In my July 16 column, I delved into my summer television obsessions which included Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” and TV Land’s “Younger.” This week, I’m tackling the next two on my TiVo list that keep me occupied during the long dog days (and nights) of summer …
The Strain | Season 2 | Sundays at 10 on FX
Basically a vampire version of The Walking Dead, I gave this a shot purely to have something to watch on Sunday nights. Here, we got to see the start of the apocalypse (though they’re not actually calling it that yet) and in some ways, it’s far more gruesome than Dead. These aren’t your teenage daughter’s vampires; no sparkling skin or brooding eyes. These guys dispel snake-length tongues that latch on and bleed you dry. If you manage to scrape by with just a scratch, you’ll likely find yourself with worms wriggling under your skin, spreading the infection. And when you turn, my, do you get ugly. Ugliest of all is The Master, king of the vamps, who has a mysterious tie to one of the main characters, played by David Bradley. He’s joined by a CDC scientist (Corey Stoll) and a small band of determined New Yorkers dead set on killing all the bloodsuckers and keeping the strain contained to the five boroughs. It’s incredibly slow-moving, but when the action does pop up, it’s disgusting. It’s sub-par television horror; I personally prefer zombies.
America’s Got Talent | Season 10 | Tuesdays at 8 on NBC
I don’t remember precisely when I started watching AGT. Probably around the same time my affection for American Idol waned. I’ve never been much of a talent competition junkie, mainly because the market is just completely saturated with them. AGT caught my interest solely because it’s so interesting! It’s not just singers and dancers—it’s ventriloquists and aerial acts and comedians, danger stunts and magic. And yeah, singers and dancers. There’s no age limit, which means adorable little kids and charming elderly people get up there on that stage to give it all they’ve got. Plus, I always love when a show is set in New York as opposed to Los Angeles. Makes the action feel just a little closer to home, even if I’m not there. The judges are by far the most bearable of those sitting on panels lately and even host Nick Cannon is tolerable. They just started the live rounds last week, and trust me, it’s not too late to join the excitement!