For most people, summer conjures up images of hazy evenings catching fireflies, dancing through sprinklers with sparklers and chasing melty ice cream cones with limey gin and tonics.

But when you live in Florida, where it’s summer-weather all year, there’s nothing like a television to keep you company when you’re huddled near the air conditioner, hiding from 100 per cent humidity in 100-degree temperatures that linger after the sun sets behind the Gulf.

So forgive me if I get a little testy when I find that there’s nothing worth watching on the 70 channels I don’t think Comcast realizes I get.

It used to be that summer was the perfect time to catch up on re-runs of favorite shows and discover new ones worth watching. Nothing goes with humidity and gin quite like the haziness of filling in the gaps of a mostly-seen season.

But with the advent of streaming video and DVD releases, it doesn’t take much effort to catch up on a series when life trumps the television schedule, and network executives have decided reality television is the answer.

Look, I get it. Reality shows make sense. A $1 million prize is a helluva lot cheaper than paying a cast of actors. They’re on the hooker-in-Bangkok level of cheap and quick. And for some reason, people watch.

But not me.

And while I can usually get through a summer without blowing my brains out or–GASP!!–spending excessive amounts of time outside, I’m already exhausted from the reality TV-induced ennui leftover from the scripted drought known as the writer’s strike.

So it is with great trepidation that I go forward into these steamy summer months, but I’m going to take you on the ride with me. I’ll be blogging my TV trials here. Hopefully, I’ll guide you toward some gems
to uncover and some stinkers to stay away from. And I’ll also share the classics that will be filling up my Netflix queue.

Some things you can look forward to hearing about…

Mad Men (Catch the first season on DVD on July 1. The second season starts July 27 on AMC)
The Mole (Starts June 2 on ABC)
Living Lohan (Mondays on E!)
Project Runway (Starts in July on Bravo)
My Boys (Starts June 16 on TBS)

You can read more of my musings at ministryofhip.blogspot.com, where I blog as The Minister. Send questions, comments and announcements of Zimbabwean lottery winnings to notaclevername@gmail.com

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