16 Summer Shows To Fill The Space In Your Heart (And Your DVR)
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16 Summer Shows To Fill The Space In Your Heart (And Your DVR)

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | May 30, 2013 | Comments ()


"The Fall" - Available Now On Netflix
The Good: If your Gillian Anderson yen wasn't sated by her recent appearance on "Hannibal," then this is the "X-Files" methadone for you. Anderson plays a police officer in Northern Ireland investigating a string of murders. The show already aired in the UK and has been renewed for a second season.
The Bad: Though it was BBC 2's highest rated drama launch in eight years, the show has drawn inevitable comparisons to Helen Mirren's "Prime Suspect." As Maria Bello and her parade of hats already proved, it's impossible to recapture that kind of lightning in a bottle, but I, for one, am delighted to see Anderson try.
The Duration: 5 episodes

"The Killing" - June 2nd on AMC
The Good: Well, first of all, we've left the case of Rosie Larson behind. So that's a good start. The plot of Season 3 takes place a year after the last season ended and the only two returning actors are the leads Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos. Joining them? Peter Sarsgaard and Elias Koteas among others. Which means, damnit, after I swore to give it up, I'll have to start watching again.
The Bad: Do I have to tell you? Do I really have to remind you about the end of Season 1 and ALL of Season 2? I didn't think so.
The Duration: 12 episodes

"Graceland" - June 6th on USA
The Good: The leads Aaron Tveitt (Les Miserables) and Daniel Sunjata ("Rescue Me") are recognizable, likable faces. That already puts them ahead of the throngs of likable, indistinguishable faces currently populating USA's "White Collar Suits Pains" world. Tveitt, in particular, is a hugely popular theatrical talent and I'm actually a little surprised he's taking the USA cash-out this early in his career.
The Bad: The plot (a group of comely undercover agents from different branches of law enforcement are picked to live in a house and have their lives taped. Find out what happens when people stop being poli-) is thin.
The Duration: 10 episodes

"In The Flesh" - June 6th-8th on BBC America
The Good: On the other hand, the plot for this tight, three episode mini-series sounds amazing. "Set in the fictional village of Roarton (Lancashire, England) after The Rising, in which teenager Kieren Walker was re-animated along with thousands of people who died in the year 2009. After months of rehabilitation and medication, the zombies (now referred to as partially deceased syndrome (PDS) patients by the government, but commonly known as "rotters") are judged ready to return to their homes and families. They are given cosmetics and contact lenses to conceal their decayed appearance, and must maintain a strict programme of medication to avoid going "rabid" again. Many are haunted by returning memories of the atrocities they committed while rabid. In the extremist village of Roarton, PDS sufferers face prejudice from the villagers upon their return."
The Bad: If you're looking for a fun and gory substitute for "The Walking Dead," you're barking up the wrong allegorical tree.
The Duration: 3 episodes

"True Blood" - June 16th on HBO
The Good: Um? Vampire Pam? And Lafayette? And that's about it. Oh! The theme song's good.
The Bad: Pretty much everything else. But what sexy, sticky, enjoyable bad it is. Did I have other options for an image here? Well. I did. And I didn't.
The Duration: 10 episodes

"Under The Dome" - June 24th on CBS
The Good: I once spent an amazing summer slowly watching and loving the crap out of the 1994 miniseries made of "The Stand." As such, I have weakness for Stephen King TV projects. The book this particular project was based on was not the strongest King effort, but they had me at "Breaking Bad"'s Dean Norris, and I'll stick around for the rest.
The Bad: All the other miniseries that have been made out of Stephen King books. Even "The Stand" which was, in retrospect, terrible.
The Duration: 13 episodes

"Ray Donovan" - June 30th on Showtime
The Good: Liev Schrieber, Liev Schrieber, Liev Schrieber. I'd watch him read a telephone book. Liev Schrieber plays a "fixer" for the rich and famous whose life gets flipped, turned upside down when his However, he experiences his own problems when his father, Mickey Donovan (Jon Voight), is unexpectedly released from prison. Another mark in its favor? The show is from one of the "Southland" creators.
The Bad: I haven't seen or heard any downsides yet.
The Duration: 10 episodes

"The Bridge" - July 10th on FX
The Good: The lovely and talented Diane Kruger joins the ranks of jaw-clenching lady detectives in this remake of a Swedish/Danish collaborative drama. Set along the Texas/Mexico border the show follows the efforts of US and Mexican law enforcement to catch a serial killer.
The Bad: Kruger, who is unmistakably German, will be playing a Texan. That should be fun. Hey, Joel Kinnaman pulled it off so my fingers are crossed for Kruger.
The Duration: 13 episodes

"Camp" - July 10th on NBC
The Good: Rachel Griffiths. I adore her. I even endured two seasons of "Brothers and Sisters" for her. The show is a workplace comedy set at a Summer Camp and has a very "Parks & Recreation" vibe.
The Bad: The fact that NBC only ordered ten episodes and pushed the show into the summer doesn't exactly scream "I HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THIS PROJECT."
The Duration: 10 episodes

"Orange Is The New Black" - July 11th on Netflix
The Good: From Jenji Kohan, the creator of "Weeds," this Netflix original comedy based on the book of the same name chronicles one woman's year in prison. Likely Kohan will mine the same "genteel fish out of water" material she used to effectively in the first few seasons of "Weeds." And that could be fun.
The Bad: The Netflix Original programming has been hit and miss. Well, hits and "Hemlock Grove." So we'll see.
The Duration: 13 episodes

"The Newsroom" - July 14th on HBO
The Good: Chris Messina? Liking Olivia Munn again for a second time? The 2012 election? Karl Rove? Occupy Wall Street? The Drink Every Time Alison Pill Falls Down Or Runs Into Something Game?
The Bad: Ohhhh, the bloviating, I suppose. But I like that.
The Duration: 10 episodes
Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 4.35.55 PM.png

"Broadchurch" - August 7th on BBC America
The Good: Well, Tennant, obviously. They had you at Tennant. But his co-lead, Olivia Colman, is something of a hot commodity currently in England having won two BAFTAs this year. (Anglophiles and actual Anglos will recognize Colman from "Rev," "Green Wing" and, of course, "Peep Show.") "Doctor Who" fanatics should also note that Arthur Darvill (Rory) has a strong supporting role. The plot? It's a sleepy seaside murder mystery. The stuff of Miss Marple mysteries. But the fine cast and reportedly shocking ending (NO SPOILERS) make it a must watch.
The Bad: The fact that the UK has already seen it and we haven't means your spoiler risk is QUITE high. Earmuffs, my dears.
The Duration: 8 episodes

"The White Queen" - August 10th on STARZ
The Good: Finally, a Corset and Crown drama focusing on the ladies. This political intrigue is set against The War Of The Roses and is based on Philippa Gregory's very popular historical novels. Also, this show was produced by the BBC so you're not likely to see "Spartacus"-level nudity.
The Bad: Alas, this show was produced by the BBC so you're not likely to see "Spartacus"-level nudity.
The Duration: 10 episodes

"Low Winter Sun" - August 11th on AMC
The Good: This is a US remake of a popular English series and the reliably grim Mark Strong starred in both. The show co-stars Lennie James, and is about "murder, deception, revenge and corruption that starts with the murder of a cop by fellow Detroit detective."
The Bad: I really haven't heard any.
The Duration: 10 episodes

"Breaking Bad" - August 11th on AMC
The Good: This is the best goddamn show on American television.
The Bad: It's almost over.
The Duration: 8 episodes

"Luther" - September 3-6th on BBC America
The Good: Look who's back. I missed her so.
The Bad: It's only four episodes.
The Duration: 4 episodes

Honorable Mentions: "Copper," "Wilfred," "Mistresses," "Burn Notice," "Pretty Little Liars," "Royal Pains," "Franklin & Bash," and "Dexter."

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Omar Little

    LUTHER!!!!! ALICE!!!!!!!
    The downside to awesome British dramas is they know how to keep them from wearing out their welcomes. Bad news, 4 EPISODES ONLY?!?!?!??!?!

    Also, Heisenberg. You're goddamned right.

  • bcarter3

    "In the Flesh", "Broadchurch", and "The Fall" have all been approved for 2nd seasons. Liked them all, but "In the Flesh" was definitely my favorite--it goes places that have never been visited before.

    I'll be avoiding "Camp". I just saw the promo, which is seriously creepy: Middle-aged woman joking about masturbation w/a middle-school boy.

  • Copper is a NO. Back away from that insanity

  • I love a good costume drama. Emphasis on good. I tried to watch Copper. I tried so hard. I'm not sure if it was the ever-changing accent and otherwise mangled lines from the lead or the oh so modern forensic medicine that made me sigh and turn away. Part of me wants to know how it all worked out, but then I think about the time I wasted and decide to let it go.

  • I tried, I gave it about 3 episodes. And then left for all the reasons you stated. Luckily I have a friend who kept up with it and filled me in so I knew what happened, but now I couldn't even tell you.

  • JoannaRobinson

    Yeah but Donal Logue is going to be on! I can't resist that!

  • Crap. Why did you have to tell me that??

  • Oh hell. That complicates things terribly.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Most of those look wonderful, my brain is drooling in anticipation.

  • Jim

    In the Flesh was surprisingly fresh and touching. But...

    OMFG Olivia Colman in Broadchurch -- watch it, cry, watch it again, cry again and if she doesn't end up Dame Olivia Colman after the last episode ALONE, the universe is a sad, sad, empty place.

  • zeke_the_pig

    You cracked me the fuck up with that Ray Donovan write up.

  • Dexter

    Where's my show, bitch?

  • Poobiscuit

    What, no Venture Bros?

  • Uuuuugh I hate Phillippa Gregory.

  • Zuffle

    Speaking as a heterosexual gentleman, the return of Luther makes my winkie go boom.

    That is all.

  • alwaysanswerb

    There is NOTHING "indistinguishable" about Matt Bomer's face.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I scrolled down the list thinking, "Where is Mark Strong? Weren't we promised Mark Strong?", and then there was Mark Strong looking simultaneously sad and intense and so in need of my ministering comfort that my stays began to untie themselves before realising that they were in my chifforobe and I was all the way across the room lounging on the divan in my shift because it is so accursed hot today.

  • kirbyjay

    I can see it now, Mrs. J invites Mark Strong in to bust up her chifforobe and then rewards him with a nipple....I mean NICKLE.

  • Fabius_Maximus


    The Fall is pretty good. It is a bit like Prime Suspect, but Anderson is very good in it, and doesn't have to hide behind Mirren. The story is also a bit more layered than your average Prime Suspect plot.

    In The Flesh is also pretty interesting. I've only watched the first episode, though. It is a pretty slow show, so - as mentioned - nothing like The Walking Dead.

    Broadchurch is also very compelling. Tennant plays a depressed Scottish cop, so don't expect any Doctor-like antics.

    The US Bridge will be atrocious. Diane Heidkrüger has in no way the acting ability to pull that role off. Her character is a functioning autistic. Sofia Helin is brilliant in the original, which can be found on Youtube with English subtitles.

  • Scottieboy

    If you're not keen on the US version of the Bridge, it's currently being remade as a UK/French co-production. Renamed, unsurprisingly, "The Tunnel".

  • I thought 'The Tunnel' was based on a french book. Probably a bit of both.

    That was waaaaaay to quick in my opionion for a US version of 'The Bridge'. 'The Killing' is still struggling, shouldn't they wait for that to bear fruit, first?

  • John W

    I'm going to assume that The Fall is streaming only because I can't find it.

  • yeh, pretty sure it's streaming only rights for US.

  • Muhnah_Muhnah

    YAY! Alice is back! I literally did a little dance and shouted that out loud. My flatmates missed a good opportunity to ask "who the fuck is Alice". I hate when people do that.

  • Me

    How does Suits receive no mention?

  • JoannaRobinson


  • Gayle

    In The Flesh is unbelievably, bleakly, stunning. I'm still not quite over the final episode and it aired over here a few months ago.

  • Melissa

    This show sounds vaguely like a book I read, "Generation Dead."

    Though the book was decidedly NOT stunning. It was pretty standard YA fare, what with the love triangles and misunderstandings and 1/3 of the teenage population being undead.

    In The Flesh does sound interesting enough to hook me for a couple at least.

  • Gayle

    Similar concept maybe but despite the young leads (all of whom are outstanding) the focus is on the community as a whole not just the teenagers.

    And it is blissfully free of romance in general and love triangles in particular!

  • NynjaSquirrel

    "show was produced by the BBC so you’re not likely to see “Spartacus”-level nudity" Have you not seen Tipping the Velvet?

  • Sara_Tonin00

    or I Claudius. (I hadn't realized Tipping the Velvet was BBC though)

  • lowercase_ryan

    why did I have a comment that got submitted for moderation and apparently didn't make the cut?

  • foolsage

    I blame society.

  • NateMan

    Fringe is on Netflix!!!! That's going to be it for me.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Orange Is the New Black shot some in my neighborhood. I thought it was a movie. Too bad it's on Netflix; I won't be able to watch it. It has Jason Biggs in it. (yay?)

    And I'm gonna be optimistic and say that Camp is in the summer because it's topical, and it only has 10 episodes because...summer is only about 10 weeks long?

  • John W

    Damn Ruth Wilson is just so alluring.

  • the_wakeful

    That image of Alice made my heart beat funny. I'm arouscared.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Brace yourself for the erecterror!

    "Mrs. Julien!"

  • JoannaRobinson


  • Mrs. Julien

    That's Terry Richardson's favourite.

  • JJ

    You have the scaredest boner?

  • Muhnah_Muhnah

    I'm too aroused to be scared.

  • dizzylucy

    Anything on FX and AMC gets an automatic look from me, at least for an episode or 2.

    Ray Donavan sounds good, and I am practically counting the minutes until Breaking Bad returns. And though I'll surely complain about it, I'll be watching True Blood. And hoping Alcide's head explodes, which judging by that photo, is a possibility.

  • BWeaves

    Is David Tennant folliclarily challenged? He never shaves unless he has to, and then he looks like he gets ingrown hairs. My sister dated a guy like that once. The only way to get around it was to use a brand new razor for every shave, so he just gave up and grew a beard. Unfortunately, I don't think I'd like Tennant in a beard.

  • Nadine

    He soooooort of makes it work...but because he's so slim he looks...wizened? The only way I can describe it is exactly like Mr Burns in The Simpsons episode where he has a casino then goes all Howard Hughes. Even though Tennant has a fine mane of hair, that is the first thing I think of when I recall him with a beard. Like, it looks good, but also, terribly, terribly creepy?

  • Nadine

    You guys, you guys, I am deadly serious, Olivia Colman. Seriously. I almost want to be one of you who hasn't discovered her yet so I can can get that rush of watching her and just going 'Oh....my goodness'

    Also, if/when you guise go back and watch Green Wing to see her when she's playing achingly funny and adorable and lovely? Let me know. That shit, it is my jam. GREEN WING IS MY LIFE. OLIVIA COLMAN

  • She's awesome on Rev too. :)

  • koko temur

    I adored her as part of any configuration with mitchell and webb, but im happy for her that she decided to break off.

    Can you tell me what for did she won the two baftas this year and if its any good?

  • ceebee_eebee

    She won best supporting actress for the episode of Accused that she did, and yes that is VERY worth watching. She also won best female comedy performance for Twenty Twelve which I have not seen yet, though have heard a lot of good things about.

  • koko temur

    i was going to watch 2012, but i wasnt sure about accused. Thanks, i might check it out.

  • lowercase_ryan

    you realize you have like 37 jams right? You're Smuckers and shit.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on the O-face of Joe Mangygelato....er, Manygepettos...Manglesanelmo...Manlygenetics-o?

  • Mrs. Julien

    He's so hunky and male, but seems so very vapid. Sufficiently vapid to downgrade the hunky and the male. Like, he'd insist on talking and ruin the illusion that he's Sebastian Ballister, Marquess of Dain and then what would the point be?

  • There is no way he could pull off Dain. He hasn't the charisma.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Hence the provision against speech.

    Also, [blows kiss].

  • Kathleen Allen

    hells yeah to the elba & tennant love fest......hmmmm...(mind wanders)..what were we talking about again?

  • AudioSuede

    You know, watching through season seven as I am right now, I'm really looking forward to this season of Dexter. Season six was a nightmare, yes, but watching season seven, it's almost night-and-day in terms of writing, self-awareness, thoughtfulness, and personal drama. Seriously, "Argentina?" That episode was the best they've done since the Trinity Killer. I think it deserves better than an "honorable mention." But there are so many good shows in that roundup, it's understandable.

  • ceebee_eebee

    I looooooved Broadchurch. Watched it twice. I am no fan of Tennant, but even I have to admit he was brilliant. And Olivia Coleman never disappoints. Major thumbs up on that one. Annoyingly enough, Mayday was terrible. Similar storyline and great cast but it just really didn't work. So sad.

    (3 months until more Luther. Just 3 more months. I can do it.)

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Luther & Breaking Bad. Oh sweet misery.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Franklin & Bash is not honorable. It's a shameful, guilty pleasure I do not fully understand. Don't patronize me by pretending it has any honor.

  • kali yuga

    This survives, while "Men of a Certain Age" gets canned. Whatever.

  • Giovanna Mark

    еmma. I sее wһat y○ս mеaո... Stерһеո`s bl0g is ոiсе, I  jսst b○սgһt  a t○р ○f tһе raոgе T○y○ta wһеո I g○t my сһесκ  f○r $8470 tһis-last/fiνе wееκs aոd ○νеr tеո graոd  tһis рast-m○ոtһ. it's dеfiոitly tһе ոiсеst w○rκ Iνе еνеr һad. I startеd  tһis еigһt  m○ոtһs/ag○ aոd рrеtty mսсһ  straigһt  away br○սgһt һ○mе m○rе tһaո  $73, реr һ○սr. I f○ll○w tһе  iոstrսсti○ոs һеrе, ..Fox83.com

  • Mrs. Julien

    Thank you! I really liked that show.

    Honey? How old is Ray?

  • And then Ray Romano was available to break up Sarah and Mark on Parenthood. There is no justice in this world.

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