The best TV show this summer aired on several channels over various multi-media platforms. It was blogged, Instagrammed, tweeted, and Facebooked to death. Unbelievably, the second season of this show may have been a bigger hit than the original with new locations and even a set location change. It gave us a month worth of episodes, endless podcast fodder and more water cooler talk than any “fix-it” lady from DC could ever give us. It captured the world and overshadowed the World Cup (at least in America) and had more viewers than Game of Thrones and Mad Men combined.
This was the LeBron James Decision 2.0, the thing that saved summer TV from a lineup of shows that showed promise, but ultimately didn’t deliver, (insert joke about Brazil’s World Cup team here). For now let’s just talk about the show, better written than most television dramas (The SI Article, the entire narrative, and PR charade). This show had intrigue (Lebron not talking to the Heat), flawed characters (Riley, Wade, Gilbert) characters playing against archetype (Lebatard) and even those who walked the tightrope between villain and hero (Basically everyone, but especially Rich Paul).
For anyone who watched the Sopranos or Breaking It must have been reminiscent of the final season of those shows, emotional roller coasters that ended being almost too much to handle, and at some point you just wanted it to end so you could move on with your life. You didn’t want the hero to die you didn’t want him to leave, even though it was incredibly exhausting you wanted the show to continue. You wanted Liv to go back to the White House and win that election, but that’s not what happened. LeBron left, and for Miami fans, that was, Ned Stark Losing his head, Tony Soprano fading to black, Dom Draper turning down pussy and Walter White watching Hank die all rolled into one. It sucked. it was entertaining, but it really fucking sucked. For Cav fans it was…well honestly I have no idea what it was. What was it Friends? How I Met Your Mother? I really can’t think of a show that I watched that ended happily, maybe that’s because this truism always rings true.
“All good things come to an end, lest they wouldn’t end”.
Just like that there was nothing else on TV. The NBA Finals and Game of Thrones had ended earlier in the summer, on the same night, a horrific bit of scheduling by the TV gods I might add.
The NBA Draft and Mad Men happened the same week, and then there was silence, there was baseball.
So like any addict we searched for a fix, we all got super into the World Cup even those of us who didn’t understand futbol or soccer (Sock-Ah) and that carried us for a while. It was really truly exciting, but midday matches don’t work well with work schedules.
In the meantime a slew of summer programming debuted here’s what I watched, and I still have no idea why.
Tyrant – When people recommend a show to you and they give you the pitch that centers on the word awesome and not much else…don’t watch that show. This is a show about a middle-eastern dictator and his politically savvy younger brother who moved back to “Iran” with his kids, one of whom apparently have never heard of Google and sees nothing wrong with his dictator grandfather. The acting is all around questionable at best and truthfully I don’t know why I’m still watching this show. It’s the equivalent of a midseason NFL game between a 3-5 and 2-7 team that somehow getting prime billing on a Sunday afternoon. That game, like Tyrant, usually ends with a premature nap. You drift off and hope you wake up in the 4th quarter just in case something semi-exciting happens, let’s hope Tyrant at least has a good 4th quarter.
The Strain – I just sat here for 10 minutes trying to think of how best to describe this show without it being long, convoluted and leading to me bitching about Corey Stoll’s wig or as Andy Greenwald so expertly pointed out how they keep calling each other’s name on this show (YOU DON’T DO THAT IN REAL LIFE). No pronouns allowed (Cara would love this show). It’s basically about an alcoholic CDC chief who’s fighting to stop a vampire pandemic, I know, seems legit, but, shit happens on this show. This show won’t win any awards but like the Golden State Warriors it’s entertaining as hell, well until they finally let Corey Stoll go bald and the vampires really start running amok. By the end we may be watching a completely different show.
The Leftovers – I got depressed just typing the name of this show, that’s how depressing this show is. True Detective is a veritable Disney movie compared to this. I would rather live in Carcosa than watch another episode of this show. There’s not one recognizable joke or single thing uplifting about this how i.e. the tribulation is going to suck. There’s a secret show in this show hidden somewhere in the middle of this weekly Sunday depression, we just have to fight too hard to find it. The Leftovers are what the 2014 Lakers are going to feel like, depressing, with only hollowed out people left and Shaq and Gary Busey having moved on to a better place.
True Blood – Does anyone know what’s going on in this show? Are there still ware-panthers? No show better encapsulates the Sacramento Kings whose every move has confused anyone who follows the NBA. What the hell is this team and this show doing? I’m not sure of either I just know that witches, vampires and someone name Stauskus is involved in something. Stay away stay far away.
So we wait, until football, until the fall TV schedule returns and all the sucktitude that we’ve had to endure all summer passes, questionable writing, lazy directing, and studio notes designed specifically to suck the fun out of any show.
We’ll patiently wait for Game of Thrones to come back, for Gotham to premiere and for Better Call Saul to remind us TV wasn’t always this mediocre. It’s the only thing that will save us from the doldrums of summer.
There’s nothing on TV, so it’s good thing we live in The Bahamas…might as well go to the beach.
Oh wait Kevin Love just joined the Cavs we have a mid-season replacement.
Honorable Mention aka shows I have to catch up on but I have to work during the day: The Worst, The Bridge, apparently all other shows on FX except for Tyrant (why are we watching this again).