Summer TV 2012
Re-run blues got you down? Filled with ennui during primetime hours, now that all your favorite shows have aired their finales? Looking for air-conditioning friendly activities during the hot months ahead? (Ugh, the sun. THE WORST.) Don’t fret, TV fans, as there is plenty of summer programming to fill the empty hole in your heart. In fact, some of it starts next week, so start marking your calendars. I’ve updated my TV Premiere Calendar, in case you’d like a little help. What follows is a list of the summer shows I’ll be watching, along with descriptions and trailers, organized by network. In addition to returning favorites like Awkward and White Collar, the list also includes new offerings like Bunheads and Political Animals. (It does not include True Blood, because I finally quit that bad habit. Don’t try to tempt me with pictures of the Viking.)
First up, let’s look at ABC Family’s upcoming summer schedule. I’ve already posted about the upcoming third season premiere of Pretty Little Liars, but I’ve re-posted the trailer here for your enjoyment. We’ll be returning to Rosewood 6 months after that crazy finale. Mona was revealed to be “A,” yet part of an “A Team,” so there is still a lot of mystery left. Also, I’m convinced that Garrett didn’t really kill Alison, so I’m still waiting on that reveal too. Oh, and what about poor Maya? Was it really her corpse in that body bag? And who did her in? More importantly, what hats will Spencer be wearing this season? And will Hanna continue her nail-art trend? To fringe or not to fringe? And what are the acceptable limits of neon?
Jane By Design, Tuesday, June 5th at 9/8c (ABC FAMILY)
Stay tuned after Pretty Little Liars for the return of Jane By Design. I was charmed by the first 10 episodes of the series that aired earlier this year, and was pleased to learn that it would continue in the summer. If you haven’t watched the series, it is available on Netflix Instant, so don’t make excuses. Jane By Design is light and fun, and feels like a mini romantic comedy each week. Plus, they filmed on location in Paris, and have a cast full of adorable actors. I’ve really missed Billy, you guys. I LOVE HIM. Icing on the cake? Teri Hatcher has signed a deal to direct and guest star on Jane By Design. According to a press release from ABC Family, “Hatcher will be playing Jane’s (Erica Dasher) long-lost mother for four episodes to be filmed between mid-May and mid-June, and will make her appearance starting on the June 19th episode. She will make her directorial debut by directing an upcoming episode of Jane By Design.” I’m excited, you guys! While I wasn’t a Desperate Housewives fan, I adored Hatcher as Lois Lane back in the 90s, so I love this casting. And hurrah for actresses trying their hands at directing! We need more women directors, right?
Bunheads, Monday, June 11th at 9/8c (ABC FAMILY)
According to the official description, “Bunheads is the tale of a Las Vegas showgirl, who impulsively marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school.” Obviously, ABC Family serves my kind of poison, so I would have tuned into this show regardless of its pedigree. However, what really drew my attention is the fact that Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of Gilmore Girls, is the executive producer. Gilmore Girls is tied with Buffy as my favorite show of all time, so this is a BIG DEAL. Bunheads stars Tony Award®-winning actor Sutton Foster as Michelle, and she is ridiculously charming in the role. And I’m sure that you all recognized Kelly Bishop in the picture above, Emily Gilmore herself, who will be playing Fanny, Michelle’s new mother-in-law. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, run, don’t walk, and get all the Gilmore Girls DVDs. Buy, beg, borrow, steal, whatever. Just watch. Copper boom.) Bunheads also stars Julia Goldani Telles as Sasha, Bailey Buntain as Ginny, Emma Dumont as Melanie, and Kaitlyn Jenkins as Boo.
I had a chance to watch Bunheads early, and I loved it. I fell in love with Sutton Foster, was over-the-moon about seeing Kelly Bishop on my TV screen again, and was thrilled to see Stacey Oristano (a.k.a Mindy Collette-Riggins) show up as the delightfully quirky Truly. Later this week, I’ll post a link to an early screening of the pilot, so come back Wednesday. In the meantime, check out the trailer and sneak peek below:
Saving Hope, Thursday, June 7th at 9/8c (NBC)
I’m not really one for medical dramas, but I’m going to make an exception for NBC’s Saving Hope. Why? Two words: Daniel Gillies. The series also stars Erica Durance (Smallville) and Michael Shanks (Stargate Atlantis). The official description reads :
[…] when charismatic Chief of Surgery Charlie Harris (Shanks) at Hope-Zion Hospital ends up in a coma, he leaves the hospital in chaos—and his fiancée and fellow surgeon, Alex Reid (Durance), in a state of shock. Along with newly arrived star surgeon, Joel Goran (Gillies), Reid races to save Harris’ life. As the action unfolds, the comatose Harris explores the hospital halls in ‘spirit’ form, not sure if he’s a ghost or a figment of his own imagination. Reid, along with her fellow doctors, press on to save his life and those of their other patients as they deal with the complicated and courageous decisions that are made in their daily struggle to keep hope alive.
I haven’t been a fan of ghosts in hospitals before (*cough* Denny *cough*), but I’m willing to try it for the sake of Elijah. Check out an interview with the Gillies below (along with a trailer for the actual show, if you care about such things).
Dallas, Wednesday, June 13th at 9/8c (TNT)
Okay, so some of you might be rolling your eyes at this one, but I think it sounds fun. A rich family full of secrets and lies? Soapy drama set in Texas, centered on a family feud? I’m in. I never watched the original Dallas, but the new recipe includes previous stars Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman, along with new stars Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo, and Brenda Strong. Here’s the official description:
The explosive rivalry between brothers J.R. and Bobby (Duffy) now lives on through another generation, with the future of the family fortune in the hands of the Ewing offspring: cousins John Ross Ewing (Henderson), the son of J.R. and ex-wife Sue Ellen (Gray), and Christopher Ewing (Metcalfe), the adopted son of Bobby.
Check out an extended sneak peek below:
Leverage, Sunday, July 15th at 8/7c (TNT)
I can’t believe that this show is about to start its fifth season! I am so behind on Leverage. But I hope to catch up this summer, in time to watch the new season. Leverage is pretty much the definition of summer escapist fun. Also, I love Parker and Hardison so much, you guys. “I think that maybe I might be having feelings. Like, weird, weird feelings for … pretzels.” “Pretzels? Okay. Well, they’re right here, when you want them.” I mean … yeah. I need to catch up on this one. Also, Eliot. He’s the best. My life needs more Eliot, clearly. Preferably singing Eliot with a guitar.
Falling Skies, 2 hour premiere, Sunday, June 17th at 9/8c (TNT)
Falling Skies is a familiar story for Sci-Fi fans. An alien invasion leads to the enslavement of humanity, while a rag-tag band of survivors work together to survive, and, hopefully, take back the Earth. Same old, same old. There are shades of Aliens, and that Buffy episode “Bad Eggs,” plus countless other things. But I really enjoyed the first season. I don’t know … that story is just a classic one for me. I can’t wait to return to ex-history professor Tom Mason and his family and friends. Will the resilience of humanity overcome these horrible circumstances? When faced with adversity, will people rise above and inspire, or sink to the depths of their basest natures? You know, those big themes. Also, I like the cast, and I have a girl-crush on Moon Bloodgood. Check out trailers for the upcoming second season below:
Suits, Thursday, June 14th at 10/9c (USA)
Suits! I’m super excited for season 2, you guys! The bromance, the romance, the Gina Torres of it all. Also, Donna, aka THE BEST. And did I mention the bromance? And I’m not sure if the title gives it away or not, but THERE ARE MEN IN SUITS. I’ve been reading that Jessica’s role is beefed up this season, so I have high hopes. Bring it on, USA. I’ve posted a recap of season 1 below, which includes a sneak peek of season 2:
White Collar, Tuesday, July 10th at 9/8c (USA)
I basically inhaled the first 3 seasons of White Collar earlier this year, and since then I have been impatiently waiting for season 4. It’s almost here, you guys! I don’t want to play favorites, but if I were on a desert island and could only bring one summer show, I’d have to pick White Collar. After that crazy finale, I’m on the edge of my seat. What will happen next? Where do we from here? Check out the brief trailer below, for a quick reminder of Bomer’s ethereal beauty. (Please wear proper eye protection, so as not to be blinded.)
Political Animals, Sunday, July 15th at 10/9c (USA)
From renowned storytellers Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark comes a provocative six-hour event series about a high-profile political dynasty seduced by influence and crippled by the lust for power. Starring multi-award winner Sigourney Weaver in her television series debut, Carla Gugino, multi-award winner Ellen Burstyn, Ciaran Hinds, James Wolk, Sebastian Stan and Brittany Ishibashi, the fictional look at a former first family explores the nuanced and complex world of politics and exposes what is behind the polished facade of public life.
That sounds GREAT, right? Also, hurrah for Coach Taylor’s doppelganger! I’ve embedded the trailer below for your enjoyment:
Awkward, Thursday, June 28th at 10:30/9:30c (MTV)
Oh, Awkward. I’ve missed you so. If for some reason (for example, you are an alien who only recently came to this planet, and just discovered the internet) you have never heard of Awkward, and (GASP!) have never seen it, you can watch full episodes on MTV.com. Also, the first season is available on DVD, and it is really worth the investment. I’ve already bought three copies for my sisters. I’ve been trying to spread the word about Awkward for a year now. You’re welcome. If I explain it to you, the awesomeness probably won’t come through. But I guess you could describe it as My So-Called Life, if MSCL were an over-the-top comedy set today. Just trust me. For those who already know the way of Jenna, let us reminisce about the highlights of the first season, and weep for Matty’s pain.