Summertime TV (aka. So You Think You Can Dance, IT Crowd?)

My Summertime TV experience breaks down into two facets: regular viewing of a few summertime programs and marathon catch-up sessions on critically acclaimed/highly recommended shows.  The past month includes regular viewings of So You Think You Can Dance, Doctor Who and the following marathon experiences:

Modern Family, Season 1: After Modern Family won the Emmy, I knew I had to watch it, so I immediately started during the second season…and just now got to catch up fully. Season 1 is fantastic; the writers use the characters well, the cast is so talented and fits together perfectly. I understand why it won the Emmy, but Community still should have at least been nominated.  ( Speaking of which, check out the For Your Consideration page that Sony made for Community. What do you think? I can’t decide if that was a good way to promote it or not. )

Sherlock: This BBC series aired on PBS in the fall and just recently made its way to Netflix Instant Queue. I jumped on it, and I’m so glad I did. It’s a spectacular bit of television. It’s only three episodes, in true British style, but they’re all fantastic. Co-created by Steven Moffat, possibly definitely my favorite TV writer/producer in the UK, the show puts a modern twist on the classic stories. So modern, in fact, that cell phones play a key part in the series arc. Check it out before season two airs this fall. You won’t be disappointed.

The IT Crowd: This Channel 4 series (yep, another British show!) came highly recommended by a friend of mine and stars Richard Ayoade and Chris O’Dowd.  Now, let me tell you a little bit about my experiences with Richard Ayoade. He directed the “Critical Film Studies” episode of Community (aka. the Pulp Fiction episode, one of the best of this season). In May, I saw his first feature film, Submarine, at the Seattle International Film Festival. Submarine was an absolutely amazing coming of age story; if it ever makes its way to a theater near you, go and see it. Ayoade was at the screening and talked a bit about his experiences with TV, but mainly focused on Submarine, usually mocking his own acting abilities every time someone brought up The IT Crowd. 

It was the combination of Submarine, Community and Mary’s recommendation that made it necessary for me to watch The IT Crowd, and so far, so good. It’s silly, funny and has just the right amount of deadpan, thanks to Richard Ayoade. It’s also got jokes like this:

(TRIVIA: Need Another Community tie to The IT Crowd? Richard Ayoade starred with Joel McHale in the pilot of the American-ized IT Crowd. Didn’t get picked up, but I’m okay with that…Community wouldn’t be the same without Joel McHale.)

So far, this is some of the best TV I’ve seen all year, and there’s still three more months until the Fall Season starts back up. I believe the rest of the summer will include TremeBreaking Bad, Season 2, and plenty of air-conditioned evenings with Netflix. Not a bad way to get out of the heat.


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