Way back in the day (when I went to High School with Jesus as my son always likes to say) things shut down. Sunday there were no stores open except for that rare place from 1 pm to 5pm and you couldn’t buy liquor at all. Television was gone after 1am. Music played, an American flag would wave and you were deprived of any contact with the outside world until 6am. Television programming had seasons. You watched your favorite shows from October until May. Zip, that was it. Gone for the summer. Sometimes shows that really weren’t very good but the network wanted to throw it against the wall and test what might be would show up as a summer replacement. “All in the Family” was one of those…and it stuck. People loved it. Then it became a regular show. With a set time and place that closed down for the summer.
Now …Summer is rockin…..Cable networks and streaming options have made Seasons a thing that means a certain number of episodes and not a seasonal showing. I’ve got shows all year long. We can sit in relative comfort with air con and a blanket over us to watch the spring (Game of Thrones, Kimmy Schmidt, Wyonna Earp) offerings and now the summer programming begins with a bluster and a sweet ride.
Orange is the New Black (June 2016, Season 4) – Its sad, its sweet, its wicked, its sexy. But its still Prison. The show never lets you forget, as much as you adore and enjoy it, its still basically hell. I was hoping for more Daya and resolving her baby lost in the system issue…but was reminded as I binged the entire season in one weekend, that sometimes there is no resolution..and the girl is still in prison. Around the 5th episode I was wondering why Piper hasn’t learned a darn thing about herself and even when she seems to do so, it doesn’t take much to throw her right back down into selfish over privilege. Season 3 was by far the best of the best, but Season 4 makes you want Season 5 to hurry the F up and get here.
A small tribute to AMC — Making all the right moves …….
PREACHER (AMC, Sunday 9pm) — That Howard Stark dude is literally in everything. I can’t watch a movie with out going…oh, its that Dominic Cooper AGAIN. So I went into the first episode of Preacher with a little trepidation……Would I see past his Howard Stark-ness (ABC’s Agent Carter) ?? But no worries ….the show is creepy and gross and a little bit over the top nutty — I know Texas is full of cray cray .but WHEW ….A Vampire, a sultry bad girl feminist with the coolest dang car, a smoking cussing preacher with a sad mysterious background …and those are the 3 normal folks. Jackie Earle Haley (watchmen, bad news bears) is impressive; smooth and smarmy but also almost a normal guy. Anything can happen in this show and it probably will.
RIDE with Norman Reedus (AMC, Sunday 10pm) — Each episode is a terrific combination of bikes, people, vistas and small roadside food joints. Norman doesn’t blare his fame, but doesn’t pretend its not part of the action ..but the bikes and the ride come first. His road companion gets equal if not more of the camera time and the American landscape (highway 101, the blue ridge parkway) are the key focus. Its a hodgepodge of folk tales, road side spots, bike shops and the ride…the long winding ride. Its quiet and refreshing. The perfect frozen Popsicle or tall iced mint julep on a scorching summer day.