Monday, September 26, 2011

Laura’s Summer of 2011 Top TV Shows

I spend most of my TV watching doing something else at the same time, particularly folding laundry when the kids are in bed or nursing Penelope. Truthfully the shows I watch in the daytime most often happen to be Dinosaur Train, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, or other such children’s fare. I relish when I am actually able to watch a show that is for adults.

I haven’t talked about TV for a while on this blog so I thought I’d do a quick summary of what I was watching this summer and my thoughts.

Falling Skies – Ben and I both loved the new TNT show, Falling Skies. It takes place after an alien invasion has destroyed the earth as we know it. The invaders harness human children for some mysterious, nefarious purpose. A group of survivors has banded together as the second Massachusetts. They are trying to survive, while also to figure out how to save the harnassed children and destroy the enemy. I’m hooked and am eagerly awaiting the next chapter next summer. Noah Wylie as Tom Mason is great, but I am particularly engaged by Colin Cunningham as John Pope the bad/good guy. He is the leader of a gang, but seems to have a heart of gold (perhaps) beneath it all.

Doctor Who – Ben and I love Doctor Who, but I’ll admit that we are very behind. We just watch the 2010 Christmas episode and have yet to watch this year’s episodes. Matt Smith as the new Doctor and Karen Gillian as Amy are interesting, but I don’t like them as much as David Tennant as the Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose. I loved Russell T. Davies scripts, and haven’t been caught up as yet in the new writer Steven Moffat. I still hold out hope for this year’s episodes.

Outcasts – This show was sadly cancelled in Britain after one (short) season. Unfortunately we’ll never know how it ends. Ben and I both enjoyed the show, but felt it faltered near the end, which could be why it was not picked up again. It had an interesting concept where the Earth has been destroyed by some unexplained mishap and a group of survivors is trying to make it on another planet. Great actors and interesting plot lines started the show. It was worth watching.

Camelot – I am a great fan of Arthurian legend and love to watch movies, mini-series, and shows about Arthur and crew. I made it through the pilot and one episode of Camelot and was done with the show. I thought Jamie Campbell Bower as Arthur was insipid and weak, which is a problem when he is the lead actor. I loved Joseph Fiennes as Merlin and thought he held some promise. I was annoyed by the changing of the legend, particularly that Guinevere was married to Leontes, (a new member of the round table not included in the legend as a knight who saved Arthur’s life) and cheating on him with Arthur. There was already a great love triangle in the legend and it included LANCELOT. For a great way to show the heartache of this love triangle, read Persia Woolley’s brilliant Guinevere trilogy and skip this show.

The Tudors – I love period costume dramas. I don’t have Showtime, so I was happy when BBC America aired Seasons 1 and 2 of The Tudors this summer. While this show isn’t the most historically accurate, I loved it. The Tudors are an interesting family and I loved the actors, outfits, and drama. I enjoyed that the version I watched was censored to not include that many love scenes – but just enough. I really hope BBC America airs the next couple of seasons soon.

Pillars of the Earth – I enjoyed the novel more, but The Pillars of the Earth mini-series was pretty good. My only complaint was that the actors never seemed to age through the 20 odd years that the show takes place. I particularly loved Rufus Sewell as Tom the Builder. It was certainly an interesting period of history and I do love historical dramas!

Masterpiece Mystery – I enjoyed watching Hercule Poirot and Ms. Marple this summer. Zen was also a great series. I’ll admit that I didn’t watch Inspector Lewis. I love Masterpiece Theatre, and look forward to Sherlock returning to Masterpiece Mystery next season.

How the States Got Their Shapes – The History Channel has angered me in recent years by never actually showing any history. While Ben and the boys enjoy Ice Road Truckers and the like, I do not. I used to be able to just turn on the History Channel and leave it on enjoying the programs, but those days are long gone. I was more than a little excited by this new show. I like host Brian Unger’s quirky humor as well as interesting history lessons about how the states were formed. I really liked the Green Bay, Wisconsin segment!

Inspector America – Has this show been cancelled? There were about six episodes or so at the beginning of the summer and my sons loved them! As an engineer, I appreciated the call to arms to repair this country’s infrastructure. The boys and I enjoyed watching this show and hope it continues!

Now that summer is over, I’m happy checking out new shows and returning favorites. Hopefully I keep more up to date on my blog and will at least post an update every few months on favorite shows!

What were your favorite shows this summer? What are you excited to watch this fall?


  1. Me and my husband watched/are watching Falling Skies, The Tudors, and Pillars of the Earth together. All incredible shows. We also share Tudors and POTE with my mother and she watches them like she is addicted!

    If you want a good History Channel show with history in it you should try Lost Worlds. It is about ancient cities and civilazations that at one point have been lost and the archeologists who have now found them. I don't know if it is new or old though. I will have to check out the other one you mentioned above. I have to admit, I love American Pickers and Pawn Stars although they are more reality than history.

  2. Erika - it sounds like you and I have the same taste in television shows.

    I haven't watched Lost Worlds - I'll have to DVR that and check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. We've also been watching (and enjoying) both Falling Skies and Camelot. Shame they've cancelled the latter. Oh, and we're also following Doctor Who, of course. :) Series finale on Saturday, I think! We recorded Outcasts when it was on but still haven't got around to watching it. If you say it's good, I'll take your word for it and insist we get some catching up on the V+ box done soon. :) We've still got the last five eps of Camelot to go through! :)

  4. I really liked Pillars of the Earth and Masterpiece (Mystery & Theater) has become like the one series that I will actually make time to watch on a regular basis.

    I am with you on Camelot. I watched the first couple of episodes and then lost interest.

  5. I'm glad I'm not the only one who wasn't in love with Camelot!

    I love all three versions of Masterpiece - Mystery, Contemporary, but especially Classic!