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July 13, 2011 / mandalaymai

Summer T.V.

If you are like me, you remember the days when summer meant no new T.V. just repeats and junk.  In some ways it was good, because it WAS summer, after all.  Time was better spent outdoors doing summer things, like going to the beach or Six Flags, or a Braves game.  Hiking, Swimming, etc.  All that good stuff. 

But, if you’re like me, that’s not what your summers were about.  No, if you were like me and Georgia in the summer is just a heat stroke and a sunburn waiting to happen, then summer was watching people do all those hiking and swimming and outdoorsy things in a Coca-Cola commercial while you sat in the cool, darkened, air-conditioned haven of your living room.  And it sucked because after the soaps were done at 4:00, there was literally NOTHING to watch.  What? Was I going to watch the NEWS?  Heck no!  And I know some of my Southern brethren will be angry when I say this, but there is only so much Andy Griffith I can handle. 

So, that’s the main reason why I love the USA and TNT channels.  They are my awesome escape from summer TV doldrums.  More than the fact that the shows are just new programming competing with a rerun laden network schedule (except for So You Think You Can Dance – and that is a separate blog post in awesomeness all on its own), the tone and lightness of these shows are as ideally suited to summer as their Coca-Cola commercial counterparts (I am think especially of one where people in cutoffs swing out across the river on that tire swing, rope thingy.  Y’all remember the one I am talking about?).  I don’t know how else to say it: they FEEL Summery. 

Take Royal Pains, for example.  Set in the Hamptons, where the rich and fancy New Yorkers like to summer, it’s all about beaches and mansions and parties.  Sure, there is Patient of the Week, and it’s a compelling procedural element.  But unlike House (the other medical show I watch), the B-plots aren’t all about drug addiction and spiralling self-destruction and depression.  The B-plots are light and fun in tone.  It’s not that they aren’t serious; they are.  But when the show is over, you are more aware of that being a fun place to spend an hour.  If I had to watch majorly heavy things in summer, I would feel that depressing disconnect that you sometimes get when you go back to reality, like walking out of a darkened movie theater and realizing it’s still really bright outside.  That always feels weird to me.

The same is true with White Collar, Covert Affairs, Suits, Psych, In Plain Sight and Leverage.  These shows all do what they do great.  The stories are entertaining and keep your interest for the length of time they ask for it.  The acting is great and the characters are interesting.  I mean, I love shows like The Good Wife, but I don’t want to see Alicia Florick crying over Mr. Big’s cheating ass in the summer.  That’s what fall is for!

So, if you’ve been missing out during the summer because your shows aren’t on, I say flip to these channels and give one of these shows a try.  My guess is you will be highly entertained!


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