Summer TV often just leaves us longing for our favorite fall shows to return, but this summer, while we've still been missing our regular season favs, there have been many great new summer shows, extraordinary moments on our favorite returning summer shows, and more!
Check out SideReel's favorite events of TV this summer and add your thoughts in the comments below!
Season 2 of True Blood this summer has in my opinion made True Blood the best summer show, period. In fact, while I'm thrilled they've kept it a summer show for the sake of our entertainment, I think it's become so excellent that if it did air during the regular TV season, it would still be among my top 5 shows I'd be most excited for weekly. This season has been especially fantastic in developing the vampire vs. human conflict, Eric as a fascinating multi-dimensional character, and the open possibilities of various non-human creatures in human form becoming included. This season has proven to do nothing but surprise us all over again with how original, creative, and down right juicy and addictive this show is and can be!
This one is just on the edge between spring and summer TV, but with the Season 2 finale having aired on May 31st and being particularly awesome, I felt it belonged on our summer TV hit list! This show continues to be a nail-biting roller coaster ride, and I can't get enough of it! After Season 1, I had no idea how they could continue it for a full second season since it's so intense all the time and our main character had a cancer death sentence. But Season 2 was killer all the way through, and had an especially mind-blowing finale. We'd been waiting all season to discover how Walt's house ended up blown up - presumably in his drug dealing coming to a disastrous head, but while a lot of that did happen in crazy and unexpected ways, the disaster scene of the Whites' house we kept seeing was caused by... a plane crash?? Besides that bizarre cliffhanger, we got the shock that Walt was practically cured and in recuperation from his cancer and Jesse was falling back into the dark hole of drug use after Walt watched Jesse's scheming girlfriend die. Now is any of that something you can say of any other summer finale?
Burn Notice was always a show I watched for some light summer viewing since there wasn't much else on, but Season 3 hooked me in more than I ever expected, and while the last 2 seasons had good finales that stepped it up from the regular episodes, I think this summer's Season 3 midseason finale was the best yet. Instead of just having a crazy cliffhanger ending, the entire episode was very intense and entertaining as Michael threw on an Irish accent to help defend Fi's life along with her brother. We got a lot of great character and relationship development, and shocking subplot development as well as Michael killed Strickler! I was impressed by the action and quality of the episode in general, and loved the cliffhanger it left us with for its winter return making me very pleasantly surprised that a lighter show like this could be improving so much even into 3rd season.
Entourage - Jamie-Lynn Sigler's guest star run
In Season 6, I feel like Entourage has slipped considerably from its early days as can be expected in any show's 6th season. While I'm not loving Season 6 because of that, I think The Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn Sigler's running guest star appearance is really a crowning aspect of the beginning of the season. She hasn't made enormous waves on the show, but her presence has really changed Turtle's role on the show and in the group which is a great development, she fits in well with the group and adds an extra cool girlfriend layer to the show that's been missing for sometime. She's also just plain mixed things up on an otherwise possibly stagnant season.
The Mad Men Season 3 premiere surprised me by making some of the waves from the end of Season 2 much more calm than I expected, but overall with the subtle but substantial changes in Don and his family, the shocking (let's remember we're in the '60s here) homosexual scene for Sal, and the intriguing lack of information around any changes for Peggy and Pete plus the developing changes for their company, Mad Men proves that it will continue to be an outstanding summer event. All the remaining mysteries promise an enticing new season, plus those jarring moments reminding us of the show's different period including Sal's experiences and Betty noting "what a little lesbian" her daughter is becoming for playing with daddy's tools, make this show one of the most unique and fascinating shows out there!
I've enjoyed Monk over the seasons and believe it's always been strong for the fun USA Network dramady it is, but I was particularly impressed by its strong return for its 8th and final season this summer. The plot not only has remained strong, but I found the first few episodes particularly strong with the mystery plots, I found Monk particularly endearing and properly annoying, and the humor still going strong. It promises to finally bring Monk and us fans answers around Trudy's death which I've found myself surprisingly excited to finally get a conclusion for. I'm also really intrigued to see how they'll unravel the mystery after waiting for 8 seasons, and to see what kind of Monk comes out on the other side. I think so far its final season has been strong, and the season as a whole is and will be a highlight of the summer!
The Philanthropist - Hottest Network Newbie
I've enjoyed a few of the other new shows this summer, but of the new shows on the main networks, The Philanthropist is by far the best. Not only is it a well-produced, well-acted, and well-written NBC drama, it's a very unique and socially conscious show that's extremely unusual these days. It seems the only shows that make this much commentary on world issues are documentaries on cable channels which are fantastic, but reach a different audience in a different way than I feel The Philanthropist has. I'm not sure this one will go on beyond this season, but I think it's been a surprisingly interesting and great show without being preachy as a displaying some rich guy realizing he needs to make a difference in the needy parts of the world could so easily become.
Make It or Break It - Hottest Cable Newbie
ABC Family has its niche of teen dramedies, and while I'm past the target age, Make It or Break It has become a guilty summer pleasure! For any girl who watched the Olympics in awe of the feminine powerhouses dominating the gymnastics scene, Make It or Break It is like getting to see what would have happened had we stuck with the sport past tumbling. It's the perfect mix of teen drama with backstabbing friends, cheating boyfriends, endearing make-ups, and the seriously competitive world of gymnasts reaching for the gold.
10 Things I Hate About You - Surprisingly Fun Newbie
10 Things I Hate About You hasn't been as big of a hit with me personally or viewers on ABC Family as Make It or Break It, but it has still made a big splash as fun inside from the summer sun. Its main allure was being based on the hit movie by the same name, and while it doesn't follow the movie beyond the original set-up of the sisters and dating situation, it's a surprisingly cute and fun show about two very different sisters dealing with high school life. Throw in a few love interests, life lessons, and just moral enough moments to not be too cheesy, we've got another summer fav for a breezy Tuesday night.
Royal Pains - The Better Summer 'House'
The summer newbie Mental is actually much like House in its serious medical drama way, but it just couldn't hold my attention beyond the first episode. Royal Pains fits perfectly on USA Network partnered with another summer fav, Burn Notice, as a fun and surprisingly more endearing and funny show than expected, with good medical cases for a very dramedied-up House-like style of mysterious cases. Mental may have the serious drama, but it didn't have the endearing characters or light comic relief our summers needed, so sorry Mental, this doctor dramedy beats you out on our favs list!