Monday, July 10, 2006

TV: Cable Rules the Summer and HBO is the King

This summer has turned into a blockbuster summer for movies at the Cineplex, with solid opening numbers from X-Men 3 (102.8 million), The Da Vinci Code (77.1 million), Ice Age: The Meltdown (68 million), Cars (60.1 million) Superman Returns (52.6 million) and of course Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which made a whopping 132 million this past weekend beating out Spider-Man from 2002. What that means is that people, hopefully, are going back to the theatre and not sitting on their lazy asses drinking the Kool-Aid. This is the summer of the Giant Blockbusters TV people, so WATCH OUT!! -- But on the other hand if you do find yourself lazying around the house on a Sunday evening I suggest you watch the best lineup Cable TV has to offer. Now I know my last post was about Blade: The Series and I still recommend you watch it on Wednesday nights at 10 pm on Spike TV, but I have a few other shows that I think everyone over the age of fifteen should be watching regularly this summer.

The first is Deadwood which aires on HBO at 9pm on Sunday night. If you muddled your way through it last season then I commend you for sticking around cause season 3 has been fun. Last year I was constantly confused by Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) and his strange relationship with that other town of Yankton, and the politics therein, of course Al's volatile relationship with town sheriff Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) made things entertaining. I think the worst part about the show last season other than the Shakespearean speak that caused me to rewind my DVR, was friggin E.B. Farnum (William Sanderson). He was very funny the first season but he kind of went nutty in the second season and talked to himself and his strange servant Richardson (Ralph Richeson), a bit too much. This year has been much better with the arrival of the flamboyant theatre group led by John Langrish (Brian Cox). Also I have enjoyed the bulldog businessman George Hearst (Gerald McRaney); obviously he must be a direct descendant of William Randolph. Which would explain the hardball tactics and dirty pool the man keeps trying to play with Bullock and Swearengen. Personally I'm just happy to see Major Dad is still working. Deadwood is growing and the political maneuvering gets tougher and tougher and after seeing just three episodes this season I have to say, I enjoyed every foul mouthed, backstabbing, soap challenged lot of them.

The absolute best show on HBO has to be Entourage, which aires Sunday nights at 10pm. This is the third season of the Hollywood based show and it just keeps getting better and better. Now maybe you have to have an understanding of the film and celebrity world to fully understand the Hollywood in-jokes, but honestly unless you are totally clueless like my wife is about movies and super stardom than you should be able to turn your brain off and follow this show with ease. Between the break out star Vinnie Chase, Aquaman, (Adrien Greenier) and his best friends from childhood Eric (Kevin Connolly), Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) and Turtle (Jerry Ferrrara) you end up with a great comedy about the difficulties of keeping your friendships without letting it get in the way with your career and of course you see the lifestyle that these guys are living in. I know I'm married and everything, but the women on this show--Damn!--Sorry baby, but I have to say it again --Damn! It's a smart and funny show that doesn't take itself too seriously but also shows some of the petty crap that goes into making movies. Of course this show couldn't be complete without the funniest mo'fo on this show Mr. Ari Gold (Jeremy "Let's Hug it Out, Bitch" Piven), the agent to the stars. Ari brings the Hollywood superficiality to a new level, he's shameless at all times, he's crass and he never stops kissing ass and we wouldn't have him any other way.

The third show and I think it needs some time to ferment before it can be considered a bona-fide hit is Lucky Louie which aires at 10:30 pm on Sunday. This is the first sitcom with a live studio audience that has nudity, cursing and any other raunchy thing you can't normally do on a live sitcom. Louie, (Louis C.K.) works at a muffler shop and lives in a crappy tenement building. The formula is kind of like Men Behaving Badly with a dose of the Flintstones and the Honeymooners. Louie's crabby wife Kim, (Pamela Adlon) works as a nurse and constantly tries to straighten out her jackass husband. So far there have been a few chuckles, but other than the shocking lude content it hasn't really caught on with me. I'll give it some time, the cast is pretty good and I think it has potential, so we'll see where this one goes.

So check out these shows and if for some reason you don't have HBO--There is always ON- DEMAND.

No comments: