"Summer TV." The words alone are enough to send chills of indifference up your couch-curved spine. But is that an unfair assessment? After all, some of the best TV ever has premiered in the doggy days of summer—shows like Mad Men and True Blood, and going back further, The Amazing Race, The Wire, and yes, even Seinfeld. So put down that beach ball and sit right down! Really? You’re fine with that? All right, then! All that’s left now is to determine what kind of summer TV watcher you are. Here are a few viewer personality profiles. Which one defines you best?
Competitive Reality Fan
Whether you’re cheering on dancing gnomes on America’s Got Talent, getting plastered while playing The Bachelorette drinking games, or merely hitching your cab to the Hot Tamale Express on So You Think You Can Dance, you simply can’t get enough of summer’s reality competition offerings. And lucky for you, there’s a hell of a lot of them! You’re not even picky: Platinum Hit followed by a The Glee Project chaser? Sign you up! Hours and hours of Gordan Ramsay on Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef. So long as there’s a talking head interview in which someone is yammering on about how he's “not here to make friends,” you’re game.
Or maybe the kind of reality you crave is of a different sort: You prefer cable documentary shows about crazy people! Shows like A&E;’s Intervention and Hoarders, or TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras. Luckily, all of those shows and more just like them make the debuts in the summertime. Start hoarding them on your DVRs now!
When it comes to summer series, you may not be up for serious, long-term commitments— but you certainly enjoy indulging in a wide variety of meaningless flings! Franklin & Bash were too needy, Love Bites turned out not to be the real thing, Teen Wolf needed some manscaping, and Falling Skies was from Mars. Maybe Wilfred will prove to be the one! But don’t count on it, dawg.
Premium Cable Snob
Well smell you, swishing around that snifter of brandy and rambling on about how you only dine on the finest cable dramas money can buy. The Big C and Weeds on Showtime make for tasty appetizers, followed by a generous helping of True Blood on HBO as the main entree. Served bloody, of course. Garcon! More breadsticks, please!
Creature of Habit
Premium cable is a little too rarefied for your taste; you prefer the Chipotle of the TV world, serving basic-cable action and procedural fare. The "last" button on your remote is used primarily to toggle between USA Network and TNT, where shows like Burn Notice, White Collar, Royal Pains, HawthoRNe, and Leverage, race to blow up the bad guys and/or solve the case (or diagnose the disease, or whatever) before the hour is through.
Big Brother Freak
There are summer reality fans, and then there are the people who watch Big Brother. Not the casual, “Hm. I wonder who’s H-O-H this week, and who’s eating bean dip out of a sombrero in the kiddie pool?” But, rather, the ones who bookmark every 24-hour camera feed available and obsessively monitor the cast’s every bodily function, as captured by night-vision camera. If that’s you, you know who you are. It’s a full-time job.
'Fess up: What type of summer TV viewer are you? Answer the poll below, then head to the comments to make a case for your summer shows of choice.