Glenn Close, Damages
Question: It seems strange to be saying this, but I think I'm actually enjoying summer TV much more than I enjoyed regular-season TV this year. And it's all because of cable. I have a show to watch every night that is really good: Mondays have My Boys (and Greek isn't bad), Tuesdays have Damages, Wednesday has Rescue Me and Thursday has Mad Men. They are all really good, well-acted, well-written shows. During the season I was really having trouble finding shows I enjoyed (Heroes, The Office and Friday Night Lights were about all). I don't remember ever really watching any scripted TV during the summer in the past, besides maybe the occasional show (The O.C. comes to mind). I'd assume it has a lot to do with cable networks putting out really good original TV, since I'm not watching anything on network TV. So, is this really the best summer TV schedule ever?
Answer: It's certainly the busiest TV summer ever. But yes, it's also shaping up to be among the very best. The fall season would be lucky to have new shows like Mad Men, Damages, Burn Notice and even a mainstream hit like Army Wives on its schedule. Factor in some very intriguing miniseries being played out over a number of weeks (The Bronx Is Burning, The Kill Point, The Company), strong new seasons of pay-cable stalwarts like Big Love and Weeds, plus some high-end reality projects including Top Chef, So You Think You Can Dance and the newly up-and-running Design Star on HGTV, and you've got a jam-packed lineup that seems every bit as busy as the September-to-May logjams. I'm exhilarated but exhausted, and usually that doesn't happen until after Labor Day.