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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Television Tue Jun 07 2011

Summer Shows Return to Fill the TV Void

Good TV fans know there are shows to get excited about, shows whose return dates get marked on the calendar. Perhaps you've already shed tears over the fact that Mad Men isn't set to return until 2012; maybe you're already counting the days until Modern Family and Community come out of summer reruns.

Comfort ye, my television-loving people. These days, summer marks the return of some great programming, including some shows you might not have made room for on your DVR during the heady days of fall primetime. Here are a few I'm most excited about, including one that premieres tonight:

June 7, 8PM Central, USA
White Collar
The bromance at the center of this USA crime show is truly something special. Yeah, it's between an FBI agent and his favorite con, who just happens to be one of the world's foremost white-collar criminals, but somehow it stays believable. Witty, breezy summer fun with a touch of glitz.

June 14, 8PM Central, TNT
Memphis Beat
It stars Jason Lee as cop by day, local country music star by night. Enough said.

June 15, 8PM, TVLand
Hot in Cleveland
Sure, you've bought into the Betty White craze like everyone else (these days, you can even buy a t-shirt with her face on it at Target), but did you know there's a show that hinges upon her sassy-grandma attitude? Hot in Cleveland is a pretty silly show, but it's always fun to see Betty's character trash talk the who's-who of sitcoms past that show up in each episode (Carl Reiner, for example, plays her on-again, off-again fiance). Rose Nylund she ain't.

June 26, 8PM Central, HBO
True Blood
If you'd told me a few years ago that I'd be hooked on a show about vampires and humans in love, I'd have rolled my eyes hard enough to see my own brain. But this show is just crazy enough to work, as hordes of fans (yes, like myself) are well aware.

July 11, 8PM Central, TNT
The Closer
Is this starting to read like a love letter to TNT and USA's hour-long dramas? I don't care. The Closer is more drama and less comedy than the others, but Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) is a complex character that keeps you guessing, and she's kept this great cop show running for (soon-to-be) seven seasons.

July 17, 9PM Central, AMC
Breaking Bad
AMC's other critically-acclaimed series (not the one with the slick '60s business men, the one with the scary, dying meth-dealer) comes back this July. Personally, I find it kind of hard to get excited about a show that's so stressful, but you can't deny that need to find out what happens next. On Breaking Bad, that's always a question of life of death.

This summer will also feature new shows like Wilfred (an FX remake starring Elijah Wood as a man who sees his neighbor's dog as a guy in a dog suit), TNT's Franklin & Bash (Zack Morris is all grown up, and now he's a lawyer!), and MTV's Teen Wolf (I think this one might just be an elaborate prank) but it's a bit too early to pass judgement there. Regardless, there should be plenty here to keep you going until September. And if all else, fails, there's always Jersey Shore, which is back on August 4. Apparently they're going to be in Italy; but perhaps you've already heard.

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david / June 8, 2011 9:58 AM

Any summer tv list that does not include Louie is weak.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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