Announcing summer TV Club Classic for 2011: where at least 65 percent of your dreams come true
When faced with one of the lightest summers in recent memory in terms of new, scripted TV (and, hell, new and interesting REALITY TV), we at your friendly local TV Club did what we do best: We opted to skip covering Rizzoli & Isles week to week and just pretend that it was the 1990s all over again. And that means it’s time for the announcement of this summer’s TV Club Classic schedule, which is bigger and better than ever, with three shows running every day but Saturday.
This summer, we’ll be wandering a bit off the beaten path, tackling anime, kids TV, the roots of reality TV, classic science fiction, and a host of other things. Of course, we’re hitting some series you’ve asked for for quite some time, as well, and some of your old favorites will be back, too, with the final seasons of Newsradio and Buffy The Vampire Slayer hitting our virtual airwaves as well.
So instead of “going outside” or “spending time with family” this summer, we recommend you watch TV with us, and whenever anybody asks you why you’re not leaving your house, you can just tell them that you prefer it inside, pretending it’s still 1995.
At 10 a.m. (all times are Central) every Sunday beginning June 5, Christopher Bahn will take us back into the mists of British television history, stopping in on some of the best, most famous, and most interesting serials of the original Doctor Who, jumping throughout the entirety of the initial history of the program.
At noon every Sunday beginning June 5, Kyle Ryan returns to the show that made HBO what it is, the first series that garnered the show significant critical attention, the seminal ‘90s sitcom and Garry Shandling vehicle, The Larry Sanders Show.
And, of course, Nathan Rabin will be continuing his reviews of classic episodes of The Simpsons, after his recent brief hiatus, starting up again this very weekend. Those reviews, as always, will post at 2 p.m.
After two straight summers delving into the show’s history, Steve Heisler will once again tackle a season of The West Wing, with reviews of the third season posting every Monday at 10 a.m., beginning June 6.
You’re probably already reading Oliver Sava’s reviews of Batman: The Animated Series, but they’ll continue to be posted every week at noon.
Finally, we get into the history of reality television and delve into the chaotic world of the early ‘90s and the days when “Generation X” was a term that had long outlived its usefulness. Starting June 6, Meredith Blake will review the original season of The Real World, every Monday at 2 p.m.
After three straight years of chronicling the first four seasons of Newsradio, Donna Bowman returns to dissect the show’s final, Phil Hartman-less year, every Tuesday at 10 a.m., beginning May 31.
If Oz and The Sopranos first suggested HBO (and cable more generally) as a place to go for interesting drama, then Six Feet Under solidified that position for the network, and John Teti is going to take us back into the lives of the Fisher family, every Tuesday at noon, beginning May 31.
Beginning May 31 as well will be Hayden Childs’ revisit of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, a show that may seem like a simple kids cartoon at first blush but one that boasts a surprisingly complex and deep mythology. These reviews will post at 2 p.m.
Since the dawn of TV Club Classic, we’ve heard your cries for reviews of Arrested Development. And starting June 1 at 10 a.m., we’re going to give you what you want, as Noel Murray embarks on a journey through the first season of one of the best American sitcoms ever.
Todd VanDerWerff’s reviews of the fourth season of The Sopranos continue as they have for the last several weeks, but beginning Wednesday, June 29, he’ll work his way through the original British version of The Office over the course of eight weeks, before picking up The Sopranos again in the fall. Both reviews will post at noon.
Our Wednesday line-up closes out with Ryan McGee taking us back to one of the most influential shows of the early 2000s, yet a show that virtually no one talks about anymore, as it was so eclipsed by its creator’s later series. Beginning June 1 at 2 p.m., Ryan revisits J.J. Abrams’ Alias.
Zack Handlen, of course, will continue to cover Star Trek: The Next Generation at 10 a.m., but watch that space for some other possible surprise announcements.
David Sims’ coverage of Seinfeld, now having moved on to season six, will continue to appear every week at noon.
Finally, Marah Eakin delves into the history of kids’ cult TV by digging out her DVDs of the original Nickelodeon series, The Adventures Of Pete & Pete. Head back to Wellsville with the Wrigleys every Thursday at 2 p.m., starting June 2.
Rowan Kaiser’s never seen mid-2000s cult detective show Veronica Mars. That doesn’t mean he’s not excited to take you through the first season of that show this summer, every Friday at 10 a.m., starting June 3.
Noel Murray’s reviews of the original runs of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel continue this summer, as he heads into the former series’ final season and the latter series’ fourth. The reviews will again be posted weekly at noon, and they will resume May 13.
One of the most influential series ever made, even if it got abysmal ratings in its original airing, Homicide: Life On The Street was an important precursor to The Wire, among many other series. Phil Nugent will dissect one of the all-time great cop shows, beginning June 3 at 2 p.m.
Todd VanDerWerff and Zack Handlen continue their march through season five of The X-Files and season two of Millennium every week at noon. And beginning August 20, they’ll take you through the first season of one of The X-Files most important influences: The Twilight Zone.
Finally, our summer TV Club Classic lineup wouldn’t be complete without some anime. (Well, it was in the past, but it was always missing that certain something.) Beginning June 4 at 2 p.m. every Saturday, Simon Abrams takes you into outer space and also possibly the wild, wild west with Cowboy Bebop.
That’s not every summer TV Club announcement. We’ll, of course, continue covering scripted shows from True Blood to White Collar to Breaking Bad, and we might even add some long-requested shows here and there. Keep watching this space for the official announcement of the summer TV Club schedule, as well as future TV Club announcements in general.