Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Television

People say summer is for pool parties and for lazy days at the park. They say it's for late nights at the local bar and late mornings sleeping far past your alarm. People say summer is for romance. I distinctly remember a quite excellent episode of Roswell (yeah, remember THAT show?) called "Heat Wave", where the passion and intensity of the New Mexico summer sun was transferred to Roswell's overly-hormonal teenage citizens, both human and human-alien hybrids alike, and where fans of the show finally got all those steamy, sweaty love scenes they had been looking forward to since the beginning of the show.

So, summer is for romance, huh? Summer is for pool, park and parties? Well, I beg to differ! I say summer is and can be, for television. Oh, I know, I know. Your DVR is woefully empty, indistinguishable Late Night shows burning a hole through your screen, just sitting there day after day, unappealing and unwatched. But perhaps that is because you aren't looking in the right places. Perhaps it's because you just aren't trying hard enough to find those secretly and surprisingly entertaining summer shows. No worries, my fellow tv-fantics, I'm here to show you the way. Here's my extremely riveting, extremely precise Summer Must Watch list:

True Blood on HBO

Ok, this is a no-brainer, obviously. I honestly didn't believe it was possible for Alan Ball to producer a better season than Season 1 of True Blood, but I certainly have no problem being wrong in this instance. Season 2 of True Blood has been rock 'em-sock 'em so far and I've only heard great things about the rest of the season. There is enough eye-candy in this show to fill a whole candy shop and if I ever feel the need to be romantic, there's no other place I need look. If you are looking for horror, adventure, romance or even some exciting orgies, True Blood is the show for you.

Merlin on NBC

There couldn't be a more adverse show to True Blood than Merlin, but though they offer completely different kinds of entertainment, they both offer good entertainment. Merlin offers a bit more...wholesome outlook on life and adventure than True Blood. This show is decidedly young adult and has even been accused of being strictly meant for children's eyes alone, which means I must be all child, since I find this show both charming and engaging. Colin Morgan, who plays Merlin, is beyond adorable and plays the character smiling, with all his charms and faults in the forefront. It's one of the more unique takes on King Arthur's story, with Merlin as a secret magic-user, his head full of destiny and good deeds, with Guenevere ("Gwen") as a handmaid to Morgana, and with Arthur (played by the typically handsome Bradley James) as a self-centered bully who is slowly learning to force himself out of from under his father's stern hand. And the one familiar face? That would be Anthony Stewart Head (Giles!!) as King Uther Pendragon. If nothing else could attract me to this show, he certainly would.

10 Thing I Hate About You on ABC Family

When in doubt, always consult or Watch with Kristin to determine whether a new show is worth your eye-time. If they are into it, or even on the bench, it's worth giving it a try because, hey, it's summer and there's not a lot else on, might as well. Those were my exact thoughts when I tried out the 10 Things premiere on Tuesday night. I wasn't expecting much and maybe that's why I found it so good, but I think it was more the witty, fast-paced writing and the surprisingly decent acting that really called it. Or it could have been Ethan Peck's totally intense, totally swoon-worthy stare. Yeah it was a little cheesy, a little over-the-top, but it worked for the show and I don't regret one moment of his scorching gaze. Lindsey Shaw's Kat is funny, tough and impressive and a genuine pleasure to watch onscreen. I know it sounds hokey, but my vote is that it's worth giving a try, if you like that sorta thing.

Warehouse 13 on SyFy

There's been a lot of marketing for this show and the very Librarian-esque concept caught my attention enough to DVR it on Tuesday night (how awesome is it to make "DVR" a verb?). Again, why not? After watching it's 2-hour premiere last night, I've decided that it has potential, to be risen to or not, we'll just have to see, but that if it were the Fall season, it would be far down my list of television shows to watch. Still, it held my attention for the full 2 hours and it will certainly help kill lazy summer time in a semi-interesting manner. If you've got nothing else to watch, give it a try.

Mental on Hulu

This also started out as a mere curiosity look-see. I haven't even made the effort to DVR it, I've just been watching it every week on Hulu. It's a total Mentalist rip-off, and I do love that show enough to be slightly offended, but like Warehouse 13, it's interesting enough each week to hold my attention. The main character, played by Chris Vance, is off the books and a bit off his rocker as well and though he isn't Simon Baker charming, he gets the job done. Surprisingly, it's his totally bizarre cases that claim the most attention, along with the scandalous and totally hot affair one of his co-workers is having with another young, hot doctor. Hey, we all need some scandal in our lives.

Saving Grace on TNT

This really is a great show, even with it's flaws. It's a little late in the season to be stepping in, but I still recommend it. Grace is one of television's best and most layered female characters. She's totally unpredictable, which is oftentimes reflected in the storytelling of the show. This Tuesday's episode was particularly gripping, seeing as we were given a clearer look into the mythology of the angels. Not to mention Ham's fear of birds is totally irrational and insane enough to have me rolling through most of the scenes. I won't spoil anything for you, but it's definitely one of the better summer shows out there. Check it out!

Coming Soon

Leverage - Season 2 starts on July 15th and though I really hate to hawk my own shows, Leverage really is my number one TNT show right now. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with my love for Christian Kane (yummmmm), it also has to do with basic aspects of the show. It's fun, fast, witty, and even emotional at times. It will be one of your best summer shows, I GUAR-AN-TEE.

Dark Blue - Season 1 starts on July 15th, following Leverage, I believe. Now, I've seen the pilot and it's so-so. Cop shows are never my cup of tea, no matter how you spin it, so I'm only mildly interested in catching this show. However, I hear through the TNT grapevine that the second episode is all kinds of awesome, so maybe it'll turn out better than merely so-so. If you are into cop shows with a twist, I suggest giving it a try.

Entourage - Great show. 'Nough said.

So, that's all folks. Besides a couple BBC series via Netflix (Robin Hood is amazing, go 'Flix it now!), that's my Summer TV List. Check 'em out at your own pleasure. As Boromir once sadly lied, "I care not".

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