Summer and TV, it is always a uniquely trying time. Right after the cliff hangers of May, it is almost as if my best friends took off together on a long summer vacation and left me behind wondering who I am supposed to hang out with.
Thank goodness for the Olympics but a girl can't live on women's gymnastics and men's swimming alone.
I suspect that summer programming is probably why so many people use this time of year to catch up on their reading.
I was reading right along with the rest of you. If you want to know more about the books I was devouring click here.
After last week's book review I thought I would share some of the better television shows I've been keeping up with over the past twelve weeks.
So what was I watching the summer of 2012?
Drum roll please ...
Design Star 2012
This show started early in the season. If you watched it too I would love to hear how you felt about it. If you missed it, you can catch it in reruns or download it from Netflix.
***Spoiler Alert if you don't want to know who won Design Star 2012.
For those of you that already know or don't want to be kept in suspense, Danielle Colding, on the right, was this year's winning designer.
Britany Simon, even though she was the runner up, was voted the designer that the viewers most wanted to watch.
I liked Danielle from the the very first episode but I would have been happy with any of the final three competitors.
In the finale Danielle had what I thought was the tougher assignment.
This was her resulting look.
She did a great job pulling the home owner's art work into the design and I thought her direction with the fireplace was impressive. That said, this was not my favorite example of her work. Is it just me or is there a bit of a Pee Wee's Playhouse vibe going on here?
Britany Simon was the runner up. Her design style is graphic and glam - a look that is near and dear to my heart.
Even though Britany had difficulty in front of the camera in the episodes leading up to the finale I really thought she had found her voice and her footing when she created her pilot for this Design Star Finale. Apparently, though, it wasn't enough for the judges to give her their vote of confidence.
I will be watching again next year and I look forward to seeing more from both of these women.
I would rate Design Star 3 palates.
Then there are
The Real Housewives of NYC. Where do I begin with these ladies?
Everybody needs a bit of trash television. Don't you agree?
These women make me feel better about my life.
I have to say, though, that I miss the days of Bethanny, Jill, and Alex.
As for this year's mix well the Pinot Grigio guzzling Ramoner (Ramona) is back. She is obviously off the meds, and is as bat sh^^ crazy as ever.
Sonja, the Frick to Ramoner's Frack, but who is looking particularly gorge this season isn't much better.
The recent episode where she ranted about her "Young uterus" verified for me that she isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Maybe all those hats and headbands she has been wearing are a bit too tight. I have to give her credit though. She is a woman that is truly sworn to fun and loyal to whom ever she is with at the moment. She will tell one person the one thing they want to hear and then turn around and tell the next person the exact opposite story.
Then there is the "Dah-ling" Countess, also known as LuAnn. Now this is one evil B. She is a master of stirring up conflict and pitting one housewife against another while making herself appear like the picture of integrity and reason. Does she forget that we and dare I say her co-stars? will see her manipulative shenanigans unfold as the season progresses?
LuAnn's ability to "one up" the others is a talent that she has perfected into a fine art. She's the worst kind of "friend" - she will hug and kiss you on both cheeks but throw you to the carnivores the first time she thinks it will benefit her.
The new housewives are Aviva, Carole and Heather.
Carole Radziwill, of the Kennedy Radziwill's, is probably the sanest and most normal housewife.
Cool Carole as she is called, was widowed a number of years ago and doesn't have any children. This makes it difficult to really see her as a housewife. Perhaps what Alex said about Bravo just wanting someone with a title is true. She does, though, have an open relationship with her musician boyfriend. Maybe that classifies her as housewife material. Because she is so much less psychotic than the others she is also less "crazy time" entertaining but sometimes we just need her for contrast and a dash of normalcy.
As for Heather, she is the housewife with the obnoxiously contrived, nose crinkling smile that she seems to flash when she has something to gain or to flagrantly send the message, "I really hate you" - a technique she has perfected and frequently employs on Ramoner to successfully push all of Ms.R's psychotic buttons.
I can't really put my finger on it, but for me Heather is just incredibly annoying. I just plain old don't like her. It isn't right but somehow I expect the women on these shows to be physically attractive. There. I said it and I'll say this too. She isn't. Add to that the fact that she is mind numbingly boring and for me she is a non-starter. I hope she feigns a busy schedule and doesn't return next season.
To be fair, she does have a flair for marketing but Heather is one of those women that thinks she is much smarter and more pulled together than she really is. I am sympathetic to her being the mom of a chronically sick child but that whole thing of inviting everybody BUT Ramoner was deliberate and mean. I wouldn't want Ramona either but own up to it Heather.
Finally there is the best dressed Aviva.
With those svelt arms and most likely augmented perky girls of hers, she looks amazing in whatever she puts on.
I'm not even going to mention her prosthesis. There has already been too much said. Enough already. I do want to give her a shout out though for her One Step Ahead charity. That is really pretty cool.
As this season began I had the feeling Aviva had watched reruns of all the previous seasons and was practicing what not to do, namely don't rock the Ramoner boat. This only served to make Aviva an attractive simp. She is starting to show truer colors now though and I believe that underneath those long blond extensions is a tightly wound bobcat just getting ready to pounce. I, for one, will be watching.
This show is a wonderful mental escape for me while I am working out but these ladies still don't hold a candle to the originals.
For being what it is I give this season of Real Housewives of NYC three palates.
From the creators of Gilmore Girls this is a smart and wholesome newcomer to the ABC lineup. With rapid firing dialog and frequent references to pop culture this program has the mix of humor, drama, and wit that will keep you on your toes. (Pun intended)
The show casts two time Tony winning Broadway star Sutton Foster as the over thirty Vegas girl that reluctantly agrees to marry the aging but kind hearted Hubbell (Alan Ruck) and follow him to a small town in northern California. When she arrives in California she discovers that Hubbell shares his home and the attached ballet school with his eccentric mother (Kelly Bishop).
Hubbell is killed in the first episode setting up the push/pull relationship between the newly acquainted and mutually financially strapped widow and mother-in-law. The dynamics between these two strong but vulnerable characters and their common love of dance create a great foundation for what I expect will be another fan favorite for quite some time.
BeColorful gives Bunheads four palates.
Political Animals has been billed as a six episode limited series but I would love for it to be picked up for a second season. After googling the show and its ratings I can see that although the show didn't set any market share records those viewers that did see it were as passionate about it as I am.
In what appears to be a thinly disguised nod to Hilary Clinton, Sigourney Weaver stars as Elaine Barrish, a divorced, determined and smart Secretary of State. Elaine is the more experienced right arm for an inept president that she unsuccessfully ran against in the last election. Hmmmm. :D Her ex husband, Bud Hammond, is a philandering former president (remind you of anyone else?)
The premise of the show is to peek behind the curtain of a politically driven family and the resulting collateral damage to their personal lives and relationships from such focused ambition. Every character seemed to draw me in. From the willful and competent Elaine to her charismatic if occasionally bumbling ex husband. I wanted to see more of them. Women were definitely the stronger characters in this show and my very favorite was that of Margaret Barrish, Elaine's mother, played by Ellen Burstyn.
I would tune in for her alone. Not only is she absolutely gorgeous at seventy eight but her martini guzzling, pot smoking, compassionate, perceptive and grounded character with the good heart and raunchy mouth deserves an Emmy.
I really really really hope to see more of Political Animals but I am reading that the ratings were rather soft.
Come on America. Let's let them know that we want to see more like this.
I give Political Animals four and 1/2 palates.
This is a show that I watch with the hubs. If it weren't for him I probably wouldn't have ever watched this. I'm not even sure I would continue to watch it if he didn't enjoy it so much. That is not to say it isn't good, it is. In fact, this is probably one of the better programs on air right now. It is, though, quite dark.
Kelsey Grammer plays the role of Tom Kane and the mayor of Chicago. Thus the title, Boss.
Chicago is portrayed as the cliche corrupt political machine that it is but what moves this storyline beyond the predictable Chicago political drama is the fact that Tom Kane is secretly suffering from Lewy Body Disease, an insidious and rapidly progressing degenerative neurological disorder that leads to hallucinations, seizures and loss of muscle control. Like I said, this is dark but still definitely worth watching.
Impressive acting, artistic direction, compelling writing, and supreme cinematography, that is Boss.
It really shouldn't be missed
Here is a trailer that can showcase the artful dynamics of this show much better than my words can portray it.
Boss just started its second season.
To see this season's first episode for free click here.
You will be hooked.
The BeColorful rating for Boss is four and a half palates.
There were other shows like News Room that I would like to see but haven't and others like Craft Wars that were so painfully ridiculous that I wasn't able to stomach even one entire episode.
Now I am looking forward to the start of the fall viewing season but it is good to know that the producers and advertisers are learning that there is a summer market waiting and watching out here too.
So now I will be watching the convention. Hopefully Issac will veer off into some uninhabited part of the gulf.
After that I will be anxiously waiting to find out what happened to everybody on that plane in Grey's Anatomy and geering up for the the ladies of Beverly Hills.
By the way, does anyone know when Million Dollar Decorator returns.
Add that to my watch list too.