It’s summertime, and the viewing is … mixed
Now that summer’s rapidly drawing to a close (yeah, yeah, it doesn’t officially end until late September, but find me anyone who doesn’t consider Labor Day weekend to be the end of summer), I’ve finally caught up on some of my summertime DVR selections and, well, let’s just say I’ve freed up a lot of space without having to watch an awful lot of it.
That’s not to say there hasn’t been some highlights and even some spectacular shows.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Damages, for one, has been the big surprise. We generally shy away from cop/lawyer shows (though my hubby’s hooked on FX’s The Shield and HBO’s The Wire is simply one of the best shows ever to grace the small screen), but we had to give this one a chance. Fantabulous. The acting, the script, everything about it is terrific. Though I’m tiring of the serialized drama with a mystery, I’m totally hooked.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The 4400 had a slow start but the last couple of episodes have been fantastic, completely true to form and really getting at the central core of the show’s mystery. Joel Gretsch’s transformation from good-guy cop/federal agent to evil man from the future was creepy as hell.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Kyle XY is goofy, fun, mysterious and sappy without making you want to puke.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Mad Men is seriously well-written and -acted and probably has one of the most realistic portrayals of how women were used and used men in the 1950s. Too bad that’s also why I can’t bring myself to watch it. Everytime the women in the secretarial pool are referred to as “girls,” I get ticked off all over again. Never mind the rest of it. But good job, folks.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ John From Cincinnati Ã¢â‚¬â€ I wanted to like this show. I really, really, really did. I even loved some of the performances. (Ed O’Neill, I’ll watch whatever show you’re on next.) But in the end? Just did not care enough to both watching the entire run, deleting about four or five hours worth of the show off my DVR. The good news is, that got us below 70 percent of our storage capacity.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Big Love. Season 2’s been even better than Season 1.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Entourage. Fun, fun, fun! As usual. Ari Gold is that guy you just looooove to hate. And Mrs. Ari’s been getting more screen time this season. Good. She’s the perfect foil for him.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Flight of the Conchords is possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s an acquired taste and you have to really listen to the song lyrics. I was not surprised much when I read in the Star-Ledger recently that the episodes are built around their songs. It made the storylines actually make a lot more sense. But you watch the show for the songs. “hip-hopopotamus vs. the rhymenocerous” is a classic (Be more constructive with your feedback, please), as is “part-time model.” Here’s a lyric sample from the latter:
And when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re on the street
Depending on the street
I bet that you are definitely
In the top three
Good looking girls on the street
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Slacker Cats. I watched less than 5 minutes of the premiere. It wasn’t that it was offensive (I love South Park, so I’m not easily offended). It was that it was just, well, stupid. And not funny stupid, either. Just stupid. Not worth wasting a half-hour of my life.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Flash Gordon was easily the biggest disappointment to me. I’m a huge sci-fi fan (shocking, I know) and was looking forward to this very much. But the acting and script in the first episode were so freakin’ lame that about 20 minutes into it, I started fast-forwarding. Kept stopping in spots that looked interesting. I was wrong. Snoozefest.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Burn Notice is still on the DVR and I’ve finally watched the first episode. Was it great? No. Was it fun? Yes. Jeffrey Donovan does a great job as the burned spy with the hypochondriac mother (a fun Sharon Gless in that role). But Gabrielle Anwar’s Irish accent bothers me; it didn’t sound right. She is from England, though, so maybe that’s it—some actors from New York can’t do a credible Boston accent, after all. Will I watch all eight or nine episodes already recorded? Not sure. Will I watch at least a couple more? Definitely.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Eureka has been just about as enjoyable this time around as last season. The characters are becoming more fully realized and now that we know what to expect from them, they’re able to surprise us and give us the unexpected. I don’t particularly like this dark turn Henry’s taken, though. The scenes between him and the Sheriff were always my favorites.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Doctor Who, I think, is doing just fine with Martha instead of Rose, though I do miss her, just as the good Doctor does. The whole Torchwood angle (c’mon, you know those mysterious folks telling Martha’s mum how dangerous the Doc is are from Torchwood) has added an extra dimension to the show, too. I think David Tennant is a really good Doctor, but he does yell an awful lot.
UPDATE, 8/21: This came out a few days ago, full disclosure, but I just heard about it Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Entourage and Flight of the Conchords both have been picked up by HBO for another season (Entourage’s 5th, Flight’s 2nd). That’s great news; Flight especially deserves more time to develop an audience.