It's pretty easy to cover what interests me on TV in summer, since the majority of well-made, compelling shows are on break to allow the hellscape known as Reality TV to sweep across the land. However, good things can be found if you look...and have access to cable or satellite.
1. Top Chef: Interesting that I list a reality show at the top, huh? However, of all the cooking contest shows that have sprung up over the last few years, this one remains the best. Truly skilled young chefs (mostly), competing in sometimes difficult conditions, creating completely original dishes. It's one of the few reality competition shows that is very much still a meritocracy rather than a drama contest. Also, I could watch Padma Lakshmi host an accountant's convention.
2. True Blood: The vampire phenomenon not involving sparkling or abstinence (definitely not abstinence...) HBO took a bit of a risk greenlighting the show three years ago, based on a series of novels by Charlaine Harris. Classic vampirism set in the modern (though campily backward) Deep South, the show's themes deal with segregation and discrimination, religious intolerance, and personal conflicts of loyalty. Lest you think this sounds too cerebral, there are also terrible Southern accents, over-the-top gore, and plenty of nudity for those looking for less thinky fare.
3. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart: Stewbeef continues to be the recognized leader in fake news. Presenting well-researched and hilarious commentary on those who make their living delivering poorly researched commentary on the world of politics, the work done by the team at the show has never felt stale.
4. The Soup: Joel McHale could well be the funniest man on TV right now, and "Community" doesn't even start its second season for a few weeks. Long live Mankini!
Anybody watching anything that should be noted? I'm always willing to give a new show a try (except for Seacrest, because screw that tiny man and his millions...)