Q A

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - SCREEN CHECK - Do you re­view sum­mer TV shows on a curve? I cer­tainly do. I’m much harsher dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son. So far this sum­mer, I’m en­joy­ing all the new broad­cast scripted shows. When will TBS have an ac­tual good orig­i­nal com­edy be­sides How is NBC’s new

ANo, not re­ally. It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber the con­text sur­round­ing every new se­ries, in­clud­ing its genre and chan­nel and cre­ators and stars. But just be­cause a se­ries de­buts in the sum­mer, doesn’t mean it needs to be graded on a curve. Sure, tra­di­tion­ally the sum­mer can be a dump­ing ground for TV. And there are plenty of easy, un­chal­leng­ing sum­mer se­ries (like CBS’ new Sal­va­tion this year) but there are also re­ally great se­ries that go down in his­tory as some of the best. Mad Men de­buted in the sum­mer 10 years ago. Amer­i­can Idol started out in the sum­mer, and so did Se­in­feld, The Wire, Louie and Sex and the City. You should try the net­work’s Search Party. The se­ries is a dark com­edy about a group of twen­tysome­things who get en­tan­gled in the search for a for­mer col­lege ac­quain­tance who dis­ap­pears. While that may not sound par­tic­u­larly funny, it mines a lot of hu­mor from the emo­tion and drama, and stars Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment’s Alia Shawkat, who is al­ways a joy to see on­screen. Wet Hot Amer­i­can Sum­mer writer Michael Showal­ter is one of the show’s cre­ators. And if you’re miss­ing Peo­ple of Earth, it just re­turned for its sec­ond sea­son. Based on a se­ries of books by True Blood au­thor Char­laine Har­ris, Mid­night is a fun and some­times funny su­per­nat­u­ral hor­ror se­ries. It fol­lows Man­fred (François Ar­naud), a medium and a bit of a con man who is on the run. His dead grand­mother (with whom he speaks to from the be­yond) tells him to go to Mid­night, Texas, which ends up be­ing a place some­where be­tween the liv­ing and the dead. Other su­per­nat­u­ral be­ings are drawn there, too, in­clud­ing a vam­pire, a were­wolf, a witch and an an­gel. The cast is charm­ing, the ef­fects are quite good (es­pe­cially for sum­mer TV) and the cen­tral mys­tery (when the fi­ancé of one of the su­per­nat­u­ral towns­folk is mur­dered) is in­trigu­ing. It’s an over­all en­joy­able watch.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.