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Seven Summer Series You Should Be Watching

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Seven Summer Series You Should Be Watching

Tues Jul 19, 12:00 AM ET <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr><td>

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</td> </tr></tbody></table> Isn't there anything worth watching this summer? It is the question du jour, is it not? And for good reason. Between the reruns of shows you didn't want to watch the first time and the stinking rotten reality shows that make you want to claw your eyes out, this summer's tube offerings are, frankly, a little pathetic.

Thankfully, though, there are a few series you might not have checked out yet--some because they're coming soon and some you may have simply missed them the first time around, as they fly a little under the radar. I'm here to help/convert you.

7. House (Fox, Tuesdays): I just got back from the Fox-lot set of this mind-bendingly good medical drama and am still recovering from cardiac arrest. As if we needed another reason to get excited about House, the second-season premiere has a guest star the ladies do love: That's right, LL Cool J. The ab-fab rapper is playing a death-row inmate (and frighteningly, stays in character the whole time on set, I dookie you not).

More on that as the second season approaches (Sept. 13), but for now, I can tell you that the stars are beside themselves that so many of you are checking out House this summer. (This week a House repeat won its time slot.)

"I guess word of mouth really travels," says Omar Epps. "I think a lot of people are trying to catch up by watching it in the summer, so that's pretty cool."

"All I can tell you is we're getting recognized a lot more," Jennifer Morrison (Dr. Cameron) says with a laugh. "We were all just saying, 'Has it started to be weird in the last couple weeks?!' And it's like, 'Yeah! I think it has!' " Based on the show's momentum (Hugh Laurie just got a much-deserved Emmy nod), something tells me it's about to get weirder.

6. Wonderfalls (Logo, starts July 28): Behold, the wonder! Like little Stewie of Family Guy before them, the cast of Fox's tragically short-lived Wonderfalls has made a triumphant comeback on the Logo Network. Sadly, they won't be producing any new episodes, but all 13 originals (nine of which never aired in the U.S.) will be shown starting July 28.

Wonderfalls creator Bryan Fuller tells me he's thrilled: "With political conservatives and the religious right peeing themselves about the 'homo problem,' it's an honor to see Wonderfalls be a part of Logo's launch. And since Fox kept telling us we couldn't have two women kiss, it's ironic to land on a network where the ladies can kiss all they want."

5. The Inside (Fox, Wednesdays): If you haven't been watching this new crime drama from former Angel (and Wonderfalls!) producer Tim Minear, well, what can I say? You are S.O.L. Especially since, sadly, it seems the show won't be going on much longer. Minear recently wrote on his Website, "While the network hasn't said to me that they won't order more episodes, it sure does shake out that way. On Thursday they needed to extend their options on the cast and decided not to. Considering it would have been chump change for them, it basically means we're done." Catch it while you can. Promise?

4. Over There (FX, premieres July 27): Never before has a scripted television series sought to depict a war currently in progress, so this ensemble drama about a U.S. Army unit on their first tour of duty in Iraq breaks new ground. "The show is intense," says castmember Keith Robinson. "It shows the war through the eyes of the human beings in it, the soldiers, their families at home and even the Middle Eastern families and the insurgents."

Over There, which comes from TV mastermind Steven Bochco, doesn't take any particular political stance, according to Robinson. "It's a bird's-eye view of what is going on," he says. "We're exposing war for what it is. It's not a show that's going to glorify war in the name of entertainment." It's a vivid, heart-wrenching portrayal of what's happening in America and overseas as we speak. You might shed a tear or two. I did.

3. The Closer (TNT, Mondays) This crime drama, about a CIA-trained Atlanta detective (Kyra Sedgwick) who heads a special force on high-profile murder cases looks a little like Alias: The Aftermath, with Sedgwick as a slightly bossier, but just as relatable, butt-kicking babe. "She's multifaceted and funny and fearless and fragile and strong," Kyra says of her character, who is the first female interrogator on such a show. "I feel like she's a real person, a real woman." And thanks to Sedgwick, quirky and cute and watchable. Check it!

2. Weeds (Showtime, premieres Aug. 14): How long have I been talking about this show? Frankly, I can't remember a time when I wasn't. Refresher: Mary-Louise Parker. Soccer mom. Pot dealer. Laugh-out-loud funny. You must watch. No excuses.

1. Veronica Mars (UPN, Wednesdays): I know, I know. I'm nails on a chalkboard and a broken record. But hey, it's working! I won't bore you with my umpteen-millionth plea to watch, but rather, I'll share one of the 112-plus emails (I'm not kidding!) I've gotten from recent converts who are finally checking out Veronica in its summer run. Yay!

 

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