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Television Catch Up Time

Television Catch Up Time
  • On August 15, 2014

It’s officially August, which means all the cool summer TV shows are winding down and nothing new has started up yet. Now is your perfect chance to catch up on the shows you might have missed when like, working or having a social life. Pshh. Jobs and friends. Whatever.

I have your back! Here is my handy-dandy list of great television you might want to catch up on before the new season hits us with a crop of new stuff to fill the DVR.

1. The Blacklist (NBC)

image property NBC

image courtesy NBC

The Blacklist is a fantastic show, but mostly because of James Spader. To be perfectly honest, the cast beyond James Spader is kind of meh. However, the show is totally worth your time because of James Spader. Great acting, great character with a dubious back story and a lot of twisty turning make this show a fun time. Also so does James Spader. Okay good talk.

2. Sleepy Hollow (Fox)

image courtesy Fox

image courtesy Fox

Sleepy Hollow is a ridiculous show. The premise is that Ichabod Crane (seen above) is somehow put into a magical stasis and wakes up in the modern world to fight the newly-returned Headless Horseman. After that, the show gets really weird.

Sleepy Hollow is over the top in all the right ways. Also, the show is led by a woman of color (not seen above) and boasts a level of woman and POC representation we don’t see often in prime time. If you passed this over because it sounded ridiculous, give it another try. It is ridiculous but trust me, that’s not a bad thing.

3. Elementary (CBS)

image courtesy CBS

image courtesy CBS

Elementary is about to start its third season. It’s a modern-day imagining of Sherlock Holmes, with a gender-twist: Lucy Liu starring as Joan Watson. For a procedural, the show is complex and nuanced. They handle issues of addiction with talent–more than I usually see in fiction. Elementary works to make sure there’s diversity in casting and excitement built into what could be a very formulaic show. Additionally, Johnny Lee Miller (Holmes) and Liu are fantastic actors, joined by Aiden Quinn and Jon Michael Hill. So often the actors and characters make the show, and this one is no exception.

4. Hannibal (NBC)

image courtesy NBC

image courtesy NBC

If Sleepy Hollow is weird, Hannibal is unearthly. It’s also about to enter its third season and if you haven’t seen it, you’re missing some incredible storytelling. Bryan Fuller is sort of a genius, I think, between Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me and now this. I can only imagine what he’s going to do with American Gods. The season finale of Hannibal was… holy cow.

Just–plaid suit. Eating people. Wendigo. Tree bodies. Go watch it. Don’t eat at the same time.

5. Perception (TNT)

image courtesy TNT

image courtesy TNT

Perception is one of those summer/winter filler shows that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. The show has a lady in a leading role, for one thing, and features a further diverse cast including a character with mental illness in the lead role. It’s another procedural, this one about a neuroscientist with schizophrenia that for some contrived reason winds up helping the FBI solve crimes with interesting psych angles.

The show makes no bones about the lead character’s mental illness, and sometimes he suffers from delusions during the storytelling. I do mean suffers–sometimes, his life takes tragic turns. On the other hand, he’s not a character that you feel sorry for or some kind of sad sack. He’s actually kind of an asshole most of the time. He’s also an unreliable narrator, which gives the show some surprise elements that are really neat. Totally worth a look.

There you go, that should get you through August and September before all the new stuff starts. If you need a bonus round (and you’re living in some kind of hole), check out Orange is the New Black.

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