(Answering the question: Why what I watch is better than what you are watching. So watch what I do!)
Summer’s here! And that means running around outside, enjoying the sun, and being active. Oh, yeah, and to set your DVR so you can have something to watch after your pollen allergies hit, you’ve gotten a second degree sunburn, and you have a pile of ice on that pulled hamstring!
While the traditional Fall TV season won’t begin until after Labor Day for most networks, they are kind enough to shovel out the horse stables to give us what you’d expect over the summer (“Survivor: Office Bromance!”, “Singing Hits in The Shower!”) rather than “reruns.” But, it does NOT mean that there isn’t anything with which to soften your brain over the summer. You see, every major network is owned by a conglomerate that has cable entities as well. And yes, they have suckered me in! These are just a few of the show that I like, and in some cases, have turned others into fans as well (some shows have already started their summer seasons, so get on board):
NOTE: I don’t have access to HBO, etc., so yes, I do know that “True Blood” is coming back!
The USA Network (a division of NBC/Universal) has carved out quite a lineup of shows, spread out across the calendar year. It DOES have a great lineup in winter and spring (and often splits its shows’ season runs into two blocks), with shows like “Psych.” But, it’s in summer where the shows really shine.
This show is really fun and a great escape. Who doesn’t like the idea of watching Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer), a former high-end criminal and con man working alongside the FBI Agent who caught him, Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay). While these two are fun together, and always manage to solve a case with much larger issues hanging over their heads every episode (i.e. distrust, secrets, etc.), it’s the secondary characters that are really fun to watch. Willie Garson plays “Mozzie,” Neal’s longtime confidant and ally. His secrets have secrets, he’s connected and only the surface of who Mozzie really is has been scratched so far. Also, Tiffany Thiesen plays the most understanding wife of an FBI Agent every portrayed, “Mrs. Suit” as Mozzie calls her.
One of my favorite guilty pleasures outside of the SyFy network and “Supernatural” on the CW, this show is equal parts “MacGyver” and “Miami Vice.” Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) is a “burned” spy that has been dumped back into his home town of Miami. Through the first few seasons, his only objective was to find out who burned him and get revenge. He enlisted his old flame, Fiona Glenanne (the exquisite Gabrielle Anwar), a “trigger happy ex-girlfriend,” and his old FBI buddy Sam Axe (played with over-the-top brilliance by Bruce Campbell) to help him find the truth. But, now that he has been partially accepted back into the CIA, he has to pick up the pieces he has left in his wake on his quest for the truth. Plus, each episode tells you more and more about how to make bombs and weapons out of nothing and how to storm a compound! Fan-tastic!
I really, really like this show, and the idea of a “lawyer” who can remember anything while being mentored by one of the toughest lawyers in NYC never ceases to amaze me. The writing is fantastic with crisp dialogue and great humor. The character of Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) is every bit like his name; the kind of guy you want to meet but only if he’s on your side! He’s taken a new young hot-shot “lawyer,” Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) under his wing. The one catch, Mike isn’t a lawyer, he’s just taken the test hundreds of times for others to make money using his photographic memory. This adds a constant tension to the entire show as we ask each week, “Will someone learn Mike’s secret?” The show makes the law seem fun, and it certainly is a highly entertaining show to watch!
Also on this summer are “Covert Affairs” and “Royal Pains” which I like, but both have drifted from their original charm and intent on the show.
AMC has a great stable of hit shows like “The Walking Dead,” “Hell on Wheels,” and “Rubicon” which was only given one season, but was fantastic.
As “The Killing” and “Mad Men” wrap up their season finales, we get to look forward to one of the best shows on TV, “Breaking Bad.” There is a reason why Bryan Cranston has won two Emmies for his portrayal of Walt White, cancer survivor and high school chemistry teacher turned meth maker and now ______. (if you haven’t seen the season finale of season 4, then I won’t spoil it here and will urge you wholeheartedly to watch this series!)
Last September, Aaron Paul, who plays Jessee Pinkman, the tormented partner of Walt, was finally also rewarded with an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor! The show is hard hitting, violent and is definitely NOT for kids. BUT, if you want to witness a normal “every man” travel down a dark path and come out the other side a dark, changed man, then start with the previous four seasons, which coincidentally can be seen on AMC as they start running a few every Sunday until the July 15th season 5 premiere.
Ah, the channel where my inner nerd can be set free! Besides the series below, I just want to point out that SyFy has some of the best (“worst?”) movies that can be made on their “SyFy Original Saturday Night Movie.” Some titles of upcoming movies: “Jersey Shore Shark Attack,” “Piranhaconda,” and “Arachnoquake.” Enjoy!
I like “Alphas” because it isn’t just about people with superhero abilities. Well, it is. But, each one of these Alphas has a drawback to his/her power. For example, Bill Harken (Malik Yoba), is a former FBI agent who has the power of a hyperadrenal gland that makes him strong and almost resistant to pain. However, this leaves him debilitated if he activates it for too long. And Gary Bell (Ryan Cartwright) is a transducer, meaning he can see and read the signals from electronic devices such as phones, WiFi and everything else with an electronic wavelength. But, it can overpower him and he does this in spite of his severe autism. This is a great show, with David Straithairn as Dr. Lee Rosen, the “normal” leader of this group.
More nerd fun! If you ever saw the 1980’s/early 1990’s series “Friday the 13th: The Series,” then this is kind of like that. A group of government investigators (part of the Secret Service – a VERY secret part of it, actually) travels around the world in order to retrieve “artifacts,” which are items that have unique powers attached to them and bring them back to the strange Warehouse 13, in South Dakota. Think what you could do with Marilyn Monroe’s hairbrush, or Edgar Allen Poe’s pen, or Annette Funicello’s beach ball… What makes this show fun is the great humor that is pitch perfect for an oddball show and perfectly in line with the characters of Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly), Artie (the always great and funny Saul Rubinek) and Claudia (the fun Alison Scagliotti).
I have no ideas what this is, but apparently it is being produced as both a series and a video game at the same time. I’ll get back to you on how this all works out.
Oh Wilfred, how you amuse me so. Were I a complete stoner, or a dog owner, I probably would know of what you speak so much more. As it is, this show, originally an Australian show now made for the U.S. network F/X, stars Elijah Wood as the down and out Ryan, who after a failed suicide attempt becomes friends with his neighbor’s dog, Wilfred (played, as he did in the original show down under, by Jason Gann). It’s at times very surreal and spectacularly funny. Especially if you own a dog.
Basically what I did every day for seven years for a company that I “existed” in. Except for all the smoking of pot, taking of ‘shrooms and drinking at my desk. If you’re under the age of 40 and are also not in a position of authority at work, then you can relate and maybe learn something here. The three leads, Blake, Adam and “Ders” (Anders) are also the creators, writers and producers of the show. Hilarity!
P.S. I don’t deal in reality or competition shows! Don’t tell me about them. I know they are on and I don’t care.