Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Summer Mondays are Must-See TV

This summer Monday nights provide a solid three hour block of quality television programming. The sad thing is, according to the ratings last night, it looks like the best Monday night shows aren't getting the ratings they deserve. So I'm going to go through each of these, because the three shows I'm talking about could not be more different from each other, but are all worth checking out - so here's a little more info as to why exactly you should be watching.

Lie to Me
(FOX, 8pm)
I adore this show. I watched the first season over the course of a weekend thanks to a DVD set I just stumbled upon at my apartment (I think one of my boyfriend's roommates had left it with us) and was hooked from the pilot on. Thanks to Hulu I caught up to the second season in time to enjoy a few new episodes before the show took an insanely long hiatus. Last night's summer premiere not only reminded me that I really do love this show, but that it's also a really high quality program.

The conceit of Lie to Me is really interesting - Cal Lightman can read facial expressions, voice cadences, intonations, body language, etc. to determine whether or not a person is lying, and with the help of his team at the Lightman Group, he consults on a variety of open crimes. There's usually two cases per episode, and I find myself instantly interested in this procedural drama more than most, partly because of the clever conceit, but also because Tim Roth plays Dr. Lightman as a very fascinating man. Check out the mid-season/summer premiere, featuring Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars alum!) as an especially creepy suspect.

The Good Guys
(FOX, 9pm)
I'm a huge fan of Burn Notice, and I suppose you could call The Good Guys the sister show, as it also comes from showrunner Matt Nix and features some similarly great action sequences and fun humor. Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford have an absolutely fantastic dynamic which is probably best summed up by some of their hilarious conversations. For those laughs, I will refer you to this review - it's okay if you haven't watched the show just yet, I think you'll find these exchanges laugh-out-loud funny and pique your interest in this buddy cop action hour-long comedy!

Okay. If anything, watch this show to marvel at Whitford's phenomenal mustache.

Persons Unknown
(NBC, 10pm)
I don't think any show will fill the void that Lost has left, and that's important to consider before you begin watching this sci-fi thriller mystery drama. The thing is, I think this show has the potential to be a surprise hit - it certainly has all the makings of one, and for viewers who are looking for a captivating and intriguing series to obsess over, I think Persons Unknown can be that. I'm not really going to attempt to explain the premise of this show, both because I probably wouldn't do it justice and because I think this is one of those shows where it's actually better to go into it knowing very little.

Or check out this great review of the pilot from The AV Club. Also, I guess they filmed this in Mexico before the country went to shit - so that's cool.

Any other summer shows, new or old you're looking forward to? One of my roommates just got into Royal Pains and I'm considering giving it a try, especially because I think USA has been really nailing their programming slate the past few years (even though I'm not over the moon about Covert Affairs, I will give it a few episodes before I finally make up my mind). Or, is there another night that rivals Mondays for the best Must-See TV? Obviously SYTYCD is a great show, but I'm thinking about scripted TV specifically... sound off in the comments!


Anonymous said...

Ironically, I just had asked you your thoughts on summer series... so I was excited to read this blog! You've convinced me to try Lie to Me (mostly because I love Jason Dohring so I'll check out that ep first). Love, love, LOVE The Good Guys! For me, it's like a sparkling wine. Looks fun, great while it lasts and the fizz makes me giggle. Persons Unknown trailers scared me. Ever since having my son I can't watch parents being separated from their children and in the show's case, a Mom (Missy Crider?) is told that she can see her daughter if she kills the others (I believe), so I'm out. USA has put out some great shows over the past years but I've not been able to catch a lot of them. I've always been told I'd like White Collar & Burn Notice but so far I haven't been pushed to check them out. I *was* intrigued by Covert Affairs but you don't seem to be of that mind so now I'm tittering as hubby & I have many shows that we’ve always wanted to watch (Damages, Shark, Threat Matrix, Vanished, Harper’s Island, The Wire just to name a few) on deck to fill the summer with that we may not tune is then… Appreciate all of your insight!

Tom said...

why would you waste your time watching tv when you could be enjoying a 70's party on the deck?