So before all of the new Fall shows start, I thought I should give myself a clean slate and post about the shows I have been watching all summer...
Dexter (Season 4) - Unfortunately some of the entertainment feeds I read totally spoiled this season for me, but even so, I really liked this season with John Lithgow as the primary antagonist. I think the season started a bit slow, but got going once Dexter and Arthur develop a closer relationship, things pick up. I gotten pretty used to the formula arc that every season seems to take (except Season 2...my least favorite season) where there's another serial killer on the loose. Debra is super annoying, but generally key in discoveries regarding the case, and the finales consist of Dexter killing the other serial killer. Even though I know and expect the plot to go that way, the chase is still fun, and entertaining to hear my roommate scream.
Friday Night Lights (Season 4) - The most tearjerky season yet. I literally cried every episode but two. Really, this season's core was about Matt Saracen and Tim Riggins and their continual heartbreaks. Matt and Julie break up, Matt loses his dad, and finally finds a way to move out of Dillon. Riggins couldn't hack it in college, so comes back to Dillon and tries to find a way to make a life for himself. He and his brother get involved in some illegal activity, but it's so sympathetic in this small town where it's hard to get ahead financially. I think this show has always been really good at dealing with racial issues, and this season they up the ante by moving the coach to the cross-town high school, which is demographically poorer and more diverse than relatively privileged Dillon High School. I enjoyed the additions of Vince, Luke, and Jess and it makes me really sad that next season will be the final season to cry about this town and these people.
Homicide: Life on the Street (Seasons 6 & 7) - Now, I'm pretty willing to name Homicide as one of the best shows of the 1990s, but the final season nearly tainted that impression. Season 6 introduces a few new, but not as beloved characters, but overall the season was still one of the best. The show dives deeper into some racial prejudices and takes an interesting direction with Kellerman's character. It's also the last season for Pembleton, which is both heartbreaking and fascinating to watch. Season 7 is a pretty big mess. At this point an additional couple characters are added which nobody really likes. The music also gets really strange this season and the storylines increasingly cheesy. I'm not really sure what happened to the writers or directors, but it was a definite misstep. I had to see the conclusion of this show...I just wish the last season wasn't so painful.
Peep Show (Season 1) - This show is easy to gobble up with 25 minute episodes and only 6 episodes per season (and available on Hulu). It's British and basically has two main characters who are roommates. They are both really pathetic but in completely different ways. Mark is really square and has a boring office job. He's also a little chubby, totally neurotic, and constantly plotting how to sleep with his co-worker while simultaneously worrying about some condition with his balls. Jeremy is a complete failure. He fancies himself an electronic musician, but he's awful and cannot land or keep any actual paying jobs. He is also obsessed with trying to get laid, but is only marginally more successful than Mark.
Sons of Anarchy (Seasons 1 & 2) - Maybe it's just me, but I feel like there is a mini-zeitgeist going on about motorcycle culture. The Dream came out with Yamaha. I happened to see the SF Vampire MC while drinking with some co-workers. Then there's Sons of Anarchy, which probably made me start noticing motorcycles at all. I'm pretty into this show...Katey Sagal is surprisingly hot as the main "old lady," the rival gang is a bunch of Latinos from Oakland, and there's this whole Hamlet thing going on between the main character (Jax) and his stepfather (Clay played by Ron Perlman) and Jax's dead father who left a manifesto behind. This show is full of likable gray characters with a strong sense of community and ties to family, but questionable morals in many other arenas. Season 2 features guest appearances by Henry Rollins and Alan Arkin...Season 3 is airing right now.
True Blood (Season 3) - My goodness has True Blood gotten ridiculous. I liked this season better than last season, but perhaps just because I've become numb to the sheer number of supernatural beings. At least Maryanne is gone...This time the main villain is Russell Edgington, a gay vampire who refuses to stop feeding on humans, has control over werewolves, and also wants to manipulate Bill, Eric, and get Sookie in his possession. This season includes fairies, werewolves, and werepanthers, and probably some other shit that I'm forgetting. Sam gets tired of being taken advantage of, Lafayette gets an annoying boyfriend, and Arlene is probably entering a Rosemary's Baby-type scenario. This show has gotten way past the point where I could recommend it to anyone and keep a clear conscience, but I just know I won't be able to help but watch next season.