September 1, 2013

The End of Summer TV...

With the Emmy Awards around the corner, and the fall TV season starting shortly after that, it's the end of summer TV... and stuck between rerun crap (hello 2 Broke Girls) and new crap (hello Big Brother) I did actually find some good stuff to watch.

Traditionally summer TV was a deathbed of reruns and failed pilots, but prompted by cable success and reality show buzz the networks have started to program for the summer.

My favourite viewing this summer was the Netflix series House Of Cards which I binge-watched over one weekend, but it actually was available during the actual season last winter so am not counting that one.

Here was the other good stuff...

The Newsroom
Season 2 of Aaron Sorkin's smart liberal drama feels dated with the Romney election storyline, but it is still a smart and wildly entertaining fast-moving drama. Even as a liberal I think they need more credible conservatives on here, but that is a quibble with a series that is always worth watching.

Season one of the acclaimed BBC legal drama Silk finally came to North America, and I loved it. As with Sherlock, each season is three 2-hour movies, so it comes and goes quick. The series revolves around highly competitive barristers in high-stakes cases, each one trying to "take silk", i.e. to be the only one appointed a Queen's Counsel and therefore entitled to wear the iconic silk robes. Along with their quirky cases, the lawyers' messy personal lives are also on full display.

Oprah's Next Chapter
I skipped the Lohan episode, but other shows from Drew Barrymore to Bette Midler to a group of black actresses making in it Hollywood to Tina Turner were fun fascinating TV.

Surprisingly entertaining light summer soap starring Rachel Griffiths of Brothers and Sisters as the head of a camp with a very attractive, very horny group of employees.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?
The improv comedy show, off the air since 2006, gets a reboot and new host in Aisha Tyler, and with the same players including Wayne Brady and Ryan Stiles. Goofy fun with some supremely talented performers.

In missed opportunites, did not watch Under the Dome, though will catch up, and have never seen Breaking Bad but it is on my list (my Netflix list) and I have many seasons to binge watch.

Last and certainly least... and dishonourable mention to train wreck TV, so good I could not turn away from it... the Candy Spelling "I'm rich and bored and shopping for homes" series Beyond Spelling Manor... she was thoroughly unlikeable and has lousy taste in expensive things, but I couldn't turn away.

What have you been watching?