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Sucky Summer TV

Everyone loves summer; sunshine, swimming, sandals…and plenty of other things that don’t start with an “s”, but my degree in English forces me to list in alliteration. The one thing it is not good for, besides snowshoeing, is TV. In the past, or from what I can remember, there was no “summer” TV at all. Season finales were at the end of May, and then you watched movies and reruns till September. Or maybe I just didn’t notice summer TV as a child because I was playing outside and didn’t require the 2 hours (okay 3) of down time each night in front of the TV to recover from my day and relax me enough to actually fall asleep. So I suppose for the record, TV execs have taken some steps forward in regards to actually creating a summer season, but they haven’t figured out how to make that season very good.

Since this summer was less than impressive on the weather front, TV was a bit more important to me than the last. At the start, I was quite excited for the line-up. HBO had the return of Entourage, AMC had Mad Men, Showtime had Weeds, even Oxygen had Drop Dead Diva, Bravo had a bunch of Housewives, and ABC had Bachelor Pad. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, Bachelor Pad was my favorite show of the season…seriously, that has to say it all.  But again, that darn degree in English eliminates any hope of keeping is short. Here’s the break down of my opinion of summer TV.

Entourage: One of the 10 hot days we had this summer, I sat on my dock and hand wrote an entire entry about how horrible this show was this season. Because I hand wrote it, I lost that yellow note pad in the abyss of stacks of note pads, and didn’t want to rethink the whole thing again, so I’ll write the abstract. The show sucked. At the end of the last season, it appeared each of the cast members were moving on with life. I predicted this story line would make for a boring show the following season, and though it didn’t take the turn I expected….it did stay true to my prediction of boringness. The season was all about Vince going off the deep end. While this is pop culturally relevant and more likely than not what would really happen to him, it isn’t how we like to see Vinny. We love the fun loving, happy-go-lucky, generous Vince, that doesn’t let anything get to him, and doesn’t turn on his friends. This season, he starts doing drugs, dates a porn star, and goes crazy on his best friends, apparently cutting him out of his life for good. To keep this short, I’ll just say, if I wanted to watch a show about a young actor doing drugs and screwing up their promising career, I’d watch Showbiz Tonight’s nightly update of Lindsey Lohan’s life.

Mad Man: I think Mad Man deserves its very own entry. More to come.

Weeds: As one of my top 5 favorite shows of all times, I was pretty much counting down the days to the end of summer premier of Weeds. I literally subscribe to Showtime for this show alone (until I discovered Dexter, and now I have 2 reasons). But this season, though still going, has fallen sadly short compared to the others. After one of the most shocking seasons finales on TV last year, I was more than hopeful that Weeds would be able to deliver yet another, brilliant season of drug dealing, violence, and all around inappropriate behavior, but apparently being on the run and attempting to live a normal life is not good television. I hate Nancy’s wig, I hate that Shane is now a real psycho and not just a creepy kid, and I hate the boring story lines of hotel jobs, mini vans, and new identities; boring. I still think Nancy is one of the best female characters of all times, and I have great hopes that season will get better, but as of now, another disappointment. P.S. Did anyone else notice the superimposed “Seattle” scene in the first episode? You can’t view the whole Space Needle driving north on the 5, coming into the city…Come on Showtime.

Housewives: Another blog of its own to come shortly.

Bachelor Pad: So on a good note, ABC introduced its most brilliant idea since Dancing With the Stars (which I don’t watch, but apparently has a huge fan base and re-launches loosely named “celebrities” little careers into another couple minutes of fame), Bachelor Pad. The idea was to take previous contestants from past seasons and put them into the Bachelor house and make them compete for $250k. As we found out on the show, someone (not sure if it is actually ABC or not) hosts bachelor reunions, where contestants from all seasons are invited to engage in the same debauchery as on the show, just not on camera. As a result, the cast mates of Bachelor Pad already had relationships, again, a term I use loosely, with other cast mates. Throwing some of the show’s past most ridiculous characters into the house and then adding the incentive of money is pure genius. I loved every episode and it restored my hope that maybe they will either produce another good season of The Bachelor, or they will just ditch that concept altogether, and stick with the Pad version. Good job ABC.

Like I said before, The Bachelor Pad being the best show of the summer is a pretty good testament of how pathetic the season really was. But summer is over, and the Fall lineup is so huge, I think I’m going to have to upgrade my DVR space to accommodate all the new shows. I can only hope that the writers of Entourage, Weeds, and The Real Housewives (don’t act like they don’t have writers) will get inspired and do a better job next season. In regards to Mad Man, there are parts I love, and parts I hate, so I can’t simply lump it in with these other 3 failures. On a positive note, because the new summer seasons sucked so badly, I renewed my love for The Golden Girls. I can’t decide if I want to grow old and be the real life Betty White, or the Golden Girls’ character Sophia; it’s really a toss up.

Originally posted September 28, 2010