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Are you as exhausted as I am?
I live for this stuff and I'm beginning to wonder if there's such a thing as too much TV. (A blasphemous statement. Let's all pretend like I never said that.) It used to be that summer was a time to rest and rejuvenate. But now the former lazy, hazy days are just as busy as the rest of the year. I've been frantically watching the new fall shows (alas, there are very few favorites so far with "Samantha Who?"
taking the early lead as best new fall show), watching all the new summer shows (I looooove FX
's "Damages." It's the first show is a long time I was still thinking about days later. I'll have a full review next week) and trying to keep up with all my favorite summer shows.
So first let's talk about the new shows premiering this week:
"Mad Men" (premiering Thursday, July 19 at 10 p.m. ET on AMC): Jon Hamm ("The Division") stars as dapper New York advertising executive Don Draper. The drama is set in 1960 and is instantly visually assaulting. You'll immediately feel pulled into a world where women were not equals in the workforce, smoking was a must and society was on the brink of change. Hamm, best known for his role on "The Division," is the perfect leading man bringing both charm and a sense of duplicity to the role. The cast is chockfull of our favorites including John Slattery (last seen marrying Gabrielle on "Desperate Housewives"), Vincent Kartheiser (all grown up from when he played Connor on "Angel") and Rosemarie DeWitt (who bounced back quite nicely from FOX's doomed "Standoff"). Four out of five stars.
"The Kill Point" (premiering Sunday, July 22 at 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV): I should begin with my disclaimer that ever since "Boomtown," Donnie Wahlberg has been one of my all-time favorite TV actors. I find him to be such a compelling TV presence that I'm predisposed to like anything he's in, even if it seems similar "The Nine" with a touch of "Reservoir Dogs." Wahlberg stars as a Pittsburgh hostage negotiator Horst Cali who must talk John Leguizamo and his bevy of bank robbers into releasing all their hostages. The two-hour premiere has several gripping and though provoking moments, but too often it drags. But I'll keep watching for Wahlberg. And - bonus for all you "The Wire" fans - you can also keep an eye out for Michael K. Williams, JD Williams and Leo Fitzpatrick. Three and a half out of five stars.
And now let's turn our attention to three of my favorite existing summer shows:
"Entourage" (Sunday at 10 p.m. on HBO): I know, I know. Enough all ready with "Medellin." This once breezy comedy has been weighed down this season with Vince's pet project. The only story line I've really been enjoying is Drama becoming a TV star. The real problem to me is that the characters are failing to evolve. Vince sells his home, is basically bankrupt and may have ruined his own career, yet he takes everything that happens to him with the same carefree attitude. At some point something has got to get to this kid. I also would have preferred a better end to the Eric's relationship with Sloan. But Ari and Lloyd are still fabulous.
"Rescue Me" (Wednesday at 10 p.m. on FX: For awhile my complaint with this show has been its singular focus on Tommy; every woman who crosses his path wants him. But it seems even worse this season, don't you think? Even Sheila's new boyfriend is obsessed with him and is going all single white male on him (you'll see more of that in this week's episode). And while I typically try not to let what happens off-screen impact how I feel about what's happening on screen, Jack McGee's very public feelings about how he felt about Chief Reilly being killed off took a little away from what I thought was a skillfully done moment. I like Sean. I like Franco. I like Lou. I like the Probie. And I want to see more of them. I still want the women to be more complex (Jennifer Esposito's Nona might be the worst female character the show has ever written), but there's still something about this show that makes me tune in every week. And this week Jerry Adler, Hesh on "The Sopranos," joins the cast as the new chief.
"The Closer" (Monday at 9 p.m. on TNT): I received quite a few emails from people concerned about the episode where Brenda battled a bride. The fear was that the show had suddenly become goofy. But last week's "Ruby" episode was so emotionally devastating that it totally makes sense to have a lighter episode every once in awhile. "The Closer" remains my favorite summer series. Except for the whole solving brutal homicides thing, I still find Brenda to be one of the most relatable female characters on TV. Plus, I love the very realistic romance between Brenda and Fritz.
After you watch "Mad Men" and "The Kill Point," write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you think. I would also love to know what you think of how "Entourage," "Rescue Me" and "The Closer" are doing these days.
Quotes of the Week
"I can't sweep this under the rug just because you're my favorite." Brenda to Sgt. David Gabriel on "The Closer."
"I'm Detective Cagney. This is Detective Lacey." Michael on "Burn Notice." Thanks to Tiffany for the quote.
"Ok, Veronica Mars. I miss home." Paige to Alex on "Degrassi: The Next Generation." Thanks to DJ for the quote.
"Lloyd, I see dead people. Why?" Ari to Lloyd before he meets M. Night Shyamalan on "Entourage." Thanks to Barry for the quote
Where Have I Seen Them Before?
Jonathan Adams, Dr. Daniel Goodman on "Bones" and Henry Walker on "American Dreams," was Randall Williams, the father of the missing girl, on "The Closer."
Rob and Kathie recognized Kevin Tighe, Locke's evil dad on "Lost," as the politician on "The 4400."
DJ recognized Lisa Rinna as Drama's former crush on "Entourage." Rinna, of course, was on "Dancing with the Stars," Billie on "Days of Our Lives" and Logan's dear departed mom Lynn Echolls on "Veronica Mars."
By Popular Demand
I promised many readers that I would mention the campaign to get "The Dresden Files" renewed for a second season. Got to http://www.dresdenfiles.org/petition to learn more about their campaign.
Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Time for July 16 to 22
Ever Carradine, who I totally have in my "she needs to be back on TV file," guest starred in this "Men in Trees" episode from October (Thursday, ABC, 10 p.m.).
Well, long ago I stopped trying to predict the Emmy nominations. I've also stopped believing that this year will be the year things will be different and my favorite beloved shows will be recognized. I'm not defeated. I consider myself realistic. So I'll be tuning in Thursday morning to hear Kyra Sedgwick and Jon Cryer announce the nominations live on E! at 8:30 a.m. And, of course, I'll still be rooting for "Friday Night Lights," "Brothers & Sisters" and "Veronica Mars." I'll hope that Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Matthew Rhys and Dave Annable hear their names called. But this isn't my first time at this dance. I know my favorites might be ignored. I'll be talking all about the nominations next week.
Well that's all for today. I'm off to the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Beverly Hills. Next week I'll have all the gossip that's fit to print, thoughts on the Emmy nominations, plus a review of FX's new drama "Damages" and TNT's new drama "Saving Grace." Have a question, seen a familiar face or want to nominate a quote of the week. Write me at email@example.com.