JRE Watches Summer TV

Summertime TV, in the non-ratings period spanning December to February, is a notorious dumping ground for truly bad shows. It’s also a testing ground for great shows - in Australia, The West Wing first appeared in summer 2001-02. As a rule, though, most of the shows screening over summer will be unadulterated crap. So what’s on Australian TV this summer that’s worth recording? Suggestions for additions to this list will be greatly appreciated.

  • Spymaster (8:30pm Mondays, ABC) A reality TV show (no, wait, keep reading), chronicling twelve people’s journey through spy school. It’s from the BBC, so it can’t be all bad - and it looks like it’ll appeal to anyone who ever wanted to be James Bond.
  • Las Vegas (8:30pm Wednesdays and Sundays, Seven) On a not dissimilar topic, Las Vegas is a drama series that follows days in the life of a security guard at a Las Vegas casino. The first episode certainly seemed promising - the central character is caught in bed with his boss’ daughter, and the remainder of the episode is his day on the job afterward.
  • Creature Comforts (8:30pm Thursdays, ABC) I don’t know if this was just a one-off or not, but I sincerely hope it wasn’t. Creature Comforts is a claymation production from Aardman (therefore it must be good), in which animals talk about their deepest, darkest feelings. This week’s topics: The Circus, Working Animals, and The Vet, which featured a piranha with tooth decay. More, please, ABC.
  • Carnivale (ABC) I only know of this show by name - apparently it ran on HBO to rave reviews and multiple Emmys. It’s a historical drama, set in Depression-era America, and apparently it’s quite good. Look forward to it. There are some old favourites screening as well:

    • The Office (10pm Mondays, ABC)

    • Spooks (10:25pm Fridays, ABC)

    • Iron Chef (8:30pm Saturdays, SBS)

    • Malcolm in the Middle (8pm Mondays, Nine)

    • Third Watch (9:30pm Tuesdays, Nine)

… and… after nearly two years of waiting… The West Wing is back! Thankyou, Channel Nine, all is forgiven! 10:30pm, Monday nights.