EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

Image Credit: "Celebrity Family Feud" will feature football players from the AFC and NFC's Offense and Defense teams, on SUNDAY, JULY 3 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

The new age of summer TV

Summer television. There used to be a time when people assumed (and rightly so) that summer TV meant a bunch of reruns, game shows, and a lot of dead air. But 2015 was the year that changed summer TV forever. Enter Mr. Robot, UnReal, Tyrant’s second season, and other television shows that made us sit up and realize that summer is some TV real estate that’s been slept on.

Take, for instance, Mr. Robot. A lot has been made of the fact that such a cerebral show is on a cable network like USA. Just look up the slew of interviews Rami Malek did during and after the first season of Mr. Robot; you’ll find that the majority of interviewers pose Malek the same question, which is something to the effect of, “Can you believe this show is on USA, the same network that shows Psych and Suits?” With all respect to USA, it is a valid question, and I think even they knew the switch from sunny dramedies to dark, brooding, HBO-esque fare would be something that would take everyone by surprise. But the inevitable question that comes next is, “Can you believe this show is on in the summer? Now we’ve got to be glued to our TVs during the summer, too?”

The roster of dramas have made a lot of hardcore TV watchers realize that the new summer schedule is both a gift and, instead of saying “curse,” I’ll say that it requires a bit of a learning curve. A lot of us have grown up used to the fact that summertime is TV “off time.” But now that we’re in a new age of summer television, I’ve been left with questions.

First, why hadn’t the summer television slots been used for hard-hitting dramas in the first place? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that up until about 10 years ago, movies were still seen as the place where the real drama occurred, while television was a refuge for sitcoms and game shows. Perhaps it also has to do with the fact that there was a cultural awareness of television’s unspoken “vacation time.” Like with school, TV seemed to go off during the summer, and the hardcore watchers would have to wait for the fall for the next season of Law & Order or Ally McBeal. If you wanted critical fare, you had to either watch your recorded episodes (recorded manually on VHS, mind you), or you simply had to get out of the house and go to the movie theater. Nowadays, though, TV excels at storytelling at a much more rapid and critically acclaimed pace than than film, which means that there are more resources and talent coming TV’s way. With so much talent, the stories have to go somewhere. With the fall season as crowded as it is, it makes sense that the vast, unexplored land of the summer-television slate would be utilized.

Second, now that we’re in a new age of summer television, how will this development mature? In other words, does programming like ABC’s current slate of game shows fit into a world of despotic families, hackers suffering from mental instability, and amoral reality-show producers? The answer to this question is one that’s still developing.

Right now, ABC has a prime-time version of Family Feud (Celebrity Family Feud) on its roster, as well as revivals of Match Game, $100,000 Pyramid, and a new music miniseries called Greatest Hits, comprised of popular acts from certain decades singing one-of-a-kind duets. And, hearkening back to the old times of summer sitcoms, ABC has debuted Uncle Buck (the pilot pulled in stellar ratings). A lineup like this, particularly a lineup filled with game shows, seem oddly nostalgic, while Lifetime, FX, and USA keep us glued to our chairs, biting our nails. It seems like a type of emotional whiplash to be sure. Does an audience which can watch dramatic, fall-season-esque television in the summer and hard-hitting dramas on their personal devices all year round really care about prime-time game shows anymore? None of the game shows mentioned save for one have debuted yet, so parsing the ratings is an activity for another time. But with the growing sophistication of the television audience, as well as the growing sophistication of television itself, I’m starting to wonder if the days of prime-time game shows will become a thing of the past. A part of me doesn’t want them to; they are nostalgic for me, and they do help relieve the stress of the world we live in. But as summer TV becomes more competitive, I wonder just how much real estate dramas will soon take up. Will the new summer season lead to the extinction of game-show season?

There’s certainly an argument to be made for game shows and comedies during these Mr. Robot times. Not everyone out there wants emotional and psychological depth during the months that are traditionally the most relaxing (no school, maybe a lighter work schedule, vacation time, etc.). And as I alluded to already, the world is a tough enough place already. At the time of this post, we’re just coming off the heels of the horrible massacre in Orlando, the deaths of Christina Grimmie and British MP Jo Cox, and many other tragedies. Sometimes, all you want to do is turn off your brain and watch people play games.

In short, this article is an ode to the changing of our summer-television lives. What used to be a time for lighter fare is now a time of head games, cerebral pondering,  and twists and turns that require leaps of cognition were previously reserved for the fall. Instead of turning off the world, tuning in to TV, and dropping off into mental escapism, we’re now tuning in and becoming hooked on another type of escapism: one drenched in stress and seriousness. Even spring has gotten into the act now, with the stellar first season of Underground.

Are there more pros than cons to the new options in original summer programming, or are there more cons than pros? It depends on the person. But one thing is for sure: Summer TV will never be the same.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like