It’s summer time. That means fun fun fun in the sun. Drinking on the patio until the moon goes down (or comes up on work nights). At least these apply to those who aren’t trying to finish a degree program. During a lot of the times I should be basking in the awesomeness that is summer, I have been sitting at this computer researching all sorts of psychological issues then typing up thousands of words about them.

I’ll be done soon though, and despite the lack of sun light, and what that last little bit sounded like, I am not that bitter. Actually I am a bit content because this also means I am able to watch the fine summer time television programming. And no this isn’t sarcasm because most shows are in rerun mode. There are a few new shows and some shows have a summer season (or their fall season starts early, whatever). Well, whatever the case may be I present to you the 5 shows I have been watching this summer, especially lately as my beloved Rockies have begun to upset me.

Jon Benjamin Has a Van

Wednesdays on Comedy Central

This show pisses me off, but not in the way “Two and a Half Men” or “Everybody Loves Raymond” piss me off in that they suck. No “Jon Benjamin Has a Van” has found a different way to piss me off. The way this show works is there is usually one main story going on and in between are other little sketches. The main stories have been so fucking terrible. Every last one of them has annoyed me and made me wish I wasn’t watching the show. But the other sketches have floored me. The sketches often get uber-meta and Jon has found a way to make that work. I just wish there were more of the sketches and less of the suck.

This show has also pissed me off as I had high hopes from Jon Benjamin. He has a distinct voice that works much better in the voice work he does, and his delivery is quite good. I figured we would get more of that from JBHaV, but no such luck. In fact I feel as this show is something his character on “Family Guy” would openly mock. The real lesson here is Jon Benjamin should really just let others write for him. Score a point for the writers!

But like some kind of masochist I am going to watch this show again. With some kind of weak optimism that the story segment will finally be as good as the sketches. Is this what it feels like to be a Cubs fan?

Futurama

Thursdays on Comedy Central

This is the second season since the Planet Express crew made their triumphant return to my television, that in itself is reason enough to watch. I have been watching “The Simpsons” for 22 years now, and it hasn’t been good for the last 10. The point is “Futurama” has a long way to go before I give up on it.

Though this season has felt like it has started doing what “The Simpsons” has been doing which is getting a little too intricate in their stories. Not that they are bad stories, just that they deserve more than 30 minutes (or 24). Perhaps it was the four DVDs they released that caused them to become too reliant on the longer format. Or maybe I’m just an idiot. This is really just a minor problem. The characters are all still awesome and I could watch them reenact You, Me, and Dupree and enjoy it.

The biggest problem with this recent season was pointed out by Senor Limon. There is a very clear absence of Morbo! This is unacceptable. I don’t see how Cleveland can get his own spin off and I can’t even get Morbo in one episode of “Futurama?” What the shit is that about? Let’s put this debt bull shit aside and focus on the real problems of this country, the lack of Morbo on my TV!

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Sundays on HBO

It took me some time to get into Curb. This was mostly due to the lack of HBO in my past, but also because so many people insisted it was a show I needed to watch, I hate that. Don’t tell me what I need to watch. If you like a show and want me to check it out so that we can talk about it say that. Or if you think I may like it then say that. Just don’t keep hammering that I’m missing on some huge fucking thing by not watching some god damned show. Also when I said so many people I mean people who write professionally, and some who write for fun, about television. I absolutely hate those post titled, “5 Shows You Should Be Watching.” The only shows I should be watching are the ones I find entertaining. My television time is for no one but me. So what if I’m not watching “Breaking Bad?” How the hell does that affect anyone but me? So don’t tell me what I should be watching!

Eventually I got HBO and on a whim watched Curb. This show has constantly made me laugh. However, there is often something about it that makes me uneasy. It has something to do with the way things happen to Larry David. The way people will just automatically assume his guiltiness or won’t let him have the opportunity to explain himself. Then these things start to pile up and snowball and the rest of the time is spent trying to dig up. I get this same feeling when I watch Meet The Parents and why I hate that movie.

This new season is only four episodes deep but so far it has been the funniest season. I don’t really know if that is accurate. I may just be thinking that only because it is current to me and can’t recall how I much I laughed during the other seasons. Either way this season is ridiculously funny and I am so pleased with it.

Necessary Roughness.

Wednesdays on USA

I got turned on to this because a friend of mine said it was her favorite show of the summer. Then we had the exchange:

Hart: Is it anything like the movie?

Her: There’s a movie?

Hart: Yeah. From the late 80’s or so. I don’t really remember it except it had football and Kathy Ireland.

I’m pretty sure at that point in my life all movies were categorized into one of two categories: Movies with football and Kathy Ireland and Movies without football and Kathy Ireland. The Last Boy Scout confused me because it had football but no Kathy Ireland. Childhood was a confusing time.

I still have no idea if this show is like the movie or not. But I have been enjoying the show. Well, since this article has pretty much been me saying I enjoy the show then pointing out the flaws here goes. There is a lot going on in every episode. This chick is a psychiatrist who gets hired by a pro football team. So every episode deal with how she is helping the team as well as another client she has, and all the shit she is going through while experiencing a divorce. I feel overwhelmed with all the shit I have to do that I can’t imagine being up to my neck the way she is.

This show tends to follow a pattern week after week. She always has some client she is trying to help. We are privy to all their therapy sessions and see how they’re progressing. She usually seems to be helping but there is one last hurdle she can’t get over to give the client a full diagnosis or what needs to be done to fully help them. Then, during some other aspect of her life something will be said which triggers a bunch of clues left by the client allowing her figure out what exactly the problem is. This is something that is done pretty much for dramatic effect, but I can’t help but thinking that maybe she’s not that good of a psychiatrist. But it’s kind of nice as I use it to test my own knowledge, to see if these last few years have been worth anything, and attempt to diagnose the patient before she can. I figured out the OCD one before she did, no big deal.

Franklin and Bash

Wednesdays on TNT

Breckin Meyer and Zack Morris together on my TV. Why wouldn’t I like this show? A couple of hot shot lawyers making a mockery of the court all while winning their cases, sounds like fun. You would never expect to see these kind of antics in court, unless it’s Night Court. This fantasy court is what makes this show fun. It is also an interesting commentary about how this younger generation views and approaches these jobs. It’s this idea that this generation isn’t as uptight like the last one and takes a more fun and laid back approach. It’s the idea that we all want that dot.com work place atmosphere in whatever stuffy job we have.

Much like “Necessary Roughness,” “Franklin and Bash” follows a pattern. Every week there are two cases going on. Eventually there is setback, then a break, and finally they win the case. But you don’t watch the show wondering if they’re going to win, but how they are going to win. You know the destination, so just enjoy the ride.

I don’t know what it is exactly, maybe my many years of watching Scooby Doo, but I like these kinds of shows and I like to try to figure out the ending. I like this stability in my television. I’ll save the real thinking and the deep plot twist to movies.

Also I really want Breckin Meyer to be my friend.

lee.s.hart@crujonessociety.com