Now that the truly wonderful London Olympics (they were great, weren't they?) are officially over, we find ourselves on this bleary Monday already suffering from a little withdrawal. There's a sweat and a shake to our post-Spice Girls hangover that suggests we might need some kind of quick fix to ease the Olympics jones off our backs. And, in a bigger sense, we need something to look forward to for the next couple of weeks until Labor Day comes and ushers us into fall. So. Let's look at some upcoming things that will tide us over and get us through our Olympics postpartum.
What to Watch
Tonight sees the premiere of Bravo's Gallery Girls, a potentially interesting but likely unpleasant look at young girls all trying to be The Charlotte by making it in the New York art world. Could be a fun "oh thank god I have a job" thing to watch as summer winds down. Or hey, you could always catch up on Teen Wolf, which has gotten even better since we last told you to watch it. Seriously! It's gotten crazy exciting. People are dying and stuff. Woof. If neither of those confections float your boat, it's not too late to get into Breaking Bad, which just had one of the more unsettling things in the series' history happen at the very end of last night's episode. But if it's straight-up action you need to keep your Olympics adrenalin up, then look no further than the new season of Cinemax's hilariously macho shoot-'em-up series Strike Back (premiering this Friday, 8/17), a British-American hybrid show about special ops guys blowing the hell out of everything and screwing every lusty babe in sight. This is not an intelligent globe-trotting thriller, this is dudes shooting off all kinds of things (all kinds of things) and only occasionally pausing to ask a question or two. Pure id-based entertainment, Strike Back could be the perfect loud antidote to Olympics blues. And, if all else fails, there's always Stars Earn Stripes. Last resort. Absolute last resort.
What to Cheer For
Beyond filling your viewing schedule, the Olympics games also tend to fill your heart with a stirring passion and hunger for victory. You wanna see your guy or gal win, dammit. The sudden loss of that thrill (we're not quite at the exciting point with baseball, are we) can be jolting, but fear not. August 27th marks the first round of the U.S. Open, perhaps America's classiest sporting event. Oh sure there's the Masters and, um, probably some sort of polo thing, but really the U.S. Open, with all its polite clapping, the elegant blue of the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium, and all those crisp white outfits, is our most dignified sporting tournament. And it's worth watching! Will Roger Federer, who just had the gold medal snatched from his clutches by Brit Andy Murray in London, come back and be victorious on American shores? Will Serena Williams repeat her Olympic win in Flushing Meadows and do another controversial dance? You can find out the answers to these exciting questions, and others, if you follow the U.S. Open this year. It's not quite the Olympics in terms of size and scope, but it'll do in a pinch.
Who to Crush On
Let's be honest: A lot of the fun of watching the summer Olympics is gawping at fit men in tiny bathing suits and fit women in... tiny bathing suits. The summer Olympics are kinda sexy, or a lot sexy, and we're really gonna miss all those nice views. But fear not. The sexy train has not left the station completely. No, no. Far from it. There are plenty of other summertime lust-crushes to be had. If you're into this sort of thing, some say that recent VP pick Paul Ryan is a dreamboat, so there could be that. We're not sure we see it, but hey, whatever floats your boat. Tennis' resident hot Marias, Kirilenko and Sharapova, will likely be grunting it up in sexy outfits during the above-mentioned tourney. Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be biking around and sweating a lot in Premium Rush, which comes out next week. We know none of this is Nathan Adrian glistening in his skivvies or Alyson Felix stretching and bending, but it'll have to do until Rio. Sure there's Sochi in 2014 and certainly some of the winter Olympians can be hot, but they wear so many clothes.
How to Feel Proud About America
It's corny, but one of the nice things about the Olympics is that you can root for your country and feel a little jingoistic pride, without, y'know, bombing another country or something. That's a nice feeling, having a little patriotic vigor, instead of the usual putting of your head in your hands and contemplating becoming a hermit on South Georgia Island. So how to recreate that feeling now that all our athletes are back home negotiating endorsement deals/stocking shelves at Home Depot? Well the election probably isn't going to do that. No, that election is basically a South Georgia chamber of commerce ad. There's some pro-America cheering to be done at the U.S. Open, but that doesn't quite feel the same. Maybe it is time to really get into baseball, our most American sport. That could do it. If you're a little more culturally minded, you could cheer on Paul Thomas Anderson's new film The Master, that's the creepy Scientology one, as it competes in the Venice Film Festival. What better way to feel American pride than to watch a movie about how crazy we all are win awards at an international film festival? Or, duh, there's the Paralympics. That's your best bet. Yeah we were all proud of South Africa's Oscar Pistorious these past two weeks, but now it's time to USA! USA! USA! for our guys and girls in red, white, and blue. Those get started on August 29th. Happy cheering.