It’ll be a while until our favorite Fall shows return, so until then here are some tv, and online, shows to help us get through these dog days of Summer.
Under The Dome. Based on Stephen King‘s hit novel of the same name, ‘Under The Dome‘ premiered to rave reviews and big numbers. After a clear dome appears over the small town of Chester’s Mill, the townspeople trapped inside and outside of it are in a race against time to figure out where the dome came from, and how they can get out of it. There are numerous storylines, like the creepy one involving James (Alexander Koch) keeping Angie (Britt Robertson) locked in a shelter, and Dale “Barbie” Barbara (Mike Vogel) burying the body of the husband of local reporter Julia (Rachelle Lefevre) just before the dome appeared.
There’s also a reverend who serves as the religious nut, a lesbian interracial couple who were just passing through, oh and a sudden outbreak of a virus. It’s enough to keep you interested, and on edge. Much like every other small town in King’s stories, Chester’s Mill has a lot of dark secrets, which could be why the dome is there in the first place. Is the town being punished? Is the government behind it? If you’ve read the book then you already know the answer, but this one is worth a watch even if you do. You can watch it Monday nights at 10 p.m. EST on CBS.
American Ninja Warrior. Now in it’s fifth season, ‘American Ninja Warrior’ takes me back to the sweaty, buffed up days of shows like ‘American Gladiators.’ An American spin-off of the Japanese show ‘Sasuke’ where contestants try to make their way through some physically challenging obstacles courses. Seriously, that’s all it is, but it’s so much fun to watch. From MMA fighters, to professional athletes and stunt people, 100 contestants run, jump and climb their way through was it basically suped up playground equipment for a chance to compete at “Mount Midoriyama” in Las Vegas.
The women who compete are kick-ass, even if they are dressed like chickens, and the guys are hot and usually shirtless, so hey what’s not to like? You can ANW on Mondays on NBC at 8 p.m. EST and on G4 on Sundays at 9 p.m. EST and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST.
Naked and Afraid. Probably the only real reality show on tv, ‘Naked and Afraid’ takes one man and one woman and dumps them off in the middle of nowhere, though a very beautiful nowhere. The pair, who don’t know each other, have to survive for 21 days in some pretty hellish conditions, completely naked. The most striking thing about the show is how little the nudity matters after the pair meet and the more important thing becomes to look for shelter, water and food. You’re not getting Victoria’s Secret models and guys with bodies like Tom Hardy, just regular people with regular bodies.
You may be put off by the attitudes and personalities of the survivalists, again they’re just regular folks thrust into a difficult situation being attacked by bugs and starvation will make anyone grumpy. The woman almost always comes off looking, so to speak, better than the guy who takes his position as the “man” a bit too seriously. The one luxury item is also key, one dummy brought goggles but hated swimming, as is knowledge of whats edible on the island you’re stuck on. While not the most original concept, it kicks the survivor theme up a notch by stripping away all pretense, and clothing. You can catch the show on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. EST on Discovery Channel.
Orange Is The New Black. I’m not completely sold on Netflix revolutionizing television, and if I see or hear one more article about it, I’m going to scream. However, they have been producing some solid shows, which includes the comedy ‘Orange Is The New Black.’ Based on the memoir by Piper Kerman and from the folks that gave us ‘Weeds’, OITNB has it’s blonde, privileged white main character sent to jail for helping her lesbian lover carry drug money. There she quickly makes enemies with the other prisoners, runs into her ex-girlfriend Alex (Laura Prepon) and still manages to keep her artisanal soap business running.
Piper (Taylor Schilling) isn’t likable, neither is her boring husband Larry (Jason Biggs), but it is the colorful ensemble cast of characters that Piper is surrounded by that make the show. From Red, who runs the prison and her “adopted” daughter Nicky, to BFFs Poussey and Taystee, these aren’t the kind of people you root for either, but you end up loving them anyways. Definitely one of the standout characters is Sophia (Lavernce Cox), a transgendered woman who is in prison for credit car fraud. The fact she is actually played by a transgengered actress makes this show worth talking about. So head on over to Netflix and start watching!
Catfish: The TV Show. Sigh, this show. You probably remember the much talked about, but ultimately disappointing because it wasn’t the horror movie it pretended to be, movie ‘Catfish’ which was released in 2010. In it, it’s “star” Nev Schulman investigated an online romance he was having when he realized some things just weren’t adding up. So now Nev and his filmmaker buddy Max Joseph go around the country helping poor, lonely souls find out if the person they’ve been having fake relationships with are real or not.
The concept itself should not have granted the show a second season, but there is something oddly intriguing about why people “catfish,” and why there are so many people that fall for it. Nine times out of ten, the person isn’t who they say they are, save for one recent episode where the guy was the real deal, and there is lots of crying and questions. Nev tries his best to play devil’s advocate and be as delicate as possible when they meet the catfisher, he obviously feels for these gullible people, but the real star of the show is Max, who doesn’t mince words and helps to amp up the drama. It’s way too easy to make fun of these people, and honestly that’s why so many of us keep tuning in, and as long as there are attractive people with Instagram accounts, this show could go on forever. Catch it at 10 p.m. on Tuesday nights on MTV.