Thursday, June 17, 2010

Signs of Summer: Better Than Anticipated Television

Today we pay homage to summer television.

But wait, isn’t SUMMER television eternally linked to BAD television? Historically, maybe - but not in twenty-ten my friends, no way no how. Summer T.V. is slowly but surely catching up to its more popular and attractive elder siblings Fall and Winter T.V.

Despite the countless evening hours I’ve spent working on my summer glow, I for one choose to make a little time for my good friends NBC and HBO. I’ll even make some room for my pals FX, Food Network, ABC and AMC occasionally.

Here is my official “I’d prefer not to miss, so I’ll DVR just in case” summer viewing catalog, present and near-future.

"Last Comic Standing" (NBC)

A couple episodes in and I’m already hooked this year. Expect a full post on this season in the near future. Until then, I leave you with this: Craig Robinson has been really funny as the host, the comics seem extra amusing this year compared to past years and the judges have been pretty spot on (and Greg Giraldo has been really funny too). This is a can’t miss for me.

"True Blood" (HBO)

Ask me how cliché it is to like this show? Now ask me if I care. I love this show even more now more than I did in the beginning, mainly because the first couple episodes were too close to soft-core porn for the writers to focus on character development and plot line… glad they solved that problem. Now I’m immersed in the complex relationships between Sookie and Bill, Sookie and Eric, Eric and the Queen, Sam and his estranged family, Tara and LaFayette, Tara and her mom, Tara and Sookie, Jason and Andy, Andy and his cousin, Andy’s cousin and the ignorantly racist redhead waitress, Jessica and Bill, Jessica and Hoyt, Hoyt and “Vampire Bill”… Need I say more? Oh, and there’s that whole vampire thing going on too, which is pretty cool. Get into this, please. Then lets talk.

"America’s Got Talent" (NBC)

All right, I’m not nearly as hot on this show as I am the previous two, but it has its funny, dramatic and occasionally goosebump-inducing moments (see Subway Soul Singer for example). I like the judges more so than, say, the American Idol judges, and Nick Cannon is OK as the host. But there’s very little that’s great about it. And the crowd REALLY annoys me at times. One note to the producers though: if you bring back Mariah Carey for a ridiculous, pointless, half-assed performance of another awful song this year, we’re through.

"Entourage" (HBO)
As my esteemed colleague pointed out the other day, Entourage in its day was freakin’ awesome, and still today, it’s worth a watch on a warm Sunday night (starting June 27). What’s going to happen with E and his girl? Can Vince stay on top all season? Is Drama going to have a real stress-induced heart attack this year? On a negative note though, could Lloyd become more of the walking, talking stereotype the writers have typecast him into? I loved his character when he left us wanting more. Now he (and Drama and maybe Ari to an extent) have become caricatures of themselves. Hopefully the game is stepped back up this season. I think it will.

I’m pretty interested in that new show on NBC "Persons Unknown," but both episodes are in my DVR right now and I haven’t had a chance to try them on yet.

Man, I’m really into NBC and HBO right now, ay? Honestly I’m not on their payroll… Anyways, here are a few more shows I plan on checking out this summer, on neither of the aforementioned channels:

"Hot in Cleveland" (TV Land) - Looks pretty mediocre, but I’ll check out anything with Betty White in it right now.

"The Gates" (ABC) - This will either be PRETTY good or REALLY bad. It’s ABC’s attempt at cashing in on the whole vampire thing.

"Louie" (FX) - I am a Louis C.K. fan; I said it. I liked his show on HBO, I like his stand-up and I loved him in Parks and Recreation. I hope this show is good and I hope that more people can get into his brand of humor.

"Mad Men" (AMC) - It doesn’t start until July but I always tell myself I’m going to get into this show… then I never do. I put the first season in my Netflix queue, so that’s a start, right?

"Next Food Network Star" (Food Network) - This show gave us Guy Fieri, and I love him. Maybe I’ll check this show out, although I’m not a big fan of the Food Network competition programs.

That’s all for now - one more Sign of Summer on Tuesday. Until then, keep it real, keep it funky and Ride Ride Ride with us at 4 o’clock. xoxoxo


  1. I love MAD MEN!!!! Get into it....seriously it is great.


    rant over :)

  2. I know I know - I don't know what's holding me back. It's got so much that I love - sleazy ad men, gorgeous women and lots of cigarettes - I need to bite the bullet I guess.


  3. I like True Blood but it's so hard for me to watch it since its plot has strayed so far from the original stories in the books it's based on...I need to start over and give it more of a chance I think

  4. Ah, the old "books are better" argument, ay? Haha. I can relate to that point of view, although not in this situation, since I never read the books. I try to take each medium for what it's worth though - no one ever hits the nail on the head with the book to movie/show transition.

  5. Louis C.K. was just on the Daily Show and was pretty good. I also enjoyed him on Parks & Recreation.
    Sucks that I don't get FX...would love to watch new episodes of Louie, Sunny in Philly and Breaking Bad.

  6. Breaking Bad is on AMC I think, but point well taken. Louis is going to be hilarious and then it will get canceled after one or two seasons. The guy just doesn't resonate with TV viewers for some reason. But I'm sticking by him.