A quick roundup of several shows I watch as they go on their summer breaks....
This will be spoilerish...
House - Season 7
What the hell? I've always been a defender of this show being as good now as it was in the beginning. But as time goes on, you don't want to watch someone screwing up their life forever... you want them to learn and grow and not keep making the same mistakes. I felt like House was on the right track... at the end of season 5, House checked into rehab. At the end of season 6, he almost relapsed, but was saved by Cuddy. And starting the new season, the House/Cuddy relationship was a lot of fun.
And then they broke up when Cuddy realized House was back on vicadin. Now I've heard the actress playing Cuddy will not be back next season, so I get that the relationship could not last. At this point in the show, watching the character descend to new depths just isn't entertaining any more.
I think the show can bounce back, but I don't think the ratings will. I don't think a significant portion of the audience won't be back. House is that friend that you've tried to support, but it's just reached that point where you doubt that he'll ever get it together, and you feel like it's time to cut him out of your life because it's just too heartbreaking to watch him make the same mistakes over and over.
Grey's Anatomy - Season 7
Don't judge me. This show has been very good, off-and-on. At the end of season 5, I was ready to quit, because between "ghosts" and Grey/Shepherd always breaking up and getting back together, it just wasn't good anymore. Season 6 turned it around again.. in large part because Grey/Shepherd stopped fighting each other and started exploring other aspects of their characters. And then had the finale to end all finales with that shooting.
So it was disappointing to see this season end with Derek/Shepherd separated. I realize that in reality marriage isn't always bliss and that they'll almost certainly reunite at the start of next season, but this was the wrong note to end the season on.
Sloan and Callie have made the show in recent seasons for me, and watching the two of them and Arizona trying to play the family unit is what will keep me coming back. I also really like Owen Hunt... the actor who plays him is brilliant... but he wasn't as interesting this season as last because he's become less an individual and more a character for Yang to play off of.
And then I've enjoyed Peter MacNichol in a supporting role this season... was hoping he would become more integrated into the show but he doesn't even make an appearance in the finale? What gives?
Bones - Season 6
You wouldn't expect a show about investigating horrificly dead bodies to be so much fun, and that's what keeps me coming back to this show. There seems to be a line to the fun, though, that once crossed I no longer feel an investment in the characters... as exemplified in the shows "Monk" and "Psych"... both of which had their good points, but just failed to get me to care enough to remember to come back to them. Mentalist and Castle seem like they would be good shows along that same line, I've just never gotten around to them.
The second-to-last episode of the season brought closure to the villain arc of the season, and the death of one of the supporting characters, and tease that Booth and Brennan might have slept together off-screen. How do they follow that up? By walking right back up to edge of silly with Booth and Brennan undercover as bowlers, of all things, and teasing us by not even mentioning "the big question" until the last minute of the season.
This show just gets better.
The Office - Season 7
The reactions to The Office in these later years reminds me of the reactions to Friends... people trashing it because it's not as good as it was, losing sight of the fact that it's still twice as good as most shows ever aspire to.
Michael Scott is gone, and it was as perfect an ending as they could have written. And being seven seasons in, I'll agree that they probably should have taken the high ground and called it quits. But the post-Michael episodes have been great, and that must have been the point they wanted to make before the season ended, so that we'll come back to see how season eight shapes up. I'm usually pretty good about avoiding spoilers, but I failed for this episode, and I wish I hadn't known about the surprise applicant at the end.
Community - Season 2
It still amazes me that what started out as a typical situation comedy has evolved into this creature that I don't even know how to describe and do it any justice. The two-part paintball finale the season was legendary. Being a child of the eighties, I can't tell you how much I love that Chevy Chase's career gets a comeback.
Chuck - Season 4
I've had mixed feelings about Chuck. It's an underdog show that keeps surviving against all odds into a fifth season, I can't find any fault with what I consider to be solidly-written episodes, and it panders shamelessly to my geeky nature... what other show will have Linda Hamilton come out, rescue the hero, and then say, "Come with me if you want to live?" Problem is, I've just never liked Chuck Bartowski. But they do manage to change things up enough to keep each season fresh, and I liked the setup for next year.
The Big Bang Theory - Season 4
With the move to Thursdays, this become one of the highest-rated sticoms on television... unfortunately, it's also been the least satsifying for me. The laughs just don't seem to be there as much. But Bernadette and Amy Farafowler have integrated themselves into the cast very well, and I hope they'll get main cast billing next season.
Cougar Town - Season 2
At the start of this season, I was cheerleading for this show, trying to convince people that it's an entirely different beast than it started out. I still stand behind that, but at the end this season I'm feeling a little more lukewarm. I still encourage anyone to give it a shot as they might be pleasantly surprised, but I'm cooling off as it feels like the same joke over and over.
Parenthood - Season 2
Peter Krause, who is kind of "the face" of this show, rubbed me the wrong way on Six Feet Under, and he rubs me the wrong way here. But the rest of the cast is great, and I really like this show. And because the show is following the individual plotlines of several characters, the four main Braverman siblings don't all appear at once too often, but there's a really perfect chemistry in those scenes where all four of them do come together. This one was on the bubble last i heard; I hope it survives another season.
How I Met Your Mother - Season 6
If you had told me when the show started that it would go six years without revealing who the mother is, my initial reaction would be to avoid it. Then I'd say "Wait... people are still willing to continue to be strung along after six years? It must be doing something right." This is another show that, in my opinion, is still as strong now as it was when it started. The mid-season subplot dealing with the death of Marshall's father took this show to a whole different level.
Criminal Minds/ Criminal Minds: Suspect BehaviorSo suspect behavior is already cancelled. On one hand, I'm not surprised because unlike CSI/Law and Order spinoffs, there was nothing really to differentiate this show other than a different cast. On the other hand, i really liked having Forrest Whitaker on my tv for 13 weeks.
The flagship? You know what my biggest problem is? The "nick of time" formula... the bad guy is never just sitting there watching American Idol (and you know all serial killers watch American Idol), they're all getting ready to make another kill just as the heroes roll in. And why do they seem to replace the women? If they really want to shake up the chemistry of the show, replace Hotch. He seems more cardboard with every season that passes.
So my summer viewing, not counting shows that are still finishing up: Next Food Network Star, MasterChef, True Blood, Burn Notice, The Closer, and Torchwood: Miracle Day. I think I might make a point to catch up to Memphis Beat as it starts it's second season, looks like my kind of show. Or maybe I'll finally check out Supernatural.