There's plenty to watch on the networks this summer, but the season is also useful for catching up on past shows. Cram as many episodes as you can into a weekend or come up with a dedicated viewing schedule to get your shows in by the time September rolls around. Here are some of the best shows to watch this summer.
"The Wire" got its start ten years ago, so this is the perfect time to watch. With five seasons for a total of sixty episodes, you only need to devote a few hours each week to finish by the end of August. Get to know Baltimore and I mean really know Baltimore. And when you're finished, you can start a petition for the musical to be made into a real stage show.
J.J. Abram's cult show isn't quite over yet. If you catch up now, you'll be able to watch the thirteen episodes in real time when they air this fall. "Fringe" is how I'm planning on spending my summer. I'm looking forward to four seasons of Joshua Jackson, but I've heard amazing things about John Noble's performance as Walter Bishop.
Freaks and Geeks
In my opinion, every self-respecting TV fan should watch "Freaks and Geeks" at least once in their lives, if not every few years. (Last year was a re-watch year for me and I loved it even more the second time around.) I dare you not to become entirely enamored with both the freaks and the geeks. Get ready to laugh and reminisce about your own high school years, albeit maybe not too fondly. You will cringe. A lot. But in a good way. There are only 18 episodes, so you really have no excuse.
Pushing Daisies / Dead Like Me / Wonderfalls
Devote your entire summer to the Bryan Fuller oeuvre. Start with "Pushing Daisies," about a pie-maker who can bring things back to life and learn to appreciate Fuller's peculiar style. Then move onto "Dead Like Me," that show about a teenage grim reaper. It's darker than "Pushing Daisies," but you'll already have Fuller figured out. End your summer with the delightful chaser of "Wonderfalls" where the protagonist starts hearing things from inanimate objects. You earn bonus points if you also watch his "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episodes.
Are there any shows from the last season that you want to catch up on before fall? Summer is the perfect time for that. My list includes "Revenge" because I'm dying to know what everybody is talking about. I also know that I didn't get around to watching as much "Once Upon a Time" as I would have liked. If you're in the mood for something lighter, I was impressed with the debuts of "Suburgatory" and "Up All Night."
"Blackadder" consistently ranks at the top of the list for Best British Sitcoms. This is a great way to get your Hugh Laurie fix if you're mourning the end of "House." You'll also recognize Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson, and Tony Robinson. Who knows? Maybe you'll learn a little something about the history of the British Empire while you're at it, as each of the four seasons takes place in a different time period. If you finish "Blackadder" and you still want more, I'd recommend checking out "Extras" or "The IT Crowd."
"Psych" strikes me as the most summery of the detective procedurals. With all of the pop culture references and friendly banter, "Psych" is a welcome break from the seriousness of the traditional TV season. The best part is that you don't even need to watch all of the episodes--just watch as much as you'd like. It's summer! Who cares! Blast the AC, turn off the lights, and host a marathon for your friends. Be sure to have lots of fresh pineapple on hand.
What shows are you planning on watching this summer?