One of my favorite things about television is finding a new show to watch, fall in love with, and recommend. There have been some wonderful ones this year, many of which we have gone on to review on this site.
The problem, however, is finding the gold among the dross; and, frankly, most of it is dross. As the number of cable channels and streaming channels increases, the number of new shows (not to mention specials and movies) has been increasing exponentially. Unfortunately, it has gotten to the point where trying to watch them all has become too much for one person. I have other things I want to review and I have to go out into the world every day so my landlord gets his rent every month. I am, therefore, crying uncle.
Moving forward, I will review the shows that appeal to me or that I believe will appeal to a large number of us; I will not review everything that is new. As you can see, the look of the column has changed. I will list all the shows by date, reviewing and color coding some and just listing the others. If there is an upcoming show that you particularly want me to review, let me know in the comments section and I will do what I can to include it.
As we head into fall and the television premiere season, I will list the returning shows that you may want to watch at the end so that you can set your DVR in plenty of time.
The color code: red means don’t bother; blue means maybe; green means good; magenta means great.
MONDAY, AUGUST 26
Glickman (HBO at 9:00pm)
A documentary about the life of Marty Glickman whom, I must admit, I had never heard of. This piece was an interesting account of his life, especially the early parts and his experiences in the 1936 Olympics. However, it devolved into a bit of a fluff piece. I would have preferred to get to know the man warts and all, but I was still interested enough to watch it through to the end.
Olbermann (ESPN2 at 11:00pm)
TUESDAY, AUGUST 27
The March (PBS at 9:00pm)
Although there have been many marches on Washington, there has only been one March. Fifty years ago tomorrow, the event happened that changed race relations in this country forever. The highlight was Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, which no one would dispute is one of the, if not the, most famous American speech ever. This documentary, filled with interviews from the people who organized and attended the March, is a fascinating account of the day. The highlight is, of course, King’s speech which always moves me to tears. Don’t miss this.
RGIII: Will To Win (ESPN at 7:00pm)
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28
Fan Addicts! (Reelz at 10:00pm)
A series about super fans of various franchises. The pilot was about a young man who has revered Harry Potter for a decade and now has a collection of memorabilia worth over $100,000. This young man was interesting to listen to as he obviously had a tough time as a kid and was able to get through with the help of his fictional friend. What was nice to see was that, during the filming of this piece, he put away much of his collection and appears to be moving into the real world.
The Unexplained Files (Science at 9:00pm)
Patrick Dempsey: Racing LeMans (Velocity at 10:00pm)
Surviving Evil (Investigation Discovery at 10:00pm)
Tough Love: Co-Ed (VH1 at 10:00pm)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 29
Age Of Dinosaurs (Syfy at 9:00pm)
Attack Of The Celebrity Bikinis (E! at 10:00pm)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 30
Cracked (Reelz, Friday at 10:00pm)
He is a tough, gun carrying cop with issues. She is a forensic psychologist with issues of her own. They hate each other on sight, yet are forced to become partners as part of a new task force that investigates crimes committed by people with mental or emotional problems. A standard procedural with the now required partnership that will eventually become a couple. Not bad, but not great.
Side By Side (PBS, Friday at 9:30pm)
Keanu Reeves has done a documentary exploring the use of film versus the use of digital photography when making movies. He manages to get every director you can think of to participate, some of whom fall clearly into one camp or another and some who straddle the fence. The first half was interesting as the differing views were expressed, but the second half was more of the same and got a bit tiresome. If you are interested in filmmaking, give this a watch; but, don’t go into it expecting great reveals.
Alaskan Steel Men (Discovery, Friday at 10:00pm)
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
Deadline: Crime (Investigation Discovery, Sunday at 9:00pm)
Tamron Hall, a crime reporter I respect, reports on various crimes and criminals. What could have been an interesting show becomes too much about Hall and not enough about what she is reporting. Having said that, she did a segment on Robert Chambers, the Preppie Killer. He is back behind bars on a drug charge, but here is what is so appalling. The man got fifteen years for killing Jennifer Levin; he got nineteen for the drug charge. Our judicial system has its flaws.
TV’s Funniest Of The Funniest (NBC at 9:00pm)
A show that counted down the thirty funniest moments in all of television. As you can imagine, NBC was well represented; but, to be fair, the network has had its fair share of brilliant sitcoms. My favorite was only number eleven. Number one was Lucy and the chocolates -- no real surprise there.
ABC’s Fall Preview Special (ABC, Sunday at 7:00pm)
RETURNING SHOWS THAT PREMIERE THIS WEEK:
Luther: BBC America, Tuesday, September 3 at 10:00pm
Boardwalk Empire: HBO, Sunday, September 8 at 9:00pm