With the regular television season over for the most part (a few series that premiered in the winter/spring are still going) it’s time for summer to begin. In the past, summer has been the season of playing catch up: binge-watching all the series that you fell behind on during the busy fall, winter, and spring, or starting and catching up on those that you completely missed.
However, in recent years, summer has also become a season for good, new television all its own. While many associate the months of June and July with barbecues, going to the beach, and laying in the sun, us TV addicts also manage to fit in plenty of quality time with our televisions and/or laptops. In honor of all the new and returning series gracing primetime (and Netflix) this summer, here are my picks for what to watch.
Premieres June 1 on Lifetime
I hadn’t heard of UnREAL until about a week ago, however, I was quickly sold on the premise alone. The upcoming Lifetime series chronicles the goings on behind the scenes on a reality dating show (like The Bachelor series) and the manipulation of contestants to create on-screen drama. Already, the show is garnering high praise from critics.
Like, I’m sure, many other avid television viewers, I’ve been taken in by the drama of reality television. And, like many others, I’m fascinated by how the staff of these shows create such drama. For that reason alone, I was certain to check out UnREAL, but now that I’ve heard such good things about the new series, it has become one of my most anticipated for the summer. (Thankfully, I don’t have to wait long for it to premiere.)
Still not sold? Lifetime has released the first 9 minutes of the pilot as a means to hook viewers – and it works.
Premieres June 12 on Netflix
Returning for its third season, Orange is the New Black has been a strong summer series for the past two years. For a third year, viewers will be returning to Litchfield Prison where Piper Chapman and the rest of the ladies continue going about their daily lives. With new guards as well as new and returning prisoners, season 3 of Orange is the New Black is sure to keep the series going with more backstories and drama in the prison.
Last year, I think I set a new personal record by watching all of Orange is the New Black season 2 in less than 36 hours. The show has quickly become one of my favorites to binge-watch, especially in the summer, and I am looking forward to the third installment. Specifically, I can’t wait to see continued or new backstories for the women in the prison since that is my favorite part of the series (and, in some cases, the most surprising).
Premieres June 19 on Syfy
The fan-favorite, now cult classic series, Firefly followed a group of space bounty hunters in a show that mixed sci-fi and westerns. Now, Syfy’s new series, Killjoys, takes a similar premise and goes full science fiction. The series “follows a fun-loving, hard living trio of interplanetary bounty hunters sworn to remain impartial as they chase deadly warrants throughout the Quad, a distant system on the brink of a bloody, multiplanetary class war.”
Firefly likeness aside, Killjoys looks like it could be a really fun, exciting, and entertaining sci-fi show. That being said, a series like this will need to be grounded in a cast of good characters with compelling relationships (such as Firefly was). It’s difficult to tell from the first trailer if that will be the case, but Killjoys is sure to be a fun show nevertheless.
Premieres June 29 on MTV
For those that have been following my blog (or any of my social media accounts, really), you’ll know I’m a big fan of Teen Wolf. However, season 4’s deadpool, werejaguar, and Berserkers – not to mention Lydia Martin’s increasingly unpredictable powers and the inexplicable evolution of Derek Hale – left me more confused than entertained. Season 5, will pick up a few months later and include more supernatural foes and werewolf pack drama.
The first few seasons of Teen Wolf were fantastic; they were so good that I will stick with this show through the bad (the very, very bad) times. While I truly hope season 5 will manage to recapture what I loved about Teen Wolf – the friendship between the main characters – I’m not holding onto too much hope that it will. From the trailer for season 5, it seems Teen Wolf will certainly be upping the supernatural drama, though.
Premieres June 30 on MTV
Look, I get it, there are so many various reboots, remakes, relaunches, revitalizations, etc. in Hollywood that the words have pretty much lost all meaning. MTV’s Scream seems to fall into the remake/update camp with a new take on the story with a modern twist – throwing in a viral YouTube video for good measure as the kick off for a string of murders.
However, MTV has proven before that the network is capable of creating compelling drama, even from classic ‘80s (or, in this case ’90s) movies. It’s difficult to say whether Scream will manage to be as much of a hit as Teen Wolf, but the trailer for the show does manage to deliver in blood and meta references to slasher flicks – if not in particularly fantastic acting performances.
We’ll have to wait and see if Scream is a worthy remake or not, but I have faith in MTV, even the shows the network doesn’t – like Eye Candy (I’m still bitter about that cancellation).
Premieres July 17 on Netflix
Another cult classic coming back in the form of a television series is Wet Hot American Summer. The 2001 film starred many fantastic comedians and documented the last day at the fictional Camp Firewood in 1981. Now, the new Netflix series, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, will go back in time to the beginning of the summer of 1981 and document – you guessed it – the first day of camp.
While prequel series are inherently tricky (looking at you Gotham), Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp has managed to bring back the majority of the original cast. Now, since many of the cast members have gone on to become even more well-known than they were at the time, it will be especially fun to return to their Camp Firewood roles. Whether it will live up to the original flick remains to be seen, but hopefully it will be a fun series, and full of nostalgia.
A Couple Extras
These are series that I may check out (read: watch the pilot for) but may not necessarily stick with.
Premieres June 2 on ABC Family
Despite having seen multiple trailers, promos and featurettes about ABC Family’s new teen-geared sci-fi series Stitchers, I’m still not 100% sure what it’s about – though it does seem to be very similar to iZombie, but without zombies. Nevertheless, I’m generally a fan of sci-fi and teen shows, so I’ll give Stitchers a shot.
Premieres June 5 on Netflix
Sense8 is the new sci-fi endeavor from the creators of The Matrix, Andy and Lana Wachowski, and follows eight strangers who suddenly find themselves linked and able to share knowledge as well as skills. Generally, I’m not a fan of the Wachowskis’ work, so I’ll be checking out Sense8 based on the premise alone.
Premieres June 28 on AMC
Another sci-fi series (there seem to be a lot this summer) that I’ll be watching is AMC’s Humans. The series is set in an alternate present time where “Synths” – robotic servants – are a must-have gadget. I’ve always enjoyed science fiction that explores the line between human consciousness and artificial consciousness so I’ll be checking out Humans, but I haven’t seen anything yet that completely sells me on the show.