Summer time is usually when I try to catch up on premium programming (currently I am watching "The Tudors" and "The Secret Diary of a Call Girl" - but more on those shows in another post), however there are some cable shows that are worth watching until September arrives (and a few to avoid)...
1. Rookie Blue - The show is kind of a rip-off of other shows. It can be described as a cheap and less dramatic version of Southland or a cop version of Grey's Anatomy. Either Way it is a mildly entertaining summer series. I think it is interesting that ABC would try this again considering their lawyer version of Grey's Anatomy (The Deep End) was canceled after 6 episodes. Just like The Deep End, I think that Rookie Blue just needs some time to find its groove. There are some likeable characters like the main rookie Andy (Missy Peregrym - who played the equally likeable Andi on Reaper) and Traci (Enuka Okuma - who had a very memorable although short role on 24). My biggest complaint is the male characters - the guy from Everwood is seriously bland, while the stereotypical "cop who doesn't follow the rules" is played by Ben Bass who has the acting ability of Sylvester Stallone and looks like the un-sexy version of Bobby Cannavale. Anyway, I like the show - it is mindless but entertaining.
2. Louie - Louis C.K isn't exactly my favorite comedian - but he is entertaining, in that awkward, dry and sarcastic sort of way. The show is a combination of his stand-up comedy with his "real" life intertwined. His "real" life being a divorced dad with shared custody of his 2 children trying to get back into the world of dating. It is sometimes painful to watch - he is not exactly an attractive guy, but at least he is smart enough to make fun of himself. He is also brave enough to be be politically incorrect - to say the least and honest to a fault (even admitting that if someone didn't tell him it was wrong - he would have sex with animals). I will keep watching (and hoping for another Ricky Gervais appearance!).
3. The Gates - Desperate Housewives meets The Vampire Diaries. Which sounds really awesome in theory - but The Gates lacks the depth and character development that both of these shows excel in. However, in the meantime (until September) it will have to do. The intrigue is there - I like the younger storyline (I am still trying to figure out what exactly is going on - I think some of them are vamps, some are werewolves and they obvi don't get along). I also like the witch lady - the one who passes out magical tea to the inhabitants of The Gates (she is a witch right??). Plus I have to support a show that has appearances by Lindsey from The O.C and Brian Krakow from My So-called Life.
4. HawthoRNe - I will watch anything with super sexy Michael Vaughn (Vartan) - even that awful show Big Shots from a few years ago - just to reminisce the good ole days when Alias gave me a reason to wake up in the morning. Luckily, HawthoRNe is much better than Big Shots, but it is still not amazing television - it is mediocre at best. However, as far as a summer series it is one of the better ones. Jada Pinkett-Smith is not one of my favorite actresses especially when she is trying to be soft or feminine. She is perfect as the smart and tough head nurse, but it is hard to watch her as a loving mother and even harder to see her romantically linked to Vaughn. They have absolutely zero chemistry. I think they should just stick to the stories in the hospital and focus more on the other nurses because I absolutely love all of the supporting characters. I also love that it breaks stereotypes and has strange plot devices that are unheard of (like the nurse that has one leg and the male, sensitive nurse that is not gay(!) but has a thing for strong powerful women). I also love a show that features many different races, religions and backgrounds. Kudos.
5. Hank Med - I mean Royal Pains (the show should have totally been called Hank Med). Did anyone else read the story that Hayden Christensen (worst actor ever) is suing USA for stealing his idea for this show? Hilarious! Considering the show isn't exactly original - I don't see how anyone can take credit for it. Anyway, the only reason to watch the show is for the characters. The witty banter between the 2 brothers is amusing as is the Hank Med bobble head doll. My favorite character is Divya - she is smart and sexy and always has a wardrobe to be envious of. The show always manages to keep me entertained even when the the plots are either absolutely ridiculous and/or predictable.
6. Mad Men - I know I seem to trash talk Mad Men quite a bit, but the truth is - I love it. It is currently one of my favorite shows on TV, however I don't think it is the best show on TV. So, I get upset when it wins a million awards, beating brilliant shows like Breaking Bad and Dexter. I guess it is more of a watchable show (you know - because it doesn't have a meth producer or serial killer for it's main character), so it has more of a mass audience appeal. Personally, I feel that the genius of Mad Men lies in it's subtlety. It deals with a lot of "big" issues such as homosexuality, abortion, domestic abuse and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but it is never really dramatic. I love January Jones and Christina Hendriks (both are stunning actresses in beauty and talent) - I am happy that they both received Emmy nominations (a first for both actresses). I just hope the equally talented Alison Brie receives some more screen time in the coming seasons. I can't wait for July 25th to see what season 4 brings.
and some summer shows to avoid...
1. The Good Guys - This has to be one of the worst shows I have ever sat though - and I even watched 3 full episodes to make sure that I gave it a fair chance. It was awful and I didn't see any signs of improvement. Bradley Whitford's performance is embarrassing - it is so over-acted and unfunny - and don't even get me started on that mustache! Colin Hanks isn't as bad, but his character is uncomplicated (i.e boring!). The plots are predictable and pointless. I am hoping it is canceled soon because it would take a miracle to fix this mess of a show.
2. Scoundrels - I gave this show a chance because of the great reviews that the Australian version Outrageous Fortune received and because Carlos Bernard (Tony from 24) is in it. Sadly, it isn't worth my time. Bernard is the shows only redeeming quality - and that isn't saying much considering his character basically just shows up to say things like "a leopard doesn't change it's spots" and "you'll always be a West". The show is boring, cheesy and poorly acted. It is a shame because with such an original storyline, the show had such potential.