But Snooki & JWOWW is like watching vampires suck the life out of everyone around them. Indeed, if you want a real confidence booster — assurance that you are not nearly as stupid and obnoxious as you think (or people say you are) — this is your show of shows.

Vampires aren't the only things that suck, although most of them on HBO's True Blood sure do this season. After a Cajun-celebrating, thrill-packed first season, this bloodfest has been quickly sliding downhill. Trying to fit in more strange creatures than the Star Wars bar — werewolves, shape shifters, witches, fairies and an Ifrit have made appearances — the show has become a mishmash of plots that you need a GPS to follow. Read our minds — it's over, Sookie.

But to HBO's credit, the network is airing two of the best shows P&J have seen in a while in Veep and The Newsroom. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (best known as Elaine from Seinfeld) plays the vice president in Veep, a wild farce that hits the nail on the head. It was not a surprise to find out that Casa Diablo fave, New York essayist and former New York Times columnist and theater critic Frank Rich happens to be an executive producer of the show. (Took us a while to learn this tidbit, as our ability to read speeding credits in 10-point type is not what it once was.)

HBO has a guaranteed hit with The Newsroom. It would require too many big words to explain its appeal properly, so P&J will simply say that it will make you either laugh out loud, squirm, or both the next time you watch Brian Williams doing the nightly newscast on NBC. 'Nuf sed.


ARTISTS IN RI, PT. 1

This story comes via public relations guru Ruth Davis. Ruth reminds P&J that, despite the recent focus on the loss of creative jobs in Rhody (i.e., 38 Studios), there are still many creative types drawn to the Biggest Little. Peter Bredemeier is one.

Peter was awarded an Emmy last month for Outstanding Children's Series for his work as producer on Jack Hanna's Into the Wild. Peter explains why he chose to live and work in Providence less than three years ago rather than opt for more traditional entertainment centers like New York or Los Angeles.

"I came to Providence after 15 years of living and working in Los Angeles, a city long considered to be among the few in the country for television production," said Bredemeier. "I wanted a place where I could work and live comfortably, grow my business, raise my kids, enjoy a wide range of cultural activities, and develop a community of professionals like myself. Providence has provided all of these things. The Emmy award is a great honor, and I believe the quality of life here has been a key component to our success."

While Vo Dilun certainly has its share of New England Emmy Award winners, Bredemeier succeeded on the national Emmy Award level. He continues to work as writer, editor, and producer for Into the Wild from his office at Bunkr Video Productions, Inc. on North Main Street in Providence. Into the Wild is syndicated across the country, and can be seen in Rhode Island Sunday mornings at 7:30 on WLWC (Channel 28). Kudos and congrats to Peter.

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