Time was when summer TV meant reruns and sporting events—and sometimes even reruns of sporting events. But nowadays, there’s original programming to fill those dog days, some of it even eminently watchable and most of it coming to us from our friends in basic and premium cable. Here, a heads up on even more of June’s forthcoming premieres, some of them offering up the birth of brand new series, others returning favorites back for another (non-ratings) season.
Check out the earlier premieres of the summer: Summer Lovin’: June 2012 TV Premieres, Part 1.
Season 5 Premiere: Sunday, June 10
Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) of Bon Temps, Louisiana, is a waitress, a telepath, and a magnet for trouble. In a world where vampires have come “out of the coffin” and mingle freely—if not altogether welcomely— among the human population, the otherwise simple Sookie gets entangled in messy vampire politics all due to, of course, a man. Much nakedness, blood-drinking and heavy-handed metaphor ensues.
Where’s the love? Sookie has long been torn between two lovers, in vampires Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgård), has been a frequent object of affection to werewolf Alcide (Joe Mangiello) and its possible this season could also introduce the delicious weretiger Quinn, who romances Sookie in the corresponding book...though since the show has diverged massively from its source material, we shouldn’t hold our collective breaths. Elsewhere, Sookie’s brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) is irresistible to the ladies, her boss Sam (Sam Trammell)—another of her admirers—keeps finding Sookie substitutes, and everywhere else you look there are couplings vivid and plentiful and, more often than not, kinda kinky. No shortage of the love here—or, at least, no shortage of the sex, which is not quite the same thing.
Reason to tune in: Alexander Skarsgård takes his clothes off a lot.
Series Premiere: Monday, June 11
Beautiful, articulate and always ready with a clever quip, Michelle (Sutton Foster) is a trained dancer who treads the Vegas stage, but is lured away to the sleepy seaside town of Paradise by love-struck nice guy Hubble (Alan Ruck) after a drunken quickie marriage. His mother Fanny (Kelly Bishop, of Gilmore Girls fame), a dance school instructor with a flair for the dramatic—and with whom he lives (!)—is not best pleased by this turn of events, but the wisecracking Michelle begins to win her over, as she surely will the other, doubtless very quirky, residents of her new hometown.
Where’s the love? Michelle’s new husband is sweet, but by the end of the pilot, problems abound with that HEA scenario.
Reason to tune in: Created by Gilmore Girls guru Amy Sherman-Palladino and its about dance…really, you need more?
The Secret Life of the American Teenager
Season 5 Premiere: Monday, June 11
Teen pregnancies and weddings, melodramatic declarations of eternal love, world-class tantrums and the occasional discussion about grades, proms and college…far from being the secret life of the American teenager, that is pretty much the plot of every show focusing on the American teenager since time immemorial. (Well, maybe not Saved by the Bell.) Nevertheless, this show is a hit with its nominal audience,
Where’s the love? Oh, everywhere.
Reason to tune in: Ashley! Younger sister of our nominal series lead and played flawlessly by lovely British actress India Eisley (and who was one of the only good things to come out of Underworld: Awakning) she is kind of a live action Daria, if Daria cared about being able to expose her belly-button at school.
Series Premiere: Wednesday, June 13
Perhaps better entitled Dallas: The Next Generation, this series features original cast members Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray as assorted Ewing family elders but with the focus shifted to the younger generation of their troubled Texan oil family, as represented by the designer abs of Desperate Housewives alums Jesse Metcalfe and Josh Henderson.
Where’s the love? Probably in the most inappropriate of places.
Reason to tune in: You really miss the ’80s.
Season 6 Premiere: Thursday, June 14
His name is Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan). He used to be a spy. Then he was framed for a bunch of Very Bad Things and left twisting in the wind by the secretive government agency to which he had given his adult life. Happily, last season he finally earned back their trust and was made a spy again…but then, if you can believe it, his girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), a former IRA activist, also got framed! How annoying would that be? So at the end of the last season, in order to save Michael from being blackmailed into committing assorted atrocities to keep her out of jail, Fi turned herself in; but it’s not like she’ll stay in prison for long. At least not if Michael, along with BFFs Sam (Bruce Campbell) and Jesse (Coby Bell) have anything to say about it. Which they doubtless will.
Where’s the love? Michael and Fiona’s has been a tempestuous on-again-off-again blowing-things-up-avenging-the-innocent-uncovering-massive-black-ops-conspiracies relationship that is never not fun to watch. So there’s that. Also, lothario Sam has a succession of wealthy older women who keep him in beer money, and we can only hope that one of these days the oft-neglected Jesse finds happiness in more than his hot car.
Reason to tune in: If for nothing else, all the helpful spycraft tips. But there is a lot else. Jeffrey Donovan in his signature tailored suits, for one.
Season 2 Premiere: Thursday, June 14
Ambitious, talented and a selfish, though personable, jerk, high-priced attorney Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) becomes unlikely mentor to hardscrabble miscreant Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), a young man with an eidetic memory, a certain winsome charm and some questionable moral values. Though never having attended law school, Mike is presented to Harvey’s senior partner Jessica (Gina Torres) as a Yale grad, and between them the two men solve and/or defend assorted tricky legal cases while all the while trying to keep up Mike’s charade—something made immeasurably more difficult at the end of the last season, when Mike’s former best-friend, a drug dealer with a grudge, seemed set on exposing them both for the likeable fraudsters they are.
Where’s the love? Harvey is a lone wolf with a different date every night, but has a very real chemistry with his assistant, the peerless Donna (Sarah Rafferty). Mike spent much of Season 1 infatuated with paralegal Rachel (Meghan Markle), while at the same time dating his ex-best-friend’s ex-girlfriend, Jenny (Vanessa Rae). He’s complicated.
Reason to tune in: Gabriel Macht was born for this part, and Adams’s Mike is all kinds of adorable. The cases aren’t always the most riveting, and we can be rid of the endlessly annoying Jenny any time now, thanks show, but with outstanding performances from our two leads, Gina Torres immaculate as the kickass Jessica and Rick Hoffman completely, compellingly creepy as firm suck-up Louis, this is a worthwhile legal caper nonetheless.
STAY TUNED FOR A ROUND-UP OF YET MORE SUMMER TV PREMIERES, IN SUMMER LOVIN’: JUNE 2012, PART 3
Rachel Hyland is Editor in Chief of Geek Speak Magazine.