Summertime, and the Lazing is Easy

Yay! It’s July! And all our favorite summer TV shows are coming back! Here’s the time line for all the ones I’ll be tuning into — make sure you let me know in the comments if I missed any of your faves!

Thursday, July 10th

Burn Notice, Season 2. USA Network, Thursdays at 10pm. What do you MEAN you aren’t a Burn Notice fan? Did you know it has Bruce Campbell in it? (Not to mention ex-Boyfriend Jeffrey Donovan.)  Isn’t that ’nuff said? No? Well, then how ’bout if I describe it as a cross between MacGyver and The Rockford Files?  Sold!

Tune in this season to find out just how in the heck they’re going to work in that Cylon subplot (I just lost 48.5% of you with that one, sorry — Trisha Helfer, better known as “Six” from Battlestar Galactica, joins the cast this year. Though, presumably, not as a toaster. Hey wait, unless. . . holy hell, is it possible? Is Sam Axe the twelfth Cylon? MY MIND IS BLOWING!).

Friday, July 11th

Flashpoint, Season 1. CBS, Fridays at 10pm. This is the first Canadian TV show to be broadcast on a major American network (during primetime, anyway) since way, way back in 1994 when CBS picked up Due South. That alone is enough to get me to tune in. But since it also stars Veronica Mars’s father (Enrico Colantoni), I was already kinda sold on the idea. (p.s. Why I haven’t I made Enrico Colantoni a Boyfriend of the Week yet? I love that guy!)

Anyway, this series is about a special unit of cops in Toronto who do stuff like hostage negotiation. It sounds a lot like a Canadian version of that old TNT series Wanted (starring Gary Cole and that guy who plays Allison’s brother on Medium — I love that guy, whoever he is) which I really liked but which got canceled after the first season because of all the people in this country who would rather watch Farmer Wants a Wife than a smart show about complex characters. (Those of you about to email me with “Dear Meg: So You Think You Can Dance is not exactly The Sopranos,” can suck it, by the way.) It’s possible this one won’t succeed either but I have high hopes. And if all else fails, there’s always Galaxy Quest (for a good non-V. Mars Colantoni fix).

Stargate Atlantis, Season 5. Sci-Fi Network, Fridays at 10pm. I don’t actually watch this show, I just WISH I watched this show.  I’ve seen about two episodes — random episodes — and thought it was a total blast. The problem is, now it’s in season FIVE, which means I have a lot of catching up to do. Daunting, to say the least, especially when you, like me, have TV OCD (I can’t bear to jump into a show in the middle — must start at S1E1!). I promise to get started on that ASAP, though. Cute guys! Great plots! Extreme funniness! Why did it take me so long to figure out this one was great? Gah, I’m firing myself.

Monday, July 14th

The Closer, Season 4. TNT, Mondays at 9pm. This show blows me away, I have to confess. You know how some shows get worse and worse over the years (Dear ER: Get a sucking chest wound already and leave me in peace, I beg of you!)? I swear to god, this show just gets BETTER AND BETTER. Last season, every single episode was utterly brilliant, and I don’t just throw that B-word around lightly, as well you know. If you thought Kyra Sedgewick’s accent was annoying (this is what I usually hear from people who don’t watch), tune in for J.K. Simmons instead. (p.s. Why haven’t I made J.K. Simmons a Boyfriend of the Week yet? I love that guy!)

(Saving Grace also returns July 14th, by the way, but I didn’t make it past episode one of that one. Gak.)

Tuesday, July 15th

The Cleaner, Season 1. A&E, Tuesdays at 10pm. I confess I’m a bit wary of this new series, which stars ex-Boyfriend Benjamin Bratt as an “extreme interventionist” who uses radical methods to save people from drug addiction. It could be really, really good. But it could also offend the ever-living beheysoos out of me. I work in the field of substance abuse and thus know rather a lot about this topic, and thus have rather strong opinions about this topic (this is why I had to stop watching House, for example). We’ll see how this one goes. I’ll report back after the first 1-2 episodes and let you know what I think.

Wednesday, July 16th.

Project Runway! Project Runway! Project Runway! YAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!! Need I say any more? Bravo, Wednesdays at 9pm.

Friday, July 18th

Monk, Season 7; and Psych, Season 3. USA, 9pm and 10pm. Okay, I’ll confess this: Last season of Monk was a little lackluster for me. I’m getting a little bit tired of the OCD schtick, and there were a few episodes last season where I felt like they truly lost sight of the depth of Monk’s character, which is the part that takes him from laughable OCD nutjob to sympathetic human being. Laughable OCD nutjob is not nearly as interesting to me, in part because the fictional character I am most frequently compared to happens to BE Adrian Monk (watch me eat M&Ms sometime and I think you’ll understand why). HOWEVER, as with ER, this is a show I will never be able to stop watching until it’s officially given the boot.  Why?  Because I used to love it so, so much, and it’s too hard for me to let go before it’s actually ENDED.  See above re: TV OCD. But maybe it’ll be better this year. Stranger things have happened.

Psych, on the other hand, is another one of those shows that has been improving with every passing episode. It’s just getting funnier and funnier as the actors settle into their characters and the crazy goofballery settles into even more crazier goofballery (or whatever I mean by that). And oh god, that ad where they have clips of Sean running through all his various nicknames for Gus? I want to put that ad on my iPod so I can run it on a loop all day long, but I’m worried that that much laughter might literally KILL ME. Best ad ever. If you only watched the first few episodes of this one way back in season one, you’ve got to give it another try. Trust me — smart banter rules!

Tuesday, July 29

Eureka, Season 3. Sci Fi Network, Tuesdays, 9pm. Did I just use the phrase “smart banter”? Would it cheapen it if I use the same phrase again just one paragraph later? Because if you love smart banter (and also geeky science stuff), and you aren’t watching Eureka, I have but one word for you: Duuuuuuuude!

I love this show. Clever, weird, funny, and starring one of the most adorable men on television today (Colin “Butt Chin” Ferguson). Back when I went on hiatus last year, I featured Jeffrey Donovan as the first in a planned trilogy of summer TV gorgeousness — guess who numbers 2 and 3 were supposed to be? If you guess Colin Ferguson, you got number 2 right. And number 3 — well, let’s keep that one a mystery for now. Watch for Colin’s write-up, and the Mystery Man’s, coming later this summer!

Jeez, is that enough TV for you? With all the great stuff returning this month, how am I ever going to have time for all the Netflix Instant Viewing stuff I plan to watch on my new Roku Netflix Player (which I LOVE, by the way)?

Guess I’ll have to quit my day job. Any advice on how to swing this with the spouse? “Um, hon? Do you mind if I quit my job, watch TV 14 hours a day, and gain 50 pounds? What do you mean, ‘Hell no’?! YOU NEVER SUPPORT MY DREAMS!!”

13 Responses to “Summertime, and the Lazing is Easy”

  1. New Trends » Blog Archive » benjamin bratt Says:

    […] Summertime, and the Lazing is EasyI confess I’ma bit wary of this new series, which stars ex-Boyfriend Benjamin Bratt as an “extreme interventionist” who uses radical methods to save people from drug addiction. It could be really, really good. … […]

  2. Liz Says:

    Hi, Meg et al! (Hey, who is this “Al?”) 🙂 Why is it that our tastes are relatively similar all year long … until summer? I haven’t seen ANY of the returning shows you’ve mentioned! But now, since “Dead Zone” and “4400” are gone (waaaah!), I may have to try a couple. I already tried “Middleman,” and thought it was pretty cute – that Middleman guy really does remind me of “Constable Fraser” from “Due South”.

    I think I do sort of understand the “TV OCD” concept. I don’t like joining shows that have gone on for a while, either. Which is why I’m hesitant to start taping “Stargate Atlantis,” “Eureka,” “The Closer,” or “Monk.” I confess I have another reason for mistrusting “Monk:” I saw a little bit of one, and was very quickly turned off by the “OCD shtick.” It actually seemed too real, and bothered me. But I might try “Psyche” or “Burn Notice,” as neither of those shows has racked up so many seasons. I also might try “The Cleaner,” as it does sound interesting (as long as it isn’t too annoying or preachy!). I won’t go near “Saving Grace,” as I HATE Holly Hunter’s voice – to the point that the fact that I think she’s a good actor still won’t induce me to listen to her!

    Hey, I watched “Diary of the Dead” TWICE (unheard of!). The first time, I didn’t find myself hating it as much as you all did, so I watched it again, to see what I might have missed. But it backfired! I liked it more, because I picked up on so many more things. It seemed to me that the whole question of whether documenting everything was really a “civic duty” or just “rubbernecking,” such as we do if there’s an accident on the highway, was being addressed all through the movie, and not just an afterthought at the end. And, although I’m usually pretty opinionated about acting, I don’t feel really qualified to critique this movie. After all, they weren’t “supposed” to be acting, if it was a “documentary,” so it was hard for me to tell if they were just being “regular people” or if their acting was really bad. On the whole, I thought it was WAY better than “Land of the Dead,” but the best one, IMHO, is still the original “Night of the Living Dead.”

    I bet this comment is unpopular with at least some of you, but I hope you realize that I’m not trying to disrespect anyone else’s opinions. This forum is cool, and I enjoy hearing from any and all of you!

  3. megwood Says:

    Why would your comment be unpopular? Because you liked “Diary of the Dead”? Dude, you know what MY reaction to that was? I thought, “Hmmm, maybe I’d better watch it again and see if I like it better the second time around myself!”

    You can totally jump right into “The Closer” without worry — its episodes are pretty self-contained. The characters have history, for sure, but that’s a fairly minor element of the show. It’s the plots/cases that are the awesome part.

    Both “Burn Notice” and “Psych” are also pretty jump into-able, I’d say. The opening credits of “Burn Notice” explain what the title means (that is, what a “burn notice” is) and why the main character is stuck in Florida, and that’ll pretty much catch you most of the way up!

    I did read in Entertainment Weekly this morning that the first 2-3 episodes of “Burn Notice” are pretty lackluster this year — but their primary complaint seemed to be too much screentime for the chain-smoking Sharon Gless, and I’m sorry, but that ain’t no kinda bad thing in my universe. I love that woman!

  4. Liz Says:

    I DO, TOO! (But not the chain-smoking.) BTW, did you catch Jeffrey Donovan on “Threshold?” Now there’s a show that should have been given more of a chance!

  5. Verna Says:

    Stargate Atlantis, yaaaah! You just don’t know what you are missing there. Come on, Adrian, just this once….

  6. Lorraine Says:

    Burn Notice – Can’t wait for this to restart. I love the cool yumminess of Jeffrey Donovan. I’m not disappointed if there is more Sharon Gless. She’s great in the role. Jump in, I think you’ll be just fine.

    I’ve watched all the Stargate shows from the beginning. Atlantis is bringing in new team members and adversaries so it’s a good time to jump in. Give it a try, it’s a fun show and has great eye-candy.

    Threshold – loved that show. Hey, it had the great Peter Dinklage.

  7. Brie Says:

    I am counting down to Psych and Monk. I actually marked it on my calender, lol.

    I still haven’t started Burn Notice, but will.
    I have this tendency to start shows a few seasons in and then just watch them on DVD…no commercials and I confess that I am addicted to extra features.

    Glad to hear that you like Eureka, I’ve been wanting to try that one as well.

    Stargate: Atlantis, ahhh. A particular weakness of mine. Cheesy fun, and definitely loaded with cuties, of both the tough and geeky variety. Yay! And all available on Netflix if you feel the need to watch in order (I confess I did).

  8. alisa Says:

    Now that I know what The Cleaner is about, I might watch an episode or 2. I thought (from the title) that Ben was a “cleaner” that was called in to “take care” of a messy situation, Tony Soprano style.

    Sorry, it’s 7:30am right now and that’s the best explaination that I can type right now. LOL

  9. megwood Says:

    Alisa, I know exactly what you mean — I had the same thought when I first heard the title. “The Cleaner” is what they called Harvey Keitel’s character in “Pulp Fiction,” so it makes sense! 🙂

  10. Wendy Says:

    Thanks for giving me the kick in the skort I needed to program my DVR to record season 3 of Psych. Really been wanting to dive into that show and kept getting totally sidetracked with Tudors. So delish, those historical boys. Sigh. But now it’s time to commit to something comical, with far fewer beheadings.

  11. megwood Says:

    I don’t exactly know quite why, but “kick in the skort” just made me laugh out loud.

    I still haven’t seen Tudors. I should get on that!

  12. Verna Says:

    Meg, here is a website that will get you all caught up with Stargate Atlantis, so you will be ready for the premier tomorrow night. I can’t stand the thought of you missing the best show in the world! 😉

  13. Eva Says:

    I don’t have cable, so I only catch up on DVD, but I am in love with Psych. I’m not sure if I want to date Shawn Spencer, or if I just want to somehow be him. (Not, you know, be a guy – just somehow inherit this character’s wit and confidence.) I found season 1 for $20 at Target (it sells for $45 on the internet), so I had to get it. And I just caught up on season 2 via Netflix. Now to settle in for the year-long wait for season 3 to be produced, aired, and put on DVD…

    And am I the only one immature enough to be really jealous when the show hints at a future Shawn/Juliet romance? Geez, Eva, the guy’s a freaking TV CHARACTER. I don’t know, I can’t help it, I lurve him…

    Anyone jumping into Psych, the only confusing point that I had when I did the same thing was: “Hey, if he’s such a good detective, why does he bother faking being psychic? Why not just be a PI?” The reason is that in the first ep, he gave the cops so many solid tips (based on the observations he made watching suspects on TV news clips) that they thought he must be a criminal. To “prove” he wasn’t getting inside info from the criminal underworld, he pretended he was psychic. That not only got him off the hook but also got him onto a case, and then he just never stopped.

    Arguably, the main reason he continues to play psychic is that he’s always got to be the center of attention (and faking psychic episodes is nothing if not attention-getting) and that he can’t stay in one job for long without getting bored, so the constant excitement of keeping up the charade is what keeps it interesting for him.

    I think the formula started to get a little weary in the second season (crime happens; Shawn wants the case, Gus doesn’t; Shawn forces them into the situation, Juliet welcomes them, Lassiter doesn’t; some red herrings and witticisms; Shawn figures out the case when he notices one final detail; he and Gus dance; he gives a silly speech; he gets annoyed when people don’t react as big as he wanted; he and Gus fist bump). I think what’s going to save this show is that they are bringing in long-talked-about but never-seen characters – we’ve finally met Gus’ parents, and now we’re about to meet Shawn’s mom. We’re getting the character background we need to keep it from just being a cute formula show.

    OK, I seem to have written an essay here. *making L sign on my own forehead* Time to go engage in real life, so some degree…

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