Summer TV

With the main TV season down for hiatus, a few special shows left the airwaves for good. Most painful to watch go is not a small list, namely: Eli Stone, Battlestar Galactica, Boston Legal, ER, My Name Is Earl, Prison Break and Pushing Daisies.
A few amusing shows came and go before I even reviewed them (My Own Worst Enemy, Life on Mars, Kings).

But now the summer is upon us and the cable shows show what they’re worth, mostly opening new medical shows, soon after the long-running ER said goodbye. With more shows opening in the fall, these are what you can watch now:

Hawthorne (TNT): Starrring (and exec produced by) Jada Pinkett Smith as a Chief Nursing Officer, as a still grieving alone mom raising a teenage kid, has to handle nurse problems, mostly antagonising doctors. Themes seem pretty straightforward, and doesn’t seem too cutting edge.

Nurse Jackie (Showtime): Nurses seem to be this years theme (with the upcoming NBC’s Mercy also being about nurses), again they have problems with their superiors. Makes one really scared to go to a hospital with the war within going on all the time and all. Nurse Jackie (Edie Falco from the Sopranos) is the central character, having a nice family, but still finds time for substance addiction and some adultry on the side. Being darker, with dryer humor, it sets itself more apart from other shows, so if Jacke and Hawthorne had to battle it out, I’d say Jackie deserves to win.

Royal Pains (USA network): Previously fired ER doc finds a new job in the wealthy suburbs of the Hamptons. Having to solve medical crisis on the spot and under the radar, it’s a McGuyver style show, filled with fancy big houses, fast cars, swimming pools and sunny beaches all around. It’s a big question how this show will survive with these elements being the only driving force. Still lightly amusing though.

Previous shows all have some character with British accent starring, but two new shows have them as the headliner.

Mental (Fox): About a psychiatrist (Chris Vance, from Prison Break, season 3) who treats his patients in unusual ways, of course, causing conflicts with some superiors and colleagues. Co-star Jacqueline McKenzie (The 4400) actually has an Ozzie accent, but hides it for most TV roles.
Overall cases don’t seem too interesting though, seeing the patients deranged view of the world is not that interesting.

The Philanthropist (NBC): Corporate CEO (James Purefoy) lost his son a year ago, and somehow lands on the path of being an all-round do-gooder. Traveling all around the world (with the pilot having location shootings of Africa, including a variety of village and forest wide helicopter shots), it’s a question how long the budget will last. Slightly inspiring, though I don’t have millions to spend.

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