It's August already, which means that the vast wasteland of summer television is about to turn into a flurry of new shows, and finally our favorites will be back on the air with new episodes. (I barely even remember where Heroes and Pushing Daisies left off, it's been so long!) So before your TiVo gets overstuffed with Knight Rider episodes, here are some things you should make a point to do ASAP. This way, you'll have something good to put in your mandatory "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" blog. Don't panic, people -- none of these ideas involve going outdoors. Heaven forbid. All you need is your computer, maybe Netflix and a DVD player to get started!
1. Mad Men
This breathtaking series is beautiful to watch. If you haven't caught on yet, catch up with the DVD set, which is encased in a lovely Zippo-lighter-shaped box and boasts multiple commentaries for episodes, a stunning slide show of the costumes, some making-of documentaries and more. Episodes are available on iTunes if you want to catch up without committing to the whole kit and caboodle. And, of course, the new season just started on AMC, so there's no time like the present to get started.
2. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
This winter hit might have made your "miss" list because the premiere was just okay, but it's worth a rental on DVD (available later this month) so that you can be in the know about this now-buzzworthy and sure-to-be-cult fave. Plus, you get to see some kick-ass action, and you don't even have to go to the movies. And if you're already a fan, what better way to get hyped up for Season 2 than to watch it again?
You know those guys from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz? Well, they made a show in the U.K. about friends who pretend to be a couple in order to rent a great place. But of course, it's filled with an onslaught of pop-culture references, film homages and some generally quirky stuff. The DVD is packed with commentaries from the creators and also special new ones by nerd icons like Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino, who realize the genius of this show. Best thing about it? The entire series is here, so you don't have to wait to figure out what happens next, or buy multiple sets (although you may end up wanting to buy copies for all of your friends).
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Maybe our first couple of options are a little too rich for your blood and you want some cheap (read: free) ways to fill up your time. Head on over to Hulu and have yourself a hell of a good time watching the Scooby Gang slay baddies and battle high-school cliques. Sure, there are other shows available, but there's not much better than some classic Buffy. In fact, if I didn't have to work, I'd be re-watching John Ritter in "Ted" right now.
5. Dame Delilah's Fantasy Ranch
Have some fun with Dame Delilah's whore house. This fake site was created by Kerri Kenney of The State and Reno 911! fame and is guaranteed to tickle your funny bone for ours. It's all Mindy can talk about lately. Probably not safe for work, this site has some fantastic videos that will really give you true insight into the twisted minds of the staff at Dame Delilah's (and there are quite a few familiar faces), with new content added every week.
6. Burn Notice
I misspoke when I said that Dame Delilah was all that Mindy could talk about. Burn Notice is her other big obsession at the moment, and her addiction has spread like rapid fire among the TWoP edit staff. This sexy spy series passed under most people's radar last summer, but you can catch it now on DVD or read our handy Mondo Extra guide and then jump right in to the new episodes airing on USA.
7. The Paper
Instead of watching people try to get a job with Diddy, watch this fantastic and underrated MTV reality series (for free!) at MTV.com. Amanda is one of the kookiest and coolest people to come out of reality TV, and these kids actually make working on the school paper look way less dorky than it was when I was in high school.
Ah, Dexter, America's favorite serial killer. (He only murders bad people who have it coming -- what's so wrong with that?) For those who missed the Showtime airings or the "edited" CBS versions, check out the second season DVD (available later this month), or even the first, and get acquainted with the twisted inner workings of Dexter's mind. Plus, you'll feel all smart and knowledgeable if he takes home an Emmy.
9. Battlestar Galactica
The DVD's for the new season aren't available yet, but that doesn't mean you have to wait to hear the episode commentary. Scifi.com has five episodes available with commentary from the producers, the guys who should have a clue what the frak is going on with this show and can explain it.
10. The Office
It's not quite as good as finding out what's happening between Dwight and Angela, but the webisodes do give the supporting cast a chance to steal the spotlight for a bit and should tide you over until the new ones start this summer. Kevin's got a brilliant new idea for a business -- you won't want to miss it.
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