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Labor Day Week Preemptions 2017

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Primetime TV Update - August 2015

Here's a quick description of all of the shows I've watched and completed in August 2015. Of course, as always, there is a possibility of spoilers for any primetime show I mention.

The month of August had the completion of some short run Summer series as well as catching up with other shows that I'd backlogged. This month I actually watched three comedies, which rather surprised me.

On ABC, I watched  "The Astronauts Wives Club" based upon a book of the same name. It was a limited run program primarily about the lives of the wives of the Mercury Astronauts. The main reason I checked it out was it was its producers Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz. The show originally was to air during the summer of 2014, so the cast had moved on obviously. The story wasn't 100% historical, but was typically factual about the women's lives in both Florida and Houston, Texas.

On ABC Family, I watched "Stitchers", which was billed as the channel's first procedural. It didn't feel like a true murder of the week show as the mythology was so strong. Kirsten (Emma Ishta) goes into a machine that put her into the brain of a recently killed person. The technology was created by her late parents, and as the show goes on we discover the mysteries behind the apparatus. Cameron (Kyle Harris) seems to have feelings for Kirsten and helps her solve crimes. Linus (Ritesh Rajan) is part of the team as is Camille (Allison Scagliotti), who is Kirsten's roommate. Camille and Kirsten live together, but are more rivals than friends.

On BBCAmerica, I finished the third season of "Orphan Black", which I held back watching until after the run ended. This year we discovered who the original of the Castor and Leda clones was. This tied everyone even more together. With this show yet more characters died and seemingly won't be coming back. Tatiana Maslany played another new clone Krystal, who was really fun, though unfortunately seems to be out of the story. Hope they change that in the future.

On Comedy Central, I watched "Another Period", an extremely dark comedy that was a parody of reality shows except it took place in the early 1900s in New England. The Bellacourts have a manor, and we see the lives of the people both upstairs and downstairs. Lillian (Natasha Leggero) and Beatrice (Riki Lindhome) are sisters who are spoiled and utterly ridiculous. Their husbands are a same sex couple, but neither could care less. Lillian has eight daughters, but cared more about fame. Beatrice was clueless about most things, and the twin of Frederick (Jason Ritter), with whom she shared an incestuous romance. The downstairs characters were lead by Peepers (Michael Ian Black), the head butler, who was in love with the Bellacourt mother Dodo (Paget Brewster). Historical figures of the day were parodied as well as the casual use of drugs like cocaine, which at the time were not seen as addictive.

On IFC, I watched "Spoils Before Dying", a comedy parody of a "banned" film noir from 1959. The show aired over three nights and was six half-hour episodes. Will Ferrell announced in character (as Eric Jonrosh) about the show he directed. The main stars were Michael Kenneth Williams as a jazz musician accused of murder. Kristen Wiig as his drug addicted love, and Maya Rudolph as a murdered singer. Michael Sheen has a surprising role in the show, so unlike Bill Masters. 

On Lifetime, I watched "UnREAL", which was a summer series that was picked up for a second run of episodes. The show focused on two female leads played by Constance Zimmer as Julia and Shiri Appleby as Rachel. Their characters had a unique relationship as sometimes allies and oftentimes enemies. Julia was Rachel's boss at the reality show "Everlasting", and both women had love affairs that fell apart. Julia had been with Chet (Craig Bierko) for years, even though he was married and continued to see whores. Rachel slept with Adam (Freddie Stroma), the British royal bachelor, and her former boyfriend Jeremy (Josh Kelly). We got to know about some of the female contestants also. The show has been renewed, but it has not been announced what the next season's theme will be.

On Logo, I caught up with the approximately fifteen year old series Queer as Folk from the UK. The version on Logo, probably was edited, but I couldn't tell the difference. This was the show that put Russell T. Davies on the map, and probably is part of why he got to revive "Doctor Who" for BBC. There were ten episodes in all over two series: the first eight were about 30 minutes and the last two were 45 minutes long. Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger from Game of Thrones stars as Stuart), Craig Kelly (as Vince) and Charlie Hunnam in his first role plays Nathan. Stuart and Vince have been best friends since they were teens and are both gay. Stuart hooks up with a lot of men including Nathan, who is a 15 year old boy. Vince dated Cameron (Peter O'Brien), though still had feelings for Stuart. Vince is an obsessive fan of Doctor Who during the wilderness years, and there is a lot of comedy around that.

On PBS, I watched "Poldark", which was a BBC production based on a book series. In the 1970s, there was another adaptation of the story. It has been picked up for another series, and filming is happening this year. Aidan Turner plays the title character Ross Poldark, who comes back to Great Britain after the Revolutionary War. He is thought to be dead, so his former fiance Elizabeth (Heida Reed) moved on with his cousin Francis (Kyle Soller). Ross marries Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson), who had been his maid after having sex with her. Poldark is nothing, but noble and that gets him and his family into crisis.

On SundanceTV, I watched "Deutschland 83", the first German language show on US television with subtitles. The show is about the cold war in both East and West Germany. Jonas Nay played Martin, was spying for the east and using the name Moritz in West Germany. He worked for General Edel (Ulrich Noethen), who had no idea of his true identity. We also got to know a little bit about Martin's life before becoming a spy as his mother, biological father and girlfriend all had major parts. The AIDS crisis is also part of the story as well as the peace process. It is uncertain if this show will come back after its eight episode run, but it ended with questions still remaining about the cast of characters even if Martin had returned to East Germany.

On USA, I watched the first season of "Playing House". The second season started this month of the 30-minute comedy. I'll write about that once I've seen it. The show is created by and stars two women: Lennon Parham as Maggie and Jessica St. Clair as Emma. Maggie's husband was cheating on her with an adult site, which was discovered during the baby shower. Emma decides to stay in her home town to support her best friend and help raise the child. The show is incredibly quirky, but that's a good thing.

I watched two reality shows during the month of August: "Battlebots" on ABC and "An Idiot Abroad" on Travel Channel. Battlebots was a revival of the Comedy Central show except these episodes were one hour in length. Like the original show, it was more competition than "reality". The fighting bot show has yet to be renewed. An Idiot Abroad aired about five years ago, and I finally saw the first series. This British program is about a man named Karl, who does a travelogue show on the behest of Steven Merchant and Ricky Gervais. They send him to the modern wonders and try to frazzle Karl. For example, he wasn't at all impressed with The Great Wall of China, and believed it to be just okay. 

So that's what I've watched and finished during August of 2015. In September, a lot of new shows are airing, but hopefully I'll finish the rest of my pending programs from this Summer. Happy Viewing!

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