Just as the summer wears on and the days grow ever longer, so too do the hours one can
Franklin and Bash
Season Premiere: Wednesday, June 19
Best buds and unconventional lawyers Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) try an assortment of tricky cases while turning the upright and respectable firm of Infield Daniels on its head, with the aid of their trusty sidekicks, the ex-con Carmen (Dana Davis) and the agoraphobic, neurotic genius Pindar (Kumail Nanjiani).
Where’s the love? The boys have various flings throughout the course of the show, but most notable is Bash’s seemingly incurable adoration of tiresome prosecutor and ex-girlfriend, Janie (Claire Coffee).
Reason to tune in: Malcolm McDowell as the boys’ boss at the firm is always a pleasure, but the real reason to watch is the comfortable bro-chemistry of Meyer and Gosselaar. If you need more, though, Heather Locklear joins the cast in Season 3, and who isn’t curious to see how she’s doing nowadays?
Season 7-B Premiere: Wednesday, June 19
20th Century pizza boy Fry (Billy West) was accidentally cryogenically frozen. Awakening in the Year 3000, he joined the wacky staff of delivery service Planet Express, thereafter going on many a galactic adventure that, just coincidentally, often happened to parallel events happening in our time right now.
Where’s the love? Fry and one-eyed space pilot Leela (Katey Segal) are finally together after years of one-sided affection from the former and outright disdain from the latter. But don’t discount the marital disharmony of Rastafarian accountant Hermes (Phil LaMarr) and his domineering wife LaBarbara (Dawnn Lewis). Also amusingly awkward.
Reason to tune in: The oft-canceled Futurama has been officially cancelled for real this time, and so this is the show’s last hurrah, really, definitely, this time we mean it. And yes, it’s even still funny occasionally.
Series Premiere: Sunday, June 23
International criminals, beware! The crack team from the International Criminal Court (a bunch of “Hey, I Know That Guy!”s, plus Donald Sutherland) are on the case.
Where’s the love? There’s an Italian chick on the team (Gabriella Pession), so perhaps some fiery Latin passion will ignite.
Reason to tune in: An NYPD burnout (William Fichtner) thrown amongst the European elite in order to solve “cross-border crimes,” all sanctioned by The Hague? This one is going to be awesome. I do question their choice of tagline, though: “Seven of the world’s toughest cops. No case they can’t solve.” Rather takes away from the suspense, doesn’t it?
Series Premiere: Sunday, June 23
So, this is confusing. Based on Spanish language show Ellas son la Alegría del Hogar (“They are the Home’s Joy”), which itself drew heavily from Desperate Housewives, the creator of Desperate Housewives brings us the doings of four... well, devious maids, all of whom work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills.
Where’s the love? You just know at least one of these maids is so devious as to be having, or at least contemplating, an affair with an employer, or an employer’s son. Or if that isn’t happening yet, it will be by season’s end, mark my words.
Reason to tune in: Maybe reading the subtitles on your favourite telenovela is getting wearisome? Or you’ve really missed Susan Lucci? (Personally, I’m only in it for Grant Show.)
Season 2 Premiere: Sunday, June 23
Season 1 of this dark historical procedural gave us a murky New York in the Civil War era, all racism and totally unsanitary conditions and love (often underage) for sale. We met policeman Kevin “Corky” Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones), a haunted Irishman with a missing wife and daughter—by season’s end, he was even more haunted, and addicted to morphine besides. Also, the Confederates are coming! So, tidings of comfort and joy, my friends.
Where’s the love? Corky’s mad wife is no longer of any interest, leaving the uppercrust Elizabeth (Anastasia Griffith) to try to make it up to him for giving a young girl he cared about into sex slavery. (Geez, Corky. So petty!)
Reason to tune in: It’s unvarnished historicalness of the grittiest and yet most soap opera-esque caliber, with sharp writing, shocking twists and an honorable, if grimy, lead. Also, beta hero Robert (Kyle Schmid) is handsome and Billy Baldwin joins the cast this season, if that interests you at all.
Under the Dome
Series Premiere: Monday, June 24
Based on the novel by Stephen King, this series follows the travails of the good citizens of Chester’s Mill, Maine, after their whole town is sealed off from the outside world by an invisible barrier, of unknown origin and to what purpose none can guess. Chaos, and tinpot dictators, ensue.
Where’s the love? If the book is anything to go by, we may be seeing some Captain Dale “Barbie” Barbara (Mike Vogel) and journalist Julia Shumway (Rachelle LaFevre) action. But since when is the source material anything to go by when it comes to a TV show?
Reason to tune in: “Based on the novel by Stephen King” is always worth a look.
Season 2 Premiere: Tuesday, June 25
Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) is a brilliant scientist, a respected professor and a renowned expert in the realm of neuropsychiatry. He is also a schizophrenic who routinely hallucinates conversations with people as diverse as his first love (Kelly Rowan), his young protégée (Rachael Leigh Cook) and, er, Joan of Arc. Nevertheless, it is the considered opinion of the protégé, and her superiors at the FBI, that without Dr. Pierce’s insights many of their most difficult cases would not get solved. And what do you know? Turns out, they’re right.
Where’s the love? Daniel and Cook’s Special Agent Kate Moretti are the kind of friends who are way into each other and yet try to pretend they’re not, and which are always so entertaining... the substantial age gap notwithstanding.
Reason to tune in: This show is truly excellent, with intriguing cases, fun facts about the brain to know and share, and a particularly outstanding performance by McCormack as the fractured, damaged Daniel. This was one of my favorites from the 2012 summer season, and probably the one I am most delighted to see return.
Rizzoli and Isles
Season 4 Premiere: Tuesday, June 25
Based on the Tess Gerritsen novels, Boston Detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon), a noted tomboy, and Medical Examiner Dr. Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), a woman of refined tastes, are best friends and colleagues who team up to solve crimes, all the while learning life lessons from each other in a manner slightly reminiscent of The Odd Couple.
Where’s the love? The end of Season 3 saw Jane’s One True Love, solider Casey (Chris Vance), take himself off for some experimental surgery in order to repair a battlefield spinal injury, all for the love of her. Maura’s choices in men have never been good (one was a serial killer, another was Jane’s feckless little brother), so here’s wishing her better luck this season. Meanwhile, Mrs Rizzoli (Lorraine Bracco) is in love with Jane and brother Frankie’s (Jordan Bridges) police captain, and doesn’t think her children have any right to be creeped out about it. Really, Ma?
Reason to tune in: The banter between our two leads, Jane’s detective sidekicks Frost (Lee Thompson Young) and Korsak (Bruce McGill), and the all-encompassing family dynamic usually make for a good time, even if the mysteries are occasionally a little lackluster.
Season 8 Premiere: Sunday, June 30
Based on the novels by Jeff Lindsay, the series follows serial killer Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) as he performs heinous acts of vigilante justice on Miami’s ne’er do wells, all while working as a blood splatter expert for the Miami PD.
Where’s the love? Dexter has been the object of many a girl’s affection throughout the series, but the last couple of seasons gave us the Lannisterian twist that his adopted sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) was totally into him—a forbidden love that was derailed not by her discovery that he’s the Bay Harbor Butcher, surprisingly, but rather by the arrival of beautiful spree killer, Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski). She’s in prison now, though, so Dex and Deb may be back on the cards, especially since she, too, is now a murderer.
Reason to tune in: This is to be the final season of Dexter, and so the question of whether or not he’ll live to kill another day is sure to be answered, and discussed around water coolers worldwide. You’d hate to be out of the loop.
Series Premiere: Sunday, June 30
In this highly-touted Showtime series, Liev Schrieber stars as the titular Ray Donovan, a “fixer” who spends his time shielding Hollywood celebrities and power players from the consequences of their own dastardly actions. Things get complicated when his criminal father (Jon Voight) gets out of prison, sending their family into a tailspin... and a lot of family they have, with the credits giving the surname “Donovan” to no fewer than seven of the ten main cast. And even then, one of the others is an illegitimate half-brother.
Where’s the love? Katherine Moennig, famous for playing badass lesbian Shane on The L Word, plays here Donovan’s gal Friday, Lena—who happens to be a badass lesbian. What are the odds?
Reason to tune in: Liev Schreiber, man!
Well, that takes us to the end of June, but don’t think the nets are done with us yet this summer. There are more premieres to look forward to as the season wears on... stay tuned!
Rachel Hyland is Editor in Chief of Geek Speak Magazine.