With the summertime rolling, what am I watching? Well, I’m bringing in a lot of cable originals, some of which I might forego if the schedule was more crowded. I mean, really, Rescue Me went anywhere it had to go seasons ago. Leverage is silly stuff that’s not as fun as it wants to be (the most fun to be had in the most recent episode came from the ads, with a lap-band ad with a misspelling of “procedure” in it followed by a bizarre Nancy Grace promo in hte midst of an episode that was ripping Ms. Grace to bits). Saving Grace has maintained its quality texture, and perhaps now that the end-date is known, it can actually go somewhere. The first episode of this last season of Monk started with a sign that they would be treating it as the last season — a woman’s car blew up — but then they failed to tie the arc of the show (Mrs. Monk was killed in a car explosion, her killers never caught). Waiting to watch this week’s new Mad Men.
I’ve stopped bothering to record The Philanthropist, I record episodes of Gary Unmarried (not great, but great casting), The Mentalist and Flashpoint that I missed the first time but don’t always get around to watching them. I’m catching The Goode Family, for all its imperfections. Rewatching in rerun How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, 30Rock, New Adventures of Old Christine.
But with Mrs. Nat’s TV home for a few weeks, there’s a lot of sitting around the couch taking care of the new member of the Nat’s TV family. So thanks to Netflix, we powered quickly through season 1 of Barnie Miller, a show that absolutely holds up. Now, I’m enjoying seeing Jack Soo and especially Abe Vigoda acting not like characters that are saying something funny, but are actually people telling jokes – taking the pause to formulate it, telling it in their joke-telling tone.
And thanks to Netflix instant streaming, we’re doing Kate & Allie season 2. Definitely the pacing of its time, but that’s kind of a pleasure. And Jane Curtain… many comedians can play zany effectively, but Jane’s unmatched in her ability to get real laughs out of “straight” characters. It was true before then, it was true then, and it’s true now. (And oddly, literally as I was first typing her name in this paragraph, she popped up on my TV screen, in a movie I hadn’t known she was in, I Love You Man.)
Meanwhile, Kate and Allie’s youngest star, Frederick Koehler, seems to be popping up all over the place. Kind of nice to see him doing well, doing nicely with downbeat characters (and keeping an income going with the Fiber One commercials.)