Long have we been told that summer is a dead zone for television. Our favorite series are on hiatus as we bask in the sun, drink margaritas and rub aloe vera on our sun tans. It is possible – and even likely – that once upon a time, this was true.
But, lo and behold, we live in different times. And in these times, summer is a glorious time to be a TV fan. Yes, I miss my DVR full of recent episodes of TV to be watched, but there is so much (if a little less) to look forward to.
Reality TV has long been a staple of summer programming, and So You Think You Can Dance shows no signs of stopping. More power to it, too, since string after string of miraculous dancers seems somehow still more exciting than the barrage of good singers that own fall and spring television.
But summer is a place for more than just reality competition series. USA Network revolutionized premiering new seasons in the otherwise uncluttered summer months. Burn Notice makes its triumphant return tomorrow night and you can bet that fans are eagerly awaiting, even as the beach calls their names. Your favorite odd-lawyer couple is back, too, with the season premier of Suits. USA was really made for summer – that “blue sky” mentality has warm breezes and cool waves written all over it.
TNT’s genre-riffic Falling Skies was a much-needed dose of classic fun last summer. Not as artistic as Walking Dead, but with much more wholesome heart, Falling Skies was the perfect antidote to cynical, apocalyptic television. The aliens may scare younger viewers, but Falling Skies is a perfect summer show for the whole family to enjoy.
And while we will all mourn the finale of Game of Thrones last
week, HBO won’t leave us wanting this summer. True Blood began with a bang on Sunday night, setting up a season of supernatural thrills that looks more promising than it has in a while. Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom starts this Sunday night, coupling with Sookie and co. for summertime Sunday night premium cable viewing.
Best of all, though, is that empty space on your DVR. With the hours you once devoted to swarms of comedies, dramas and reality shows during the fall and spring, pick a new show and dive in. Pick up a season of The Sopranos, hop on over to Netflix for Mad Men or get whisked away to a mysterious island with Lost. Be it an old show you missed or a new one to catch up on, summer’s greatest rewards lie in binge viewing. Battlestar Galactica proves to be one of the most fulfilling viewing experiences around.
Many networks shy away from summer television as if it were a desolate land of sheer waste. But those that have embraced the warm weather have found enthusiastic audiences hungry for good storylines and quality entertainment all year round. Sure, the summer months mean more distractions and more time outside, but even when the sun is shining, nothing beats coming home from a long day at work and crashing in front of the boob tube.
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