Making the Best of Summer TV

In the doldrums of summer, people are expected to be out and about, having fun, going on vacation, etc., not sitting around watching TV like they do the rest of the year. Then there are people like me where summer doesn’t mean much, except that all my television shows are on hiatus, meaning when I come home from work, there’s not much for me to watch. Over the years, I’ve managed to use my summers as a time to catch up on shows I didn’t get a chance to watch during the regular season or marathon the hell out of old shows (i.e. Friends, Alias). But that’s not to say that the summer doesn’t provide some quality shows – you just have to have premium cable/satellite or a very good internet connection for the majority of them. So here are some of the shows I’ve been watching that help make the summer a little more bearable.

1.) SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

For 8 years, SYTYCD has been my summer staple (except for, obviously, the ill-conceived fall season of the show). I know no matter what, SYTYCD will always be there, despite the results show being cut this season for some ridiculous dating shows. The talent gets better and better every year, and the show is always entertaining. Also, Cat Deeley FTW! 🙂

2.) SUITS

I have always been one to scoff at the idea of another cop/law/medical drama – I mean how many shows can there be with the same procedural element. This is, of course, before I discovered what the USA Network had to offer. The first of many USA Network shows to appear on this list is Suits. Currently in its second season, Suits stars Gabriel Macht as big-time lawyer Harvey Specter, who hires a talented young associate with a photographic memory named Mike Ross, played by Patrick J. Adams. The catch? Mike isn’t actually a lawyer; in fact, he’s not even a college graduate. The dynamic between the two leads is fantastically fun and though the show does have a little of a case-of-the-week style, the show keeps everything light and interesting. Bonus: Harvey and Mike are often making movie references and spewing quotes like it is every day talk (and if you know me, you know I love me some pop culture references). The show also stars Gina Torres, Meghan Markle, Sarah Rafferty, and Rick Hoffman.

3.) WHITE COLLAR

Another wonderful dynamic leads this show about a former con artist, who in order to avoid spending jail time, is forced to work for the FBI. The ever charming Matt Bomer plays Neal Caffrey, the former con man, while Tim DeKay plays his FBI handler Peter Burke. Now in its 4th season, White Collar sets up the weekly cases, while also playing up the season (or half-season) arcs, which keeps it from turning into a typical procedural. It also helps that there’s a healthy dose of wit and humour amongst the cast to keep things light and not so serious. Also starring Tiffani Thiessen, Willie Garson, Marsha Thomason, and Sharif Atkins.

4.) COVERT AFFAIRS

Consider this my summer solution to filling the Nikita void (though technically, Affairs debuted a couple months before Nikita in 2010). Covert Affairs follows a young CIA agent, Annie Walker (played by Piper Perabo) as she navigates the spy world. Action, humour, romance, intrigue – what more could you want? Covert Affairs also stars Christopher Gorham, Peter Gallagher, Kari Matchett, and Anne Dudek.

5.) TRUE BLOOD

While the regular season has The Vampire Diaries, summer is all about the vampires, faeries, werewolves, shape-shifters, witches, and for good measure, regular humans of Bon Temps. True Blood takes TVD and turns it up 10 times crazy notches. Just good fun.

6.) THE NEWSROOM

Only in its first season, The Newsroom is Aaron Sorkin’s solution to the problem of mindless summer reality TV. Some people love the show, some people hate it. Personally, I think the show works better when it really focuses in on the aspects of making a news broadcast. When they start delving into the typical TV drama stuff (i.e. romantic relationships), it suddenly sheds a not so flattering light on its characters, namely its female ones. But when it’s good, it’s really good. The Newsroom stars Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy, TV anchor of the fictional News Night. He co-stars alongside Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr., Alison Pill, Dev Patel, Thomas Sadoski, Olivia Munn, and Sam Waterston.

7.) BIG BROTHER

Yes, I just followed up The Newsroom with a mindless reality TV show. To be fair, it’s the biggest guilty pleasure there is in the summertime (except for the ill-advised season that aired during the Writers’ Strike of 2007-2008). Watching a group of strangers live together for 3 months, going stir crazy, and do ridiculous things – it is bad, but oh-so-good TV all at once. And we’re lucky when we get really great characters come into the house and make things interesting, which in turn makes them the most memorable – and yes, I’m talking Chilltown, Dr. Will & Mike Boogie, two of the best players ever.

7 shows + various other shows/movies that I have backlogged, means I’ve got more than enough things to fill my summertime hours as I await the return of my regular shows. What’s everybody’s go-to shows for the summer? Let me know in the comments!

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Pop Culture Randomness Post #2

Today’s been a big day (in my opinion) for pop culture news, so a rundown of what’s out there in celebrity news.

  • Maroon 5’s New Single: The New York Post got the exclusive preview of Maroon 5’s first single from their forthcoming album, Hands All Over. The song, Misery, is classic M5 material and I, for one, CANNOT WAIT until I get to hear this song live during their tour. The song will be available for digital download tomorrow.
  • Engagement!: Orlando Bloom & Miranda Kerr are engaged! I’m not entirely sure why I felt the need to comment on this but regardless, good for them! It seems like they’ve been dating forever (3 years), and plus the fact that they’ve been dodging engagement rumours practically the entire time, it feels like this announcement was overdue.
  • Boy Bands Unite: So according to this People.com article, fans attending Saturday night’s New Kids on the Block concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York were treated with a special surprise…the Backstreet Boys showed up to perform with NKOTB! That’s just hilariously awesome.
  • Glee Casting News: Despite shooting down recent rumours, new singing sensation (Oprah’s a fan and if Oprah likes her, she’s got to be good) Charice will be appearing on Glee next season. According to Ausiello over at EW.com, the singer is signed on for a recurring role as a foreign exchange student who will give Rachel Berry a run for her money. Frankly, Mercedes is already someone with a big voice to compete with Rachel, so I don’t find it entirely necessary that Rachel gets an “official rival.” But hey, it’s a high school show, and what high school doesn’t have its share of foreign exchange students?
  • Gossip Girl Casting News: Fleur Delacour is Chuck’s rebound! Clemence Posey, the actress who plays Fleur in Harry Potter, has been cast as Eva, the girl who will be Chuck Bass’ new “Blair.” Needless to say, that cliffhanger of a season finale where we saw Chuck getting shot will end well, because he’ll clearly be alive and kicking in Paris with his new girl.
  • Show Renewal: Only 2 episodes into its third season, HBO has decided to renew True Blood for a 4th season. I’m actually a recent True Blood convert – summer is always tough for me with the lack of stuff to watch on TV, but I decided to start watching the show and caught up just in time for the 3rd season premiere. It’s a fantastic show and that’s all I’ve got to say about it.
  • American Idol Change: So Seacrest broke the news today that Idol will be reducing the age limit to audition from 16 to 15. Really?! Because with some very few exceptions (Allison Iraheta, David Archuleta, for example), the younger contestants on the show are kind of boring and don’t really know their sound yet. I mean if this was X-Factor, then okay fine because the judges do actually have a hand in helping and mentoring the contestants. But this is Idol. We don’t need week in and week out to hear the judges say, “You should try this. This isn’t you. Be current!” And then the contestants be like, “Well I don’t know what you want from me! I’m following your advice! And I still can’t make you happy!” And that’s because they don’t know what they want or what kind of music they want to make. Idol seriously is a sinking ship.

And that is all for today’s pop culture roundup!

Teen Choice Awards 2010 Nominations

I don’t really care about the Teen Choice Awards (I am after all no longer a teen), but the first “wave” of nominations were announced yesterday (and let me just say that there are a lot of categories!) and I felt like commenting about it because there are some interesting things going on with these nominations. I seriously wanna know who these people are who determine the nominees cuz some of these are downright hilarious.

  • Let’s just get this out of the way first: Twilight +  Bieber will more than likely win in every and any category they are nominated in.
  • Choice Movie Actor: Action Adventure – Do “normal” teens watch some of these movies? Kick-Ass, Green Zone, Robin Hood. They would probably watch Kick-Ass but considering it was rated R, they probably couldn’t get in to watch it. Channing Tatum will probably win for GI Joe by default.
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife is considered Sci-Fi? I mean I know it has a sci-fi element, but compared to its fellow nominees 2012, District 9, Avatar, and Iron Man 2, I mean really?! And even with Iron Man 2, sci-fi really?!
  • Ha! Jeremy Renner nominated for The Hurt Locker in Choice Movie Actor: Drama. Seriously. Have teens even heard of The Hurt Locker?
  • Choice TV Show: Drama – Again, House + teens? There’s clearly a recurring theme in my comments here.
  • Choice TV Actor + Actress: Drama – Ryan Kwanten and Anna Paquin are nominated for True Blood? Have the people who nominated them watched the show? Because I have (just caught up actually, just in time for the season 3 premiere this past Sunday) and teenagers should NOT be watching it. Hello, nudity and sex galore! Biggest WTF nominations ever!
  • Ooooo yay, Chuck! They can win something! Choice TV Show/Actor/Actress: Action. Because let’s add Burn Notice and NCIS to the list of “I Kind of Doubt Teens Actually Watch This”.
  • GLEE for the win in all categories they’re nominated in! But then again, they are still nominated against some Disney stuff.
  • Choice TV Reality Competition Show – OK I’m really getting tired of So You Think You Can Dance getting snubbed for everything except the choreography award at the Emmys.
  • Choice TV Villain – LOL at Survivor Russell being nominated. Not that he should care what they think, but way to boost his ego.
  • Choice Music Group – I didn’t realize the Glee Cast were a viable music group? I mean I guess they have had sold-out concerts and great selling albums but it’s just funny.
  • Seeing the Choice Music Female Artist nominees makes me sad for the future of music. Miley Cyrus? Ke$ha? Shakira, who’s really more famous and successful internationally?