Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summer Catch-Up: The Five Series I'm Giving a Chance This Hiatus

I'm really bad at pilots. I thought October Road looked awesome and Lost looked really stupid. Of the shows I've become majorly obsessed with, the only three I've followed from day one are Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, and Alias. I tend to find stuff well into its run, using a summer vacation or a Christmas break to get deliciously caught up with a new series. I used that blasted strike period to immerse myself in three shows: 30 Rock, Pushing Daisies, and Brothers and Sisters. I fell madly in love with the first two and still can't get into Brothers and Sisters. I just can't! Whatever, that's why I have Mae and Leigh.

So yesterday I went through and tried to decide what I need to spend this summer doing. I chose five series, totaling 116 episodes, so if I watch one a day on average, it should take me right into premiere season. Then, if I've become obsessed with any or all of them, I'll be ready to start appointment-watching them in the fall.

Sounds like a plan, no?

Here are my five summer catch-up shows, in no particular order. Feel free to encourage me toward—or discourage me from—any of these series if you feel so inclined.

Bones (58 episodes, watching on DVD and Mae and I had a conversation yesterday in which we both expressed shock that this show has been on for four whole seasons already. Gosh, 2004-2005 was a prolific year for television. I tend to shy away from procedural dramas, as I feel like they lack that overall forward impetus I always crave and the general OTP requirement. Lily, my roommate, said to me the other day that she feels as strongly about Stabler/Benson from Law and Order: SVU as I do about Jack/Kate. My response? "Well, the general rule for picking couples should be picking ones that are actually realistic." I'm not sure just how established or canon the Booth/Brennan thing is, but I have a feeling I could probably get behind that ship. (They're both pretty hot.) Anyway, I'm jazzed to get started.

Weeds (15 episodes, watching on DVD). I loved the first two seasons, but it's really hard to be a poor college student and watch a show that's on Showtime. When I lived on campus, we got the premium channels in the dorms (I know, right?), but now that I live in my own apartment, I'm far too cheap/practical to spring for the expensive cable packages. Showtime put the first episode of season three on their website, which I watched and loved, but it was just far too difficult to try and go to friends' houses to watch new episodes. It's currently at the top of my Netflix queue.

Eli Stone (13 episodes, watching on I wrote this show off before the pilot even aired, as I was quite skeptical of anything involving George Michael. I thought it seemed silly and precious—it got a pretty serious "meh" reaction from Mae, and I take her opinions pretty seriously. Nevertheless, people outside of my blogosphere keep telling me that it's really good, compelling stuff. Also, SpyDaddy is in it, so…yeah, I should probably be watching it.

Chuck (13 episodes, watching on So I did a little Wikipedia research on this show, and it looks GREAT. Like, I don't know why I haven't been watching it since the beginning. The creator, Josh Schwartz, who has loyal followers in Mae (once a devout The O.C. watcher) and Sophie (lover of Gossip Girl), calls Chuck a combination of Alias and The Office. Hello, Caroline? Where have you been! It's a high-concept comedy, which is an elusive (and often awkward) genre. Wikipedia tells me that the show involves Chuck and some undercover agents, one of whom masquerades as a colleague and another who's pretending to be his girlfriend--looks like some serious OTPotential to me. Also, I'm all for quality TV on NBC. I feel a sense of serious loyalty to the network that gave me Friends, The West Wing, and so many others (Mad About You, Frasier, Seinfeld, Will & Grace, Good Morning Miami...), but, man, it's sucked lately. I'm more than willing to give this show a chance.

The Big Bang Theory (17 episodes, watching on I don't know. The boys are cute, I love geek boys, Mae's mom is obsessed. I expressed an interest when it first premiered, but haven't seen a single minute of it. We'll see if it actually interests me.

So that's it. I'll keep you updated on my progress as the summer progresses. Until then, I'm saving up money so I can buy one of those fancy new iMacs with the HD screen, so I can watch these shows the way they were meant to be watched--and not on my teensy iBook.

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