So, the regular season has crawled to the finish and summer has started. Here’s what I am watching:
The Legend of Korra - this animated sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender is easily the best new show I have seen in some time, after a short initial run of 12 episodes. Set a few generations after the original, the new avatar is an impetuous teenaged girl in the care of Aang’s son Tenzin, whose family now represent the last of the airbending tribe. A political opposition to the power of the super-powered benders, called the Equalists, is headed by the mysterious Amon, who has the power to take away a person’s bending powers. Naturally Korra is destined for a showdown with Amon, while gaining support from a few friends along the way.
As I mentioned the other day, Burning Love is a brilliant web-based satire of The Bachelor starring Ken Marino and several fellow alumni of The State, plus Children’s Hospital co-stars. It’s hilarious.
Longmire – Veteran Australian actor Robert Taylor stars in this series about a small-town sheriff in Wyoming and his deputies (one of whom is Katee Sackhoff of Battlestar: Galactica). A recent widower, he leans on his friend (Lou Diamond Philips) and daughter (Cassidy Freeman) while trying to prove he can still do his job during an upcoming election, and while dealing with the issues presented by a parallel law enforcement force on the nearby native reservation. The series’ combination of dark subject matter, small-town politics, and dry wit reminds of Tom Selleck’s Jesse Stone TV movies.
Burn Notice – speaking of Selleck, the modern day version of Magnum, PI is back for another season.
True Blood - well past its prime, but Nicole watches it, so what the hell. At least there is Deborah Ann Woll to enjoy.
Bunheads – it is only a few episodes in, but Amy Sherman’s new series is already bearing a pretty strong resemblance to her biggest previous hit, Gilmore Girls. It is the story of Michelle, a Las Vegas dancer who impulsively agrees to marry an adoring millionaire (Alan Ruck) who promptly dies almost immediately after bringing her home to the house he shares with his mother (GG’s Kelly Bishop). The mother runs a dance studio in the back of the house and Michelle bonds with her by helping out. Of course, the small town is quirky and the mother’s senior students bear a certain resemblance to Rory and her friends, while Michelle is a reincarnation of Dorothy Parker just as Lorelai Gilmore was. So far, so good.
I’ll also be watching Aaron Sorkin’s latest take on the production of television (and politics), The Newsroom; but it just debuted last night, so I haven’t watched it yet. It can’t be worse than Ken Finkleman’s series of the same name from years ago.