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Welcome to another edition of TV or Not TV where I feel like summer is now actually here.

In general I have nothing against the Summer Solstice. It serves a purpose, it’s there for a reason, but it never really feels to me like the start of summer. Yes the temperature is warmer, the daylight sticks around longer, but it takes the American tradition and holiday of the 4th of July to really make me get in the mood. Family is together, the nation is on break, and there is the time honored tradition of TV marathon’s being put on because the network’s know that no one will really be watching.

Some network’s this 4th of July are getting creative and others just can’t get unstuck from their rut. SPIKE is once again rolling out the all STAR WARS marathon starting with PHANTOM MENACE and playing all the way through RETURN OF THE JEDI starting at 9 AM. I suppose I can’t blame them since they probably payed a pretty penny for the airing rights. It would still be nice, however, to see the network for “men” put on something other than the tragic train wreck that are the prequels before putting on what an entire generation knows as the true START WARS trilogy.

FX steps up to the marathon plate with a super hero themed bonanza. At 8 AM they roll out BATMAN BEGINS, followed by FANTASTIC FOUR, FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND and SPIDER-MAN 3. It’s too bad that out of all of those movies the only one really worth watching is BATMAN BEGINS. They are rolling out a pretty nice theme but the implementation is lackluster at best.

BBC AMERICA kicks off an 8 hour STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION marathon at 9:00 AM E/ 6:00 AM P (check your local listing to be sure). ST:TNG being on BBC AMERICA is one of those things that’s kind of confused me but 8 hours of Next Gen is definitely better than anything else mentioned. Be sure to check out the fifth of the eight hours as it features the omnipotent Q sending Picard and crew into a ROBIN HOOD adventure if for no other reason than seeing WORF as a Merry Man.

DISCOVERY CHANNEL is rolling out 15 straight hours of DEADLIEST CATCH starting at 11:00 AM.

At 2:00 PM TBS kicks into sophmoric hijinx overdrive with THE RINGER followed by SCHOOL OF ROCK, ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGANDY and STARSKY & HUTCH. This isn’t exactly an Oscar nominated line up but considering the greater population might be watching inebriated I can understand the programming logic.

Hands down my favorite marathon of the day, however, has to go to the ENCORE channel. An all JAWS marathon kicks off at 12:30 PM starting with the original and it’s three completely inadequate sequels. Of all the marathons this one makes the most sense to me if for no other reason than the exscuse to air the original JAWS. When JAWS came out it was the start of the big summer blockbuster release. It was the first film to have used the “wide release” concept, it was the first to use targeted TV ad campaigns, and it marked the beginning of the summer movie release tradition. Most importantly, however, JAWS took the concept of the summer beach vacation, turned it on its ear and made it something terrifying. Whether it’s suspense was made creatively, budgetarily, or because the damned mechanical shark wouldn’t work doesn’t really matter because the final film works. As a boy it made me afraid of the water and as a grown man it makes me want to tune in and watch a classic I haven’t watched in at least 20 years (and I still can’t believe there are things that I haven’t seen again in 20 years).

So there you have it folks, a gathering of television that is and isn’t worth watching if you decide to stay in for the big summer holiday. Let’s now take a look at everything else that leads up to it.

MONDAY

NBC - 8:00 PM: It’s the first round of the semifinals on LAST COMIC STANDING. I’ve actually chuckled in the first few hours of the show so I’ll be tuning in.

FOX - 9:00 PM: Tonight’s episode of THE GOOD GUYS features Dan being determined to solve a crime with the $3.52 he has in his pocket instead of using department resources. He must not be driving since that would hardly cover over a gallon of gas these days.

A&E - 9:00 PM: It’s an all new season of INTERVENTION and tonight features the touching story of a mother and son who both have drinking problems. It’s nice when kids still stay involved in their parent’s lives, isn’t it?

TUESDAY

ABC - 8:00 PM: World Cup Fever takes over WIPEOUT as people now have to face falling on and dodging the Big Soccer Balls. Here’s hoping they also have to endure the Vuvuzela Tunnel of Doom.

NBC - 8:00 PM: If you haven’t been watching LOSING IT WITH JILLIAN MICHAELS you might want to give it a go to see the positive effects she actually has on these people’s lives. You could also be like me and mock the clearly staged ending sequences that close each episode.

BRAVO - 10:00 PM: Tonight on KATHY GRIFFIN: MY LIFE ON THE D-LIST we see KATHY take on the snow covered majesty of ALASKA after booking a gig up there. If seeing KATHY with LEVI JOHNSTON isn’t enough how about the suspsense of her going up to SARAH PALIN’s front door?

NBC - 10:00 PM: The results of Monday’s semi-finals are played out on an episode of LAST COMIC STANDING I almost wasn’t aware of. Great scheduling NBC!

FX - 10:00 PM: RESCUE ME returns! ‘Nuff said.

WEDNESDAY

ANIMAL PLANET - 7:00 PM: Speaking of marathons you may not want to watch the four hour mini-marathon of MONSTERS INSIDE ME. It may put you off of Sunday’s BBQ.

IFC - 8:00 PM: HEATHERS was more than just a movie to the people I went through my teens with, it was an obsession.

HBO - 8:00 PM: If you’ve been busy for the past three weekends and want to watch all three episodes so far of TRUE BLOOD’s new season then tonight is your night.

NBC - 8:00 PM: Two more hours of AMERICA’S GOT TALENT? Does NBC have any other shows on right now? For three nights now it’s been the same crap over and over!

COMEDY CENTRAL - 9:00 PM: Miss the premiere of the new season of FUTURAMA? Set your DVR to get half-caught up tonight before tomorrow’s all new episodes.

THURSDAY

FOX - 8:00 PM: Tonight’s GLEE-peat is the episode marking the first guest-starring stint of Broadway darling KRISTIN CHENOWETH.

AMC - 8:00 PM: Get lost in a cinema period where men were men with three JOHN WAYNE classics back to back: HONDO, RIO BRAVO and THE WAR WAGON.

ABC - 8:00 PM: Get lost in the tranwreck of human dignity where men aren’t men in another episode this week of WIPEOUT.

COMEDY CENTRAL - 9:30 PM: Want to get caught up on the other half of the FUTURAMA premiere you missed last week? This one will lead you into the other two new episodes tonight at 10 and 10:30.

FRIDAY

USA - 6:00 AM: Turns out USA NETWORK is kicking off the marathon party right with 22 hours straight of ROYAL PAINS.

CNBC - 8:00 PM: The excess of the greed driven 80’s is personified in the incredible film WALL STREET. It almost makes me weep that a sequel is being made.

TBS - 9:00 PM: I’ve never seen the network television version of HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE. I might have to see it tonight just to laugh… and how bad the edit probably is.

SATURDAY

BBC AMERICA - 8:00 PM: Part of me was angry that BBC AMERICA wasn’t airing a new episode of DOCTOR WHO tonight but the fact that they are airing THE TIME OF ANGELS and FLESH AND STONE back-to-back almost makes up for it.

HALLMARK - 8:00 PM: The title says it all folks: DOLLY CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF DOLLYWOOD. It’s OK, a few other people are actually celebrating with her too.

SUNDAY

All that stuff up above wasn’t enough huh? OK….

PBS - 8:00 PM: Kick off your night of televised 4th relexation with the A CAPITOL FOURTH concert hosted by JIMMY SMITS.

NBC - 9:00 PM: Keep the holiday going with THE MACY’S 4th of JULY FIREWORKS SPECTACTULAR from New York.

CBS - 10:00 PM: Wrap it all up with THE BOSTON POPS FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR hosted by CRAIG FERGUSON.

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