The Top Five New Summer Shows


Broadchurch is the best mystery to hit the airwaves in a long time and it’s class all the way, as only the BBC can do it! Starring one of the TVJ’s faves, David Tennant, the plot revolves around the murder of a young boy in the seacoast town of — you guessed it, Broadchurch. Tennant plays Alec Hardy, a world-weary, tortured, top DI who works the case alongside a local DS, Ellie Miller, played to perfection by Olivia Colman. The case takes many twists and turns, as the two sort out the suspects and try to unravel the truth. It’s gut-wrenching acting at its best, as the duo tries to solve the murder of Danny Latimer and the townsfolk turn against each other.

We all know that Devious Maids is the TVJ’s latest guilty pleasure, but best of all is seeing Susan Lucci finally shed Erica Kane and move on to a new, even more outrageous character, if that’s possible. Her Genevieve Delatour is vain, self-absorbed, shallow, unaware of the troubles of those around her…oh, wait, well, her wardrobe is better. Or not. OK, just watch the show!

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ContinuumSince we all know that the TVJ is obsessed with quantum physics and the space-time continuum, it’s natural that her new SyFy fave would be a show called, well, Continuum. As seven terrorists are about to be executed, they attempt an escape and are sent back in time 65 years to our time, 2012. CPS Protector (future police force) Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) attempts to stop their escape and gets swept away along with them. Stuck in the past and unable to get back to her husband and son, Kiera concentrates on bringing down the terrorists before they can wreak havoc in our present and possibly alter the future. She receives assistance from young Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen), whom she knows as the man who invented much of the technology of her own time. Posing as a Portland, Oregon officer, Kiera joins local Vancouver detective Carlos Fennegra (Victor Webster) to search for the escaped terrorists and to find a way back to 2077.

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Even though the TVJ was forced to farm herself out to see Under the Dome — thank you so much Time Warner Cable and CBS! — the network’s back up and this show gets creepier and creepier with each episode. But then again, it’s Stephen King. Will the dome ever disappear? With King, you never know.

Sullivan & SonSullivan and Son makes the TVJ laugh out loud and that’s usually reserved for The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and Hot in Cleveland (see below). Steve Sullivan (Steve Byrne) returns home to Pittsburgh after giving up his law practice and decides to run the eponymous bar his parents own. With a crazy cast of comedic characters, Sullivan and Son showcases the extraordinary talents of Byrne, Owen Benjamin, Ahmed Ahmed, Brian Doyle-Murray and Roy Wood, Jr. Throw in Dan Lauria as Sullivan, the outrageous Christine Ebersole as resident slut Carol and the played-to-perfection Jodi Long (the TVJ’s fave on this show) as Ok Cha, Lauria’s stereotypical Korean wife, and you have the most hilarious, screwed-up group of barflies since Cheers.

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Broadchurch, Under the Dome and Devious Maids are still airing and the others will return next summer.

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Past Stars Return to the Fold
The TVJ doesn’t know which return makes her happier: Robin Williams in The Crazy Ones or Michael J. Fox in The Michael J. Fox Show. Williams, an Oscar-winning, Julliard-trained actor returning to TV after 32 years not communicating with Ork, stars with another returning fave, Sarah Michelle Gellar, as a father and daughter who run a Chicago ad agency. Since this is Robin Williams, you know this will be crazy, with a ton of guest stars to boot.

The Michael J. Fox Show, on the other hand, is a case of art imitating life, as the 52-year-old Fox stars as Mike Henry, a family-oriented New York news anchor who quits after his Parkinson’s diagnosis. Much like the real-life Fox, Henry decides to go back to work. “We both know if I come back, NBC is going to milk it by showing me in slow-motion with lame uplifting music in the background,” his character says before seeing a promo about his return that does just that. And we’re off!

They’ve cancelled Happily Divorced! No fair! Just when the TVJ was getting used to the old Nanny duo, she has to lose Fran Drescher and Renee Taylor all over again!

And now, a few last thoughts:

HIC MTMThis Week on the Tube
What can the TVJ possibly say about Hot in Cleveland that has not been said before? This: it’s the show to end all shows! It’s the MTM reunion show with Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman and Mary Tyler Moore joining Betty White and Georgia Engel as the girls old bowling team reunites 50 years later. It’s Wed., Sept. 4, 10pm, followed by the season finale of the show. Don’t miss it!

Best TV Moment of the Week
Since Time Warner Cable blocked out CBS (as of Mon., Sept. 2, it’s back on), they tried to compensate by running the Hallmark Channel. Well, it worked for me: a Perry Mason Movie Marathon. Shades of Perry and Della Street and more stars than there are in heaven. And heaven it was: Tony Curtis, Hal Holbrook and Dyan Cannon; a gaggle of daytime faves, Genie Francis, Linda Dano, Stuart Damon, Sean Kanan, Debbie Morgan and Michael Nadar; and some of the TVJ’s best pals, including Valerie Harper, Peter Scolari and Robert Clohessey. But the Barbara Hale and Raymond Burrbest part? Seeing Perry and Della — that is Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale — together again, in the longest “relationship” in TV history. Take that, Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty!

Worst TV Moment of the Week
The long shot on BBC America’s Copper of the late, lamented St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village. It’s a New York thing. Sigh.

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And Dont Even Get Me Started
…on those Dannon Yogurt commercials with a no-talent actress who couldn’t do a New York accent if her life depended on it!

This Just In:
The TVJ is sad to report the passing of TV host, humorist and journalist Sir David Frost. Frost, who was 74, died on Sat., Aug. 31 aboard the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth, which had left the English port of Southampton for a 10-day cruise in the Mediterranean and where he was scheduled to give a speech. The cause was a heart attack.

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Sir David FrostOne of the most prolific of TV hosts, Frost interviewed the last eight British prime ministers and the seven U.S. Presidents who were in office between 1969 and 2008. He also interviewed the Beatles, Mikhail Gorbachev, Orson Welles, Henry Kissinger and Margaret Thatcher, to name a few. But it will always be his interviews with the disgraced Richard Nixon for which he will be most remembered.

Both Frost and Nixon were mesmerizing, and anyone who saw those interviews when they were initially aired knew this was unlike any other sit-down with a political figure. Frost pushed, Nixon spoke, time after time, until Frost pushed one more time and Nixon stated very simply: “I let the American people down and I have to carry that burden with me for the rest of my life.” It was a defining moment in U.S. history and a defining moment in the career or one of the most brilliant journalists, hosts and humorists in British history.

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The TV Junkie was preceded in her family by a large mahogany cabinet that housed a small screen with a large speaker below. Thus began her love affair with the older sibling in the living room. Theirs was a tenuous relationship, prone to mishaps (forgetting to use the special "screen" for Winky Dink), joyous events (Julie & Carol at Carnegie Hall), sad moments (Clarabelle saying goodbye to the Peanut Gallery) and a wide range of emotions (the funeral of John F. Kennedy and the Inauguration of Barack Obama). From Captain Video to Star Trek to Lost; from A Brighter Day to The Edge of Night to One Life to Live; from Peyton Place to Dynasty to Desperate Housewives; there has never been a greater love, than that of the TVJ and the best friend a girl could ever have. Like "The TV Junkie" on Facebook and follow her on Twitter: @thetvjunkiepml.