It’s now late-May, or as it’s known in TV world, the f*ck do we do now? With the exception of Sunday nights, and its heavenly spread of Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and Veep, TV is barren with quality entertainment. We don’t even have How I Met Your Mother and The Office to lovingly kick around anymore. Fortunately, it gets better.
In a few weeks, though, both old favorites (or “favorites”) and new could-be distractions will begin filling up your DVR. It can be tough keeping track of what’s returning and debuting when, so we asked our ol’ friend Summer Roberts from The O.C. to help us out with describing roughly 20 of summer’s most anticipated TV dates.
The Killing (AMC)
Premieres: June 2nd
“Ew…but I like it.” That’s a fair assessment of The Killing season three, at least based on its promising(ish) trailer. We’ve all had our deserved fun mocking the AMC series, and its slow as a dead snail stuck in a mud puddle pacing, but gone is the tiresome Rosie Larsen mystery. It’s been replaced with a season-long arc about Linden and Holder investigating a case that involves a death row inmate played by Peter Sarsgaard. He was in Garden State with Zach Braff, who starred in The Last Kiss where he made out with…Rachel Bilson. What I’m saying is: the Shins will change your life.
The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim)
Premieres: June 2nd
Thank GOD. It’s been nearly three years since season four of The Venture Bros., which is nearly three years without Brock and Sergeant Hatred too many. The animated series finally returns in June, though, and picks up right where season four left off. High profile guest stars include Gillian Jacobs, Aziz Ansari, John Hodgman, and Bill Hader.
In the Flesh (BBC America)
Premieres: June 6th
I just wanted to use this GIF. Anyway, In the Flesh is a BBC America three-part miniseries about rehabilitated zombies returning to their homes after “The Rising.” Unless that’s a reference to the Springsteen album, I approve.
The Daily Show (Comedy Central)
Premieres: June 10th
JON STEWART, sometime in late September: “Over the last 12 weeks, John Oliver — and yes, I’ve counted — I’ve watched you grow into this incredible Daily Show host, while you were filling in for me. And that is why I love you…but get the hell out of my swivel chair and back in front of the correspondent green screen.”
Magic City (Starz)
Premieres: June 14th
I totally forgot about this show. That can’t be good.
True Blood (HBO)
Premieres: June 16th
When last we left Bon Temps, this one vampire was having hot, sweaty sex with a human, while a werewolf got it on with a fairy who was sleeping with a warlock on the side. Or something. I’ve seen every episode of True Blood, but still have no idea what’s going on (I vaguely recall Bill becoming a super vampire after drinking Lilith’s blood, and that there wasn’t nearly enough Jessica) — which is kind of the point. It’s the perfect summer show: you don’t have to think hard, or at all; instead, just sit back and enjoy the Anna Paquin and Alexander Skarsgård nudity.
Franklin & Bash (TNT)
Premieres: June 19th
Bro. BRO. Last night, I totally scored with Wonder Wendy in Marketing, y’know the one with an ass that looks like two pumpkins. Yeah, me and her, we went back to my place, cracked open some cold brewskis, watched Franklin & Bash, and then we bashed uglies for HOURS. She screamed “Oh Meyer God” while climaxing. It was memobroble.
Futurama (Comedy Central)
Premieres: June 19th
After 140 episodes, 14 years, and 7 seasons, Futurama is leaving us, again. Since its Comedy Central resurrection in 2010 (not including the 2009 movies), there have been at least five all-time classics, with “Lethal Inspection,” “The Late Philip J. Fry,” “The Tip of the Zoidberg,” “Near-Death Wish,” and “Reincarnation” ranking among the show’s best episodes. I’m sure none of you will disagree with this opinion. Also: Khaleesi will guest star.
Premieres: June 20th
I know a guy who once got stoned and ate 12 hot dogs in 20 minutes, and they weren’t even Hebrew National. Horrifying. Anyway, in the time between seasons two and three, Wilfred showrunner David Zuckerman stepped down from his title, so it’s now up to Reed Agnew and Eli Jorné to continue the show’s must-watch ascent. Little is known about the upcoming 13 episodes, other than we’re going to recap it and will use lots of dog puns.
Under the Dome (CBS)
Premieres: June 24th
…because I’m sure they’re going to have things to say about Under the Dome, CBS’ ambitious 13-episode miniseries based on a science fiction novel by Stephen King, and NOT a plot from The Simpsons Movie. It certainly sounds promising enough: good premise (a town is mysteriously cut off from the rest of the world by a dome), good cast (including Breaking Bad‘s Dean Norris), excellent developer (Brian K. Vaughn). But the idea of watching a CBS show, a CBS show in the summer at that, is as foreign and uncomfortable as the average CBS viewer feels around foreigners.
Dexter/Ray Donovan (Showtime)
Premieres: June 30th
We should know better than to watch Dexter in its EIGHTH SEASON, with its expected plot twists and inability to make anyone whose last name isn’t “Morgan” even slightly interesting, and yet, we will, because it’s the summer and Breaking Bad isn’t on yet. Also, it’s too damn hot-as-Yvonne Strahovski outside. Hopefully, Ray Donovan, an intriguing looking new drama starring Liev Schreiber as a fixer for the rich and famous, will be as good as Dexter was in its first season and won’t have an opportunity to reach its eighth.
The Bridge (FX)
Premieres: July 10th
I’m intentionally avoiding any and all details related to The Bridge. I know I’m going to like it because a) it’s a drama on FX, b) has something to do with the U.S./Mexico border, which is my favorite of all borders now that Borders is gone, and c) in Sweden, the show’s called Bron, and that makes me think of Game of Thrones. Watch the extended promo here, if you dare, but I’m going to watch Summer bat her eyebrows like a Disney princess instead.
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
Premieres: July 11th
“Nope, because I spent the night watching the entirety of Orange Is the New Black, Netflix’s latest original series.” Created by Jenji Kohan (Weeds), and based on a memoir by Piper Kerman, Orange is a comedy-drama set at a women’s prison that stars Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Kate Mulgrew, and, um, Jason Biggs. I can already guarantee it’ll be better than Hemlock Grove, but not as good as House of Cards.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC)
Premieres: July 12th
That’s the kind of joke you shouldn’t expect on the wonderful Comedy Bang! Bang!, which returns to IFC for season two. We’ve already gone through the guest stars, including everyone from Zach Galifianakis to Aidy Bryant, and the rest of this entry will be spent quoting the show. WOMP IT UP HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS MY WIFE.
The Newsroom (HBO)
Premieres: July 14th
Take a shot every time someone on The Newsroom says something sanctimonious. You’ll be dead in 17 minutes. What to expect from America Sorkin Hates the Internet, season two: Patton Oswalt and Rosemarie DeWitt have joined the cast, which is good, and Trayvon Martin, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and maybe even Sandy Hook will all finally make sense once Sorkin’s told us how to feel about them, which is NO NO NO NO NO.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW)
Premieres: July 16th
But now that we have you, Whose Line, with Aisha Tyler replacing Drew Carey, will we watch you? The decision comes down to: Ryan, Colin, and Wayne vs. having to watch The CW commercials? Tough choice.
Animation Domination HD (Fox)
Premieres: July 27th
The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Futurama, American Dad!, Bob’s Burgers — Fox’s track record with animated shows is stellar (even Family Guy used to be solid), and now the network hopes to make animation a year-round theme. In late July, Fox will launch ADHD, a late-night programming block meant to rival Adult Swim, with shows as varied as Axe Cop (which was created by a five-year-old) and Dino Stamatopoulos’s High School USA! Ironically, it’s competition will be reruns of Family Guy and The Cleveland Show on, yup, Adult Swim. Damn you, MacFarlane.
The Awesomes (Hulu)
Premieres: August 1st
By August, you’ll want your kids to have a pool party with their friends, but they’re probably going to be holed up in front of the computer, so they can watch The Awesomes, a for-Hulu-only animated series from SNL‘s Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker. The story revolves around a superhero team that loses their most powerful members, not unlike Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis departing SNL. Describe it to your children that way — they’ll get the reference.
Hell on Wheels (AMC)
Premieres: August 3rd
It’s OK, guys, we can get through this. Hell on Wheels is but a cruel, mediocre tease for what’s to come…
Breaking Bad (AMC)
Premieres: August 11th
Anna < Summer Roberts < Breaking Bad.