'Inside Amy Schumer' returns in fine form tonight on Comedy Central

"Inside Amy Schumer," one of the few comedy hits on network or cable TV last year, returns tonight for a second season as full of its sexual self and as aggressively funny as ever.

Last year, the series brought a most-welcome, tough-as-any-guy-can-be female take on sex to the mostly male world of Comedy Central. That keen edge is still there thanks to the Towson University grad with her sweet-girl good looks and raunchy, self-absorbed take on relationships.


But this season there's a consistency and easygoing confidence to both Schumer and the pace of the production. It's as if both the star and her writers and producers know they've arrived and they are enjoying it. They're not rushing or forcing anything.

It's hard to be specific on a mainstream website about sketches, person-on-the-street interviews and standup moments in any Schumer production, but I have to talk a bit about tonight's opening sketch.

The premise involves viewers eavesdropping on a focus group in which a group of particularly unattractive young men are being asked for their opinions on "Inside Amy Schumer."

When asked about the writing, they respond with gross comments about her anatomy. When asked about the mix of subject matter, they respond with more gross comments about her anatomy.

When asked if they would watch her show, they respond by saying whether or not they would have sex with her -- except they use vulgar language to express what form that sexual activity would take.

It might sound like crude humor, but it's clever stuff that deftly sets the take-no-prisoners tone for the half-hour as it simultaneously skewers, focus groups, Comedy Central's young male audience and Schumer herself for the way she in part sexually panders to their baser instincts even as she mocks them.

The next sketch is just as strong with guest star Paul Giamatti playing God as Schumer bargains with him in hopes of being spared a sexually transmitted disease.

Schumer's interview with a porn producer is the weakest moment of the night. But even here her physical reactions to his anecdotes about life in the trenches of porn are good enough to almost redeem the segment.

A double Baltimore hit: On April 15, Josh Charles guests stars, and he's terrific as one of Schumer's co-workers in a fast food restaurant. The cos-stars alone would make this 30 minutes not to be missed on Tuesday nights this spring.

"Inside Amy Schumer" airs at 10:30 tonight.