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This Week in Black Television - Summertime Shows, pt. 2

Shadow and Act By Curtis Caesar John | Shadow and Act June 15, 2012 at 3:30PM

After an unplanned hiatus last week we return with part duex of what you should or could be watching this summer on television, whether with Black talent or just entertaining or different – that’s if you’re not out at the beach, or impromptu BBQ’s and such.  I know I left Melissa & Joey off this list – but trust me, there’s more to see!
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Mehcad Brooks, Cedric The Entertainer, Gina Torres
Mehcad Brooks, Cedric The Entertainer, Gina Torres

After an unplanned hiatus last week we return with part duex of what you should or could be watching this summer on television, whether with Black talent or just entertaining or different – that’s if you’re not out at the beach, or impromptu BBQ’s and such.  I know I left Melissa & Joey off this list – but trust me, there’s more to see!

Baby Daddy (ABC Family) premieres Wednesday 6/20 at 8:30pm
Thankfully he’s not the titular character, but former Smart Guy star Tahj Mowry, also best known as little brother of Black America’s favorite twins Tia & Tamera, stars as the best friend of some goof named Ben that got a girl pregnant and is clueless that it happened until the bambino ends on his doorstep. So in all sitcom goofiness, and probably less funny than similar-type show Raising Hope (a really funny show, depending on your type of humor) he gets his mother, brother, best friend, and the  girl next door to help him raise his child.  So who’s the best friend?  (Wait for it…) Well it’s Tahj, of course. Who else would be the best friend but a Black guy who has no other friends in the world but this white guy?  Although testing higher than any other ABC Family show in history, this is another BBF show that I’m gonna pass on. Sorry Mr. Mowry.   

Beverly Hills Nannies (ABC Family) Begins Wednesday June 11 at 9pm
I don’t even want to know if there are any Black folks in this!   

Breaking Pointe (The CW) Thursdays at 8pm
Working off the success of Black Swan, this new series goes behind the stage curtain for an intense, unfiltered look at one of the most competitive ballet companies in the country, Ballet West, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Beneath the beauty and glamour of the dance and costumes is a gritty dog-eat-dog world of extreme athleticism, focus, dedication, passion, pressure and, of course, the hunt for the unattainable perfection. Doing in Salt Lake, lucky for them, absolves them from focusing on any Black ballerinas.  Humph! Still, can’t say it doesn’t sound interesting. 

Burn Notice (USA) Thursdays at 9pm

Coby Bell, who also co-stars in as Jason Pitts on The Game, returns for the 6th season of this action-packed show, though he was absent from last night’s premiere. Even so, I treasure new episodes of Burn Notice, regardless of whether Aziz Ansari thinks nobody watches it (look up the comedy routine – it’s actually funny). 

Comedy Bang! Bang! With Scott & Reggie (IFC) Fridays at 10pm
Part celebrity couch-talk/part-comedy sketches, and animations, people harken this back to the older better days of The Conan O’Brien show.  I know comedian Reggie Watts a bit from his comedy routines and from The Yes Men Save The World documentary, so if off-brand humor is your thing, go for it.   

Dallas (TNT) Wednesdays at 9pm
Thirty years later, do you really miss The Ewings? Got a hankering for South Fork? I know my mother does as she used to kick us away from the TV after The Dukes of Hazzard to watch the original version.  I’m thinking what you are:  would I really watch corny actors like Jesse Metcalf & Jordana Brewster in a remake of a television classic? Well consider this, the ultimate stars of the original Dallas were Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy, best known as the goofy astronaut/master from I Dream of Jeannie and The Man From Atlantis, respectively.  Still, that was in an age where they defined the nighttime soap and not just part of a torrent of them.  I missed the premiere this week, but if you saw it please share.

Damages (DirecTV) fifth and final season begins on Wednesday July 11th at !0pm

I wish I had DirectTV because I still haven’t seen season four of Damages.  I’m still pissed the FX Network dropped it.  But if you’ve never watched this fill-in-the-impressive-adjectives thriller starring Glenn Close and Rose Byrne in a cat-and-mouse tale, you have no idea what you’re missing. 

Dogs in the City (CBS) Wednesdays at 8pm

Part Cesar Milan “The Dog Whisperer” and part everyday NY’er, Justin Silver surprisingly and effectively teachers city-slicker dog owners how to manager their dogs and other pets.  I only saw the pilot and was pleasantly surprised.  It’s worth a watch, or at the least zapping to when your regular show is at commercial. 

The Franchise (Showtime) Season 2 begins  July 11 at 9pm
This season will feature the Miami Marlins in their new city with their new star shortstop Jose Reyes , (formerly of NY Mets) and new manager, the always shocking Ozzie Guillen.

Futurama (Comedy Central) Season 7 premieres 6/20 at 10pm

This irreverent animated show  began years ago on FOX, was dropped for a while then picked up by Comedy Central is one of my all-time faves.  And actor/comedian/voice over legend Phil LaMarr still provides the voice for Hermes and countless other characters.  This is a sit-back and be offended by show. 

Inside Men (BBC America) -USA Premiere- Wednesday June 20 at 10pm

Ashley Walters, formerly of BBC shows Top Boy (which got a lot of attention here on S&A) and the sci-fi show Outcasts – both of which have recently been added to Netflix – stars as Chris on this drama about three employees of a security depot who plan and execute a multi-million pound cash heist.  The other cool part about this show is that each episode is told from a singular character’s POV. Very cool.  BBC does heist shows really well (to all others out there who are also fans of Hustle), so I recommend peeping the premiere next week – or ask your blokes across the pond if it’s worth the watch. 

LOUIE (FX) Season 3 begins Thursday June 28th at 10:30pm on FX

Arguably the best, or at least the most honest, comedy on television, this very personal and unique program continues to examine the seemingly real life of comedian Louis C.K. who plays himself as a comedian trying to trudge life as a relatively new single man and father trying to make sense of the world.  As the writer of I Think I Love My Wife, Pootie Tang (which he also directed, and has given great advice about), The Chris Rock Show, and other live comedy shows and specials, THIS IS the show you want to see if you’re sick of the other stuff on television – and even if you’re not. C.K. has total control of this show (he’s even edited many episodes) which often feels like as independent as a web series and fun as his comedy shows. 

Necessary Roughness (USA) Wednesdays at 10pm

Yeah, yeah the ladies love Mehcad Brooks - so I had to put him in the photo for this column. See, how I love my readers!  But what I don’t love is this show even though I’m a fan of star Callie Thorne, previously known for Rescue Me and Homicide: Life On The Street. I tried watching the season opener, but this show about a therapist for a football team seems boring to me, even though there are a number of good actors involved. Peep it for yourself, but I can’t recommend it.

Rookie Blue (ABC) Thursdays at 10pm

Yes, you blinked. Now open your eyes to reveal that cop drama Rookie Blue is now in Season 3. Yes, it happened that fast, and though the show isn’t much better than the canceled CBS rookie show NYC 22, word in the trades is that Rookie is a much easier show to produce (see: cheap summer programming shot in Canada), so along with doing decent numbers it’ll probably return next year as well.  Canadian born-Nigeria descended co-star Enuka Okema, there since season one, seems to now be either a plain-clothes office or promoted to detective (though I doubt the latter would happen so soon) which is cool, but tell me regular viewers if this means she’s in less storylines now.  Lyriq Bent and Melanie Nicholls-King (The Wire) also co-star. 

Saving Hope (NBC) Thursdays at 10pm
Yet another medical drama rears its ugly head, but at least there’s not too many on this summer. This one stars the most recent former Lois Lane, Smallville's Erica Durance as a surgeon whose ex-surgeon fiancé (Michael Shanks from Stargate SG-1) is in a coma and interacts with the spirits of hospital patients who've passed away or who are also in comas.  Yawn, I’m in a coma.  Still, just watch it to see ifJ.C. Collins, who also currently appears on SyFy’s Lost Girl (a show I’m just now getting into) gets to contribute to the show or is just a ‘diversity character’ thrown in to make us negroes happy (that’s right, I said it!).  This is another Canadian produced show, so economically produced and can hopefully maximize on the leads. 

The Soul Man (TV Land) premieres 6/20 at 10pm
I can’t believe Hot In Cleveland has a spin-off, but here it is and it’s starring Cedric the Entertainer. But if you live in a city with a bus line you already know that as they’re doing heavy promotion on this show.  Ceddy stars as a former R&B-star Boyce “the Voice” Ballentine, who get’s the calling to serve the lord (you have to say that with an Aunt Esther squeal) and takes over as the reverend at his father’s church.  But it seems the former wild man will have issues being a holy man.  Niecy Nash co-stars as his wife and Jazz Raycole (all grown up now, and formerly of Jericho & the first season of My Wife & Kids) as his daughter.   The always entertaining Wesley Jonathan and John Beasley also co-star. 

Suits (USA) Thursdays at 10pm

One of the top three USA Network shows by far.   I didn’t get to watch last night’s premiere so please, don’t spoil it for me, but all that needs to be said is two words (one name) Gina Torres.  As law firm head Jessica Pearson, she doesn’t get down and dirty in each episode like the two male leads BUT she dictates what goes on in the firm.  Last night it appears she had a lot to do, and hopefully that’ll be the case all season.  Gina Torres! 

Young Justice Invasion (Cartoon Network) Saturdays at 10:30am

Fast-forward five years later from the end of last season (well, just 9 weeks ago) and you have this new version of animated series Young Justice, the b-team/secret squad/junior version of the Justice League. Instead of Superman and Batman you have Supes’ clone Superboy and Batman’s partner Robin, now graduated to leading the team as Nightwing and with a new Robin taking his place in the field.  So what happened to Aqualad (Khary Payton)?  Great question…you’ll have to watch to find out.  Now also on the team and lending great diversity and fun to the cast are Bumblebee/Karen Beecher (voiced by Masasa Moyo), Blue Beetle/Jaime Reyes (voiced by Eric Lopez), and in a support role running mission control at the headquarters (so, no powers) Mal Duncan (voice vet Kevin Michael Richardson).


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