In summer, TV keeps rolling on

The cast of Community - saved by Yahoo! Screen

The cast of Community - saved by Yahoo! Screen

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:02 PM ET

I've been off for a few weeks, taking advantage of the little window between the end of the Canadian network upfronts and the beginning of the Television Critics Association tour. Shockingly, TV continued without me.

So here are my thoughts on a few shows that had the audacity to return or debut or make news during my absence:

TRUE BLOOD

(Sundays on HBO Canada)

Sookie Stackhouse, played by Anna Paquin, arguably has become the most irritating character on TV. Many would say I'm late to the party. But it has been confirmed for me early in the seventh and final season.

Full admission, I used to really love this series. It was groundbreaking when it debuted and inspired countless copycats. But like a lot of successful shows, the financial reasons to continue long ago outweighed the creative reasons to continue. A wise colleague of mine once stated that she was watching the latter seasons of Dexter merely out of habit. I have to say, I'm doing the exact same thing with True Blood.

But what has started to drive me particularly crazy about Sookie is her hillbilly arrogance. Her inability to stay clear of vampires, and to follow her heart with no sense of reason or radar for danger, has been a major contributing factor to the ruination of Bon Temps, La. Sookie knows this, too.

And yet, she still can be uppity. It's as if Sookie Stackhouse and Toronto mayor Rob Ford were using the same public-relations consultants.

THE LEFTOVERS

(Sundays on HBO Canada)

I saw the first episode of this back in January and didn't have a great reaction to it. That was a long time ago, though, so I gave it another chance when it debuted. It still leaves me a bit cold.

Credit where credit is due, the series had an excellent and desirably chilling opening sequence, as 2% of the world's population disappeared without a trace. But when the story quickly jumped ahead three years, it suddenly felt like several other shows rolled into one.

I'm sick of all these “small-town America reacts to mysterious circumstances” tales. And why are there always troubled teens and befuddled parents and glib town councillors and oodles of creepy, gun-toting vigilantes?

It's intense, yes. But to come over to The Leftovers, at some point I'm going to have to start caring about somebody in the show, and at this juncture I just don't.

UNDER THE DOME

(Mondays on CBS, Global)

Consider this a SPOILER ALERT if you haven't seen the second-season premiere, but right at the end of the episode, with high-school lockers and a slasher-style attack, didn't it feel as if this show had morphed into Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

We'll see what happens as the season progresses, because anything can occur when Stephen King is involved (he wrote the book upon which Under the Dome is based, and also penned the first episode of the new season). “Dead” is a relative term in a playground such as this.

But my assumption is that Angie (Britt Robertson) is physically dead as a traditional human being. And that's too bad, because earlier in the episode they seemed to be setting up some quality tension between the suddenly cutthroat Angie and Big Jim Rennie (Dean Norris).

Angie was the only character to interact with King in his brief cameo, by the way. Maybe he felt guilty.

Of course, Angie wasn't the only main character to meet her demise. The same fate befell Linda (Natalie Martinez).

So what does the dome have against women, huh?

COMMUNITY

(Returning for a sixth season on streaming service Yahoo! Screen)

Divergent opinions on quality notwithstanding, it's virtually impossible for any series that has lasted more than a season or two to ride off into the sunset with any degree of dignity any more. Back to school, folks. Suggested new title: The Learning Dead.

Twitter: @billharris_tv

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

 


Videos

Photos