Street Outlaws (Discovery)
A reality show about the guys who street race in Oklahoma City. Exactly what you would expect from such a testosterone filled environment. Lots of shouting, cursing, calling each other out, all because it is the most important thing to these guys to be on the top ten list. I was interested watching the pilot as street racing is something I know very little about, but an hour was all I needed to see.
Dean Cole’s Black Box (TBS)
The comedian comments on video clips that have aired in the past week either on the news or on YouTube. Some of them were funny enough, but none of them made me laugh out loud. The show fell down because Cole was obviously reading a teleprompter and the language used was unnecessary to what he was trying to do.
The Winner Is… (NBC)
Because we don’t have enough of these on our airwaves, NBC is providing us with yet another singing competition. This one is judged by 101 music professionals and the contestants have the choice to drop out and accept some cash. The ultimate prize is $1 million. If you like these sorts of shows, this one is fine. Nothing special, but fine.
King & Maxwell (TNT)
Very much like Castle or Bones, King (Jon Tenney) and Maxwell (Rebecca Romijn) are the latest will they/won’t they couple. Two former Secret Service agents who have formed a private detective agency, the plot is nothing new. These shows, however, are not really about the plot; they are about the chemistry between the leads. These two have a fair amount and the banter was fun. This is a show to get you through the summer until you can return to Booth/Bones or Caskett.
In the pilot, Sinbad accidentally kills the son of the powerful Lord Akbari in a fist fight. He and his brother are caught by the guard and the brother is killed as payment for the blood debt. The boys’ grandmother curses Sinbad by placing a necklace on him that prevents him from being on land for greater than a day at a time. So, he sets sail and the trials and tribulations begin. What should have been a rollicking summer adventure is, I’m afraid, mediocre at best. It may pick up after the pilot, but I won’t be watching any more. Another one not to get too attached to as it only got the one season.
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (HBO)
In February 2012, a group of young women, members of the Russian feminist demonstrators/performance artists/punk band Pussy Riot, entered Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow and performed a song they had written against Putin and his government. Three of the group were promptly arrested and this documentary follows that arrest and subsequent trial. Unfortunately, this film never found its footing. It is ninety minutes of talking heads discussing both sides of the issue which had, frankly, been discussed to death half way through. I admire the bravery of these women; I just wish the film celebrated them a bit better.
Twisted (ABC Family)
Danny Desai killed his aunt with a red jumprope when he was eleven years old. Now sixteen, he has been released and is back in school with his two BFFs from the time, Jo and Lacey. Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it. I loved it and was caught up in the drama almost from beginning. The three kids are fairly good actors for their age (better than some of the adults surrounding them -- I’m looking at you Denise Richards), the story is very well written and we as the viewers only know as much as the characters. This is one of the few recently that now has a season record on my DVR.
Dig Wars (Travel Channel)
Three teams of two go to various historical places around the US looking for treasure. In the pilot, it was Fort St. Philip in Louisiana, very active during the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Each team found something interesting, but only one team could win -- finding the most valuable item. A fun show in that the people involved are really into what they find and there is a lot of laughter. However, watching people digging for treasure is not all that interesting over the long haul so this is not one I will stick with.
House of Curves (WE)
Another reality show, this one about a woman who designs plus size fashions and wants to break into New York fashion week. The designer is so unpleasant and so rude to the people who work for her that I gave this show about ten minutes before I turned it off.
Notes from Dad (Hallmark)
If you’ve ever seen a movie about a music teacher, you’ve seen this one. Said teacher, forced to teach because he needs a job, finds a wildly talented musician in his class that he can mentor. The student comes from a family where music is not valued, so said teacher must win them over as well. In the process, said teacher reconnects with his own family. Like I said, you’ve seen it. This is not a bad version, just nothing new.