Lately, USA has become my 6am best friend. After waking up at 5am to fix my hubby’s breakfast and lunch, I crawl into bed again around 5:45 for a few more hours of sleep before work at 9, and I like to throw on my bedroom TV for some company. Thus, I have been pondering the many layers of this syndication network. They certainly have some great variety, too: my mornings oscilate between dark crime hits full of violence, incest, rape and murder of New York City and then suddenly a burst of light with a happy Hamptons doctor or a Miami spy.

USA often features several great marathons consisting of re-runs of hits shows like Law and Order: Criminal Intent and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Detectives Benson and Stabler highlight the underbelly of human nature (and NBC), and the gritty realism of New York City is surprisingly a great way to start the day. I often find myself engrossed in the whatever crime ring the disturbingly smart Detective Goran is tackling. This is great, but it actually interrupts my sleep because I become invested and want to see them figure out how to catch the guy. Since I’ve already seen every episode of SVU, I can often drift off to sleep more easily.

However, I personally prefer the USA original series, especially Burn Notice, Royal Pains and of course the eye candy delight White Collar. I affectionately refer to these as the “sun-soaked” side of USA- they’re saturated with bright colors, plenty of sunlight, jewel tones, and gorgeous people, and a literally lighter and brighter color emanates from the shiny box.

Watching Fi and Michael try to track down the latest evil spy or rescue a kidnapped kid, whilst listening intently to explanations of how to break into a federal building or hotwire a car sends me off with a very “can-do” attitude. Of course, falling asleep during the yummy display of male perfection and high-class crime fighting known as White Collar is significantly more difficult. I am not surprised that it has become insanely popular following the premiere of the second season-hey, it has Stanford from Sex and the City!

Of course, nothing even remotely disturbing or distracting ever happens to the adorable Mark Feurstein in the Hamptons, where the biggest problem is whether or not to globalize his concierge medical practice. Entertainment at its best, ladies and gentlemen.

Then of course there is what I call the NCIS grey area. Lighty and witty with plenty of DiNozzo charm, this cult CBS favorite isn’t exactly a dark drama or a sunny pick-me-up. Perhaps therein lies the secret to the Belisarius success story- as much as I love Ziva, McGee, Abby, Ducky and Gibbs, I’ve also seen every episode of every season, and I can very easily tune it out.

Perfect background re-run TV show!

What’s your favorite show on the USA network?

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