Summer TV Hangout Lineup

Even though Fox is the umpteenth network to claim they’ll be doing “year-round programming,” networks by-and-large take the summer off, with the occasional cable series popping up to fill in the void. I’ll be covering shows like Breaking Bad, The Newsroom and FX’s new drama The Bridge when they premiere, but in the meantime, I’ll be covering some classic shows since I actually have a lot of free time this summer (like, a lot, since my girlfriend is out of the country until July). Below is the rundown for the shows I’ll be going through this summer, most of which I’ve never seen before. If the show is marked by an asterisk, that’s a show where my schedule will mirror that of The A.V. Club, which is the best place for per-episode coverage. When they take weeks off from those shows, so will I. As always, this schedule is fluid. Vacations, weddings, film screenings and interviews, and emergencies – as well as unforeseen lapses in availability – could all change my coverage at any time. But I’ll try to cover everything as planned. I’ll try to engage y’all in social media, whether that be Twitter, Facebook, or God forbid, Google Plus. Let’s get some discussion going!

House of Cards (U.S.)
Netflix’s first original series, starring Kevin Spacey as a congressman who exacts cunning revenge on the president’s administration after he’s passed over for Secretary of State. I covered the first episode when the show premiered, but I’ll be covering three episodes a week until the first (and so far only season) is done.

The Office (UK) – Series 1 and 2, plus specials
With the American edition ending this year, I thought I’d take a look at the show that started it all, of which I’ve only seen the first episode. I’ll try to cover both six-episode series and the Christmas specials (and maybe the 10th anniversary special if time permits) this month, but I may save this for when there’s more time, like a holiday week.

*Sports Night – Season 2
Aaron Sorkin’s first series, and his only comedy, moves into the second season, its last. The first season was one of the finest sitcoms of the ’90s. Let’s see if it finishes strong. Like The A.V. Club’s Donna Bowman, I’ll cover two episodes per week.

*The Simpsons – Season 6
The sixth season of the greatest show ever marks its transformation from heartwarming family comedy to joke machine. But those jokes are still better than most shows could have ever dreamed of. Only one episode will be tackled per week, as I follow along with Kyle Ryan and Erik Adams.

*Freaks and Geeks
As has been written since it premiered in 1999, this high school dramedy is one of the greatest shows ever made. I only caught a stray episode during its original run, but I’m ready to tackle the whole thing. Each week will see a review of only one episode, just as Todd VanDerWerff will do.

Availability permitting, I’ll be writing up this show an episode at a time, following along with Les Chappell’s reviews of this critically acclaimed, quickly canceled series from Bryan Fuller, about a woman who starts seeing the trinkets in her shop talking to her.


Breaking Bad – Season 5
I’ll be catching up with Vince Gilligan’s intense drama about a high school teacher turned meth kingpin, two episodes at a time, in anticipation of its August return. I may end up burning through this quicker than expected.

Homeland – Season 1
Did this controversial spy drama deserve its surprise win at last year’s Emmys? Let’s find out together, in three-episode chunks.

*Sports Night – Season 2
It’s continuing coverage of Sports Night, so stick around.

*The Simpsons – Season 6
The PTA has disbanded! Never fear, there’s more of The Simpsons to love.

*Freaks and Geeks
The trials and tribulations of McKinley High School students continue.

Was this show too weird for its own good? We shall carry on.

Spaced – Series 1 and 2
Before Edgar Wright finishes out his trilogy with pals Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in The World’s End, let’s take a look at the quirky comedy that first brought the trio the acclaim they so richly deserve. I’ll take a 3-4-3-4 approach, since each series contains seven episodes.

Homeland – Season 2
Some thought Homeland‘s second season better than its first. Others found it thoroughly frustrating. We’ll find out who’s right – my guess is both camps – in four rounds of three.

*Sports Night – Season 2
That about does it for Sports Night. Thanks for watching.

*The Simpsons – Season 6
Who keeps up new reviews of The Simpsons? We do, we dooo. (Actually, it’s just me writing these reviews.)

*Freaks and Geeks
The nightmare of high school isn’t over yet.

It’s all starting to make sense now.

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