On a lighter note, we have become engaged in a handful of summer TV shows while our regular shows (The Office, American Idol, SNL, etc.) are on hiatus:
- American Gladiators - I loved this show when I first watched it back in the early '90s. It came on right after Saturday Night Live, and I would frequently stay up to watch it as I rushed to finish my Sunday School homework (which I had procrastinated on earlier in the week). So we were pretty excited when it came back earlier this year, and again in May. The added trash-talking by the Gladiators can be somewhat annoying (especially from Wolf), but I do like the new and old events, as well as the enhanced storylines of the contenders - e.g., best friends, fellow cops, people who have had significant weight loss, newlyweds, a 52-year-old woman, a few people with disabilities, etc. It gives the contenders more of a human side rather than just people running around in spandex suits. Anyway we are always excited to watch AG, and it certainly provides a bright side to Mondays.
- America's Best Dance Crew - We thought it sounded a little silly when we first heard about it, but then watched the finale of the first season and subsequently a marathon of the first season and were hooked by the time Season 2 started. The dancing really is great and incredibly entertaining. Ben's favorites are Super Cr3w and Supreme Soul, while I am rooting for (and voting for) my hometown SoReal Cru. Another thing is that this show features Mario Lopez as host and JC Chasez as one of the judges, which is a small bonus for me as a huge Saved by the Bell and *NSYNC fan.
- Everybody Loves Raymond - We have both watched this show from time to time in reruns, and never watched it when it was originally airing, but now we watch reruns nearly every night during dinner (alternating between that and the Saved by the Bell reruns on The N). Some people might find it frustrating - and understandably so - but we find it funny and often quite insightful on life and relationships.
- Wipeout - This one and the one below are not quite as important for us to catch as the top 2 on this list, but they've also provided some significant entertainment. It's almost like AG but more comical and with lots of falling down, water, and falling down into water. Since I was a baby I have always gotten big laughs out of people falling down (as long as they are not seriously injured or anything), and this show has made me laugh to tears at times.
- I Survived a Japanese Game Show - Japanese game shows are pretty amusing by themselves, so we thought this was worth a shot. It's about a bunch of Americans in Japan who have to live together and compete on a Japanese game show while also trying to avoid elimination and win a large cash prize. The Japanese game show competitions can be pretty funny, and my biggest critique is that I wish they would spend much more time on those activities than they do on the drama among the participants about who likes/dislikes whom and who is going to get eliminated. But I guess if we want more Japanese game show activities, we should just watch a Japanese game show. Hey, whatever happened to that show called Sushi TV on the TV Guide Channel? (Actually, what happened to the TVGC? Does it still exist?)
For the record, in the midst of these shows, we still DO get all of our schoolwork and other activities accomplished, so don't worry!