What I’m Watching, Summer Edition

summer tv

The temperatures have finally started heating up, the summer solstice as come and gone, and the summer tv season is in swing. Since we have longed moved past total re-run summers, there are always new shows to watch, but because there are less shows for me to watch, I have time to catch up on series that have ended and show that have become tenants in my DVR. A successful summer is a good mix of new and old shows, and I am hopeful I have found the formula!

Original Series
You all know my undying (but not unreasonable!) love of ABC Family’s Switched at Birth, which returns for the back half of its second season. This half seems more understated than the previous few chunks, and hopefully will curtail the triangle drama between the girls.  The show is finally exploring the Bay/Regina relationship in depth, and appears to be gearing itself for more examinations of race, class, and culture.  The Fosters, another ABC Family show (for reals) is about two Moms raising a brood of biological, adopted, and foster kids. Three episodes in, I am mostly pleased with the show, especially in the portrayal of Lena and Steph, the two Moms. They feel like a real couple, and so far the show hasn’t descended into after-school special territory. Moving on from ABC Family, I am enjoying USA’s Graceland. 80% of this enjoyment is likely due to Daniel Sunjata and Aaron Tveit looking attractive all of the time. It’s about a group of undercover agents (in a world where the FBI, DEA, and Border Patrol all live in harmony) that live in a house in LA; a.k.a.what starts happening when people stop being polite and go undercover. I can’t imagine it is very realistic, but it certainly is how I would like my undercover agents to be.  Rounding out my summer shows list are the second seasons of Copper on BBC America and HBO’s The Newsroom (because I can’t quit Sorkin, no matter how bad he writes women. I know I am part of the problem.).

Catching Up
My number one catch up this summer is Mad Men-and yes I know I have been saying this for at least a year. I really do like the show, but I can’t multi-task during it, so it takes some time for me to get through. I am nearly done with the second season though, so I hope this is the last time I have to write this.  I have the same inability to multi-task with Game of Thrones,  but I am nearly through season one.   I have actually managed to stay spoiler-free on the recent Red Wedding episode, but I know if I am playing with fire. I am also going to try and zip through Girls, which I have heard should be easy-peasy. That way I can decide for myself how racist the whole thing is.

I am also going to work through the last two episodes of Top of the Lake, watch the first season of Hannibal, and catch up on Defiance.

That’s a full schedule designed to get caught up on current shows before their new seasons whilst having some good summer fun. If the show watching schedule goes according to plan (and who knows, I have books I want to read too!) The Wire is my next project (and I will finally be able to hold my head high) and then Breaking Bad.

I will report on my progress!

 

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The Bluths are Back!

Arrested Development ranks as (at least) my co-favorite television show. (Sports Night puts up a good fight). I will admit it took a couple of episodes for me to fall in love, but once I fell, I fell hard. A combination of pop culture references, witty one liners, and jokes that pay off several episodes later, Arrested Development literally never gets old.

So, obviously I am very excited about premiere of 15 new episodes that drop on Netflix tomorrow at 2am, Central Time. There has been lots of hand wringing and worry going on around the internets about this “season” of A.D. Will it be funny? Does it make sense to revisit the Bluths right now? Honestly, I am not worried. I am still so giddy that I get to see the whole Bluth (and friends!) clan again that I am not sure it could disappoint. My hope is that the new episodes reward longtime viewers, but also bring in new ones.

I will likely be live tweeting as I watch (@ilovethebluths), though I make no promises on the quality of 2 am tweets. I will be back for thoughts once I have digested all the eps, so for now I will say that despite exclamations of “getting rid of the Seaward”, “I will leave when I am good and ready!”

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Mid-Season Review

ReviewIn October I made a (somewhat late) list of the television shows I planned to watch this season. A mix of old and new shows made the list, and after half a season, I thought a mid-season review seemed like a good idea.  Not surprisingly there are several shows that have dropped off the radar, due to time, or my lack of interest beyond the premise, or poor execution, or my lack of patience in the show. Here is a quick rundown of where  I am this season, and the why beyond why I’m still watching, what I am watching.

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“Awake”

This is probably cheating, but I am counting this as an official post. So that’s one down and one to go in February, and that’s me keeping my New Year’s Resolutions. (Thank goodness it’s a Leap Year).

Anyway, I am super-excited for the premiere of Lucius Malfoy’s Jason Isaacs’ new tv show, Awake, which premiers on Thursday, March 1. Isaacs plays detective Michael Britten, who gets into car accident with his wife and son. He awakes to find that his wife has died, although his son has made it through. But what happens when he goes asleep is where it gets exciting. When he wakes up again, he is now in a world where his son has died, but his wife lived.

Clearly this is a show made for me.

I haven’t had time to watch the preview  of the first episode on NBC, although I wish I had if for no other reason than I could pretend to be like a real critic.  However, I watched a preview way back in July for this, and have been waiting for it to show up ever since. It seems to be getting some decent reviews, and has a good cast. In addition to Isacc’s, B.D. Wong and Cherry Jones play therapists in each of the respective ‘worlds,’ and he has a different partner in each ‘world’ as well. And honestly, with this premise, plus the opportunity to stare at Jason Isaacs (playing a Yank, btw) for an hour each week, you know I am all in.

I’ll check back in after I’ve actually seen the episode and let you know what I think. Here is the current preview:

In Another Life

As a teenager I loved lots of different types of television shows, including shows that were targeted at my age group.  As I have gotten older, I have re-watched these shows as an adult, and some have aged better than others.   My So-Called Life, for example, holds up to my (more) mature viewing eye. Yes, I identify with the parents a bit more than the first go round, but I am proud of my younger self for having good taste.  The show has drama and perhaps even heightened drama, but it never veered into melodrama.  Other shows I loved back then, say Beverly Hills 90210, are enjoyable purely on a nostalgic level. I can see why I liked to watch it, but there’s not much there for me anymore. The acting isn’t great and the story lines aren’t that plausible (ahem, Donna Martin graduates). I guess I can say I was fully part of the 90s zeitgeist, but that’s about it.

Despite this, and perhaps the pervading television wisdom, shows primarily about teenagers, can be and are good. Switched at Birth, which is in its second season, is a show somewhere in the middle between My So-Called Life and Beverly Hills, 90210.  It’s a show with a ridiculous sounding name (my vote for a better name is the title of this post), a fairly melodramatic premise, that is actually executed rather well. So, I’m officially going to come out of the Switched at Birth closet, and say, it makes pretty good television. And I will tell you while if you just click below! You know you want to…

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I’m back!

After a very long break I am back! I apologise for being gone for so long. The short explanation as to why I’ve been gone is that I was spending nearly all of my free time applying to jobs, and after spending hours writing applications I just didn’t have any thoughts in my brain. Also, I wasn’t really watching much television, which is a problem for a blog about TV. As for why I have now emerged the easy answer is: I found a job in London. So, while I be working a full-time schedule, my free time is now mine again. Finally.

I have so much TV to catch up on, and my goal is to be caught up by the time the Fall Season starts in the US. This is probably too ambitious, but my goals generally are. (Remember that one where I was going to blog more often?) Anyway, here is my list of shows to catch up on (I will also take any suggestions if one of your favorites is not on the list):

Fringe
Chuck
Dollhouse
30 Rock
The Office
Ashes to Ashes
Mad Men
Scrubs
True Blood
How I Met Your Mother

Watching these will of course depend much on how easily I can access them, as well as how much time I ultimately have. I love television, but I won’t spend ALL of my free time watching it. At least, it won’t be healthy for me to do that.

The two shows I have been able to watch are Lost (I’ve seen the whole season) and Battlestar Galactica (just three more episodes in the series to go for me. I think I haven’t finished them as I don’t want it to actually be over). So, I will be writing some thoughts on those, most likely making me the slowest blogger on television in the land. I have some other posts in the works as well, and I hope to do my part in making this an actual working blog.

Thanks for your patience.

BSG is here! Lost is almost here!


The last season of Battlestar Galactica got underway yesterday in the States, and while I haven’t seen it yet, I hope to soon. I just need to find it (in ways we aren’t going to speak of), and then we’ll chat.  Lost starts up next week for its penultimate season, and let’s just say, I CAN NOT WAIT.  I have already purchased my Season’s Pass on iTunes (thanks in large part to a gift card someone gave me), and am ready for the shows to begin downloading. Let’s hope iTunes is better at it this year, than they were last season.

I love both of these shows for their suspense, their quest for answers, and let’s face it, for their sci-fi-ness.  I haven’t opined a great deal about these two shows, other than that I love them.  I’m going rectify that (hopefully) each week as I see the new episodes, and try and explain what it is that is great about them.  Maybe I can even get some of you who won’t watch BSG because you think that people in space is just where you have to draw your sci-fi line, to change your mind.
I’m also looking forward to the new Joss Whedon show, Dollhouse, and seeing if it lives up to Buffy, Firefly, and Angel.
A lot more to come as the real tv season for me heats up!

Better Late Than Never: Sara’s Best of 2008…

I’m a little late to the “Best of 2008” game, but I decided to go ahead and join in on the fun. I picked my Top 5 TV shows/moments this year, and while admittedly, I did not get to watch as much television as would have liked to, I think it’s a pretty good list. So, for what it is worth, here they are, after the jump

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