Feature: TV For The Summer

With so much good TV coming up in the next half a year, we decided on highlighting some of the new and not so new shows that you need to get around to watching.

House is gone forever. Chuck is no more. The problems of Westeros have ended for another few months. It’s not surprising then that there is a rather large TV shaped void in peoples lives at the moment, but fear not! Here is a few shows that are ongoing, relatively new to your screen and a few that are no more.

Shows that everyone knows about and you should really have a look at:

Mad Men

Still going strong and still under the watchful eye of AMC. The show manages to make a womaniser in the form of John Hamm both likeable and ruthless at the same time, it’s just a shame that the BBC no longer have rights to it in the UK anymore.

The Big Bang Theory

This show seems to have gone into Friends territory of loving (typing The Big Bang Theory into Wikipedia now comes up with the show rather than the theory!) The new season arrives in September/October in America, with at least another 2 seasons in the works.

Game Of Thrones

The end of Season 2 has come and gone (again in America!) and the land of Westeros is still as fuelled with sex, blood and more blood as it was before. With a huge amount of material to draw from, with more on the way, and the ratings and money that HBO are getting from it, there doesn’t seem to be a end insight for Tyrion Lannister and co.

Breaking Bad and the Walking Dead, also under the AMC umbrella, are also strongly recommended alongside The Sopranos and The Wire for some of the best TV shows we have had in this generation.

A couple of new shows that are definitely work a look:

Suits

Premiered: 23 June 2011 (US) 17 January 2012 (UK)

Seasons: 1 (renewed)

This little gem passed me by until it arrived on Dave at the beginning of the year. It follows a top lawyer (Gabriel Macht) who is forced to take someone under his wing. Ironically the guy he chooses has never been to law school but is ridiculously clever (Patrick J Adams) causing both comradery and friction between the two. Completely unexpected enjoyment came of watching this as the humour is played out extremely well.

Veep

Premiered: 22 April 2012 (US)

Seasons: 1

Veep is a political satire circling around a senator (Julia Louis Dreyfus of Seinfield fame) who accepts the job of Vice President of the United States. The fact that it is written by Armando Iannucci, of The Thick of It and In the Loop fame, means that it nothing runs as smoothly as would be hoped. Iannucci, and the constant swearing of Peter Capaldi, have been by far the best British exports of political humor to the USA in a long time and Veep looks to continue that trend.

For your convenience:

Nikita – Action packed spy thriller with Maggie Q as the lead and it has just been renewed so there is more to come.

The Following – A Kevin Bacon vehicle that sees him as a detective stopping a serial killer network. Looks big budget so could go either way.

Arrow – A new show based on the Green Arrow. Lots of support is being placed on this to see if there is enough popular demand for a future film.

2 Broke Girls – Released for a while in America now and centeres on two waitresses, one eternally broke and the other has only just lost her family wealth thanks to her greedy father. Difficult to miss if you watch E4 in the UK, average at the moment but has good potential.

Revenge – Same as the above with E4 marketing it heavily in the UK. Has already been renewed for a new season and follows a daughter of a man who was wrongfully imprisoned taking revenge on his ex wife and new family. Very American drama but well paced.

Sadly no more but still worth a look:

Awake

Premiered: 1 March 2012 (US)

Seasons: 1 (cancelled)

Awake had a thoroughly interesting premise. The lead character, Detective Michael Britten, played by Jason Isaacs, who is in his car with his wife and son when it crashes. Britten then finds himself in two different realities, one where his wife died but his son lived and vice versa. This had a Fringe esque tinge to it with the two different realities yet Britten had to deal with it on a much more personal level as ,when in either of these realities, he was never sure which one was real. Jason Isaacs has had a bit of a bad run when it has come to TV of late as his last big appearance in Brotherhood got raving reviews, as did Awake, but couldn’t find a big enough audience. The season itself is wrapped up nicely and is perfect for Fringe fans/fans of Kiefer Sutherlands new vehicle, Touch.

House

Premiered: 16 November 2004 (US)

Seasons: 8 (finished)

Ah House. A love hate relationship with this show has meant that ratings started to drop off after the 4th season as circumstances got more outlandish, even for House. Despite this however, it still stands up as an amazing TV show thanks to Hugh Laurie’s (which, for anyone from the UK, wouldn’t have believed this type of career step after Blackadder) amazing acting and the top class supporting actors he had around him. The series ended, largely under popular pressure as it was felt that the story was starting to lose its steam, in season 8 to mixed reviews (a article in the future will discuss the ups and downs of this finale!), yet the fact that the whole series took America by storm when it first came out cannot be underestimated and the effects and filming have aged remarkably well, despite hitting 8 years old by the end of this year.

Chuck

Premiered: 24 September 2007 (US)

Seasons 5 (finished)

Chuck is representative of the US networks; ratings mean everything. After the 3rd season of Chuck, there was constant speculation about it being cancelled as the small, albeit loyal fanbase, wasn’t large enough to keep it going. Luckily, the producers managed to wrap the series up for good in the 5th season after doing exactly that after every other season before it due to the insecurity of the show. Baffling really: Chuck combines comedy and action to good effect especially since the spy genre has generally been cornered by Hollywood films. Much more lighthearted than almost all of the other TV shows on the list, its compact nature, and the fact that the producers always had an end goal makes it a hugely enjoyable package and well worth a look.

This is a very quick lowdown, though the hours of entertainment above should keep you more than interested to wash away any summer blues/tide you over until pay day.

Author: Adam Leith

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