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SideReel's 10 Biggest Disappointments of Summer TV - Featured

Sure, this summer has offered us some quality TV - including the second season of True Blood , just about everything new on USA Network and of course, the return of Mad Men . Check out Kendra's full list of Favorite Summer TV Events here. But, this doesn't mean that the summer was without its let-downs and straight up failures . Without further ado, here's my list of Summer's 10 Biggest TV Disappointments: 1. Foreign Imports - They were supposed to be cheap, easy and the saving grace of Summer TV. Which series am I talking about? Merlin (from England), The Listener (from Canada) and Defying Gravity (contains some American cast members, but is also Canadian produced) are the chief contenders here. These shows are not necessarily all bad (I didn't watch Merlin , which has received some positive feedback), but ratings-wise, they have all turned out to be flops. And while Merlin might be passable - both The Listener and Defying Gravity turned out to be snorefests. 2. TNT's new series - New series HawthoRNe and Dark Blue are neither terrible nor ratings failures; in fact, HawthoRNe has already been renewed for a 2010 return, and Dark Blue very well may receive a renewal too. But, both of these shows - in my humble opinion - were exercises in mediocrity. There was nothing particularly new, exciting or special about either of them...and with names like Jada Pinkett Smith and Dylan McDermott as leads, I was kind of expecting more from both. 3. So You Think You Can Dance - Don't get me wrong - I adore SYTYCD, watched every single episode of it this summer, and will begrudgingly tune into every new episode this Fall. I say begrudgingly because I'm currently disappointed with SYTYCD for 2 reasons. The first is that I think this summer was the weakest cycle of the series to date. While there was undeniable talent per usual, I found both the competitors and the dances themselves to be far less memorable than I've become accustomed to. Secondly, I'm disappointed that the series has decided to run a Fall season. I think it diminishes the glory of the summer victor (I mean seriously, the crown will last for about...2 months) and simultaneously risks overexposure for the series. SYTYCD was the perfect summer diversion; immediately segueing into another season seems excessive. 4. Hung - Here's another series that by the numbers alone, is actually quite the success. Hung has been performing well for HBO and has already been renewed for a second season. But personally, I found the show to be quite a disappointment. My main complaint is that for a program that has been marketed as a comedy, I just didn't find Hung to be all. In fact, if anything, I've found the show to be depressing. Furthermore, you might think that a series about a man who decides to "sell his tool" has a pretty unique premise, but when watching Hung, the show ended up feeling fairly cliched. Burnt out dude struggling with his career, an ex-wife and children who hate him...gee...we've never seen that before... 5. Mental - Perhaps the problem with a series that was more or less pitched as "House with a fraction of the budget" is that the series would end up being just that...a poor man's version of House . Yes, it's nice to have new scripted TV during the summer, but perhaps FOX would have been better off just sticking with the source and showing House reruns, because they probably would have been more entertaining and gotten better numbers than Mental , which averaged under 5 million viewers for its summer run. 6. Shows that made me cry for humanity (the most) - I could have devoted this entire list to all of the reality abominations that managed to find their way onto the airwaves this summer. Instead, I'll devote just this single item to the 5 reality series that literally did make me cry for the state of humanity: Miami Social , I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! , Hitched or Ditched , More to Love and Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami . I will not speak of these shows again. 7. The failure to launch of... - ... Kings and Virtuality . These 2 were disappointments not because they were bad, but because they were oh so good - and we likely never see or hear from them again. By the time they landed on the summer TV schedule, both shows were pretty much DOA; NBC was merely burning off the remaining episodes of Kings on Saturday nights and Fox had never even given Virtuality a chance, but seeming to know it had great potential, opted to air its 2 hour pilot as a "Summer Movie Event". Cry with me for what could have been... 8. NBC's Survival Sundays - NBC aired a string of 2 part made-for-TV disaster movies on Sunday evenings that I swear, all seemed like they came straight out of 1995. And gee, who would have thought that movies with titles as exciting as Meteor and The Storm would turn out to be lame? 9. Entourage Season 6 - I won't be so foolish as to contend that Entourage has been bad ; I'd take this season of the series over any reality show (except perhaps Top Chef or Project Runway ) any day. But...I will go so far as to say that Season 6 has been somewhat of a slump for Vince and his boys. But mainly Vince. My biggest complaint with Entourage - which I have stressed in multiple reviews - is that the show seems to be completely clueless as to what to do with Entourage 's main character! Vince has been appearing fairly sporadically this season, and when he does, he has experienced zero real character or plot development. 10. Ruby & the Rockits - ABC Family released a trio of new series this summer: Make It or Break It , 10 Things I Hate About You (TV) and Ruby & the Rockits . I guess a success rate of 2 out of 3 isn't half bad; both MIOBI and 10 Things turned to be far better than expected. That leaves us with Ruby & the Rockits , which was so poorly written and so cheesy that it was just painful to watch; I made it through about 10 minutes of the pilot. Have other disappointments of Summer TV that you'd like to share? Disagree with mine? Sound off in comments!

Tonight's TV Hot List: Friday, Aug. 14, 2009 - Featured

* Mental (8/7c Fox) In the two-hour first-season finale, a factory worker with severed fingers refuses surgery to have them reattached. Meanwhile, Jack argues over the course of his sister's care, and for cappers, a patient (Joseph D. Reitman) tries to check himself into the psych ward, claiming that he will become a werewolf when the sun goes down. He's first thought to be a crank, but winds up holding the psych-ward staff hostage. * Degrassi Goes Hollywood (8/7c The N) The kids from Canada head to Hollywood in this two-hour special that features six original songs from cast members and appearances by Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Perez Hilton and Pete Wentz, among others. The adventure begins when Manny bombs at her audition for Jason Mewes' film "Mewesical High." Paige, however, wins the lead, and soon she acquires a diva-like attitude as well. But Manny's not going down without a fight: She and her pals take a road trip to L.A. so Manny can reclaim the lead. * Neil Diamond - Hot August Night: NYC (8/7c CBS) Whether a hot August night or a cool September morn, the time's never wrong for some beautiful noise. Who better to play it now than a (solitary) man who sings like a guitar hummin' - Neil Diamond, in other words. This special, culled from a four-night Madison Square Garden run in 2008, features such classics as "America," "Cherry, Cherry," Cracklin' Rosie," "I Am...I Said" and "Sweet Caroline," and includes a segment in which he ruminates about his childhood in Brooklyn while visiting his old family home. * Woodstock: Now & Then (9/8c VH1) The Woodstock festival, which has come, for better or worse, to conjure up '60s-counterculture imagery ever since it took place for three days in 1969, is recalled by those who played, partied and organized the event. Richie Havens, Carlos Santana and Country Joe McDonald remember the bash and are shown in performance. Festival organizer Michael Lang and "emcee" Wavy Gravy offer their thoughts, while music is also featured in clips of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Sly and the Family Stone and Jefferson Airplane. * Monk (9/8c USA Network ) Lost's Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje guest stars tonight as a widower who, surprisingly enough, has quite a bit in common with Monk. He's visiting from Africa to investigate his wife's hit-and-run death. For obvious reasons, it's a scenario that resonates with Monk as he finds himself drawn to the grieving man. But the widower's case isn't the only one he's got on his plate Monk's also working on a bizarre and high-profile murder case in which the killer tended to the victim's wounds. Source Here

Teasers of 'Mental' Season 1, Episode 13 Finale: ''Bad Moon Rising'' - Preview

In "Bad Moon Rising", Carl turns away Ellis Kahane who checks himself into the psych ward because he thinks he will transform into a werewolf soon. However, things take a dangerous turn when Ellis takes the entire team hostage to prove to them that his transformation will take place when the sun sets that night. Joseph D. Reitman guest stars as Ellis. To Watch The Preview Click here . If You Missed The Last Episode Watch It Here online Now Source Here

Teasers of 'Mental' Season 1, Episode 12: ''Life and Limb'' - Preview

" Mental " is drawing close to the first season finale and the last two episodes will feature two very disturbed patients. This Friday, August 14, a factory worker got his fingers chopped off but there is a possibility that it was not a pure accident. In "Life and Limb", Jack has to argue with Carl whether they should sew back the fingers of Brian Jennings or heal his mental condition. Brian in fact refuses any type of surgery and his boss claims that Brian has purposely cut off his fingers to collect disability payments for the rest of his life. The doctors are soon left questioning the true motives for his dismemberment when an even darker secret is discovered at Brian's apartment. Alex Weed guest stars as Brian. To Watch The Preview Click here . If You Missed The Last Episode Watch It Here online Now Source Here

MENTAL, Episode 11: "Lines in the Sand" - Preview

After four years of trying to track her down, Jack is reunited with his estranged schizophrenic sister, Becky, and quickly makes her treatment his No. 1 priority. Things prove to be more difficult than expected when another family member arrives and offers unsolicited advice. As Jack tries to help his sister, Veronica enlists his help with Clay, an Iraq War veteran who was committed after he shot himself in the hand in front of his wife and son. As Clay continues to suffer from both amnesia and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Jack struggles to help him remember the details of the wartime attack that left him traumatized. Meanwhile, Jack's own family ties provide unexpected insight into Clay's situation as well as his own life in the Lines in the Sand episode of Mental airing Friday, Aug. 7 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Fox. Source & Preview If You Missed The Last Episode Watch It Here Online Now

MENTAL, Episode 10: "Do Over" - Sneak Peek

Jack and Carl take on the case of Billy Bauer, a construction worker suffering from physiological and psychological symptoms following an on-the-job accident. As Jack investigates the circumstances surrounding Billy's accident, he discovers Billy's memory of the event and reality of the event are completely different, though his symptoms resonate with a more severe incident that occurred on the same site over 100 years prior. As Jack and Carl spar over Billy's diagnosis, Veronica and Rylan's relationship is jeopardized when Rylan makes a questionable decision on the job. Meanwhile, Jack continues to search for his missing sister and the lines between dreams and reality are blurred in the Do Over episode of Mental airing Friday, July 31 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Fox. If You Missed The Last Episode Watch it Here Online Now Source Here

MENTAL, Episode 9: "Coda" - Preview

After a drug dealer is shot and killed in his own apartment, the only witness to the murder is the dealer's autistic teenage daughter, Leeza Wilson (guest star Holliston Coleman). While the detectives struggle to obtain any helpful evidence from Leeza, Jack uses his unconventional methods to uncover new clues from Leeza's statements. However, when the detectives bring forth a subpoena to move Leeza out of Wharton Memorial, Jack is forced to race against time to solve the murder mystery. Meanwhile, Arturo deals with a visit from his eccentric, know-it-all father (guest star Steven Bauer), who is convinced his experiences playing a doctor on a soap opera will help him solve a real medical case in the Coda episode of Mental airing Friday, July 24 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Fox. Source & More Pics If Missed The Last Episode of Mental Watch it Here Online Now

MENTAL: Season 1, Episode 7 "Obsessively Yours" - Preview

When Veronica's former patient Craig (guest star Rob LaBelle) returns to Wharton Memorial, Veronica finds his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Tourette's syndrome have advanced and become worse than ever. When Craig's wife, Mimi (guest star Nina Siemaszko), pushes for an invasive, unproven brain surgery to treat his condition rather than have him undergo therapy in the mental ward again, Jack and Veronica become skeptical of her wishes. As they attempt to dissuade Mimi from moving forward with Craig's operation, the team discovers Mimi may have some serious issues of her own. Meanwhile, Jack becomes infatuated with a neurosurgeon named Zan (guest star Jaime Ray Newman), and the rest of the team questions their own love lives in the Obsessively Yours episode of Mental airing Friday, July 10 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Fox. Source & Pics Here

Ratings: 5th Grader's Return Lacks Fireworks, and More

Some ratings highlights from the long holiday weekend: * So You Think You Can Dance on Thursday drew 7.15 million total viewers, up 250K week-to-week. NBC's The Listener (3.28 mil) dropped 14 percent. * On Friday, Fox's Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader ? returned to an audience of 4.26 mil - a 40 percent plunge from its last outing (which was on a Thursday in December). Lead-out Mental dipped 7 percent from its previous, Tuesday outing, to 3.43 mil. * NBC's Kings (1.3 mil) slipped 240 thou on Saturday, while the penultimate episode of ABC's Eli Stone held steady at 2.65 mil. * Sunday's most-watched programs were 60 Minutes (7.7 mil) and a Cold Case repeat (6.95 mil). NBC's Merlin inched up a hair, to 4.3 mil. Source Here

Preview of 'Mental' 1.07: Obsessively Yours

Mimi has an addiction to sex and Jack falls into victim. On Friday, July 10, " Mental " will be back with an episode called "Obsessively Yours" where Jack and Veronica try to dissuade a patient from having a risky brain surgery. When Veronica's former patient Craig returns to Wharton Memorial, Veronica finds his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Tourette's syndrome have advanced and become worse than ever. When Craig's wife, Mimi, pushes for an invasive, unproven brain surgery to treat his condition rather than have him undergo therapy in the mental ward again, Jack and Veronica become skeptical of her wishes. As they attempt to dissuade Mimi from moving forward with Craig's operation, the team discovers Mimi may have some serious issues of her own. Meanwhile, Jack becomes infatuated with a neurosurgeon named Zan, and the rest of the team questions their own love lives. Rob LaBelle guest stars as Craig, Nina Siemaszko guest stars as Mimi and Jaime Ray Newman guest stars as Zan. Source & Preview