School is in session again and all around the country, kids are writing essays on "What I Did This Summer." This is mine...with a twist...if you're a regular reader of the Tiki Bar Online, you already know what I smoked this summer...I've been presenting it to you in review form constantly. Life is not all about cigars, though, which is why the Tiki Bar is not just another cigar blog. This summer my wife and I enjoyed some good "TV-watching" with a few shows that are either new to us or completely new as well as a few that were like old friends coming back for a visit. This week I'll look at those ones that we discovered during this summer TV season.
|Big Hoss, Rick, and the Old Man|
This show entered its third season with barely any notice from me and my wife. For whatever reason, the idea of a collection of misfits in a Vegas pawnshop just didn't seem appealing...until we watched it. The family drama between 3 generations of the Harrison family is fun and engaging enough, then you add in Chumlee's blank stares and idiot pronouncements as well as a whole host of people wandering in with their old items they want to pawn or sell. The items form the basis for the show and the reason it is being aired on the History Channel; when these particularly interesting items with some historical significance come in, one of the Harrisons relates some storyline to go with it. There was the bottle of Prohibition-era whiskey (legally sold for "medicinal" purposes), a Phillipine Kris sword, a bowling ball mortar, and this really cool traveling gambling kit from the late 1800s, complete with compartment in the bottom for a gun, knife and other items to protect a man's winnings. Pawn Stars has turned out to be a fun show that has not gotten old yet.
|Frank and Mike: the Pickers|
This is another History Channel show that initially we just were not interested in, but it grew on us after watching a few episodes. Frank and Mike travel the country (mostly middle America) in a Mercedes van (the same van that is sold here as the Dodge Sprinter), looking for people who collect junk. Their goal is to turn that junk into dollars by finding new homes for it and at the same time rescue valuable pieces of American history from the scrapheap. Their biggest interests tend to be things like bicycles, motorcycles, engine pieces, car memorabilia, and the like, but they have a wide knowledge on a great many items that they "pick." After watching a couple episodes of A&E's Hoarders it seems like the Pickers need to try to stay one step ahead of the psychiatrists who keep cleaning up some people's messes.
This show came out of the blue and was not just "new to us" but totally new this season. In some ways it can just be described as a "police procedural" drama, but to me this is more CSI: Miami meets Gilmore Girls, by which I mean it is a police drama with some of the wittiest, snappiest dialog and most interesting characters ever. Jim Longworth leaves the Chicago Police Department and moves to Florida. He is a man out of his element with the people and cultures of South Florida, ends up exposing his first partner as a murderer, and falling in love with a doctor married to a convict. It's a complicated show, but a lot of fun to watch. I think this show is a star-maker. When its run is over, people will actually know who Matt Passmore (Jim), Kiele Sanchez (Callie), and Carlos Gomez (Carlos) are...three faces that seem vaguely familiar when you watch them now, but you just can't place them (Kiele Sanchez was in a few episodes of Lost as the ill-fated and much-hated Nikki Fernandez. If you haven't checked out this show, do yourself a favor and set your DVR to record it: A&E, Sunday nights, 10 p.m. (with an encore presentation at 11 p.m.).
Next week I'll talk about a few shows that were not so new, but still fun to see coming back...and one of my old favorites that has really "nuked the fridge."
How about you? Do you watch any of these shows? If so, what do you think? If not, what shows fill up your DVR? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.