Song Lyric of the Day:
When I am through with you / There won’t be anything left
The VLA / “When I Am Through With You”
Remember the good old days, when summer meant no school, family vacations (there’s a good reason my family’s never gone camping again), playing outside, and catching up on reruns of your favorite TV shows? Those days are long gone, replaced instead with all-new episodes of summer series, with nary a regular-season TV series repeat to be found. So what shows are hogging my attention this summer?
Damages (FX, Tuesday @ 10PM)
The premise sounds simple enough: Young, idealistic lawyer lands her dream job with one of New York City’s most prominent litigators. But this legal drama plays out more like a thriller than a standard TV show. Glenn Close‘s legendary Patty Hewes is not only known for her legal prowess, but also for the destruction she leaves in her wake, with casualties ranging from fellow colleagues to rivals to witnesses to her new protege, Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne). As Arthur Frobisher (I would so name a dog Frobisher), the man Patty is hell-bent on destroying, Ted Danson is a revelation, a self-made man who cost 5200 of his employees their retirements. The beauty of Damages is that you never know quite who to root for. From the dark plotlines to the love-or-hate-them characters (Anastasia Griffith is amazing as Katie Connor), this show revels in its moral ambiguity, and I, for one, can’t wait to see how it plays out.
Rescue Me (FX, Wednesday @ 10PM)
As you know, I’ve been a fan of this raucous FDNY-centric drama since it started. And while this season has been its most uneven so far, it’s still leaps and bounds above most other TV dramas. A true testament to star Denis Leary‘s talent (he also writes and executive produces the show), the show can still veer almost seamlessly from humor to chaos to tragedy and back in the blink of an eye. And, like the viewers, the characters carry the weight of their losses and triumphs with them, no matter how much time may have passed or what events have transpired in the meantime.
Burn Notice (USA, Thursday @ 10PM)
How great is it to have Jeffrey Donovan back on TV? Pretty damn great, as this fun action series proves. As “burned” (read: fired) CIA operative Michael Westen, Donovan takes cases to provide him with enough income to continue to investigate who burned him — and why. Gabrielle Anwar (also on Showtime’s The Tudors) is a sexy, sassy spitfire as Fiona, Westen’s trigger-happy ex-IRA member ex-girlfriend. Bruce Campbell provides additional comic relief to an already humorous show as Sam, an FBI informant and wannabe gigolo who just may or may not be Michael’s best shot at finding out who destroyed his CIA career. Sharon Gless is also perfectly cast as Michael’s chain-smoking mom, Madeline, who likely knows more about her son’s career and life than she’s letting on. Burn Notice is exactly what a summer TV series should be: fun.
Weeds (Showtime, Monday @ 10PM)
Ah, Weeds, how do I love thee? Mary-Louise Parker is pitch-perfect as Nancy Botwin, a widowed mother of two who becomes a pot dealer to keep a roof over her family’s head. Funny, profane, and blissfully, gleefully politically incorrect, Weeds mines pure gold out of every scene and every character. Family scenes are always anything but routine, with Hunter Parrish and Alexander Gould (as Silas and Shane Botwin, respectively) exhibiting far more talent than most of their contemporaries and holding their own against Parker’s fierce, in-over-her-head mom Nancy. Justin Kirk (Andy) pretty much steals almost every scene he’s in, facing stiff competition from Kevin Nealon‘s perpetual stoner, Doug, and Celia, played with perfect bitchiness by Elizabeth Perkins (easily her best role, and work, in years). Romany Malco is another asset as the not-quite-lovesick but definitely smitten Conrad, Nancy’s partner in crime. An added bonus of the show? The music score is dead-on, with lyrics often as funny and witty as the dialogue over which they sometimes play. The guest covers of the theme song, “Little Boxes,” are always impressive; this week’s version by Angelique Kidjo just might be my new favorite.
Other shows holding my interest this summer:
Psych (USA, Friday @ 10PM) — Already a cute show about a fake psychic, Psych has kicked it up a notch this year, with more laugh-out-loud moments courtesy of James Roday and Dulé Hill‘s odd couple pairing.
Californication (Showtime, Monday @ 10:30PM) — David Duchovny revels in the debauchery that his frustrated writer, Hank Moody, doesn’t quite thrive on. I’m not completely sold on the show, but Duchovny, the premise, and genuinely funny dialogue are holding my interest for now.
What’s got your attention this summer?
Today’s 33 Days of Pattie item: Planning a weekend in Atlanta for next month.