Summer is coming…

And you know what that means, right? Long stretches of time without a single new episode of your favorite shows. {Insert sad trombone sound here.}

Sure, these days the cable channels air plenty of new shows during the “off” seasons – some of them my favorites, like White Collar, Franklin & Bash or So You Think You Can Dance. But still, we have fewer shows to choose from during the summer and sometimes, we don’t have any shows at all.

Enter Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and all the DVDs you can find at the library and clearance bin at Walmart.

I’ve actually discovered some of my very favorite shows during rerun season: Arrested Development, Freaks and Geeks, Firefly and Parks & Recreation. And I keep a running list of “shows I want to watch on DVD” for emergency nothing-new-on-TV situations. But while that running list is great in theory, it’s gotten so long that I’ve become a paralyzed TV viewer. I don’t know what to watch first!

Here’s where you come in. Help me decide what shows to catch up on this summer?

I’ll give you a place to start. Here are the top shows on my list:

  • Friday Night Lights: I know. It’s ridiculous that I have not watched your beloved Friday Night Lights. I KNOW, okay? I want to, I really do! But I also think Mark would like it, and our time for watching TV together is so limited that we just haven’t been able to get to it. I promise, this is first on my “catch up” agenda, though.
  • West Wing: And how about this? How did I not watch this show when it was first on? Again, this is one I want to watch with Mark and oh my word, it’s SEVEN seasons long! That is a major time investment! Still, I really want to watch this show. I’m about 99% sure I’ll love it.
  • Parenthood: See, here’s the thing. I watched the first couple of seasons sporadically, but I just couldn’t commit. Not because it’s not good, and not because I didn’t love it. It is, and I did. But holy box of Kleenex, it is TOO MUCH emotion for me! It’s just so MUCH. Still, everyone else in the world adores this show and the weekly cry-fests, so I figure I should give it another try. Right? Should I?
  • Scandal: This show looks cuh-raze-y. I mean, just insane. But I hear it’s really good. So…
  • 30 Rock: I missed the last several episodes of the season (and series) this past year. Much as I love Tina Fey and this show, I was never a faithful fan. But as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sucker for finales, so I want to catch these last episodes.
  • Call the Midwife: So many people say this is good, but it really doesn’t sound good. Then again, neither did Downton Abbey. (Oh, shoot, That reminds me I still need to watch the last season of Downton Abbey…)
  • Mad Men: I’m torn on this one. People who know me – and know that I’ve worked in advertising and really kind of love marketing of all sorts – are always surprised to find out I don’t watch this show. But I don’t know…it seems so serious, and there are so many seasons…is it worth it? No, really. Is it?
  • Veronica Mars, second season (again): The second season of VM is my favorite season of any show, ever. I’ve watched it several times and before the movie comes out, I’ll probably watch it again.
  • Arrested Development (again): It’s probably not possible for me to rewatch all three seasons of AD before the weird fourth season comes out later this month. But I’d like to.

So, what do you think? Do I have the right shows on my list? What should I skip? What should I add? And…

What TV shows will YOU be catching up on this summer?

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