I really want to like Stephen Merchant’s new TV show on HBO, Hello Ladies. I like Stephen Merchant. He’s funny and he’s clever. I liked his standup tour that the TV show is based on. I saw it live in New York. The character Stuart in the TV show is based on Merchant’s persona in the standup show. But I’m going to withhold my view until a few more episodes. I can see where it could get charming, especially with the friendship he has with his flatmate, but from watching the first episode, my impression is that every single character is already too flawed to be redeemable and ultimately a bit thick. Not everybody can be shallow and flaky, right? Oh, yeah, it takes place in L.A.