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Lisa Steinberg

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Summertime Show-Stoppers

Posted: 05/23/2012 4:43 pm

Summer is here and for most it means the beach, vacation, late nights, and fun. For me, it is the chance to relish some of my favorite, most-anticipated show returns that have left me twisting in the wind after their previous season finales. Summer hasn't come fast enough, and now that it is here, these shows will be taking networks by storm and filling up summers with nights spent home on the couch. Drop Dead Diva, Alphas, and Awkward are three shows that will be filling up my nights full of laughs, tears, and serious drama!

What makes Drop Dead Diva a summer must is that you can't help but be sucked into and invested in these characters. You feel for them and root for them as if they were your friends. That's why you're left so sad every summer. Guest stars galore and unique storylines keep this not-so-average show among the top of my list of guilty pleasures. Comedy, romance, and suspense are always showcased in weekly episodes of this Lifetime Network gem. Effortlessly talented Brooke Elliott smiles and she lights up the room, and her delivery of lines is not to be matched. You root for her character, Jane, each week whether it's over her unique case that episode, her tumultuous love life, or personal relationships with her friends. And speaking of relationships, the always-present saga of will Jane and Grayson get together, or will Grayson ever learn that Jane is Deb, is a major factor in why I am so vested in this show. It's a guessing game and a puzzle all in one and I can't wait to put the pieces together again when season four begins on June 3rd.

SyFy's hit drama filled my nights last summer with so much action, tension, and intensity and I haven't been shaken me as a TV watcher in quite a long time. Every episode is like watching an artistic and skillfully designed and executed movie. You may be sitting in front of your television, but it gives you the feel as if you're packed into a bustling movie theater. The unique team of characters with extraordinary abilities leaves a high impact on viewers and always has them glued to the screen. And although they may have extraordinary abilities, there is plenty of humanity in the portrayals the beautiful and talented cast infuses. Not to mention the ever-present off-the-charts chemistry between characters Nina (Laura Mennell) and Cameron (Warren Christie). Watching the sparks between the two, it's not a matter of will they or won't they, it's when and where! Ryan Cartwright's realistic portrayal of Gary, a young man who has Aspberger's, is really stunning and should be applauded. The talent and authenticity he provides is astounding. Azita Ghanizada's striking portrayal of vulnerable Rachel is haunting and tugs at the viewers heartstrings. Malik Yoba as Bill Harken cannot be overlooked either because the banter between him and Gary is some of the best on television. Yoba can provide comic relief and the heavy hitting in a situation, depending on what it calls for. This well-choreographed ballet that the team performs each episode is not to be missed. Thankfully for fans, the show returns July 23rd, and I can't wait to get another taste of the powers that be.

For teen drama at its finest (without having to pay an exorbitant amount at the box office to get it), you should be checking out Awkward on MTV! Much like when you watch a movie, you don't want to miss a moment because when you tune into the hit show every moment and line uttered counts. Ashley Rickards must have lived some of the moments that she plays out as perpetually tortured teen Jenna Hamilton. Between her parents, her school counselor, misguided friends, mean girls at school and mixed up love life, Jenna is always being handed lemons in life, but she's learned how to make them into one hell of a lemonade. No matter what demographic you fall in to, there is a moment on Awkward that you probably recognize from your own high school experience. Granted, Awkward may show those experiences in a heightened sense, viewers still feel the deep connection to the feelings and emotions being expressed. Every high school has a Sadie (played by the hilariously funny Molly Tarlov), the girl who makes your life a living hell, but sees it as she's doing you a favor. That's why I can't help but to laugh after Sadie's latest Jenna torture when she says dryly, "You're welcome!" Season two starts on June 28th and fans will get another look back on their life in high school while exploring Jenna's latest life dilemma.

When you watch a summer television show and the season finale airs there is a sadness that washes over you, you feel like you're saying goodbye forever. But with many of these shows it's not goodbye, it's more like a summer camp experience, you're simply saying see you next summer. And now that the season is just starting, it's your chance to become friends all over again with your favorite summer program.

 

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