I’m hearing a lot of complaints from people lately that there’s nothing good on television at the moment. Nine times out of ten, this complaint is coming from people who don’t have cable or satellite TV, and to you people, I would like to say this: What is UP with your priorities, man?
Seriously — if I had to choose between having cable/satellite or paying my mortgage, there’d be nary a moment’s hesitation for me. I mean, what can my house do for me that alternative, cheaper forms of shelter cannot? I mean, BESIDES give me second degree chemical burns on my forearms, like it did last year?
On the other hand, you know what cable/satellite TV is doing for me lately? It’s making me LAUGH. And while, sure, you could argue that my house has also made me laugh from time to time, it’s primarily been laughter of the hysterical variety (you know, the kind that comes right before the total mental breakdown?), which isn’t nearly as fun.
If you don’t have cable/satellite, I’m afraid there’s not much I can do about your complaint except note that Farmer Wants a Wife seems to be quite popular on the CW (my condolences).
If you DO have cable or satellite, however, there are two new shows you need to give a try before you bemoan the lack of quality programming to me again. You one-out-of-ten person who does have cable and yet keeps complaining (you know who you are, you big whiner), pay attention to what’s coming next.
The first show? USA’s newest series, In Plain Sight (Sunday nights, 10pm). Now, the funny thing about this one is that when I first started to see ads for it, I found them so utterly obnoxious I swore I wouldn’t even give it a try. It’s very unlike me to dismiss a show without even watching the pilot, and that goes double for a show on the channel that graced the world with Monk and Psych, two of my summer favorites (p.s. stay tuned next week for a post about shows coming back this July, including these two).
So now’s where I’d like to pause for a moment to educate the people at USA who come up with the ad campaigns in the hopes they don’t make this same mistake next time: If you are trying to market a show to women that is about a strong woman, do not make the clips about breast implants and porn the primary focus of your commercials. Capice? Good.
Lucky for me, the week before this show began, I read a positive review of it in Entertainment Weekly that led to my begrudging concession to watch the first episode before dismissing it so readily as misogynist crap. And, wonder of wonders, it’s actually pretty good! It’s about two U.S. Marshalls who primarily do Witness Protection Program work, and the characters are great, the dialogue is sharp, and the plots so far have been pretty entertaining. So far, I’ve seen three episodes and really enjoyed all three. That’s a very good sign. You can watch full episodes of this one on the USA Network web site, by the way. Go get caught up — I’ll wait.
The second show, I never would’ve even HEARD about had it not been for my mother. So now’s where I’d like to pause for a moment to once again express my profound devotion to the best mom in the whole entire world (Hi, Mom!). Some mothers look out for their daughters by teaching them to avoid motorcycle trash (Hi, Dad!), not walk alone at night, or stay away from trans fats. My mother looks out for me by keeping an eye on the TV guide just in case a new sci-fi show starts up that has dialogue like, “It’s bad apples like you who put Mr. Hoover in a dress.” Man, I totally scored when it came to parents.
The show I’m referring to is called The Middleman, by the way, and the reason I would never have stumbled across it on my own is because it airs on the ABC Family channel (Monday nights, 10pm). My family, however, consists of a cat (who prefers watching squirrels) and a husband (who prefers watching MMORPGs), and so I just assumed this channel would have very little to offer me. But, and again I must say “wonder of wonders,” this show is actually pretty good too!
It’s based on a comic book series of the same name and is sort of like a cross between Dr. Who, Men in Black, The Avengers, and Due South (the guy playing the main character both looks a little like Paul Gross AND says things like, “Thank you kindly”) and though I will confess it’s a bit choppy in places, the dialogue is utterly hilarious, and I really like both the main characters a whole heckfire of a lot.
The Middleman is a guy whose job it is to protect the rest of the world from aliens, robots, and other nefarious characters, and as the series begins, he’s just hired himself a sarcastic sidekick, an artist/temp named Wendy Watson. Together, they wear snazzy suits and stop evildoers from doing evil. And, in the process, have made me laugh out loud at least six times an hour (which is virtually impossible unless you are the movie Overboard (“I just *cough* ate a bug”) or Zoolander (“What is this? A center for ANTS?”)). It needs some polish, but I think the more the actors get the hang of the thing, it’s going to get even better.
So, you see? Those two plus So You Think You Can Dance and you’re COMPLAINING about there being nothing on? La la la, I can’t hear you, la la la!
Any other new shows I’m missing? Comments, yo!