My favorite season is finally here, and with it comes so many things to be thankful for. Mister Softee is jingling down every block, outdoor concerts and festivals are popping up all over, and everyone is having a blast drinking cold beers at the beach, dancing to Macklemore and Lewis, playing cornhole and generally enjoying life.
What? What's that you say? Liz, you must be joking with that last one. Summer is a dead zone for TV! All of my favorite shows have ended, and now I have to settle for reality shows about fishing, live broadcasts of fireworks displays, and re-runs of Rules of Engagement for the next three months!
Ok, ok, you're right. To an extent...
Yes, I know it can be difficult to wade through the crap filling the airwaves this time of year, but don't worry - I've done the "hard" work for you! Here's a list of ten new and returning summer shows that you can enjoy with your friends on those hot summer nights when even the promise of Snowcaps, popcorn, and blasting AC can't get you motivated to see another superhero movie at the theater.
1. Web Therapy - Showtime - Tuesdays, 11PM (July 23rd)
To all of my fellow counseling students out there, please DO NOT take therapy advice from "web-therapist"/narcissist/generally insane human being, Fiona Wallace. Instead, just laugh and cringe as Lisa Kudrow and her never-ending list of improvising guest stars (like Molly Shannon, Rosie O'Donnell, David Schwimmer, and Meryl Streep) explore their issues in season 3.
2. Drunk History - Comedy Central - Tuesdays, 10PM (July 9th)
If you haven't already seen this hilarious and cameo-filled funnyordie web series, I suggest you treat yourself to a mini-marathon before the first season of the show premieres on Comedy Central this summer. Basically, comedians get drunk and talk about historical events, then their stories get acted out by famous people with spit-take worthy results. Check out this episode featuring Jen Kirkman first, then call me when you catch your breath and get up from off the floor.
3. Inside Amy Schumer - Comedy Central - Tuesdays, 10:30PM (currently airing)
This sketch show featuring comedian Amy Schumer will either have you laughing yourself into a stupor...or changing the channel immediately. Just watch the first sketch from the first episode to see which camp you fall into, or click here to watch my favorite clip from the first season (ending July 2nd). Ladies, (sadly) you will relate.
4. Under the Dome - CBS - Mondays, 10PM (June 24th)
Ok, so this Stephen King adaptation could turn out to be either amazing or terrible, but in my opinion, it's worth checking out. Basically, a small town gets trapped under a mysterious dome that falls from the sky, and no one can get out...and that's it. Hmm...sounds just high-concept enough to last for about a season, but this is CBS we're talking about, so let's make it ten or fifteen.
5. Camp - NBC - Wednesdays, 10PM (July 10th)
This new series featuring Rachel Griffiths is another one that could go either way, but since I'm a sucker for movies about summer camp (this may have something to do with my grandfather watching Meatballs with me when I was waayy too young), I'll be sure to give this show a shot.
6. Whose Line Is It Anyway? - CW - Tuesdays, 8PM (July 16th)
Oh. My. God. Thirteen-year-old Liz can barely contain herself with the news that this classic improv gameshow is being rebooted with new host, Aisha Tyler (of Friends and Archer fame). I can't wait to see veteran comedians Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles, and Wayne Brady back in all their singing, miming, and prop-weilding glory.
7. Graceland - USA - Thursdays, 10PM (currently airing)
If you like your summer TV with a hefty dose of sun, sand, and that USA brand (Psych, Burn Notice, Royal Pains) I think this might be the next new show for you. Graceland centers on a group of undercover agents who have to live together in a Southern California house. This Real World meets surfing spies dramedy was recommended to me by my good friend and fellow TV junkie, Caitlin, so I know it's going to be good. Plus: Daniel Sunjata. 'Nuff said.
8. Shark Tank - ABC - Fridays, 9PM, (currently airing)
Take your college Marketing 101 class, add a bunch of super-filthy rich investors, new inventors, and incomprehensible amounts of money, then sprinkle liberally with dashed dreams, success stories and dramatic sound effects galore, and you've got Shark Tank. This reality show will grab you from the first five minutes and hold on...like a...hmm...what's an animal that grabs on and won't let go? I'll have to come back to that one.
9. Hollywood Game Night - NBC - Thursdays, 10PM (July 11th)
Jane Lynch and about A MILLION other celebrities play games together and win people money. I am so ridiculously excited for this show, everyone. If NBC's sneak preview doesn't make you want to fly out to LA and sign yourself up to be a contestant immediately, I don't know what will.
10. Wipeout - ABC - Thursdays, 8PM (currently airing)
Need I say more? Listen, if you don't laugh while watching this show, I'm not sure that we can stay friends. Just Google "best moments from wipeout" at work today and enjoy hours of fun! Just make sure your judgmental boss is on lunch.
So that's it! A big ol' summer TV checklist that should hold you over until the leaves start to fall, and we all need to get into our snuggies again. I hope I've given you enough options so you won't have to settle for Tattoo Nightmares, Pregnant and Dating, or Redneck Island (three very real shows airing this summer) but if all else fails, make like Liz Lemon and watch all of the episodes of Treme you've been saving on your DVR for the past year!
Check back here next week for my review of the Under the Dome pilot episode! Until then, someone fill up the kiddie pool and bring me a lemonade. It's getting hot out here.