Royal Pains may not be the most watched show on USA right now — that would be Burn Notice — but it comes close. Last week it was USA's second-highest rated drama (barring wrestling), pulling in 3.874 million people. But more importantly, since it premiered in June 2009, it has been an anchor of USA's ever-growing original programming block and remains one of its most fun shows.
This is the show for you if you like:The O.C., The Real Housewives of New York, and late-1990s television. There is something timeless about Royal Pains. On the surface it's 2012: The clothes look right (more or less; there is a mild case of Degrassi syndrome, i.e., when the styles look almost exactly on-trend but there is just something a little … off), modern kitchens with Viking ranges abound, and there is no indication that this show is not set in the present. Yet, there is no overwhelming indication that it is set in the present, either.
While you weren't watching, the USA Network's Burn Notice has quietly carved out a sizable niche for itself. Last week, the sixth-season premiere won the night (on cable, at least), pulling in a very respectable 3.9 million viewers. There are enough Michael Westen fans out there to sustain a series of five tie-in novels and three online graphic novels co-published with DC Comics. Now is your chance to join the ranks of a clearly very dedicated fan base. After all, the show is set in Miami, which, if the Heat win tonight, is going to be the "it" city of the summer. Plus, Dexter won't be back for awhile, so you need to get your warm visual hues and chino shirts somewhere.
Now that the "good part" of the television season is over (Mad Men and Game of Thrones), and you have a few weeks before Breaking Bad returns, and even The Bachelorette only has a handful of episodes left, you must be looking for television shows to fill your time. While some people don't think highly of most of summer's offerings, they are patently wrong. In fact, basic cable offers an embarrassment of riches. Tomorrow night, Suits comes back on USA for its second season, and since you have nothing else to do, you should watch it.
For the past year and a half those wacky characters at USA have made no secret of their desire to add a little light-hearted comedy to their dead-serious line-up of sexy, fun-loving spies, lawyers, doctors, and various handsome peoplein suits. To which we say: thank goodness! An average episode of Covert Affairs makes Tremé seem as light as Teletubbies. It’s about time those guys at USA stopped taking themselves so seriously — another show about a hot shrink treating a locker room of musclebound yet milquetoast jocks? Times are tough all over! — and learned to let go and laugh now and again.