The best of Spring and Summer Television: Top 5 shows to watch while it's sunny!

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Now that many of the 2013 (and early 2014) shows are finished, or just coming to a close, Spring/ Summer TV is right around the corner and already starting! Usually this means a switch from the drama and action driven schedules of the fall to a much more comedic and topical dominated program. This summer is no exception to that formula. Led by a whole slew of new reality TV shows this summer will be a flood of countless identical shows. Including returning shows, there are already 9 major doctors shows announced, 7 crime scene investigation type series, and 8 topical young friend dramedies. When the options are so repetitive and uninspired it can be difficult to decide which shows are worth ignoring the beautiful summer sun for a day inside your musty old abode. Unless of course reality TV is your thing, then you have The Bachelorette, Bet on your Baby, Teen Mom, and a whole bunch of other mindless fun... But for those of you looking for which shows are worth watching and need help sorting through the overwhelming selection read on....

#5- Turn
Channel: AMC Day: Sunday April 6, 2014

A compelling period piece about the story of America’s first spy ring is AMC’s newest attempt at niche television, following on the success of shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad, AMC is hoping for another major success. This could be the piece that keeps their streak going, it is full of fresh plots and a perfect time after the Academy success of Lincoln (starring Daniel Day Lewis) last year. With shows like Game of Thrones doing so well stylized historical dramas may be a dominating theme this year, making this ne to keep an eye on.

#4- Silicon Valley
Channel: HBO Day: Sunday April 6, 2014

The first live action television effort of Mike Judge, Silicon Valley has large shoes to fill. Following the success of shows like Beavis and Butthead, and King of the Hill, Judge hopes to reignite some of his now diminished fan base. With the lackluster performance of his latest directorial effort, Extract, Judge hopes to capture the expanding interest in social media and internet technology in a nerd-driven show. Worth checking out, but no guarantees it makes it out of the first season.

#3- Fargo
Channel: FX Day: Tuesday April 15, 2014

An adaption of, arguably, the Coen brother’s best film, set for ten episodes starring Billy Bob Thorton will open soon on FX to very high expectations. Most notably is the absence of the Coen brother’s direction or the incredible talent of William H. Macy and Frances Mcdormand. All things aside this was a compelling story and with the acting chops of Billy Bob, Bob Odenkirk, and Colin Hanks this could be a surprise success and worthy reboot of a classic film.

#2- Live Another Day
Channel: Fox Day: Monday May 5, 2014

I almost didn’t include this considering it is technically a continuation of 24, but the return of Jack Bauer is too monumental to exclude from any list of TV shows this year. He is currently on the lam, wanted by multiple organizations and hiding out in London. Nothing much has been revealed about the direction this show may take, but given the explosive and pulse-pounding history of 24, expect big things.

#1- The Normal Heart
Channel: HBO Day: Sunday May 25, 2014

The star-studded cast alone has me excited for the premiere of what is sure to be an Emmy-award winner. Starring the great Mark Ruffalo, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons (of Big Bang Theory) and Julia FRICKING Roberts, this story is based on the Tony-winning play about the onset of AIDS and HIV in NYC in the early 1980’s. Given the success of films like Philadelphia and Dallas Buyers Club, and the ever present threat of HIV/AIDS and lack of treatment I predict big things for this show. If there is any one specific show everyone should be watching this year it has got to be The Normal Heart.

I may have missed a few and there are some interesting new reality shows brewing, but I also feel the time of reality nonsense is coming to an end. Coking shows, and fresh ideas like America’s Next Dream Builder, are breathing a much needed air into a dying genre, and will it survive the pressure of these star-studded shows, and award-winning production crews?
Great list! Very much looking forward to Silicon Valley and Fargo. Neither Mike Judge nor FX have ever steered me wrong. I'm happy period spying is back on TV following the success of The Americans with Turn which also builds on some great new historical procedurals like Copper and Ripper Street. Although as a Brit I am very worried about how Dick van Dyke the London-set Live Another Day could turn out to be!
FX has entagled me in their programs since the first seasons of Nip/Tuck, The Shield, and Damages. FX delivers movie quality production value to each episode, and continues with a pulse-pounding season.

Turn gets me excited because I am a huge fan of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Gettysburg and Gods and Generals are two of my all time favorite films. To see a spy element introduced into this tumultuous time can be a complete hit or a major flop, let's hope it's the former.

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