Spend a Summer at The Vineyard

I’ve not kept the fact that I love ABC Family’s teen mysteries a secret.  Heck, I’ve only blogged about Pretty Little Liars at least five times; I thoroughly enjoyed the recently cancelled The Lying Game; I can’t wait to catch up on the new hit, Twisted (I lost all of the episodes in my latest DVR crash a few weeks ago, but luckily the network aired a marathon and I have them all recorded again… now I need to watch them); and I’m eagerly awaiting the PLL’s spinoff coming this fall, Ravenswood.

It’s because of the allure and success of these teen programs that I plan to watch ABC Family’s latest series starting tonight—The Vineyard.

Now, The Vineyard is not a mystery; nor is it actually a scripted drama.  What?  I’ve seen the previews and it looks like a “normal” series… but Wikipedia calls it a reality program, while ABC Family refers to it as a docu-series.

At first I thought the new summer program was going to be more like the WB’s Summerland, which I felt wasn’t bad after catching a few episodes here and there.  But now I’m afraid it’s going to resemble more of MTV’s Laguna Beach or The Hills.  I somehow managed to stay away from these shows back in the day and I don’t regret my decision one bit.

So, how do I feel about The Vineyard?  The series promises “summer dreams, summer love, and summer drama.” And knowing me, I’ll at least give it a shot.  Heck, if anything, I can use this as writing research… right?

ABC’s new show will follow a group of young adults as they work together and live together in paradise (Martha’s Vineyard).  Okay, now it’s sounding a little bit like MTV’s Real World.

As expected, most of the girls have conflicting backgrounds: the girls who grew up in The Vineyard; the girls who want successful careers; the girls who want successful men to take care of them for the rest of their lives; and the girls who just want a fresh start.

And then there are the guys.  It seems as though the guys are all looking for love.  No, I’m sorry—lust.  But the same stands true for them as it does the girls… we have the bad boy, the player, the partier, and the serious one.

Heck, two of the “cast” members even shared a romantic past…

Regardless of who they are or where they come from, all eleven are beautiful.  Surprise!

Who wouldn’t want to spend the summer here?

The Vineyard premieres tonight (July 23rd) on ABC Family.

So what do you think?  Will you watch The Vineyard?  I’d love to hear from you!      

Tele-Tuesday – New to Summer: Better Late Than Never

Summer is coming to an end, and we have some new programs to sink our teeth into before the fall television series return.  These new shows bring drama galore – police drama, dating drama, and teen drama.  What will you watch?

The new police drama:

Against the Wall – Lifetime

Wanting to advance her career in the Chicago Police Department, Abby Kowalski (Rachael Carpani most recognizable for her recurring roles on Cane and The Glades) is faced with a tough decision.  Does she wait for the necessary promotions as a female detective, or speed things up and join the Internal Affairs division?  Abby chooses IA, and her decision causes a divide within her family; a family with a long line of Chicago police officers.

Everyone knows that cops and IA officers do not get along – but what happens when a decision affects your entire family dynamic?

Against the Wall also stars Treat Williams (Everwood), as Abby’s father, and Kathy Baker (Picket Fences, Medium), as her mother.

Following the Internal Affairs division instead of detectives adds a nice twist to the ever popular television police drama.   Find out this Sunday if it’s worth a watch– Against the Wall premieres July 31st.

The new comedy – dating drama:

Friends with Benefits – NBC

Hot on the tails of the major motion picture success of No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits, NBC brings us this new thirty-minute comedy following a group of twentysomethings as they battle the dating world.

In Friends with Benefits, everyone is single and looking – Ben Lewis (Ryan Hansen, Veronica Mars) wants the perfect woman.  Sarah Maxwell (Danneel Harris Ackles, One Tree Hill; yes ladies – she’s married to Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles), just wants someone to settle down with and perhaps start a family.  There’s also the figurative “lady-killer” (Fitz played by Andre Holland), the “free-spirit” (Riley played by Jessica Lucas, who also played Riley on the new Melrose Place), and the “techie-genius” (Aaron played by Zach Cregger).

Oh, and Ben and Sarah are apparently the “friends with benefits.”  Who wants to bet they eventually decide they are soul-mates?

Produced by the great Brian Grazer (Parenthood and Arrested Development), Friends with Benefits might just make the grade.  Find out when the show premieres August 5th.

The new YA inspired drama:

 

The Lying Game – ABC Family

From the creators of Pretty Little Liars, and based on the novel by Sara Shepard, ABC Family brings the young adult audience another teen mystery this August.

Emma Becker learns that she was separated at birth from her identical twin sister, Sutton Mercer (both roles played by Alexandra Chando, As the World Turns).  Emma, a foster-child, agrees to switch places with her twin and live Sutton’s life with her wealthy adopted family while Sutton searches for their birth mother.

Not long into the switch, Emma learns that Sutton has disappeared and she’s faced with the dilemma of telling the Mercer family and all of Sutton’s friends the truth.  Is Sutton in trouble? Why were they separated in the first place?

Like most other ABC Family dramas, The Lying Game has cast a well-known group of actors: Andy Buckley as Ted Mercer (The Office), Helen Slater as Kristin Mercer (Supergirl, The Legend of Billy Jean), Tyler Christopher (General Hospital), Blair Redford (the new 90210), Alice Greczyn (Privileged), and Adrian Pasdar (Heroes).

If the mystery is anywhere near as decent as its predecessor, Pretty Little Liars, TLG is definitely worth a watch.  The Lying Game premieres August 15th.

What do you think? Do any of these shows interest you enough to watch?  Do you think starting in August will help or hurt these shows? Do you know of any other late summer starts?  I’d love to hear from you!

Be sure to go vote for the Tamberny Awards show by clicking here before July 29th!  And, just to show how fun Amber and I can be….

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