Usually television viewing in the summer is a vast wasteland of no possibilities, but this past summer proved to be a very good season. Now that cable TV stations aren’t wedded to the strict Sept.-May TV season, they’ve experimented with new shows and new time slots. One of the new shows that I couldn’t get enough of was The Closer on TNT, starring Kyra Sedgwick. Not just another cop show, this series boasts a very talented cast and such involved plots the writers should get an award for creativity, something usually not found in television writing. The dialogue is believable, witty, and has the usual twists and turns, but coupled with Sedgwick’s give-it-all-she’s got performances, this show is a winner. I can’t wait until it comes back on.
Another show I became “addicted” to was Treasure Hunters. NBC put this show on for light summer fare and I’ll bet this is what Amazing Race was meant to be. In Amazing Race, the only point is to get from A to B with a minor challenge thrown in, usually physical. But in Treasure Hunters, the puzzles were mental and involved some pretty creative mental gymnastics. You could say it was a blatant advertisement for the insurance company that shelled out the money to the winners, but it was entertaining television nonetheless.
Finally, summer’s heat didn’t get any hotter than world famous chef Gordon Ramsey’s series Hell’s Kitchen on Fox. Even though they get the most obnoxious contestants on this show, it’s worth all of the venom just to hear Gordon shout “You donkey!!!” to someone you can’t stand. Humiliation that is more fun than American Idol because at least we don’t have to hear anyone sin. Bleck. Also check out BBC’s Gordon’s Kitchen Nightmares where he takes a failing restaurant and tries to turn their business around. Enlightening for anyone wanting to go into the restaurant business. He’s got a genius for food and entrepreneurship.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by TV this summer, something that hasn’t happened in a long time. I think producers and sponsors are finally getting the picture that our TV viewing habits are changing and that we won’t necessarily wait around for a year and a half to see what happens to Tony Soprano. I know I didn’t.