Summertime is here again, and that can only mean one thing: TV! ABC kicked off the off-season early with the series premiere of comedy Family Toolson May 1 (nope), and then came Canadian procedural Motive (chilling, but yep). Last week, NBC brought us Save Me (Michael Landes deserves so much better), and Fox delivered up The Goodwin Games (infuriating, but pretty funny). But this week brings us the summer season in earnest, and with it some new shows as well as many a returning favorite. First up, and all premiering in just the next fortnight:
Season 2 Premiere: Monday, May 27
Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) of Absaroka County, Wyoming, is running for re-election against a young punk from his own office (Bailey Chase), while also using his signature blend of gravelly-voiced monosyllables and stoic wisdom to solve a worrisome amount of suspicious death for such a sparsely populated area.
Where’s the love? Aside from Longmire’s daughter Cady (Cassidy Freeman) in a secret affair with his main rival, not much so far, but hope springs eternal. Longmire’s trusted deputy Vic (Katee Sackhoff) has a husband we don’t know too well, and she doesn’t seem to like him much.
Reason to tune in: If nothing else (and there are things else), Katee Sackhoff!
Season 4 Premiere: Monday, May 27
Cheeky, handsome and somewhat implausibly intuitive, Detective Jim Longworth (Matt Passmore) moved to a seaside town in sunny Florida to get a little break from the hurly burly of Chicago police work—instead, he is knee deep in murders week after week, because either he’s terrible at checking crime rates or he’s the best serial killer the world has ever known. Next to Jessica Fletcher, that is.
Where’s the love? Jim proposed to long-time, long-distance love Callie (Kiele Sanchez) in the concluding moments of Season 3, so that’s sweet.
Reason to tune in: Other than finding out Callie’s answer (ooh, the suspense!), the show brings some pretty intriguing mysteries on its best days, which mostly make up for the increasingly questionable plot holes and baffling character usage on its worst.
Season 2 Premiere: Wednesday, May 29
Young Ben (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) found his baby daughter left at his apartment door, and has since been raising her with the help of his best friends, brother and mom.
Where’s the love? Ben’s childhood friend Riley (Chelsea Kane) loves him—feelings he may be beginning to reciprocate—while Ben’s professional hockey playing brother Danny (Derek Theler) loves her.It’s a triangle for the ages!
Reason to tune in: You’re a fan of chaste New Adult fiction. Is there chaste New Adult fiction?
Melissa and Joey
Season 3 Premiere: Wednesday, May 29
Young councilwoman Mel Bourke (Melissa Joan Hart) was left with the charge of her teenaged niece (Taylor Spreitler) and nephew (Nick Robinson), and so has taken on the services of a live-in nanny/housekeeper, disgraced banker Joe Longo (Joey Lawrence) to help out, in an extremely Who’s the Boss?-ian kind of way. But everyone is hotter, and there’s no Mona.
Where’s the love? The teens have various dalliances, but the main interest in this show is the fractious back and forth of our titular not-quite couple.
Reason to tune in: This show, I have to confess, is my very guiltiest of pleasures. (Don’t judge me. No, actually, judgment is fair enough.) But I can’t help it. Melissa Joan Hart is so endearing, and Joey Lawrence’s arms are just ridiculous, and there is a light, non-threatening, non-thinky kind of humor in the show that just makes it easy to watch. It’s like a televized cupcake.
Series Premiere: Monday, June 3
If this American version has anything in common with its UK namesake, then boy, things are about to get very, very messy. Focussing on four thirty-something friends and their assorted romantic escapades—whether with their boyfriends, husbands and illicit lovers, or other people’s boyfriends, husbands and illicit lovers—the show’s publicity calls it “A provocative and thrilling drama about the scandalous lives of a sexy and sassy group of four girlfriends, each on her own path to self-discovery.” So, sex!
Where’s the love? Again, if this remake hearkens back to its progenitor at all: everywhere!
Reason to tune in: Alyssa Milano is in it, and she’s quite lovely. Otherwise, just ‘cause you really miss Desperate Housewives.
Season 3 Premiere: Monday, June 3
Oh, those wacky adolescent lycanthropes. In Season 2, it was discovered by most everyone not already in on the secret that teenager Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) is a werewolf. Of course, he just happens to have fallen in love with Allison Argent (Crystal Reed), daughter and heir to the rootin’-est, tootin’-est werewolf hunting family this side of Winchesters, a match to which her family are violently opposed—and no, that is not a metaphor. Meanwhile, dickish Alpha Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) has made himself a new pack from among the feeble and free-thinking of Beacon Hills High’s student body, and Scott’s awesome and adorable best-friend Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) continues to be awesome and adorable.
Where’s the love? Aside from
Romeo and Juliet Scott and Allison, we have newly-made teen wolf Jackson (Colton Haynes) and his love of troubled teen queen Lydia (Holland Roden), for whom Stiles, naturally enough, carries a torch. (Think Xander/Cordelia.) Meanwhile, I hope I am not the only one pulling for the improbably hot, improbably single Mama McCall (Melissa Ponzio) and Papa Sheriff Stilinski (Linden Ashby) to get together, but then, it might creep the target tween audience out to think of two parent-types hooking up. And hey, I get it.
Reason to tune in: It’s The Vampire Diaries for the summer season, except with werewolves, a bonus for those suffering from vampire fatigue. Also, lacrosse.
Series Premiere: Monday, June 3
Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum), a stable and upwardly mobile couple already with three children of their own, take in troubled foster kid Callie (Maia Mitchell) and teach her that goodness and decency exist in the world, and some such.
Where’s the love? Stef and Lena, obviously, and there can be little doubt that teen Callie will find herself with an angst-ridden love or two, potentially even with one of her foster brothers.
Reason to tune in: Two moms raising multi-racial kids on ABC Family? Why wouldn’t you? And who doesn’t like Teri Polo?
Season 7 Premiere: Thursday, June 6
Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), once a top CIA operative, was banished to his hometown of Miami lo, these many years ago, due to the finagling of a shadowy criminal mastermind determined to have the super spy’s skills for his own. Instead, Michael teamed up with his old pal Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) and his trigger-happy ex-girlfriend Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar) to right the wrongs of Magic City’s citizens, bringing many a ne’er do well to vigilante justice in the process...but now the CIA has taken him back into the fold!
Where’s the love? Fiona is not at all impressed that Michael surrendered their Happy Ever After to the exigencies of his spy work, so there’s definite trouble in their corner of paradise.
Reason to tune in: Michael and Fiona on the outs is bound to make for some awesome making up.
Series Premiere: Thursday, June 6
An undercover taskforce of FBI, CIA and Customs officials move into a Southern California beach house. So, basically, The Real World: Guns.
Where’s the love? Everyone is hot, so there’s bound to be some somewhere.
Reason to tune in: Creator Jeff Eastin is also the man responsible for White Collar, so this one is worth a try. Also, everyone’s hot, remember?
Season 3 Premiere: Sunday, June 9
Aliens invaded a while back and took over the world. Small pockets of resistance continue to fight back against this technologically-superior-and-yet-kind-of-dumb insectoid-y menace, including the good folks of the 2nd Massachusetts Militia, headed up by the earnest Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) and his sons.
Where’s the love? Tom and Dr. Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood) are bringing a baby into the apocalypse and the eldest Mason son, the teenaged Hal (Drew Roy), has delightfully hooked up with damaged, twenty-something Maggie (Sarah Carter).
Reason to tune in: There’s not a lot of Military SF on TV nowadays, so if that’s your thing (as it is mine), then this is pretty much the only game in town.
None of these appeal? There is much more to come! The second instalment of the summer premiere season includes such returning shows as Major Crimes, Pretty Little Liars, Necessary Roughnessand True Blood, among much else. So stay tuned for Part 2!
Rachel Hyland is the co-creator of GeekSpeak Magazine.