Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Your No Bummer TV Summer: 2014 Edition!

Summer is here! Let's all skip work for the next three months and camp out on the beach - what do you say?

Nick and Jess had the right idea.

As we discussed many moons ago, summer is my absolute favorite season, and I greet its arrival each year with open arms. On the first hint of a nice day, I throw on my favorite summer playlist, dig the jean shorts out of the closet, and stay outside until the mosquitos and I have formed an understanding (aka, they bite me everywhere except the two inches around my "off" bracelet that clearly doesn't work). And of course, there's nothing better than a summer night spent chilling out under the stars, eating ice cream, and laughing with your favorite people in the world. But what about those sticky, thunderstormy nights when you've seen all the summer blockbusters and just want to stay in? I remember the days when watching an oscillating fan was more exciting than the pathetic batch of summer TV offerings we got (and we had to walk uphill both ways to get to Ben and Jerry's too). Well, the times they are a changin' folks because this summer is packed with premieres to keep you entertained until that first craving for a pumpkin spiced latte hits. Check out my personal favorites below!

Let's Dive into Summer TV!
 
Orange is the New Black - Netflix, June 6th 

I know I wasn't the biggest fan of the pilot of this prison-set series when it premiered on Netflix last year, but after revisiting it recently, I think I finally get what all the hype is about (and why so many people got addicted). I'll still be plowing through old episodes when the highly anticipated second season premieres this week, but I know most OITNB viewers have been counting down the days until their next big binge. Get ready for GIF's galore and plenty of critical discussion in the coming days - who knows? I may even get in on the think-piece action later on in the summer...
 
 
Graceland - USA, June 11th

One of the most fun, suspenseful, and gripping shows to premiere last summer, Graceland captivated me (and tons of other viewers) with it's plot twists, compelling characters, and just-right amount of sunny summer frivolity. I was so pleasantly surprised by this one, I remember actually being outraged that I would have to wait an entire year for it's return after last season's finale. Thank goodness the FBI, DEA, and CIA undercover agents are coming back soon with new missions, more secret alliances, and sexy surf montages to brighten up the summer schedule.

 
Rectify - Sundance, June 19th

A man who was in prison for murder gets released 19 years later, after conflicting DNA evidence seems to prove his innocence. But "Did he do it?" isn't the biggest question on this subtle, beautiful show's mind. Instead, Rectify asks us: "How does a person readjust to normal life after being locked up for so long?" providing the answer in one of the most cinematic mini-series I've ever seen. Less like a TV show and more like an art-house film broken into six parts, Rectify isn't for everyone, but you can see for yourself if it's up your alley - check out all of Season 1 on Netflix before the mid-June premiere of Season 2. 
 
 
Cold Justice - TNT, June 20th

Get ready to meet your new reality addiction. Former prosecutor, Kelly Siegler and former crime scene investigator, Yolanda McClary help small town police stations with few resources to dig into their most difficult cold cases with amazing results. It's truly awesome to see these two wonder women crushing it in a field traditionally dominated by men, bringing closure to so many families who've suffered for years with uncertainty (warning: tissues may be required).


The Leftovers - HBO, June 29th *new

What if one day you woke up to find that random members of the population had disappeared into puffs of smoke? Some of your friends and family are gone without a trace, and you've been left behind to deal with the aftermath. Has the rapture happened, or is it something else entierely? After reading Tom Perrotta's book last summer, I can't wait to see how The Leftovers works as a series. With Justin Theroux in the lead as Police Chief Kevin Garvey, I imagine I'll be very happy with the results!
 
 
Drunk History - Comedy Central, July 1st

Yes! My favorite new show from last summer returns with all new comedians, celebrities, and half-in-the-bag stories for those of us who like our history lessons with a shot of tequila (or seven). Get the coffee and breakfast burritos ready for the next morning everyone - it's going to be a lonnng night.

 
Welcome to Sweden - NBC, July 10th *new

In this new sitcom from Greg Poehler (he's Amy Poehler's brother, so, yeah, I'm already sold) a man moves from New York to Sweden to follow the woman he loves. Based on Greg Poehler's actual life-story, Welcome to Sweden seems like the perfect, light, summer comedy. Plus the trailer is adorable - look out for cameos from Aubrey Plaza, Will Ferrell, and, of course, Amy Poehler!

 
Masters of Sex - Showtime, July 13th
 
Masters and Johnson are back! I absolutely loved this sexy, creative series when it premiered last fall - between the cast, the story, and the style, little else in the TV drama department could compare. I'm really looking forward to revisiting our dynamic sex researchers again this summer, especially after last season's intense, beautiful finale.


Girl Meets World - Disney Channel, July 27th *new

Boy Meets World was a defining show from my childhood (and quite possibly yours if you're reading this) so naturally I've been counting down the days until the premiere of the spin off, surrounding Cory and Topanga, as parents (!!!) to their teenage daughter, Riley. Of course I know this new iteration could end up being...not great (please don't let the trailer be any indication!) but I'm holding out hope that it keeps the same spirit of the original, if only so my college friends and I can start using "my hosiery is bunching!" in casual conversation again. Like we ever stopped...
 
 
Seven Deadly Sins - Showtime, August 7th *new
 
Fans of 30 Days and Inside Man, get ready! Morgan Spurlock returns to TV with a new documentary series focusing on the seven deadly sins (for all you angels out there, that would be gluttony, sloth, envy, pride, greed, wrath, and lust). Each week focuses on one of the deadlies in Spurlock's signature style - seems like appointment viewing to me!
 
 
Garfunkel and Oates - IFC, August 7th *new
The summer show I've been anticipating more than any other is IFC's Garfunkel and Oates, a series starring two of my favorite comedian/musicians, Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci. These ladies have done great work apart, but they're at their funniest when they're together as members of the show's titular band. I have really high expectations for this one, especially with producer/director Fred Savage at the helm.

 
 
**Bonus**
Fox just started burning off episodes of the dearly departed Enlisted and will continue to air new episodes every Sunday at 7PM! I'm so sad that one of my favorite new sitcoms of the season got the axe already, but at least we'll be able to see the last few half-hours (unlike when Ben and Kate was unceremoniously booted from the schedule without a proper goodbye). Even if you never watched before, catch up on Hulu or just check out the final four - believe me, it'll be worth your time.

And for all you Dome-heads out there, Under the Dome returns to CBS June 30th! I won't be partaking in the Dome-madness this year, but Leah will be back with her amazing, better-than-actually-watching-it recaps all summer! Thanks for taking one for the team again, girl.
Got a show you're looking forward to this season that wasn't on my list? Leave it in the comments - I'd love to hear what's getting you psyched this summer!
 
Orphan Black Recap: Season 2, Episode 7: Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things

Kira and Sarah reunited - yay! But Cosima is still not doing well - boo! Looks like Leekie and Delphine realized Kira's stem cells (harvested from a rogue tooth she lost in last season's accident) could be helpful in treating Cosima's illness, but while they were right, no one bothered to tell her that was the plan! After a long overdue mental breakdown, Cosima throws Delphine out of the lab, but then makes the most heartbreaking call to Sarah, letting her know that Kira may be her only hope for survival. Ooofa. Meanwhile at rehab, Alison reveals a little too much to informant Vic about her involvement with Ainsley's death, and panics when she discovers his true motives for their friendship. Alison enlists Sarah and Felix for help, although Felix's approach of drugging his tea ends up causing more problems, leading to an amazing Sarah-as-Alison scene that rivals last season's pot luck switcheroo. Rachel also discovers that her father is alive, we meet a scary new Dyad character, and Mrs. S.'s motives get more and more unclear. Oh, and Donnie finally becomes aware of what he's been participating in all along (what kind of messed up school project did you think this was, Donnie??) and things definitely do not end well after he confronts Leekie about it. I won't spoil it for you here, but this ending is about to change everything.

 
Next Week: It's all about Inside Amy Schumer! Join me for a rundown of my favorite sketches from this truly incredible, second season.

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