Remember back in the day when TV was trite and stale from mid-May through the sweltering month of August? Summer TV was pretty much non-existent, boosting box office sales for blockbusters starring dinosaurs, aliens, superheroes and more!
Today, we’re seeing quite the opposite – box office experts are freaking out and wondering where the hell everybody is. Yes, people have less cash to flash, but I like to think it’s also a true testiment of summer TV simply kicking ass. As usual, here’s TLW’s recommended menu for delicious summer programs to enjoy when you need a break from the heat.
Debuting June 13 on HBO, True Blood is currently three episodes deep on its third season. For those who already watch, it’s the perfect blend of guilty pleasure, horror, and suspense. For those who haven’t taken a bite yet, what are you waiting for? This Anna Paquin-led vampire series is nothing like the nauseating Twilight Saga – this one is for the grown-ups. It’s bloody disgusting and sexy as hell, wrapping comedy, drama, and horror together with a nice erotic bow. It doesn’t beat out my true love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it’s a solid contender and the show to sink your teeth into this summer. (::stabs self for making cheesy vampire pun::)
…is back! Huzzah! Matt Groening’s futuristic comedy (that’s way better than modern-day Simpsons) is breathing new life on Comedy Central. Join Fry, Bender, Leela, and the rest of the gang for more of their crazy, space-age antics Thursdays at 10 p.m. Maybe I’d have more to say about this had I watched the premiere (thank God for DVR!), but the zombification of Futurama calls for celebration indeed.
I’m not sure if I’d classify Entourage as “Must-See TV,” but there’s something to be said about a show that’s this consistently consistent. In the premiere, Ari was still a dick, Drama still can’t get a jobby job, Turtle is attempting to validate his existence, and Vinny Chase is filming a biopic about Enzo Ferrari. For Entourage, all of this is plain ol’ normalsville, and that in turn is quite a detrimental factor. But then again, it’s always fun to check in with Vincent and the boys because we get a glimpse of a life we’ll never lead – a fast and fun romp through Hollywood all from the coziness of our couches.
The poster says it all: Donald Draper (aka Dick Whitman) is starting over. Again. Not only are Don and Betty heading forward with their divorce, but Sterling Cooper is no more. Enter Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce – the new ad agency co-starring buxom bombshell Joan Holloway, gal on the rise Peggy Olson, Harry Crane, and Pete Campbell. Mad Men is hands down one of the best on television – impeccable writing, stellar acting, and extra kudos for originality. There’s no other show that will provide this much bang for your buck….er, time. I’ll be counting down the days til July 25.
Rescue Me is probably one of the best shows I’ve discovered lately, and I’m still about half a season behind (Thanks to Netflix putting the entire series on Instant). Tommy Gavin is one fucked up asshole. You want to root for the guy, but for every step he takes forward, he takes a billion backwards. The stories of these damaged FDNY guys is heartbreaking, funny, and offensive all at the same time. Season 6 starts tomorrow June 29 at 10 p.m. on FX.
1. No summer is complete without Big Brother. I know, I know…it’s terrible! It’s so easy to get carried away in the drama, twists, Coup D’etats, Head of Households, and corny challenges held in the Big Brother house patio. It was a delight watching Jordan win last year, and it’ll be just as fun to root for a fave and hate on some villains this year. Bring it on!
2. I’m still a fan of Jada Pinkett-Smith’s HawthoRNe. I usually despise medical dramas that aren’t Nurse Jackie, but Pinkett-Smith brings a lot of heart to the show’s main character, and the supporting cast backs up Christina Hawthorne’s morality, fury, and passion.
3. Louis C.K. has a new show (again). It starts June 29 (tomorrow!) and is shockingly obviously called Louie. It’s a series premiere, but hell, any Louis C.K. is good Louis C.K.
Did I miss something you’re psyched about? What are you watching this summer? Hollerrr backkk.
Broken Bells tapped Mad Men hottie Christina Hendricks for their latest video for “The Ghost Inside”. Set in a far distant future, Hendricks plays a red-headed android who is looking for a resort planet.
And how badass is the Broken Bells album? Still can’t get enough of it.
SCORE (finalllyyyy!). After a semi-slow third season, Mad Men’s season 3 finale delivered to the fullest!
I wasn’t the biggest fan of S3. Some of the storylines seemed to be going nowhere (the school teacher affair? Joan’s husband? Peggy and Duck? Who cares, really.). With a lot of non-sense in the middle of the season, it took away from what viewers really care about: Sterling Cooper, Don’s past, and the back-and-forth teetering of the Draper marriage. While getting lost, we saw less of fan-favorites like Peggy, Pete, and even Roger Sterling himself. And that’s never a good thing in a drama with a nearly perfect ensemble.
Now hey, I’m not drinkin’ the haterade! Season 3 had its memorable moments: the tractor incident, the tension between Don and Roger, the inclusion of the Kennedy assassination. (The penultimate episode was just as fantastic as the finale, in my opinion. Right down to its chillingly perfect final line of dialogue…”And who are you supposed to be?”).
But lets call a spade a spade: the finale was the saving grace of an otherwise subpar season.
Watching the new Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Price unravel was quite exciting, however, my favorite scenes were those between Peggy and Don. The build-up throughout the season was spot-on, and it was amazing to see Peggy finally stand up to Don and call him out for not appreciating her enough. “I don’t want to make a career out of being there so you can kick me when you fail,” she told him. When Draper later visited Peggy at her apartment, he responded with: “I’ve taken you for granted and I’ve been hard on you but only because I think I see you as an extension of myself…And you’re not.” And when he told her he would continue spending the rest of his life trying to hire her if she turned him down? God, that is the payoff that viewers die to see. Perfection.
And Joan. Joanie. The hottie red-headed bombshell. We knew she’d be back! When Roger needed a hand, we all knew who he’d call. And we all were giddy with delight.
Little by little, the puzzle pieces of the new Sterling Cooper Draper Price all fell into place setting up what seems to be a fantastic and drastically different fourth season. But while the work thang started to congeal, life at home for Don was falling apart. And fast: Betty wanted a divorce, Don had to move out, and they had to tell the kids the truth. The scene with the entire Draper family discussing their “new arrangements” was both heartbreaking and realistic, and surely had to have struck close to home for many.
The finale gave viewers what they were wishing and hoping for all season. The payoffs were huge, and the writing and acting were top notch. These men may be mad, but viewers certainly aren’t. What more could one ask for in a Grade A TV show?
Yep. That’s about all I’ve got. You can read the official report from Variety.
I didn’t read the whole thing because I haven’t seen Season 2 yet and I’m a spoiler-phobe. Such a great show filled with the spirit of the 60′s, yet boasting extreme originality when compared to other types of new programming.
Check out Season 1 on DVD now, if you haven’t already.