Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Summer Viewing

As an unrepentant TV junkie, summers have always been a difficult time for me. It used to be worse, back when the networks had a set season from September to May and just wrote off the summer months with movies and re-runs. These days they fill the schedule with cheap reality tripe, but they also run a few of their more ‘high concept’ series up the flagpole in the hopes that they’ll catch on with the dedicated few still watching.

It can make for some interesting viewing, but unless you’re a die hard ‘Idol’ fan it’s still pretty slim pickings. Here’s what I’m watching so far this summer:

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
(Thursdays 10:00, NBC)
The deathwatch continues. I find it unbearably sad that they’ve cancelled my beloved Aaron, but at least they didn’t just kill the thing before taking it to the end of the season. The last episode is coming up this Thursday, and if (when) they kill Jordan I will be extremely unhappy.

The Shield
(Tuesdays 10:00, CHCH)
The new season (well, new for Canada) started a couple of weeks ago. Good as always, with Michael Chiklis devouring every scene he’s in. Yummy.

Hell’s Kitchen
(Mondays 9:00, CITY, Fox)
Most reality shows bore the hell out of me. I’ll still watch ‘Survivor’ out of habit, and the ‘Amazing Race’ is always fun, but the dozen or so versions of The Gong Show currently out there are just tedious. The one exception is 'Hell’s Kitchen', which features a dozen wannabe chefs trying to prove themselves before Gordon Ramsey, a man who makes Simon Cowell look like a kindergarten teacher. This year he’s put one guy in the hospital already, seemingly from stress. Can’t… look… away.

(Wednesdays 10:00, ABC)
This is an odd one, and I’m still not sure how much I really like it. It’s part of the networks’ ongoing efforts to work out a formula whereby they can replicate the success of serials like ‘Lost’ and ‘Prison Break’ without actually being unique or creative. Every once in a while a good one will stick ('Heroes'), but more often than not they stumble upon a promising idea only to cancel it as soon as the initial ratings come in, thus discouraging potential viewers from committing. Except me, of course - I just keep letting myself get sucked in only to have my heart broken again and again. So yeah, ‘Traveler’ is pretty good, but I’d still rather be watching ‘DRIVE’ YOU BASTARDS!

Dr. Who
(Mondays 8:00, CBC)
Hooray! I can stop covering my ears every time my friends talk about the latest episode they downloaded. I miss Rose, but Martha is cool. I’ve heard that ‘Blink’ is the creepiest episode in the series so far - can’t wait!

The Ritches
(Sundays 10:00, Showcase)
Eddie Izzard as an Irish Traveler is just too delicious. The portrayal of this hidden world of gypsies and grifters is fascinating enough, but transplanting a family of Travelers into an upscale gated community in suburban America takes the ‘fish-out-of-water’ scenario to a whole new level. Brilliant.

My husband and I are both self-employed with a teenaged son who eats his own weight in food every day, so we can’t afford fancy things like satellite TV or high speed internet. So this is what I’m reduced to: renting shows I can’t get otherwise on DVD.
~ I’ve already burned my way through the third and final season of ‘Deadwood’. I had wanted to spread out the disks a bit to make them last, but they’re like chips - you just want one more, and then one more, and the next thing you know it’s three a.m. and they’re all gone. Sigh.

~ Season 3 of ‘Slings & Arrows’ is coming out next week, so I’ve been re-viewing the first two seasons in preparation (I own them all). I have decided that the solution to all of the current problems with Canadian television is this: give Paul Gross as much money as he wants to do whatever he wants with.

~ I would really like to see ‘Big Love’ but the video store I work at doesn’t carry it, nor does Rogers. I’ve heard rumour they have it at Blockbuster, so I’ll be checking there tonight. I promise not to eat them all at once.

~ I have a serious David Milch jones on right now, so I am desperate to see 'John from Cincinnati'. I suspect I will have to wait until the fall for the DVDs, unless some kind reader would care to slip me a few episodes under the table. Just to tide me over, you understand.

I am also anxiously awaiting the return of 'The Sopranos' on CTV and 'ReGenesis' on Global, so if anyone knows if these or any other good shows are being aired on channels I can actually get this summer, do let me know.

1 comment:

  1. I made a very high pitched noise and scared the cats when I saw Dr. Who listed in my guide. And I too would still rather be watching "Drive". I miss my Nathan. :(