Pop Culture Clash
by Chris Pierce
Summer Time TV
I am a back after a longer then expected hiatus. This column will look at a recent trend in television.
It used to be when I was a kid that summers were spent outdoors, swimming or playing waffle ball at the pool, my parents would go to work and then join us every night at the pool or we would spend entire weekends there. Television was a time for reruns, they expected no one to be paying attention to television at all. Today networks are running first run episodes of shows just for the “summer season”.
I am going to talk about some of my favorite summer shows that are now must watch in my house. First comes Franklin and Bash, this show stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar who we all know as Zack from Saved by the Bell and Brecken Meyer who was in Road Trip as two fly-by-the seat-of-their-pants lawyers working for a button-down law firm. The interactions between Gosselaar and Myer and the ensemble cast behind make this show not your typical courtroom drama.
Next comes Rizzoli and Isles based on characters created by best-selling crime novelist Tess Gerritsen, RIZZOLI & ISLES stars Angie Harmon as Jane Rizzoli, a tough-as-nails Boston police detective, and Sasha Alexander as Maura Isles, a smart, medical examiner from a privileged background. Despite being complete opposites, the two women share an offbeat chemistry and strong working relationship that has helped them bust some of Boston’s most notorious criminals. Lorraine Bracco stars as Jane’s demanding and intrusive mother, Angela. Many of the funny interactions in this show concern the dysfunctional family dynamic that comes between Jane and her family it something that any family can relate to, with the meddling mother and a little brother who was to be just like his older sibling.
Next is Covert Affairs which stars Piper Perabo as young CIA trainee, Annie Walker, who is sent out into the field to work at the Domestic Protection Division (DPD). August “Auggie” Anderson, a blind tech operative, is Annie’s guide in her new life. Annie’s cover story is that she works in Acquisitions at the Smithsonian Museum. This is quite different from the first two shows I mentioned as this show is truly a drama which comedy sprinkled in. The show tracks Annie as she goes throughout the world and fights crime. It also shows the dynamic between her and Auggie which is very much flirty and brother/sister like at the same time. It also shows how Annie handles her family specifically her sister and how she lies to her about being a spy.
Lastly is a show that just premiered this year called Around the World in 80 Plates. Now ask anyone I know and they will tell you I am not much of a reality tv person. I watch American Idol every once in awhile but that is about it. My wife asked me to DVR this show and I was hooked from the first episode.
Hosted by celebrity chefs Curtis Stone and Cat Cora, Around the World in 80 Plates takes culinary competition to the next level as 12 chefs travel across the globe testing their skills and determination. In each episode, the contestants will travel to a different international city where they will learn the local customs, cultures, and cuisines as they participate in a gauntlet of culinary challenges. Ultimately, they will face-off in a kitchen takeover where they will not only recreate, but reinvent the menus for world-renowned restaurants and their demanding owners. Each episode a chef is picked as the most valuable chef and for the first 5 cities was given immunity in the next city, lately they have been given $5,000 as the most valuable chef. Each city one person from the losing team is eliminated by a vote of his or her peers. If they every run a marathon of this show on Bravo check it out as they are down to the last fice chefs and it is very exciting.
It used to be that summer was meant for being outside until the sun went down, but now I am addicted to these shows and they are can’t miss.
My next column will be an Olympic swimming preview where I will talk about Michael Phelps vs Ryan Lochte, Delaware county’s own Brenden Hansen and the U.S. Olympic Swim team.