Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer 2012 TV Shows That You Can’t Miss

The summer television selection has gotten progressively better over the past decade. It used to be that the summer would be filled with reruns but now it a hot bed for British model dramas and comedies; meaning they only have up to thirteen episodes. Arguably these summer shows are better than some of their regular season counterparts on network TV. We are going to go over a few of the best shows that are going to be on this summer and give a few reasons for why they are worth missing a few hours of outdoor related summertime fun.

Workaholics - Comedy Central
This comedy centers on the antics of three male twentysomethings who all live and work together and you better believe it is not even a bit loose butthole.  You might think that you have seen a series very similar to this one before and you have. However, the level of downright hedonistic behavior from these characters is extremely charming.  In one episode the focusing more on the guys life outside the office, one of the main characters Anders decides he will have his twenty-fifth birthday at a Chucky-Cheese style of kids restaurant, which for some reason serves beer. There is nothing like getting shitfaced around small children while playing carnival games. By the end of this episode Ander’s learns a valuable lesson about growing older with dignity but that was not before his roommates purchase him some hookers for an adventure in the indoor tunnel fortress. The humor of this show comes from the strange relationship between the three coworkers\roommates. They seem to have overstepped some boundaries a few years earlier in their relationship and never looked back.  They even have their own way of speaking which most memorably includes the term loose butthole as an insult and tight butthole as a complement; because everyone knows that a tight butthole is better than a loose one, there in lies the compliment.       

Breaking Bad - AMC
Many people have heard of Breaking Bad fewer have actually watched it though. Originally the show was about a high school teacher who teams up with one of his former students to cook meth in order to make enough money to leave for his family after he has succumb  to the terminal cancer he abruptly found out he had; a noble enough rationale to produce a horribly addictive drug. The initial antics of Walter White and his former student Jesse Pinkman trying to get their drug operation were interesting enough but the show only really began to pick up once the Mexican Cartel came into the picture along with a man whose ability to cook the best chicken in the mid-west matched only by his eye for talented chemists.  The show’s subtle character and explosive season finales  are some of the best on television right now.  You will love and then loath Walter and grow in your distain for Walter’s wife Skyler only to end up feeling sorry for poor choices. The issue however is that if you haven’t seen the earlier seasons you may feel a bit lost. A lot has happened in the previous seasons and the show writers have a long memory and like to bring old characters and unfinished storylines back up down the road. It might be a good idea to watch some the previous seasons on Netflix or pick them up on DVD, it would be worth it.

True Blood - HBO
One of the best comedies that HBO has ever made, True Blood is the answer to the Twilight problem.  There may be a lot of over the top love stories floating around in the story of this show but at least it is funny. A lot of ink has been spilt over this series; some call it too sexy and graphic and they are right. True Blood is filled with sex and violence and it is not for children to watch, it is a grown up show that borders on soft-core porn at times. But we grownups can take it and if you ever asked the question, whatever happened to the kid from the classic children’s movie Fly Away Home, well she is grown up and regularly naked and star of True Blood. Now you know.  At its heart True Blood is a comedy, and it attains its laughs through over the top moments of passion and violence.  It also makes for a great conversation centerpiece, where you will ask questions, like when Sam shape shifts into another animal do you think he has had sex with that particular species female counterpart? It’s a fair question.  Last season featured a witch who could control the dead, which was bad news for vampires since they are dead and all. There was even an instance when the main vampires of the show were made to march towards a vampire killing magical barrier in the style of zombie extras from Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video.  You can say a lot of things about True Blood but it is consistently entertaining.   

Burn Notice - USA
Burn Notice is a spy show without all the seriousness taken out of it.  The show has been around for over five seasons and its success hinges on the charisma of the cast.  Michael Weston is the main character of the show and his back story revolves around him being burned by his agency and then having to live off of his private eye skills helped by his misfit friends and his mommy. The reason this show is so watchable has a lot to do with the fun ways the stories play out and the different methods Michael and his team use to thwart his enemies. The spy team also includes Sam Axe played by a guy you might know named Bruce Campbell, made famous by the Evil Dead movies. He plays a lovable drunkard ex-navy seal that helps Michael get into and out of sticky situations. The show is also set in Florida and has a lot of nice landscape shots, so you can at least pretend like you went outside this summer.    

Wilfred - FX
Wilfred is a show about a man and his dog. How could anything sound more wholesome as a premise for a TV show? Well, the relationship between man and beast becomes a little blurred when your dog can talk to you and not just that encourages you to harness your inner animal. Oh and this dog appears to his best friend and only to his best friend as a man dressed in a dog suite.  Elijah Wood, of Lord of The Rings fame, stars alongside a man in a dog suite in this show set in California. The interesting thing about this show is that it did not start as an American show. No, it and the actor who plays Wilfred the dog hail from Australia where the show had a successful run. This version of the show is a bit different than its original, instead of Wilfred having a strange relationship with his master’s boyfriend, in the American version the dog strikes up a relationship with his suicidal neighbor, teaching  him how to enjoy life and not be so depressed.   Among other things the two main characters on Wilfred engage in copious amounts of weed smoking and long psychedelic talks involving some great existential questions. It appears that there is nothing more ponderous and primal than the mind of a pot smoking dog.

Louie - FX
From the mind of brilliant comedian Louis C.K. Louie is not just one of the best comedies airing during the summer months it is one of the best currently on television. The show is based on an alternate version of Louie, where he is divorced and is not nearly as successful as he is today. So what you get is a nice mix of stand-up bits and off-putting social interactions played out in some of the most awkwardly funny scenarios you could NEVER imagine and all done with pitch perfect execution. There is something inherently dark about Louie as a show; it is laced with self-effacing humor and most at the expense of Louis himself.   Moments such as the one where he professed his love for one of his female friends was a classic set up, that most of us have seen on a show or two, but the way this woman reacts to Louie’s putting-it-all-on-the-line/hail marry moment is so true to life and manages to be both brutal and honest and most importantly funny. This show is very inventive and has something in every episode that will make you laugh and even think a little bit. 

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