Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks: Eight New Summer TV Series to Avoid Like the Plague

I watch plenty of TV, but even I have my limits. We all should. Every fall, lots of new shows tank badly. Some die a slow, painful death. Many are kept on longer than they should. But, that's the fall when networks put real work into finding the next big hit because kids are back in school and families are more apt to spend time around the flatscreen watching whatever crappy sitcom or recycled cop drama the networks roll out for them.

During the summer, it's a whole different situation. While a few networks like HBO actually try to debut new shows that have merit, most opt for running whatever leftovers that they thought might be good enough for the fall, but probably not. The end result is a lot of really unfortunate programming.

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Buying Naked -- TLC, Saturdays

Whether Mrs. Alaska (true story) is buying a log cabin with her husband or two roommates are trying to find the perfect, totally furnished but super cheap apartment in Nepal (also true story), that laundry list of stuff people "need" when buying a home is normally as ridiculous as it is unrealistic. In this terrifying concept, nudists go looking for houses. One can only hope that each one comes with a big fence and blacked out windows.

It Takes a Church -- Game Show Network, Thursdays

Everybody is a matchmaker, it would seem, and the same goes for the poor bastards suckered into this reality series. Taking the show on the road, the series aims to pair up theologically matched pairs for life, love and the Lord, God help them (and us).

Partners -- FX, Mondays

Everyone loves both Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammar. I could even see how the two of them paired as law partners might work if teamed with the right series creator, but the fact this is being dropped in the middle of the summer on FX does not bode well. Let me guess: Lawrence is a wise cracking loose cannon and Grammar is an uptight, erudite stickler for the rules.

Young & Hungry -- ABC Family, Wednesdays

Has anything become more annoying than foodies trying to turn home cooking blogs into careers? It was interesting when no one was doing it, but every vegan hipster with a good kale recipe and a starter digital camera believes he can go from blog to food truck to farm-to-table bistro to celeb chef faster than he can say "locally sourced produce." In this twist, a tech startup guy (only slightly less annoying that the foodie) hires a food blogger to be his personal chef. Barf.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke