A Few Thoughts on the End of Summer
Summer is over. Well, not officially, the equinox isn’t until September 23rd, and not unofficially either since Labor Day is three days away, but bear with me okay? For some of us its felt like early fall for a few weeks now. Personally, I’ve noticed a few leaves changing color in the past few days. Unless you live in Southern California (lucky you), the end of summer means the end of time spent at the pool or at the beach. For the rest of us, we can rationalize by saying how much we all like having seasons, but let’s be honest, that’s a lie. If we could have summer all the time, we would.
The end of summer also means the end of popcorn movies. This year’s crop included a few good ones: Thor, Harry Potter, Captain America; more bad ones: Transformers, Cowboys and Aliens, Fast Five, Conan the Barbarian, The Green Lantern; and some that were frankly inexplicable: The Smurfs, Spy Kids. All in all, it was a highly unoriginal crop of movies, but to be honest it was pretty de rigeur at this point. In any case, don’t expect things to change too soon. On the comedy side, there were a few positive signs, including Horrible Bosses and Bridesmaids, but still more disappointment: The Hangover 2, The Change Up, 30 Minutes or Less. That said, comedy is the medium where Hollywood generally allows for the most innovation, so maybe this summer signals a shift towards more R ratings and smarter writing. While we won’t have summer movies to kick around in the coming months, the great thing about movies is that there is never a dearth of stupidity to mock. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
The end of summer also means that we can all come out of the TV wilderness and bask in the glory of fall premieres and new debuts. Ironically, when it comes to TV, it is during late September when hope springs eternal. Most of the new shows will fail, and the ones that succeed will likely be the worst of the bunch, but this year’s crop includes a couple of promising entries among the usual schlock of unfunny sitcoms and crime procedurals. Fox’s Terra Nova and ABC’s Pan Am (Christina Ricci as a flight attendant? Count me in) loos particularly intriguing. On the other end of the spectrum are every new CBS sitcom and ABC’s Suburgatory (woof). I predict that those will be the only shows that get renewed.
Summer is a sports wasteland. After the NBA and NHL playoffs wrap up in June we’re left with nothing, but baseball for two whole months, and let’s be honest, baseball is kinda boring. College football kicks off this weekend, and unlike most seasons, where non-conference games in the first couple weeks are filled with unappealing match-ups, this year’s slate actually has a few interesting games, most notably No. 3 Oregon at No. 4 LSU and No. 5 Boise State at No. 19 Georgia (my money is on UGA and Oregon). And with college football starting that means only days separate us from the beginning of the NFL season. October will bring the World Series and the beginnings of the hockey and college basketball seasons with my beloved UCONN Huskies trying to repeat.
What I’m getting at is, enjoy your Labor Day weekend, but don’t despair for summer. There’s plenty of fun to be had in the coming months. I’ll still be here, it’s not like I have a job.