I am talking about television again. I probably watch the box too much, but I enjoy storytelling in all of its forms. If your words can move me to tears or laughter or actually teach me something, then I really don’t care what medium you choose to do so. With that in mind, I would love to share with you some TV shows to catch up on before the Summer 2013 schedule comes to a close.
- Brain Games is a show I accidentally discovered a few weeks ago when I was flipping through the channels and landed on National Geographic. After watching for a few minutes, I had to DVR all the episodes I could find and now we watch as a family. Brain Games explores the human mind by challenging us through fun games on perception, peripheral vision, focus and so much more. I am hard pressed to think of a show that our entire family aged 8 to 44 (okay 45 next month) could sit down to watch together while we laughed AND learned a great deal. I am putting this as number one spot for a reason because I cannot imagine anyone not liking it.
- Yes, 72 Hours is another adventure reality show, but yet – it’s not. I do not watch a ton of reality, but as a long-time fan of Survivor when I saw a clip of TNT’s own take – I had to watch for myself. I knew they had something when after the first episode I was shocked to find that an entire hour had passed. The show groups 9 strangers into three teams of three and drops them into the wild to find a briefcase containing $100,000.00. They are give a GPS, one bottle of water for each group and three days to cross amazing terrain in Fiji, New Zealand, the American Southwest and other tough environments. They are required to stop each night, hit three supply drop locations for additional tools or the canoes/rafts they need for travel. Each group has the option to call for a relief drop for extra clothing, food and water, but that comes with a time penalty. All three of the group must reach the case and touch it at the same time for them to win. From the personalities to the beautiful locales, we are kept on the edge of our seats each time we watch.
- Whose Line Is It Anyway? is back and I couldn’t be happier. Aisha Tyler is doing a great job as the new hostess (she replaced Drew Carey) and the cast of Wayne Brady (!), Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie haven’t lost their brilliant improve skills. Wayne Brady is simply phenomenal with his sharp wit and great voice. With additional comic guest stars, this half-hour laugh-fest goes by way too fast. While I enjoy watching the original British version, it is both the older and new American version series that I can watch over and again to always find a smile.
- I am not a fan of Glee (no, stop hitting me), but that doesn’t stop me from loving the humor of Jane Lynch. Each episode of Hollywood Game Night pits two teams made up of three stars from Hollywood or sports and a non-celeb contestant to compete in games that you would play with the neighbors in your own game night. From their own version of Name That Tune to figuring out what junk food is shown in a photo, there is a lot of drinking and laughing going on. The selection of stars has been interesting and I have to admit that in an upcoming episode, I will not be rooting for the team that has Tom Arnold on it. If you enjoy charades and other party games and you need are looking for something light to watch, you can find it Thursday on NBC.
- If I were to imagine Consumer Reports magazine having a television show, The Lookout on ABC would pretty much be it. From mechanics to mold inspectors to those all-inclusive vacation packages to whether those flowers you order online will be what your loved one will actually receive, these investigate journalists are showing us how to better protect ourselves with our purchases. I’ve appreciated each episode so far even when I haven’t had any interest in who they were going after as in the one that focused on bridal/wedding needs. Unfortunately, I am not seeing a lot of network support after the initial premiere and wonder if it will be able to hang on.
- There are very few crime/law shows that make it to my DVR and I initially taped Graceland for my husband. I have to confess that I don’t know which one of us loves it more. Based on actual events, there are agents from the FBI, the DEA, and Customs who live and work together out of a home in Southern California dubbed Graceland. (Not being an Elvis fan, I will admit that was part of my initial blah feeling about it.) I am completely hooked, especially because I am always wondering how much of this was played up and how much is totally true to life. The acting is superb and the complicated lives of these undercover agents makes for a great story.
- Aaron Sorkin and HBO give us a glimpse of what the news media could be and should be as we watch Will McAvoy and his team take a stand to report news as news without being shaded by the politics of its owners. The first season managed to give me hope and break my heart at the same time and its no different for this second round. The clip below though will always stand out as the show’s best moment.
- Put together CBS, Steven Spielberg and Stephen King and you get a really great show called Under The Dome. As you get to know this small town, you learn that the police chief, a town councilman and a pastor are up to something a little shady. I really appreciated the quick, but fantastic character development so we could care about the residents of Chester’s Mill and a few strangers that were just passing through. With the timing of a magician, the moment we began to care is the moment this mysterious dome came down and effectively closed off the town from the outside world.
- I wasn’t aware until I did some research for this post that ABC’s Mistresses is based on a BBC series by the same name. This American version has been the perfect *escape* romantic drama. Two sisters and two of their friends are all dealing with aspects of adultery but from different angles and definitely different perspectives. It’s not deep, but it fun, emotional and showcases wonderful friendships between women.
- It is rare that a television show gets cancelled and there is enough love from the fans to bring it back from the dead. Much like the heroine of Drop Dead Diva though, Lifetime listened to us and brought us back the beautiful and talented Brooke Elliot as Jane Bingham for a 5th season. Jane used to be Deb, a super skinny model, before she died at the same time as the extremely intelligent lawyer Jane was also dying. Deb wasn’t ready to go, argued with the angels and pressed the RETURN button. She woke up breathing life into Jane and slipping into Jane’s life. To be honest, you wouldn’t know from this description all the layers there are to this show, so you will have to trust me that Drop Dead Diva is worth watching from the start. Margaret Cho’s role may be small as Jane’s assistant at the law firm, but her fierceness and sense of humor makes her an unforgettable character. And if you are already a fan, you should know that I am rooting for Owen (Lex Medlin) over Grayson.
These are my picks for this summer’s shows worth watching and I’m hoping my favorites find new fans in you!
xoxo ~ Melissa