What to watch on television now

Lindsay Slocum

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Falling skies, on TNT, offers a good alternative to the usual teen dramas that fill weekday programming.

When I turned off the TV on a late night in May, my heart sank as I realized I had to wait five more months for my favorite show to return.  Even though most shows go off the air during summer months, television viewers do not have to resort to reruns on Wednesday evenings.  Summer television actually has a lot to offer including fill-ins for fall favorites or even providing a new favorite show.

The Vampire Diaries, a teen girl favorite, doesn’t start its fourth season until Oct. 11, but there is a summer program that can take its place, Teen WolfTeen Wolf has all the elements that make The Vampire Diaries great: forbidden love, supernatural threats, and fantastic character dynamics.  It follows the life of Scott a high school boy who becomes a werewolf after being bitten by one. He ends up involved in a world he never knew existed. The relationships between the characters and the often unseen plot twists in the show make it an ideal replacement for TVD. Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm on MTV. The first season is available on Netflix and season two is available on MTV.com.

Pretty Little Liars aired new episodes during the summer, making it the number one scripted television show for females aged 12-34 during the summer months. The season finished up last Tuesday and over the course of the hour-long finale, dropped several surprises.  In the finale one character, who will remain unnamed to avoid spoilers, appears to have betrayed the girls, but when it comes to Pretty Little Liars nothing is ever as it appears to be.  PLL will air a Halloween special on Oct. 23 and return for the next season in January 2013 as well as a web series, Pretty Dirty Secrets, that posts new episodes every Tuesday.

Castle on ABC is a fall favorite for both adults and teenagers. With the long anticipated Castle and Kate hookup finally happening in the season finale, viewers were left wondering where their relationship would go and with a long wait for the new season.  Rookie Blue is a show that can fill the void. Like Castle it is set in a police station and has the same frustrating character relationships that keep the viewer coming back for more. Another ABC show, Rookie Blue airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

In addition, shows like Suits, Burn Notice, and Falling Skies on networks like USA and TNT are good replacements for your normal fill of weeknight drama and involve unique characters like spies, aliens and lawyers.  These shows offer a breath of fresh air from the relentless amount of singing competitions and crime dramas.  But, if during the summer the lack of singing competitions is disappointing, there is a reality competition show on during the summer worth watching, So You Think You Can Dance.  While obviously not about singing, but rather dancing, the show still offers the viewer a chance to laugh at bad auditions and to be amazed by awe-inspiring performances.  So You Think You Can Dance is on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

The best way to find quality summer television is to fall back to the basics and channel surf.  Watch a few minutes of a show instead of going online and reading the description and making the snap judgment that it won’t be any good.  Flip between the cable and network channels and give summer television a chance because good programs are out there.