Well, it is time for me now to review various summer shows on TV. This will exclude shows that are burning off their last new episodes like Rush Hour or Angel from Hell. I’m also not including any shows that started in the main season and are still airing now. First, let me start with the new shows this summer that I’ve seen for whatever reason.
BrainDead: Show Description- A political drama with supernatural twists, this show steals from Invasion of the Body Snatchers by having alien bugs taking over the brains of politicians. This replaces Under the Dome. Behind the Scenes- Robert King and Michelle King, who both created The Good Wife, are the creators of this show as well. Tony Shaloub, who is most notable for Monk, is a character on the show. My Thoughts- The show is interesting and different. While it may point out some of what is wrong with the writers who created it, it also shows what is nice about them. The show may be slow moving and built around a mystery that might not be revealed. It can be strange. But I feel that it is worth watching. I give it three out of five stars. Long Term Prospects- I honestly don’t have high hopes for it right now. I could be wrong, but I don’t see it lasting. Where to Find- Mondays at 10/9 Central on CBS
American Gothic: Show Description- I don’t fully understand the plot of the show, but it relates to a serial killer and rich people with potential motives to being the killer. It replaces Extant. Behind the Scenes- There’s nothing to add here so you might as well ignore this section. My Thoughts- I didn’t find much interesting about this as I felt this show was another unoriginal take on the rich people with dark intentions cliché. I found the show to be boring as well. I give it two out of five stars. Long Term Prospects- CBS used to do better with summer shows. This could mean the end of that era, or it could last. I don’t think that it will. Where to Find- Wednesdays at 10/9 Central on CBS
Maya and Marty in Manhattan: Show Description- This is a variety show largely featuring Maya Rudolph and Marty Short. Behind the Scenes- This show features a lot of people from Saturday Night Live in it besides the two main hosts. My Thoughts- The main flaw of this show is that it seems so similar to Saturday Night Live that you have to wonder why you aren’t just watching that show instead. But, the show can be quite good and funny if you can watch any of it. I give it four out of five stars. Long Term Prospects- Sadly, I don’t see this as lasting for long simply because it doesn’t seem to be a long term plan. Where to Find- Tuesdays at 10/9 Central on NBC
Match Game: Show Description- This is a game show where two ordinary people try to match their answers with those of celebrities. Behind the Scenes- Alec Baldwin, well known actor who has hosted Saturday Night Live the most times, appeared in 30 Rock, and has a notable movie career, is the host of the show and there are various celebrities who help with the show. I don’t know yet if they will always make use of the same celebrities or not. I also believe that this show is a revival of sorts. My Thoughts- This show is quite entertaining as it can be funny a lot. Although, some of the questions are strange and one can wonder why they are as suggestive as they are. Plus, they seem to have a strange format by combining two half-hour shows into one all the time. One can question if some choices are easier than others. But, I like this show a lot. I give it four out of five stars. Long Term Prospects- I say that this probably will last for a while, although it is hard to tell since I don’t have a website to look at for summer show ratings. Where to Find- Sundays at 10/9 Central on ABC
The $100,000 Pyramid: Show Description- This is a revival of the game show pyramid. People have to get various questions answered by the other contestant. The current format has a regular person paired with a celebrity and they compete against another team like them. Partway through the game, the regular person is then paired with the other celebrity. Behind the Scenes- Michael Strahan, who used to cohost the Live talk show and still helps with sports commentary, is the host of this show. There are famous guests who help each show. My Thoughts- Like the previous show, it is weird that they always put together two halves of a show into one hour long show instead of just making this one half hour show while finding other things to air. Parts of the format are a bit strange and don’t entirely seem fair in a way. But, the show is fairly entertaining and funny to watch. I give it four out of five stars. Long Term Prospects- This could last and it might not. Whether it does or it doesn’t, I’m not entirely sure of. If it doesn’t last, it will probably still be revived at some point anyways. Where to Find- Sundays at 9/8 Central on ABC
New summer shows I’m reviewing: The $100,000 Pyramid, Match Game, Maya and Marty in Manhattan, BrainDead, and American Gothic
Here is where we transfer to the existing shows that air during the summer. Some of these reviews you may have seen before, but others are new or updated reviews to this blog. Any show not starting its first season this summer will be reviewed by me here if I’ve seen it. These reviews are next.
Celebrity Family Feud: Status- Currently on ABC at 8/7 Central on Sundays. Why I’ve seen it- I was able to catch a rerun. Description- This is basically the same as Family Feud, only the people competing are from famous families and competing for charities instead of themselves. Also, winning people wouldn’t be back on future shows like in the regular game show. Notable People- Steve Harvey, well known comedian and current talk show host who also currently hosts the regular version of Family Feud is the host of this show as well. Pros- Everything that you’d love about the regular Family Feud is in this show as well. Celebrities are competing for charity so it is all for a good cause. Cons- To make this an hour, they cram what are two half hour shows into one episode, which I find strange and unnecessary. A lot of the questions relate, intentionally or otherwise, to sex. Note to Parents- You might have some stuff to worry about for the really young ones, but other than that, it should be fine. Recommendation- I’d say that this is worth watching. Prediction- This show comes and goes already so even if it ends, it could come back. I’d imagine that it will probably stay as a long term summer show for a while. Reception: somewhat positive. Grade: B+. New review
Whose Line is it Anyways?: Status- Currently on the CW on Mondays at 9/8 Central. Why I’ve seen it- I liked the original show and am a general fan of improvised comedy. Noteworthiness- It is the remake of an ABC show and retains much of the original cast. Description- A group of comedians make up stuff and make us laugh while competing for meaningless points. Notable People- Ryan Stiles, who has a recurring role as Herb on Two and a Half Men, is one of the original people returning to this show. Wayne Brady, who had a recurring role on How I Met Your Mother, used to host the primetime version of Don’t Forget the Lyrics, and hosts the daytime show Let’s Make a Deal, is another original person returning to this show. I think that they were both on the Drew Carrey Show, but I’m not sure who was on both shows, although I know that some people were. There are guests from certain shows that are noteworthy, whether they are the fourth member of the group (which changes) or a different special member. Aisha Tyler, who helps currently cohost the Talk, is the new host of this show. Pros- This is more or less the same great show that we all knew and loved when it first aired. Most of the original cast is back. Even though everything is made up, it still manages to be really funny. Cons- There are normally guests on the show that tend to slow things down and take away from the talent of the true part of the show. There tends to be some sexual related things that come up often enough. Note to Parents- Some of the humor is not things you’d want your kids watching, but most of it is okay and shouldn’t cause any problems if they watch it. Recommendation- You should probably watch it. I don’t know why one wouldn’t like this. Prediction- This should last a very long time, provided that the cast can stay together throughout the run of this show. I’m pretty sure that the cast not being able to stay together is what killed it the first time, although low ratings didn’t help. Reception: positive. Grade: A+.
Zoo: Status- Currently on CBS at 9/8 Central on Tuesdays. Why I’ve seen it- I always watch a new CBS show once whenever I can. Noteworthiness- This is based off of a book by James Patterson. Description- Animals seek to take over the world. Pros- This show is different by presenting a man versus beast story not typically seen on television. Cons- I didn’t think that there would be much to this show or anything about it that would make it good. Well, it turns out that I was right. This show is pretty terrible and boring. Note to Parents- From the promos and what I remember, I think that this show is pretty gruesome for kids so teens can maybe watch this, but not much younger than that. Recommendation- I’d pass. It isn’t a good show. Prediction- This could last a while longer, but I’m honestly not sure yet if it will or not. I’d say that it’s just as likely to be cancelled as it is to stay around for future seasons. It’s hard to guess. Reception: good. Grade: D-. New review
Wayward Pines: Status- Currently on FOX at 9/8 Central on Wednesdays. Why I’ve seen it- I had a dream about it. Noteworthiness- This is based off of a book. Description- It is hard to describe the show. It appears to be set in the future of a fake happy town where sinister things happen but there are evil things outside of the town as well. Notable People- M Night Shavalyan, famous horror director, helps work with the show. Pros- It actually works as a horror TV show. Cons- It isn’t all that interesting. Note to Parents- It airs with a content advisory warning, so that’s all you need to know regarding that. Recommendation- It’s not my type of show so I don’t actually recommend it, although you might if you like this type of show. Prediction- Having once aired what they called a series finale before being brought back for another summer season. That could happen again, so I don’t give it that much in long term success rates. Reception: mostly favorable. Grade: D. New review
Penn and Teller: Fool Us: Status- It airs on the CW at 8/7 on Wednesdays. Why I’ve seen it- It being a magic show interested me enough into watching it. Noteworthiness- Originally, this was a foreign series that had lasted a single season and was cancelled. It aired in Britain, but not in America for a while. After it aired in this country, the show was brought back for a second season. Description- Various magicians compete for a chance to be an opening act for Penn and Teller. They get to do a trick for them and get to be the opening act if Penn and Teller can’t explain how the trick was done. Notable People- Penn and Teller, famous magician duo are not the hosts of the show, but they are panelists of a sort who judge the trick and reveal whether or not they were fooled. Pros- With a standalone format, this is the type of show that you don’t have to watch every week. The tricks are entertaining, regardless of if Penn and Teller are fooled. You get to see them perform a trick at the end of the show to keep things interesting. Cons- Whether or not Penn and Teller are fooled, we don’t know what the secret is behind the trick. So, basically, if people don’t fool Penn and Teller, we still don’t know how they aren’t fooled. I will say this, though, the tricks that fool tend to be better. Note to Parents- Anything potentially offensive in this show is relatively minor compared to most other shows. Recommendation- If you can watch it, then you probably should. Prediction- I think that this show will last a while, although it will obviously end if something happens to Penn and/or Teller. Reception: positive. Grade: B-.
BattleBots: Status- Currently on ABC at 8/7 Central on Thursdays. Why I’ve seen it- I was interested in it. I’m not entirely sure why I was. Noteworthiness- This was once on Comedy Central briefly before ABC made it fuller season show. Description- This is basically killer robots fighting to advance to become the best killer robot. Pros- The show is actually quite interesting. Cons- The format can be a bit strange. The edit doesn’t seem as good as it should be. There might be too much build up and not enough fighting. Note to Parents- If you don’t want to let your kids watching robots fighting, then don’t let them watch this show. If you’re like me, you wouldn’t see any problems this would be for kids. Recommendation- I’d say that you should probably watch this if you can. Prediction- I see this lasting a while, actually. It could fail again, but I don’t see that happening. Reception: generally favorable. Grade: B-. New review
Primetime: What Would You Do?: Status- This is an ABC show. It is a spin-off of 20/20. ABC news helps with this show. It airs on Fridays at 9/8 Central. Why I’ve seen it- Commercials made it seem interesting. Cancellation of The Good Guys helped me decide to watch it. Noteworthiness- It is the first hidden camera show I’ve seen that wasn’t out to exploit people for laughs. It is actually very serious. Description- Different situations are set up to see how people react to them. The point is to get people to react to a situation and get them to help people out. Very serious situations are acted out using issues such as coming out, unwanted pregnancy, racial issues, gender issues, and more. Pros- It shows the good side among people and how they actually help sometimes. It is very interesting and could make good teaching material. There are different segments in each episode to keep you interested. It probably is a more realistic version than any scripted show could come up with. Cons- Some segments are better than others because some segments are just pointless. A certain amount of deception is involved with the people. All the shooting locations tend to be in the same locations. The Would You Fall for That? segments are pretty dumb. One can question the legalities of this show. Note to Parents- Some segments might be okay for kids and others are not. I’d say that it depends on your mood to be honest. Recommendation- Everyone should watch this show. This is the best show currently on television. Prediction- It should be on until they run out of ideas, which is unlikely that they will. Whether it will stay around is for the viewers to decide. I think that it will last a while. Reception: positive. Grade: A++.
Masters of Illusion: Status- It airs on the CW at 8/7 Central on Fridays. Why I’ve seen it- It first aired right after a show that I normally watch. Noteworthiness- Looking up the history of this show, I found out that it has aired off and on various networks in recent history. That means that if it ends, it could be brought back. Description- Simply put, this show has various magicians doing performances for people. Pros- A lot of stuff happens in one episode. Tricks and magicians always change so you know you can expect something different in each episode. The show happens quickly and this isn’t something that you always have to watch as the episodes are always standalones. Cons- Well, some of the pros can also be cons. They seem to focus on putting too much in a single half-hour. A lot of the tricks are things you’ve seen before. Note to Parents- There isn’t too much in here that would be worrisome for kids to see. All one would have to worry about is mild innuendo every now and then. Recommendation- I would say that you should watch it if magic is the type of thing that interests you. Prediction- I think that this show will last a good while and if it ever ends, it can come back again as it has in the past. Reception: somewhat negative, although, it was hard for me to find a good place that mentioned the reception that the show got. Grade: B.
Big Brother: Status- This CBS show airs in three hours of primetime during the summer and on live internet feeds at www.cbs.com. The three primetime hours are basically split into the mostly live show where people are voted out, the show where people get nominated to get voted out, and the show where people compete to possibly change the nominations on the show. The current airing schedule has it on Sundays at 8/7 Central, Wednesdays at 8/7 Central, and Thursdays at 9/8 Central. Why I’ve seen it- A parody of it on the Talk interested me in watching the real thing. Noteworthiness- There are many versions of it in other countries, most of which work very differently than ours. In case you were wondering, we were not the first country to do this show, although we were the first country to use the format that it has in almost no other country’s version of it. Description- A group of people, normally strangers, but sometimes not, are put into a house where they are recorded 24/7 and competing for a money prize. Notable People- Julie Chen, formally of CBS’s the Early Show and current co-host of the Talk, is the host of this show. She has hosted this show longer than any other host in any other country’s version of this show. Pros- While it may seem similar to other reality TV shows, it is very different to the usual. You can see whatever you want to online since CBS has live feeds of what goes on inside the house. Cons- Okay, I should warn you that this cons section might be misleading since, although I like the show, I can think of a lot of cons about it, but not that many pros. You have to devote a lot of time to watching it to not miss anything important. The live internet feed gets cuts a lot making it seem like the people that air the show is hiding something. Tons of controversies have arisen on the show, whether they were caused by contestants on the show or the people who make the show. The live shows make you wonder if contestants don’t follow the rules of the game. The live aspect of the show makes the editing of it strange since one doesn’t know what will happen. Information about what happens on the show can be known before it even airs. Note to Parents- I’d say that teenagers can watch this. I wouldn’t go with much older than that as the typical episode can have enough objectionable things in it. Recommendation- Despite the rather lengthy cons section that I just mentioned, this show is a pretty good show to watch. Prediction- It will probably last a long time, although it just as easily might not. Reception: mixed. Grade: B-.