Summer TV Shows That Rock!

Summer is generally considered the “dead time” for new tv show episodes. For the most part you get re-runs of regular prime time shows or retread reality shows that would never last during the “Big Show”, the fall schedule. The last few years, though, have shown a trend in certain networks airing new episodes, or entire seasons of shows, during the summer months. With these shows having their seasons during the summer, it reduces the amount of competition for viewers. It also will give viewers new episodes of shows that they might have not seen otherwise during the crowded fall viewing schedule. I thought I would point out a few good shows that air new episodes during the summer and that Steph and I actually watch. Maybe you’ll discover a new favorite.

The Dead Zone – This was the first show I started watching during the summer. It premiered during the summer of 2001 on USA Network and its normal season runs from June/July through Sept/Oct. I’ve watched this show every season since that first season in 2001 and even got my wife hooked on it. The premise of the show is based on the general storyline of the Stephen King book, The Dead Zone. I read this book many years ago, and enjoyed it, so I was very interested in this series. It stars Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith who, after a car accident, goes into a coma for 7 years. After waking up, his life has been turned upside down. His girlfriend has married another guy and has a kid (which turns out to actually be his kid), and he discovers that he has psychic abilities that are triggered when he touches personal items. This is roughly where the similarities between the book and the tv show end. Johnny starts to learn how to use his abilities to help people. The special effects and stories in the show are fascinating, and Anthony Michael Hall is wonderful as the lead. We love this show and definitely recommend it to everyone. It airs on Sundays at 10pm EST.

Psych – This show just premiered this summer on July 7, 2006, and like Dead Zone, it’s on USA Network. It’s a comedy about a guy, Shawn Spencer that was trained as a young kid by his detective father to observe and remember everything. He now has honed this skill into an almost photographic memory. The problem is, the guy is a slacker and never focuses on any one thing for any particular length of time. He does manage to call in tips to the police and solve crimes based on things he notices during the local news. Shawn does this so many times the cops think he has something to do with these crimes because they don’t know where he’s getting his information. So to get himself out of trouble when they interrogate him, he says he’s a psychic, and that’s how he’s been getting his information. It’s very funny as we see Shawn pretend to be a psychic detective while using his hyper-sensitive observational skills to solve police cases. He opens up a private detective agency and brings along his friend Gus. The pilot was very good and I will continue to check this show out. It’s on Fridays at 10pm EST.

Treasure Hunters – This is the first season for Treasure Hunters, and it airs on NBC. It had a large marketing campaign where it made you think it had something to do with the Da Vinci Code by showing pics of the Mona Lisa and making the A in ‘treasure’ look like the upside down V in Da Vinci Code. In actuality, it’s a reality show that is more like a combination of the movie National Treasure and the tv show The Amazing Race. I never really got into The Amazing Race, but this show has me and my wife hooked. Clues are hidden in specific historical places across the US and teams of 3 people must solve the clues to follow a path that leads to 7 artifacts which will then lead them to a treasure. Each of the 3 person teams is a specific group of people (Miss USA contestants, Geniuses, Grad School Students, ex-CIA, Air Force, etc.) with all the ensuing drama and alliances and back-stabbing you would expect. The mixing in of historical facts about our country into the tasks and clues makes it extremely interesting. Check this out on Monday nights at 9pm EST.

The Closer – My wife just got me watching this. It airs on TNT and stars Kyra Sedgewick as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson. Mrs. Johnson, despite being an extremely capable detective, has as many quirks and obsessions as Monk on USA Network. Now, I’ve seen Monk, and it’s okay, but it just doesn’t grab me. This show, however, has kept me interested. I don’t know if the shows we’ve been watching are repeats or new, but they are good. We could be watching re-runs and I would have no idea. It would be cool if this were a summer show because fall is getting extremely crowded. If you get a chance, check this show out Monday nights at 9pm EST.

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