Tv For the Week July 26-August 1st
Merlin (NBC) 7pm
Originally this aired on BBC one in the UK, but it has since been picked up by NBC Universal for a primetime slot on Sunday nights. It follows a young Merlin and his relationship with the legendary King Arthur, who in this series is still Prince Arthur and his father King Uther resides over Camelot. Literature purists will scoff at this one because it deviates from the originally legends so completely. Merlin and Arthur are approximately the same age in this series, and Arthur is a big of an arrogant jerk to start off. However, it has received a lot of praise from UK viewers, but seems to be doing only average ratings so far here in the US. Check this one out before it is too late!
The Storm (NBC) 8pm
A new mini series event on NBC starring James Van Der Beek and Treat Williams continuing their “Survival Sundays” theme. This time instead of a meteor we are treated to yet another far fetched cataclysmic catastrophe, a storm that threatens to annihilate the human race. James Van Der Beek plays scientist Kirk Hafner who is trying to stop Treat Williams’s crazy control freak billionaire character, Robert Terrell, from using his “Weather Creation” technology. This technology starts to bring about far bigger consequences than anyone could have imagined leaving Hafner and reporter Danni Nelson, played by Teri Polo, in a race against time to save the human race from monstrous hurricanes and other weather disasters.
The premise seems very farfetched, and there is a mid-grade cast who haven’t done anything of mention in a while. This one will play to the same audience as NBC’s other Survival Sunday adventure Meteor. I can’t see this four hour two parter being a ratings juggernaut, but I have been surprised before.
True Blood (HBO) 8pm
The extremely popular HBO series is back with even more bite this season, adding even more subplots and twists. We once again reunite with Sookie, the telepathic waitress and her vampire lover Bill. This season we follow the disappearance of a 2000 year old Vampire named Godric.
The series which is based on a popular series of books continues the latest vampire craze. Both the Twilight series and True Blood are both different takes on the vampire genre, both incorporating soap opera like elements into their stories. Much of the story has more to do with the human elements of the story, and the vampire lore is more of a supporting story to both.
If you are a fan of supernatural type stories, than True Blood might be up your alley. Don’t forget it is an HBO show and may not be as teen friendly or child friendly as a lot of other shows on television.
Entourage (HBO) 9:30PM
Season Six of the popular HBO series got off to a great start a couple weeks ago bringing Vince out of his rut. The show is at it’s best when it is highlighting the successes of Vince and his crew, and last season was a series of downs with no high points until the last few minutes of the season finale.
If you have never seen a season of Entourage, you might think the show is mainly about Adrian Grenier’s Vince, but the real star of the show is the diminutive Kevin Connelly as Vince’s best friend and manager. This season we have already seen him start to finally go out on his own a bit more. Let’s hope he can find that spark again with Emmanuelle Chriqui’s Sloan, who have great on screen chemistry.
In addition this season we also get to see Jerry Ferrara grow as a character a bit, and get to see him interact with his real life girlfriend, Jaime Lynn-Sigler.
Although, don’t fret people you will still see plenty of Ari and his sidekick Lloyd this season, although don’t expect Lloyd to stay Ari’s assistant for the whole season. Something tells me he will get that promotion he has long been vying for.
The Bachelorette (ABC) 7pm
This season follows Jillian Harris, who finished third on last season of ‘The Bachelor, continues to try and find her man after losing out last season on The Bachelor. This time instead of having to try and go after the attention of one man, she will have thirty suitors all trying to win her affection. The question is, can she find Prince Charming?
I’ve never watched a full season of any of these shows, they still remain popular with certain audiences. As a hopeless romantic I have trouble believing that going through weird competitions and backstabbing other contestants will end up with true love. Although, I can see the voyeuristic quality to it, and I know it holds appeal to some. This is the season finale, if you think she could find true love, you might want to tune in.
The Wanted (NBC) 8pm
NBC is once again going down the route of ambushing people and setting traps. Instead of going after pedophiles, which I hate to say it, made some pretty fascinating tv and led to some fun drinking games (any time a guy brings a 6-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade take a shot, if he brings a box of condoms as well, chug a beer). This time however, we are chasing down war criminals and terrorists who live among us. Sounds interesting right?
Well, unfortunately pretty much everything I’ve read about this show so far is to have very low expectations. Apparently the journalism is cheap and very shaky. The first episode follows the tracking of Mullah Krekar founder of an anti-American militia group. Well, not much tracking is needed as Krekar is living openly in Oslo, Norway and has been a refugee there for almost twenty years. The rhetoric in this is over-blown and instead of talking about going through proper channels for deportation, the team consisting of many ex-military types sets up surveillance on the highly open target.
The show seems an exercise in futility and a big ole ratings grab.
More to Love (FOX) 8PM
So, another Bachelor type show? Well, this one throws out some of the stereotypes that persist in many of these shows. The super thin model types are replaced with plus sized women, all of which are still pretty, and are set to win the affection of an average joe.
The premise sounds great on paper, but it looks more like network exploiting these people. It is the same show we have seen many times over with a slightly different gimmick. It will most likely play out like all other shows like this. I’m hoping for less mindless banter into the camera and a little more thought put into everything by the contestants. Maybe vanity will play less of a role in this. Although, I can’t help but think that people can be a bit shallow and it will once again become a beauty contest among these women. Less looks and more personality is going to be needed for this one to be a winner.
America’s Got Talent (NBC) 8PM
The Simon Cowell produced show is back, this time boosted by Susan Boyle’s breakout performance on it’s sister show Britain’s Got Talent. Boyle who got probably just as much recognition here in the states, than she did in here own country.
The judges including, the seemingly insane David Hasselhoff (every judged show needs its own Paula Abdul I guess), will once again audition talent from all over America to showcase all different kinds of performers. One of the biggest downfalls of the program is that it seems to showcase singers so often that it becomes almost a retread of American Idol, although there are enough unique performances that make this one a keeper.
Warehouse 13 (SyFy) 8PM
Remember the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark where the Ark was stored? Well, this show is basically if you took Scully and Mulder and made them agents that have to track down missing items from this warehouse as well as investigate new items that might need safekeeping in Warehouse 13.
The premise is very fun, and it led to SyFy’s (recently rebranded) third largest series debut to date, with 3.5 million viewers. The reception to the series has been very mixed. Sci-fi fans will enjoy the concepts of the show, the biggest problem is in it’s execution.
So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) 7PM
America’s favorite dance show is still going strong in it’s fifth season. Last week featured guest judge Ellen Degeneres, and the top 8 dancers of the season performed. The night started out a bit slow, but really climaxed later in the evening with the second round of performances.
The show also reached is 100th episode mark with a very underwhelming episode that was not all that it was promised to be. Along with a performance by Katie Holmes promoting the Dizzy Feet Foundation charity. A-list stars coming to the show are a sign that show is only continuing to get bigger. Along with artists like the Black Eyed Peas who have performed so far this season.
This week we will be watching our top 6 dancers perform, and it will be the last elimination show before the show’s finale in the next week.
Leverage (TNT) 8PM
Leverage only premiered back in December 2008, and is already on it’s second season. It follows a team of con-artists and thieves as modern day Robin Hoods. They battle government and corporate injustices in unique ways.
The story is set in motion by the main character Nate Ford, whose son’s death was the cause of corporate fat cats. Aiming to not have injustices like this occur anymore, he forms a team to go against this corporate structure and weasel them out of their money or items before they can do the same to other victims.
I first watched this series for one reason only, Gina Bellman. As a Coupling fan I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see more of Gina in a television show. The whole cast melds very well and the premise continues to be interesting enough to keep a slot on my DVR.
So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) 8PM
Tune in for the top 6 results show. The result shows always tend to be the boring show of the week. I find myself fast forwarding to the end just so I can see the results. The results show has very little dancing, which is what I tune in to see.
The athletiscm and skill of the dancers gets better with every season and each week it gets harder and harder to decide who should be kicked off. Last week was a big surprise as one of the season’s favorites Jeanette was kicked off. Although, when it comes down to it, I can still find two dancers I would kick off.
Burn Notice (USA) 8PM
One of cables highest rated shows, Burn Notice, follows ex-spy Michael Westin after be has been “burned” as an operative. His goal is to find out who burned him and why, so he can get back to his life of being a spy.
The overall mystery of the show is one of the things that keep you coming back, but the thing that really does it is Michael, played by Jeffery Donavan, and his crew of Fi (Gabrielle Anwar) and Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell). This show is brilliantly scripted with wonderful characters and funny dialogue. The first season has some weird production values, but they seem to have taken a turn in a better direction now that they are on Season 3.
By now Michael now knows who burned him, but he still doesn’t know why. Instead of it getting clearer, each new fact he gets only clouds the mystery behind Michael and his career. Although, I don’t think audiences are quite ready for him to go back to his full-time spy job. It is just too much fun watching him pick up odd jobs here and there and their entertaining results.
Royal Pains (USA) 9PM
Burn Notice gets a great followup this season with Royal Pains. Doctor Hank Lawson is a rising star at his hospital when he treats a dying teenager with no insurance over a benefactor to the hospital with a common condition. The billionaire benefactor who was stable unfortunately dies because of a freak accident and lands Lawson black listed. Unable to get a job, Lawson loses everything, financee and home. That is until his slightly high strung accountant younger brother takes him to the Hamptons for the weekend. After sneaking into a party at a huge castle like estate, Hank comes across a girl in need of medical attention. A concierge doctor, or a doctor to the rich clients in the Hamptons, comes in and misdiagonsis the patient. When Hank steps in and saves the girl he reluctantly becomes the hottest new concierge doctor in the Hamptons.
The shows charm lies in its actors. The good, patient, and selfless Hank makes for a great protagonist. The great on screen pairing of a local hospital administrator, Jill, who keeps him grounded, and his brother who has him aiming for the stars and for as many women as he can handle.
So far my favorite new series to debut this summer. It’s nice to see, even in fiction, how the upper class lives and it’s even better when you have a grounded character like Hank.
Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? (FOX) 7PM
Superman Dean Cain competes on the Jeff Foxworthy game show for charity. This is the type of show I have trouble watching because too often I end up yelling at the tv. Most of the wrong answers have probably less to do with people being stupid and more to being nervous and not wanting to appear stupid. Second guessing themselves keeps many contestants on this show down, and can be very frustrating to watch. Although, if you want to watch Jeff Foxworthy does his best Alex Trebek and show how superior he is to contestants, than by all means watch.
Dirty Sexy Money (ABC) 9pm
ABC continues to air the last episodes of Dirty Sexy Money. Following the ficitional Darling family (good play on the phrase media darlings) and their lawyer Nick George who battles every episode on staying on a path that it true to himself and his family, or that of the super rich Darling’s who pay him.
Add into the mix that Nick is like family to the Darlings having grown up with them, due to his father originally having been their lawyer, and you have an odd dynamic.
This along with Pushing Daisies were ABC shows that suffered from the writer’s strike and never regained the audiences they had before the strike. Both were immensly entertaining shows, but as they faltered in the ratings every week ABC decided to cancel and air the remaining episodes during the summer season where they have very little original programming.
It’s a shame to see fun shows like this go. Season 2 definately got a little more contrived and a little too overloaded with the drama, but still managed to have a good humorous tone throughout the whole thing. It’s going to be a fun show to watch on DVD that’s for sure!
Make sure to come back next week to check what shows to watch for!