This has been a rough TV season. As of about 6 weeks ago, the old favorites all went on hiatus, leaving us with nothing but Netflix. Sure, we had A Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu for a while but the darkness began to wear on our spirits. We checked out by episode 5.
The networks are raking in mountains of money on politics and game shows these days. Production costs are comparatively low and people keep tuning in. Thanks a lot folks.
While network executives get fat and lazy, we’ve been forced to scour the channels for programming that isn’t either infuriating or gratuitously killing off our brain cells.
Fortunately, we’ve found some winners.
Still Star Crossed– ABC Monday 10 pm
This fantasy version of life in Verona in the aftermath of the deaths of Romeo and Juliette is another Shonda Rhymes production.
Shonda spins a good yarn and this is no exception. It’s fun, light and engaging.
There are a couple of potential drawbacks that may prove insurmountable to some viewers, though.
First of all, it’s preceded by The Bachelorette, which indicates that the target audience is young, liberal and drawn to flamboyant drama.
We can handle the flamboyant drama. It’s the liberties taken with blatant PC messaging that can elicit an involuntary eyeball roll.
Additionally, there seem to be some strange genetic abnormalities in this version of Verona. No two family members appear to share any physical or ethnic similarities. Ok, untrue. There are two sisters who are both black and born of royal blood but they’ve been relegated to servant status since their father died. The white uncle and his Spanish wife don’t think of the girls as equal. Naturally, that makes them the show’s heroines.
Bottom line- If this were the fall, we might give this one a pass but given the slim pickings currently on the menu… winner, winner, chicken dinner. We actually do enjoy the show quite a bit. We just have some qualms about being force fed a routine diet of mandated acceptance of the crisis of social injustice.
Claws– TNT Sunday 9 pm
This hilarious romp through Florida’s underbelly will thrill Carl Hiaasen fans everywhere. The characters are all a little nuts. For some reason, you’ll love every one of them.
The premise is that an ambitious but burdened nail artist wants to purchase a new more prestigious salon with the cash that she’s earned from laundering drug money for her steroid addled, sex crazed, Vanilla Ice wannabe of a beaux.
Naturally, the boyfriend has a boss. That would be the bisexual, sadist with a fondness for wearing slinky, polyester, leopard print shorty robes and big gold jewelry.
The salon workers are similarly eclectic. There’s a randy lesbian with a dubious set of security skills, who doesn’t speak. There’s also a rather uptight socialite type with a home arrest ankle bracelet. That has yet to be explained, by the way, but it’s sure to be a doozy.
Claws has already become the big summer hit. This one is defiantly worth looking into.
Animal Kingdom- TNT Tuesday 9 pm
TNT is hitting out of the park with their edgy summer offerings. This one’s raw and twisted but if you liked Sons Of Anarchy, you’re in business.
Ellen Barkin stars as an overbearing den mother to her 4 grown sons, with whom she has developed a highly profitable crime ring and a series of complicated relationships.
Animal Kingdom is an hour long endorphin surge that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Just make sure that the children are already in bed.
Power has returned to STARZ. If you’ve never seen it, give it a whirl. It’s similar to The Wire with a lot more sex. This one is a great show but it’s not for the faint of heart.
Netflix has aired the latest seasons of both Orange Is The New Black and House Of Cards.
Orange Is The New Black was off to a rocky start. The first couple of episodes were engaging but our interest waned. For some reason we revisited the rioting ladies of Litchfield and we were not disappointed. Despite a couple of sub par episodes in the middle, it was still worth the watch.
House Of Cards- This season was one of the best. If you’re looking for a binge watch, this is your ticket. Just don’t let Claire sneak up behind you. She’s a devil.
Finally, a guilty pleasure.
Big Brother- CBS Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Don’t judge. This is some quality summer viewing. We love it, we DVR it and we refuse to be shamed. A group of greedy, fame seeking, human horrors bunk up for the summer in hopes of being the sole survivor.
It’s like Survivor set in a fraternity house. Since they don’t have to forage for food, the participants have an abundance of time on their hands. We all know what they say about idle hands. Suffice it to say, the devil keeps these clowns busy.
Say what you will but Big Brother is on season 19. It starts on Wednesday night at 8 pm. Once you watch the first episode or two, you’ll be hooked.