New Castle News

The Couch Potato

August 14, 2013

The Couch Potato: As summer winds down, TV starts to heat up

NEW CASTLE — As the summer winds down, the old Couch Potato is feeling a bit lazy and is not really in a storytelling mood. Hence, we’re going to try something different this week with a "Quick Hits" blog.

Enjoy!

•“Breaking Bad” returned Sunday with the first of the final eight episodes. Spoiler alert, Walt’s DEA agent brother-in-law finally pinned the blue meth and several murders on Walt, so look out for a rocking final few episodes.

•Showtime’s serial killer drama, “Dexter,” began its final season this month, but I have yet to see an episode. No spoiler alerts here, but I’ll be catching up on the final season as soon as humanly possible.

•Showtime’s other great drama, “Homeland,” which is probably the best show currently on TV, begins its third season this fall. You can easily catch up on the first two seasons in about four days, as you’ll quickly become addicted to this terrorist themed thrill ride.

•The FX Network continues to reinvent itself as it begins an expansion by splitting the original FX channel into two. The original FX remains, focusing heavily on drama series, while the new sister channel, FXX, will focus more on comedies. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “The League” headline the new FXX channel. Side note: check out both shows if you can as each exhibits characteristics of a modern-day Seinfeld. Check back next week for my expanded take on “The League,” which was created by a former “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” producer.

•The Couch Potato always relies heavily on a few summer family favorites and each is still delivering. Reruns and a new season of ABC’s “Wipeout” is always good for a few cheap laughs, while its twin brother, “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” continues to serve up the groin shots in record numbers. If there is nothing else on television, you can’t go wrong with either one of these shows.

•Comedy Central continues to tap young and upcoming comedians for new shows. Some fail very badly and others find an audience quick enough to survive. “Tosh.0,” which is essentially a rude Funniest Home Videos, continues to thrive in its fifth season, while “The Jeselnik Offensive” and “Inside Amy Schumer” have done enough to warrant more episodes. Both shows are edgy and not for everyone, but funny nonetheless. Side note: Anthony Jeselnik is a Pittsburgh native and once dated Amy Schumer.

•The Discovery Channel recently completed the always popular “Shark Week,” but it’s a new show on the network that is getting more buzz. I was able to catch the second episode of “Naked and Afraid,” where two people are dropped into a remote jungle location with no clothes and no supplies and have to survive for 21 days. It is riveting television as the contestants drop as much as 30 pounds while struggling to survive nature and their own limitations.

•Lastly, we got our first taste of the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday night as they took on the New York Giants and now the NFL is back in the preseason swing. The Couch Potato is looking forward to football weekends once again.

Can’t wait!

 

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Beginning tonight, the Pittsburgh Penguins will take on the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the NHL playoffs. So, who ya got? And in how many games?

Penguins, in five games or fewer. Too much firepower for the Blue Jackets, especially if Evgeni Malkin is ready to go.
Penguins, in six or seven games. It’s a pretty even matchup on defense, but Pittsburgh will grind it out.
Blue Jackets, in five games or fewer. Sergei Bobrovsky in goal for the Blue Jackets spells trouble for the Pens.
Blue Jackets, in six or seven games. Bobrovsky gives Columbus the edge, but it won’t be easy.
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