle-down programming would be shows about clean-cut guys and their zombie harems in Utah. Instead it's Tony Soprano who really haunts our culture. Without the bulky shadow cast by that dome-bellied don, I don't think we'd have the current crop of reality shows featuring Italian-Americans in the Garden State. Jersey Couture, about the Scali family and their Freehold dress shop, isn't much more than a cannoli: It has nothing like the sheer animal stupidity of MTV's Jersey Shore or the richer cacophony of Bravo's Real Housewives of New Jersey. But many familiar tics are on display at Diane & Co., where prom dresses appear to be suffocating in plastic. Everyone is exuberantly tacky, and essentially likable too. Mama Diane, who suggests Sharon Osbourne under a black dandelion of hair, is the one you'll expect to explode-often with happy vulgarities about customers' figures.

Are We There Yet?

TBS, June 2, 9 p.m. ET |

bgwhite bgwhite   


This family sitcom, adapted from Ice Cube's hit 2005 movie, is a modestly conceived, somewhat blandly executed story about a stepdad (Terry Crews from Everybody Hates Chris), his new wife (Essence Atkins) and her two kids. The situations are credible and contemporary-daughter Lindsey (Teala Dunn) is obsessed with buying the same sweater Michelle Obama wore-but the best shtick goes to those outside the immediate family. Keesha Sharp plays an indulgently pampered single woman who goes hungry if she doesn't have a date. Her vain frivolity is quite attractive.

Mall Cops: Mall of America

TLC, Thursdays, 10 p.m. ET/PT |

bgwhite bgwhite bgwhite  


The narration for this new series about security at the colossal Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., overdoes the tone of stoic courage. You'd think The Hurt Locker was just around the corner, maybe in the food court, when mostly we're watching a large, conscientious staff usher out drunks and warn young men not to parade around in dresses. But I'm happy enough following these workday ups and downs-routine isn't humdrum if it's being treated seriously.

From Our Partners