OK so it's been far too hot this month to be stuck indoors watching TV - but I've managed to come up with a few shows...
"Grey's Anatomy" (picture courtesy of http://www.greysanatomyinsider.com/) reached the end of its latest season and as usual, it was best to have the Kleenex handy. This has been a cracking season and proof that the show is still in its prime with good characters and storylines. My one criticism is that the show's creators/writers know what emotional buttons to press and it can all be a bit contrived and manipulative at times. The penultimate episode, for me, brought a lump to my throat - that moment when Izzie and Alex decided to get married, to be precise. Of course the final scenes in the season finale brought a dramatic and totally surprising twist. I read a spoiler somewhere so I know who's in and who's out for next season, and being the nice girl that I am I won't spoil it for you here :)
That spin-off show "Private Practice" (picture courtesy of ABC) is also back and its season premiere was wedged in between the final two episodes on Living last week. Strangely enough, it was a slightly disappointing opener, although I really enjoyed the first season; hopefully it will get better. It's a more lightweight frothy alternative to "Grey's", but like all these hospital/clinic dramas it has no credibility - does a hospital or clinic really exist with all those doctor/doctor romances going on?
The daddy of all the hospital dramas is of course "ER" which finally came to an end and went out in a very dignified fashion. I liked the way they brought back the older characters over the course of the final season, it was all very natural and well-done. To the end, "ER" never lost its dramatic strength, and arguably has been one of the best US TV series of the last 20 years. I only got into "ER" after George Clooney departed the series so I invested in the Season 1 box set the other week, and maybe one of these years I'll get round to watching it :)
One American series which I won't be revisiting is "Army Wives" on Living. I liked season one, but the first three or four episodes of season two were so dismal and depressing that I couldn't take any more and stopped watching. I know the subject matter is no fun, but a little lighter touch wouldn't go amiss.
"90210" finishes tonight on E4 and I'll probably watch this tomorrow. Strangely enough I've enjoyed this updated version of one of my old early 90s favourites, it's still gloriously cheesy escapism. My favourite character is Erin Silver, played by Jessica Stroup: she acts everyone off the screen in every scene that she's in and I hope we see a lot more of this fine young actress.
Elsewhere....My "Hollyoaks" backlog is going so far back that I've probably got about 3 weeks worth of episodes to watch. My enthusiasm for the show is slightly waning, I admit. As usual, after a big story (Warren was killed in the fire in The Loft, and Justin headed off into the sunset in a car with Russ who abducted his son...just another day in that sleepy little village!) the show has struggled to get back on track.
"Coronation Street" meanwhile had a spell when it was good, but two things have spoiled it recently - any scene with David Platt in it, and the ludicrous Fiz and John Stape storyline. No, make that three things: Rosie Webster.
"Come Dine With Me" was back in its nightly slot, which is always well worth watching with Dave Lamb's voiceovers - one of the funniest things on TV - even though you probably wouldn't want to eat any of the meals on offer :)))
It's been in a nightly Channel 4 double bill with series 3 of "Coach Trip". I loved the first two series but this one quickly lost its magic for me. Too much time is spent on recaps, and not enough on the destinations or the interaction between the travellers. I'm off the coach...