This Week in Pop Culture

I am a TV junkie.  There I said it.  I own it.  I like TV.  Yes, I could spend my time doing other things but I, like many people, just find myself watching the latest new show, “just to check it out.”  Then I get hooked.  Some of the shows are good, some of the shows are my secret shame.

The summer season is sadly winding down.  I say sadly because I really feel like the summer seasons are not long enough.  I know that the shows that they play are usually highly produced and usually cost mucho dinero, but I just feel like they fly by!

True Blood, for example, is one that just feels like it was really picking up steam and this coming Sunday is the season finale.  So much is just starting, so much is on the edge of amazing.  I know that’s why it’s ending but really, it could go for a few more episodes before it leaves us on the edge of our seats as it most likely will.  I like how the show is different from Charlaine Harris’ world in the books but I also don’t like it.  I have not been a fan of evil Bill.  I like how he kind of is there but not really there in the books, just being Bill.  This Lilith stuff is just kind of wacky to me.  I wanted to see the Faerie War.  And where’s Quinn?  Coming soon?  And what in the name of all that is Sookie is going on with her losing her power?  That is kind of lame too.  Just my thoughts.

The Cast of True Blood Season 5. Love this show and glad this season has been so good (for the most part).

The Newsroom is my new summer favorite.  I was a huge fan of the West Wing and when I heard that Sorkin was back with a drama about a cable news show, I was in.  The first episode I had to keep putting the image of Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber where he makes the most annoying sound in the world.  It didn’t take me long to get rid of that image.  Daniels is so good in this role.  He is the journalist I dream of.  He doesn’t let up on the hard questions.  He wants the truth. He doesn’t care if he agrees with it or not, he just wants the truth and that’s what he strives to report.  The dialogue is amazingly written, the characters are real people working for a cable giant, ironically enough, headed by Jane Fonda.  For me the show portrays what I wish the world was like.  I wish that the news anchors would ask the questions that matter, cover the stories that matter, cover our country like it mattered.  Instead, we are inundated with Honey Boo Boo, “Kimye,” and whatever else is out there that really isn’t “news” but because people watch it (because it’s all they put on and we don’t turn our TVs off), they keep producing it. I wish Newsroom were real.  I would love it if people really cared about the country and the real issues.  Sigh…I am stepping off my soapbox.  I love this show.

Best new show of the summer. Period.

I love Sci-Fi so when Falling Skies was announced, I was intrigued.  Post-alien invasion world; resistance force based in Massachusetts, aliens – right up my alley.  It has been really, really good.  A sci-fi show like this is truly a story of humanity.  Yes there are big bad aliens invading, but really, it’s about how humanity prevails even when threatened to the point of extinction.  It’s about how we are all basically the same yet it takes great tragedy for us to realize that.  Yes there are the bad apples, like Pope, but overall, everyone is able to work together to keep some semblance of the world they know.  If you like rooting for the underdog and aren’t afraid of aliens, you really should give this show a shot.  It’s very well done, the effects aren’t too cheesy and the dialogue is pretty good.

The Battle for Earth Begins – Falling Skies

Then there is the never-ending stream of reality TV.  It’s like soap operas come to life in some cases.  In other cases, it’s watching grown adults act like three-year olds.  Hell’s Kitchen is a train-wreck that I cannot take my eyes off of.  These foul-mouthed chefs are amazing to watch.  I constantly wonder where they were trained and who allowed them to have the mouths that they have.  It’s amazing.  They beep more words than they actually say.  Then, there’s Master Chef where the home cooks have to compete each week for the chance to have a cookbook and a car.  That one is a little more sophisticated.  Less language beeping, more cooking.  Keeping with the food themed shows, we come to the best of them, Top Chef Masters. This is the spin-off of Top Chef where the already famous and well-established chefs come together and compete as the Top Chef contestants do, but they donate all their winnings to charity.  This is where the real cooking happens.  This is where the real chefs come.  This is the ultimate cooking show!

Moving from food, there are my Housewives.  My New Jersey Housewives and their “do-people-really-truly-live-like-this?” show.  I can’t stop watching.  Each week is more ridiculous than the last.  Their dramas are bigger than their hair.  Their feuds are more intense than their make-up.  They yell, they cry…it’s how I imagine a family reunion to be if I had a big family like that.  There is no rhyme or reason as to why this show exists other than people like me who tune in week after week to find out if Teresa is going to finally wise up to her ways or if Caroline is going to pass judgement on someone else.

However you cut it, I probably watch way too much TV.  No, not probably, I do.  I do watch way too much TV.  It’s on the lists of habits to change but right now, I will enjoy my gluttony of summer TV shows.

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