Here we are, already two weeks into the summer season, and there are yet more television series premieres coming our way... ahead, the highly anticipated premiere of Camp, the welcome returns of Necessary Roughness and Magic City and...well, I guess True Blood, for those of you who like your vampires with a side of ick. Among much else.
For a look at the shows already in progress, see Summer Lovin’: Summer TV Premieres, May/June 2013, Part 1.
But in this week’s news:
Series Premiere: Monday, June 10
Come spend the summer at Little Otter Family Camp, where the staff are zany, the campers are troublesome and the scent of pine is only eclipsed by that of rampaging teenage pheromones.
Where’s the love? Camp Director Mackenzie (Rachel Griffiths) is recently divorced and has a love/hate thing going on with rival camp director Roger (Rodger Corser). Tom Green is also in the cast, so we’ll see where that takes us. And there are the aforementioned rampaging teen pheromones, of course.
Reason to tune in: Did you ever think you’d see Rachel Griffiths and Tom Green credited together—like, ever? I sure didn’t. Also, as an Australian who never got to experience the joys of summer camp life except via The Parent Trap, I’m hoping for a vicarious thrill.
King and Maxwell
Series Premiere: Monday, June 10
David Baldacci’s best-selling Sean King and Michelle Maxwell series of crime novels comes to the TNT screen, in a very Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles manner.
Where’s the love? Per the books, Secret Service Agents-turned-Private Eyes King (Jon Tenney) and Maxwell (Rebecca Romijn) are romantic tension personified, in a very early Bones manner.
Reason to tune in: You like the above named shows, and/or Jon Tenney and/or Rebecca Romijn and/or Baldacci. Plenty of reasons to give this one a go, actually.
Season 2 Premiere: Monday, June 10
This spinoff of The Closer focuses on new chief Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) and her attempts to win over her subordinates (and the viewers) after the departure of the much beloved Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick), while also solving—you guessed it—major crimes.
Where’s the love? The main ship of interest is that of Sharon and Detective Andy Flynn (Tony Denison), who have a rather charmingly dedicated fan base, considering theirs is a workplace romance between, shall we say, more mature adults. It’s all quite adorable, really.
Reason to tune in: Mary McDonnell is always worth watching.
Switched at Birth
Season 2 Summer Premiere: Monday, June 10
Bay (Vanessa Marano) and Daphne (Katie Leclerc) are teenage girls who discover that they were accidentally sent home with the wrong parents as infants. So, naturally enough, Daphne and her mother move into Bay’s family’s guest house! Oh, and Daphne is hearing impaired.
Where’s the love? Are you Team Emmett (Sean Berdy) or Team Noah (Max Lloyd-Jones)? Or, perhaps more importantly, which one do you want to see with which not-quite-sister? Yep, it’s all kinds of tricky ‘round these parts, folks, especially when you factor in the fact that Emmett is hearing impaired and so much of his courtship is conducted in sign-and-subtitle.
Reason to tune in: All the episode titles are taken from famous artworks, in honor of Bay’s oft-mentioned artistic streak, and much of the action occurs in American Sign Language, which is unusual and quite cool. Also, '80s stars D. W. Moffett and Lea Thomson play Bay’s parents, High School Musical’s Lucas Grabeel plays her brother and—shocker!—Marlee Matlin frequently guest stars.
Pretty Little Liars
Season 4 Premiere: Tuesday, June 11
Oh, you liars who are still so pretty but now perhaps not so little! Still dealing with the aftermath of the death of their bitchy friend Alison (Sasha Pieterse) pre-show, our four pseudo-heroines Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Hanna (Ashley Benson), Aria (Lucy Hale) and Emily (Shay Mitchell) now spend most of their time hating each other, plotting against each other, being blackmailed by sundry shadowy cabals and staging kidnappings. Seriously.
Where’s the love? Maybe Aria and her impossibly hot former English teacher Ezra (Ian Harding) are worth fretting over, but really, how any of these girls have time to dilly dally with romance considering the fraught nature of their conspiracy-laden lives is anyone’s guess. Especially given how much time they must also spend doing their hair and nails.
Reason to tune in: Well, Ian Harding is impossibly hot.
Season 3 Premiere: Wednesday, June 12
Dr. Dani Santino (Callie Thorne) is a psychologist on the payroll of the fictional New York Hawks football team, while also seeing many other patients drawn largely from the sporting field—although sometimes a very long bow has to be drawn, like on those occasions when the “sport” in question is bronco-riding or roller derby.
Where’s the love? Dani and handsome team co-worker Matt (Marc Blucas) got back together in last season’s finale after much angst on the subject, and to the disgust of her other handsome team co-worker, the enigmatic Nico (Scott Cohen). However, it seems Matt’s recent peccadilloes may have come back to haunt him with a last-minute shot of the dreaded pregnancy test in the hands of an ex...
Reason to tune in: The second season of Necessary Roughness was a huge improvement over the first—notably, way less of Dani’s whiny teen daughter—and as long as Nico hasn’t really left town (Spoiler Alert: he hasn’t), then we can only hope this upward trend continues.
Season 5 Premiere: Wednesday, June 12
Dr. Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) is GP to the rich and famous in the Hamptons, where he works under the banner of HankMed and employs an assortment of characters generally more interesting than he is.
Where’s the love? Hank’s smooth-talking brother Evan (Paulo Costanzo) and long-time love, the patrician Paige (Brooke D’Orsay), tied the knot last season, while Hank’s sometime girlfriend Jill (Jill Flint) has recently departed, perhaps paving the way for Hank/Divya (Reshma Shetty)? Or am I the only one onboard that ship?
Reason to tune in: It’s a show on USA, so the quirkiness factor is high. And quirky is fun!
Sullivan and Son
Season 2 Premiere: Thursday, June 13
Corporate attorney Steve Sullivan (Steve Byrne) leaves his high-flying Manhattan career (and fiancé) to take over his parents’ Pittsburgh bar. He’s half-Korean, so cue all kinds of jokes about how he can’t drive.
Where’s the love? Well, the fact that Steve’s childhood friend Melanie Sutton (Valerie Azlynn) fills out her police uniform very nicely certainly hasn’t escaped his attention.
Reason to tune in: Hahaha! Asians can’t drive!
Season 2 Premiere: Friday, June 14
In a stylish, stylized world of, well, style, hotelier Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) makes a deal with Mob devil Ben Diamond (Danny Huston) in order to make his glamorous Miramar Playa the place to be in 1959 Miami.
Where’s the love? Ike and his second wife Vera (Olga Kurylenko) are an interesting pair, but the illicit affair of Stevie Evans (Steven Strait) and Diamond's trophy wife Lily (Jessica Marais) was the main attraction of the first season, with poor dull-if-dutiful Danny Evans (Christian Cooke) and his housekeeper love interest Mercedes (Dominik Garcia-Larido) in desperate need of a chemistry injection.
Reason to tune in: It’s all just so pretty!
Season 6 Premiere: Sunday, June 16
Based on Charlaine Harris’s very different Southern Vampire Mysteries series, small town telepath/waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) became embroiled in the dark, sexy vampire world when she began dating one of them, the upright Bill (Stephen Moyer), back in Season 1. Since then, most everyone of her acquaintance has likewise become inextricably entangled with the blood-drinking set—and vampires aren’t the only creatures of myth and legend that turned out to be real. Also, everyone gets naked a lot.
Where’s the love? The perennial Sookie-Bill-Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) quandary of the books has been subsumed in the TV show by Bill becoming some kind of unkillable supervampire at the end of Season 5, for no apparent reason. Sure, elsewhere there is romance both disturbing and dysfunctional, but most of it is just an excuse for the show to meet their HBO-mandated breasts-per-minute ratio.
Reason to tune in: Naked vampires and heavy metaphor still do it for you.
For yet more premieres of this so-called off-season, watch out for the next instalment of this every-year-getting-longer-because-they-keep-adding-more-original-summer-shows preview series. Really, it’s like the networks don’t even want us to go outside...
Rachel Hyland is Editor in Chief of Geek Speak Magazine.