What’s on TV This Summer

Soon, networks will make good on their promise for a 52-week programming cycle, and those of us who dread the outdoors (which are pretty, but don’t come in HD) will finally have reason to stay in the air-conditioning without guilt. Until then, there’s…this summer season. Like summers past, that means reality shows. Here’s what’s clogging up the tube while you should be outside playing:

So You Think You Can Dance
Everybody makes a big deal about Dancing with the Stars, but that show borders on farce. Those “amateur dancers” already have steady jobs—like multi-million-dollar football contracts—so even if they have two left feet, it’s all good exposure for them. The amateur dancers on So You Think You Can Dance are actually fighting for their future careers, which makes them a little bit more, well, invested in what they do. (Sorry, Adam Corolla.) Their choreographers are better, too. (Fox, Wednesdays, 8 p.m.)

Nashville Star
It’s like American Idol if all the contestants were that girl who sang “God Bless the USA.” Yet there’s reason to believe that the winner of Nashville Star really will achieve success in the country music biz: host Billy Ray Cyrus. Perhaps you’ve heard of his daughter, Miley? (NBC, Mondays, 9 p.m.)

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The premise of this show is pretty silly—swingers in suburbia—and it’s not likely that Swingtown will do for the ’70s what Mad Men did for the ’60s: make them look stylish and interesting. So why include it here? Because look! It’s a new show with a script! (CBS, Thursdays, 10 p.m.)

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Sure, these are all reruns. But even on the second go-round, these action-packed (if logically wonky) episodes are probably more entertaining than all the reality shows, and with more Terminator movies in the works (starring Batman’s Christian Bale), you’ll need to brush up on your Skynet lore. (Fox, Mondays, 8 p.m.)

That’s the best I could do. There’s always Netflix or—gasp!—summer reading.

Our Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Party is July 25!