TV

What’s Back, What’s New, And When Does It All Start? The UPROXX Summer 2015 TV Preview.

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The first signs of summer are already upon us. The pools are opening, the grills are firing up, and television has become a barren wasteland. With all the spring shows wrapping up in mid-May, it’s gotten mighty rough out there to find things worth watching. And with HBO’s Sunday night powerhouse of Game of Thrones/Silicon Valley/Veep leaving us in a few weeks, too, we are gonna need some new options, fast. Otherwise, we’ll have to, like, talk to people. Or leave the house. This simply won’t do.

Luckily, there ARE lots of new and returning shows debuting over the next few months. From True Detective to a slew of comedies to The Rock as Sports Ari Gold, the summer’s television schedule will give you plenty to choose from. We’ve rounded up some of the highlights for you, along with premiere dates and quick summaries. Mark your calendars, people.

May 28

Aquarius (NBC) – That NBC had the balls to make a show based entirely upon The 5th Dimension’s classic song “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In” is staggering, Grammy awards or not. The 1969 song, featured during the closing sequence of The 40-Year-Old Virgin for reasons yet unknown, is pretty much the ‘60s in a sound bite. Oh wait, it’s actually about the events leading up to the Charlie Manson murders and features David Duchovny as Los Angeles police sergeant Sam Hodiak, the literal opposite of special agent Fox Mulder in every way. (He beats people up and hates hippies.) – Andrew Husband

The Chris Gethard Show (Fusion) – Most talk shows are essentially the same. Tepid monologue, celebrities endorse their product, Jimmy Fallon smirks a lot, musical guest plays, good night. Then there’s The Chris Gethard Show, which began delighting comedy nerds on the public access Manhattan Neighborhood Network in 2011. It’s part-talk show, part-variety series, part-madness, part-therapy session, part-earnest Comedy Bang Bang, and now it’s moving to the big leagues. Well, bigger leagues: Fusion will air new episodes, so learn which channel Fusion is on. You never know when you’re gonna see a fetish party. — Josh Kurp

June 4

Hannibal (NBC) – The show that’s made a legit bid for being the Best Show On Television. Seriously, Bryan Fuller has created something shocking, here; a complex, gorgeous, gory thriller that genuinely has something to say. Mads Mikkelsen has done a glorious job reinterpreting Hannibal, Hugh Dancy is all wounded feelings and anger as Will Graham, and it has the best Tumblr ever. Really, TV does not get better than this. – Dan Seitz


June 5

Sense8 (Netflix) – Honest Trailers effectively argued against never, ever giving the Wachowskis money to make anything ever again. Ever. (Thanks a lot, Jupiter Ascending.) So here’s yet another Netflix series to either binge watch, ponder for the same amount of time it takes to watch the first episode (but still not watch anything), or just plain ignore. The first trailer for the show does what any trailer should — it tells you nothing and everything about Sense8, which follows eight different people from around the world who are inexplicably linked mentally and emotionally. Of course one of them is a Neo-like badass, so advanced fighting choreography is involved as some point. – Andrew Husband

June 11

Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) – Three words about Season 3 of Orange is the New Black: “LARRY-FREE SEASON,” as we’ve mentioned several times before. Most of the Litchfield crew will be back, however, in addition to some new faces, like Lori Petty who made a brief, yet delightful cameo in the Season 2 premiere, as well as a character based on Martha Stewart. The plot itself has been kept mostly under wraps, but because Laura Prepon is back as a series regular, we can probably expect lots of juicy Piper-Alex drama. – Stacey Ritzen

June 12

Dark Matter (Syfy) – Syfy goes back to its pulpy roots in a new TV series about amnesiac space mercenaries. To be honest, the comic didn’t do much for me, but considering Syfy’s willingness to put money behind utterly bonkers stuff like Helix and 12 Monkeys, it’ll either be nothing like we expect or a great return to form. – Dan Seitz

June 21

Ballers (HBO) – How in the world did it take us until the summer of 2015 to figure out that “The Rock + Sports + Entourage” is a solid recipe for a show? Will there be lots of slow-motion shots of The Rock getting out of expensive sports cars and removing his sunglasses? Oh, YOU KNOW there will be lots of slow-motion shots of The Rock getting out of expensive sports cars and removing his sunglasses. I would watch this show if that was literally it was. Just 30 minutes of The Rock exiting cars that cost more than the house I grew up in, then removing sunglasses that cost more than my first car. Six seasons and a movie. – Danger Guerrero

The Brink (HBO) – A new dark comedy starring Tim Robbins and Jack Black, focusing on a geopolitical crisis in Pakistan, with the two of them playing a hard-drinking, womanizing Secretary of State and a foreign services officer, respectively, who are trying to prevent World War III from killing us all. The perfect companion for Ballers. – Danger Guerrero

True Detective (HBO) – No matter your feelings on the Season 1 finale, Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective is a very important show. It gives you something to talk about with strangers at a party. Usually, that honor goes to Game of Thrones, but this summer, it’s all, “Man, can you believe how good Rachel McAdams is?” “It’s crazy. Vince Vaughn has never been better, too.” Then the guy with the theory about what it all means — he somehow connects the California Highway Patrol to Cortez the Killer — comes over, and everyone slowly walks away. Thanks, True Detective! — Josh Kurp


June 24

Mr. Robot (USA) – There’s nothing better and timelier than a story about a young person with a special talent taking down THE MAN. Except instead of post-apocalyptic stories of Games full of Hunger and Runners of Mazes, USA’s new series Mr. Robot takes on the big, bad corporations that are ruining the world for young bros and babes who want to be free. Elliot (Rami Malek) is a programmer-by-day and hacker-by-night who works for such a corporation, and once the mysterious Mr. Robot finds him, he discovers his new purpose in life – destroying the very company that issues his paycheck. The best thing about this series is that the anarchist Mr. Robot is Christian Slater, so it should be awesome to watch him play this character like he’s played every character in his career. In short, Gleaming the Cube is one of the best movies of all-time. – Burnsy

Suits (USA) – Yes, Suits is technically one of the cookie-cutter “attractive people with secrets who are absurdly good at their jobs” USA dramas. And yes, it can get a little formulaic. But it’s the best of the bunch by far, and it is a whole lot of fun, especially for a summer watch. I will go to the mattresses for Suits. Shoutout to Donna for being the best. – Danger Guerrero

June 26

Humans (AMC) – After struggling through a series of misfires last year (Halt and Catch Fire, TURN, Low Winter Sun), AMC is hoping to build on the momentum of this year’s other new series, Better Call Saul, with Humans, an eight-part miniseries co-produced with Channel 4 in Britain. Based on a Swedish series, Humans is set in an alternate present, where the must-have new gadget is a “Synth,” or a robot servant. Complications ensue, however, when those robot servants gain their free will and want to gain freedom from their human owners. Basically, it sounds like a television version of Ex Machina, and that’s not a bad thing at all. – Dustin Rowles

June 30

Scream (MTV) – I haven’t had a reason to watch MTV since it stopped playing music, but I will have to tune in to the show based on the movie that defined my teen years, Scream. I even know that the show has barely anything to do with the movie, other than a bunch of dippy, pretty young things getting stabbed. But another trip into self-aware horror parody? I’m in. In like a knife in your very surprised guts. – Jamie Frevele

Zoo (CBS) – The animals are coming to end humanity’s collective $#!t, and Bob Benson plays the one graduate student who saw it all coming. Essentially it’s a lavish, 13-episode remake of Birdemic with James Patterson’s name on it and better CGI animals. As long as at least one cast member gets eaten every episode, it’ll be worth watching. – Dan Seitz


July 8

Why? With Hannibal Buress (Comedy Central) – The description of this show makes it sound kind of like a Daily Show/Inside Amy Schumer hybrid, with a mix of filmed segments and stand-up/man-on-the-street bits that are filmed fresh each week to stay topical. That sounds… pretty good! And Hannibal Buress has a way of making almost anything interesting, so let’s go with “double pretty good.” Comedy Central is on a killer hot streak with everything from Review to Broad City, and there’s no reason to think this will burst that. – Danger Guerrero

The Spoils Before Dying (IFC) – The Spoils of Babylon was the series I wish I’d made myself, and it was the wine-soaked melodramathon that I’d always wished for. When I found out they were making another one, and that there would be jazz in it, I knew it was going to be filled to the gills with smoke and confusingly beautiful love affairs. I’m very psyched to see another Eric Jonrosh offering because I’m pretty sure he’s going to drop dead on camera. – Jamie Frevele

Key & Peele (Comedy Central) – You already know all you need to know about Key & Peele: hilarious, razor-sharp sketches about everything from race to politics to aliens to action movie cliches to decades-old aerobics videos, all shot in a slick, cinematic style. Four seasons in with no signs of slowing down. – Danger Guerrero

July 11

7 Days in Hell (HBO) – I basically just want to see Andy Samberg wearing tight shorts… Oh, you need more? Fine. As I’ve mentioned, I love parodies of things, and mockumentaries are the highest form of parodies in my opinion. And because I love watching sports documentaries even more than watching sports, I feel like a loosely recalled fake tennis match starring one of my favorite imaginary fantasy boyfriends and Jon Snow is going to be a home run. Even though that’s the wrong sports metaphor. – Jamie Frevele

July 12

Masters of Sex (Showtime) – We all know that Bill Masters ended up with Virginia Johnson in real life while they were conducting their groundbreaking sexy sex study, so now it’s just a “when will they” on that show (as opposed to a “will they/won’t they”). But it’s like hearing a spoiler without knowing the context; we’re here to see how they got to that point. Plus, Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan are just so sexily dour that watching them having completely non-gratuitous sex is extremely satisfying and titillating. This is a show about a sexually repressed nation while one repressed person slowly uncovers why it shouldn’t be so damn taboo. It’s beautiful. Even if Bill Masters can barely crack a smile while coming. – Jamie Frevele

The Strain (FX) – I have to admit, I love this stupid scary show. Heading into Season 2, New York City has been crippled by vampires, and it’s up to the remaining human population led by Corey Stoll, that dead animal on Stoll’s head, and his band of misfits to fight back and continue to hunt down Bat Boy, err, I mean The Master. Going by the official trailer, it looks like Team Human will use science to fight the vampires, by coming up with a “cure” to infect the infected. I’m sure that will work out well for them. – Stacey Ritzen


July 13

Running Wild with Bear Grylls (NBC) – Remember that new Bear Grylls show that NBC ordered a season of last summer? Running Wild involved, among other wonderful things, Grylls feeding ants to Channing Tatum by hand. It was everything reality television with celebrities should be, and now it’s back for a second season. The cast this summer includes the likes of Kate Winslet, Ed Helms, Michelle Rodriguez, and Michael B. Jordan. I look forward to the Fantastic Four promotional tie-in when Jordan “ad-libs” and says “Flame on!” after starting a fire like a big boy. The commenters will love that one. – Andrew Husband

July 15

Jim Gaffigan Show (ABC Family) – I always listen to Jim Gaffigan when I’m in a bad mood, so hopefully watching a sitcom with him can be just as great. I just plain love listening to him, and I’m also dying to know how his “inside voice” will be worked into this. – Jamie Frevele

July 16

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll (FX) – In Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, Denis Leary plays a self-destructive man with a big personality who’s bad with his family and good at his job (his job is… or was, a rock star). Sound familiar? If you loved Rescue Me and The Job (or Californication, for that matter), then this will probably appeal to you… at least for a little while. Can it be — in the same way that Rescue Me was — more than a showcase for one character who delights with his brash behavior and reckless ways? – Jason Tabrys


July 17

Bojack Horseman (Netflix) – After a hilarious and stellar debut, America’s favorite washed up sitcom horse (screw you, Mr. Ed) is coming back to Netflix for Season 2. We don’t know anything about the upcoming season yet, which will presumably pick up where the last left off, with all of the main characters at a crossroads. In the meantime, I feel like I have to go back and rewatch all of Season 1 to pick up on all of the subtle jokes I may have missed the first time around. If you haven’t gotten around to watching yet, now is the perfect time. Do it for Vincent Adultman. – Stacey Ritzen

Wet Hot American Summer (Netflix) – A very good friend of UPROXX – who probably doesn’t care if I use his name, but it’s way more fun this way – told me that Christopher Meloni said that Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer series will be way funnier than the movie, which is no small accomplishment. Featuring everyone from the 2001 film and even more of our favorite actors and actresses, First Day of Camp is actually a prequel to the film, which should add to the hilarity once you’ve seen how 14 years makes people look older, fatter, and wrinkly like grandparents. While the mysteries of this eight-episode season might revolve around Jon Hamm as the “secret spy” or Chris Pine as a “mysterious figure,” I think the biggest question we’d all like to see answered is whether or not we’ll get to watch Ben’s courtship of McKinley unfold. – Burnsy

July 21

Sharknado 3: Oh, Hell No (Syfy) – Those shark-filled tornadoes are back, and this time, they’re taking a bite out of those fat cats in Washington and… Florida? Wait, do we really have to save these people? Whatever, all that matters now is that Tara Reid has her buzzsaw arm for the whole movie, and Nova’s back to blast those sharks full of shotgun shells. And if that’s not enough, just look at the list of cameos and know that a bunch of them are gonna get chomped or flattened by an airborne shark. – Chet Manley

July 26

Rick & Morty (Cartoon Network) – For those who haven’t watched: The brainchild of Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon had a historically great first season. I can try to explain the bizarre adventures of a drunk scientist and his grandson, but it’ll all sound like gibberish. There were hobo theme parks, alien babies, and rapey jellybeans… just go watch the first season. Buy the DVD, get a Hulu+ account, stream it on adult swim’s website, whatever’s most convenient for you. For those who have watched: They’re doing a sequel to “Rixty Minutes.” Here’s hoping for a “2 Brothers II.” – Chet Manley


July 30

Review (Comedy Central) – The first season of Review was one of the weirdest, darkest, funniest things I’ve ever seen on television. Have you watched it yet? WHY HAVEN’T YOU WATCHED IT YET? Good Lord, stop reading this and go watch it. Wait, no. You still have two months to get caught up. Finish reading this and then go watch it. If you aren’t hooked by the end of the third episode (titled “Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes”), I’ll give you $50. My promise to you. (NOTE: I will not give you $50.) – Danger Guerrero

August 6

Jon Stewart’s Final Daily Show (Comedy Central) – Late night royals simply don’t leave these jobs, these jobs leave them… slowly. But Jon Stewart isn’t playing by that rule. Instead, he’s leaving near the top of his game, and The Daily Show has now been thrust into a rebuilding phase that kicked off with Stewart’s exit and includes the departures of Jason Jones and Samantha Bee. How do you say goodbye to the man who made the fake news really important? How do you say hello to someone new and mostly unknown who will have to toe the line between respecting the Daily Show brand and his own sensibilities? We’re about to find out. – Jason Tabrys

August 16

Show Me a Hero (HBO) – After The Wire, I thought David Simon was so good that he could make a show about zoning issues and I’d watch it, and then he made Treme — which was like a show about zoning issues scored with jazz — and we discovered the limits we could go with Simon. Show Me a Hero sounds like a mix of Treme and The Wire: It follows Mayor Nick Wasicsko (Oscar Isaac) in 1987 Yonkers, as he attempts to deal with a major crisis after the federal courts order public housing built in the white, middle class part of town. There will be fear, racism, murder and politics, which is right up David Simon’s alley. The big question may be, can a show like that thrive in a landscape where every other scene will be the subject of a think piece on the internet the next day? It’s certainly got a great cast: Jon Bernthal, Alfred Molina, Winona Ryder, and Catherine Keener, among others, and it may be my most anticipated new series of the summer. – Dustin Rowles


August 22

Blunt Talk (Starz) – Don’t let “produced by Seth MacFarlane” dissuade you from getting high or [drug reference of your choice] on Blunt Talk. The comedy, about a Brit moving to Los Angeles to host a talk show, was created by Jonathan Ames, of the late (and very good) Bored to Death, and stars Internet hero Patrick Stewart. The teasers have been funny, the supporting cast, including Jacki Weaver and Richard Lewis, is solid, and Stewart has been a comedic revelation on MacFarlane’s Family Guy and especially American Dad. Any chance to watch him show off his ACTING. — Josh Kurp

September 8

Colbert’s Late Show Debut (CBS) – This is a high moment for casual late night fans who delight in morning-after viral videos and celebrity stunts, but there are hardcore comedy nerds moaning into the dark sky for something more. Will Stephen Colbert pick up the mantle, or will he conform to the unwritten rules of an 11:35 network talk show? Rules that, to some, seem like they tripped up late night’s last great innovator, Conan O’Brien, when he took over The Tonight Show. Everything in Colbert’s long history on Comedy Central says that he can bring balance to late night and be a more comedically experimental alternative, but his on-screen persona isn’t making the trip to the Ed Sullivan Theater, so there’s a sense of wonder and worry. – Jason Tabrys

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