6 Most Anticipated New and Returning Shows Summer 2015

Summer 2015 Television
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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.
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4 Reasons To Love Sci-Fi B-Movies

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Photo via Syfy

Photo via Syfy

Tonight is the event of the summer — or at least that’s what the Syfy network would have you believe. At 9 pm EST, Syfy will premiere the highly anticipated (read: heavily promoted) sequel to last summer’s surprise success: Sharknado. Though movie buffs (and generally everyone) thought Sharknado would be just another silly, campy, b-movie from the science fiction-themed network, it ended up taking social media by storm. On the night it premiered, Sharknado quickly became a trending topic on Twitter and users were generating 5,000 tweets per minute. Additionally, although Sharknado showed to a very modest viewership on its first night (1.4 million audience members), each time Syfy re-aired the b-movie, the number of people watching increased.

Photo via Syfy

Photo via Syfy

With the sequel, Sharknado 2: The Second One, premiering tonight, the question on everyone’s — or, at least, my — mind is whether it will live up to its predecessor. From the trailers, it appears The Second One will offer more campy moments, more ridiculous science, and more hilarious lines of dialogue that are a common theme among sci-fi b-movies — they’re also a huge reason why I love this type of movie.

Although Sharknado and it’s followup arguably may be the most infamous science fiction b-movies of our time, they’re certainly not the only ones out there. If you scroll down to the bottom of the sci-fi/fantasy section on Netflix, you’re sure to find plenty of interesting titles — Metal Tornado, Arctic Blast, and Super Cyclone, just to name a few. These movies offer a fun experience for fans (both casual and diehard) of science fiction. Not convinced? I’ve got a few more reasons to love sci-fi b-movies.

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5 Favorite Alien Invasion Sci-Fi Movies

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Photo via Paramount

Photo via Paramount

The alien invasion storyline predates film and goes back to the 19th century when HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds popularized the subgenre in 1897. It wasn’t until the 1950s that alien invasion films became prevalent: The Man from Planet X (1951), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), and It Came from Outer Space (1953). Then in 1953, Wells’ novel was adapted to film, officially giving rise to the alien invasion subgenre in science fiction. Though these types of movies fall into sci-fi, many of them can also be classified as disaster films.

Personally, I’m a fan of all sci-fi/fantasy disaster movies ranging from the big budget tentpoles of the summer blockbuster season to the b-movie, bad CGI, bad acting, bad science sci-fi films that premiere on the Syfy network or go straight to DVD. Although I love natural disaster films like the upcoming Into the Storm, I’m breaking down disaster movies into a specific category this time around: alien invasion — for the sake of keeping this list relatively short, though, any films that also fall into the superhero/comic book genre have been left out. (Sorry, Marvel’s The Avengers!)

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6 Reasons ‘The 100’ is the Breakout Show of 2014

The 100 End of Season 1
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The 100 Poster

Photo via IMDB

Based on the novel of the same name by Kass Morgan, The 100 takes place nearly a century after a nuclear war wiped out most of life on Earth and left it a radiation-soaked wasteland. The survivors fled the planet and sustained the human race aboard a space station called the Ark. However, when it becomes apparent the Ark cannot support life for much longer, the Council decides to send 100 young offenders (since adult offenders are all executed) to the ground in order to ascertain whether Earth is habitable again.

The show follows the 100 as they try to make camp and survive on Earth despite antagonistic neighbors — which they call “grounders” — as well as those left behind on the Ark who must deal with their own problems as they monitor the 100 and the testy political situation of the space station.

The 100 centers on Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor), Bellamy Blake (Bob Morley), Octavia Blake (Marie Avgeropoulos), Finn Collins (Thomas McDonell), Jasper Jordan (Devon Bostick), Monty Green (Christopher Larkin), and John Murphy (Richard Harmon) who make up the main group of the 100. Meanwhile, Abigail Griffin (Paige Turco), Thelonius Jaha (Isaiah Washington), and Marcus Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) are the central characters on the Ark. Other main characters include Raven Reyes (Lindsey Morgan) and the grounder Lincoln (Ricky Whittle).

The 100 Character Poster

Photo via The CW

The 100 is a complex sci-fi teen drama that completely surpasses many other series in both the teen and sci-fi genres. The pilot is a bit rough around the edges — check out my review — and suffers under the strains of explaining the complicated premise of the show, establishing the characters, and hooking the audience to keep them coming back for more. However, The 100 quickly transcends typical growing pains in new series, becoming highly compelling by the end of the third episode, and in the fifth episode completely surpasses expectations.

By the end of the show’s first season, it was clear that The 100 would be 2014’s breakout show — similar to My Mad Fat Diary last year. Not convinced? Here are six reasons The 100 is fantastic and the best new show on television.

[This post contains spoilers for the first season of The 100.]

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5 Midseason TV Premiere Picks + 3 Anticipated Series

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Photos via IGN, IB Times, Slate, & SyFy

Photos via IGN, IB Times, Slate, & SyFy

It’s midseason premiere time! January is the second best time of the year for those of us who are hopelessly devoted to our television sets, or–at least in my case–our laptops and video streaming sites. Second only to the fall premiere season, winter has some of the best TV debuts of the year–even if summer is trying to give winter a run for its money. This year, maybe even more so than previous years, had some great series debut. From Intelligence to Spoils of Babylon and True Detective to Opposite Worlds, there seemed to be something for everyone. Although some shows have already been cancelled (looking at you, The Assets), it’s been a generally good premiere season. Or maybe I’m going crazy from the polar vortex temperatures and sun deprivation. Anyway, here are my five picks of the best new series on TV (plus a couple premieres still coming).

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Looking Ahead at the YA Novels-Turned-Movies of 2014

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Photos via Penguin, Veronica Roth Books, and Wikipedia

Photos via Penguin, Veronica Roth Books, and Wikipedia

As far as movies adapted from young adult novels go, 2013 was both a really great and a really awful year. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was one of the biggest blockbusters in theaters during a year of many great big budget films. It also swooped in at the last minute and stole the title of highest grossing film of the year from Iron Man 3, netting $409.4 million in just under 50 days at the box office. However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, many films adapted from YA novels did incredibly poorly at the box office: Beautiful Creatures, The Host, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. In 2013 we saw incredible success and incredible failure when it comes to movie adaptations, but it certainly wasn’t the last year of Hollywood attempting to bring YA novels to the big screen.

Photo via Lionsgate

Photo via Lionsgate

Since we ended 2013 on such a high note with Catching Fire, which was both a success in terms of box office sales as well as staying true to the book, it’s hard not to be optimistic about 2014. Catching Fire seems to have renewed fans expectations of their favorite novels being turned into movies. It’s no longer guaranteed that the film adaptation will be horrible–although, statistically speaking, it’s still likely. However, with so many more films debuting in 2014 that are adapted from YA novels, we might be able to take what we learned in 2013 and predict how the films will do this year. (I am by no means a movie scientist–no matter how much I wish that were an actual profession–and I’m merely making semi-educated guesses here.)

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An Introduction to the Cast of ‘The Maze Runner’

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The official logo for 'The Maze Runner.' (Photo courtesy of 'The Maze Runner' on Facebook.)

The official logo for ‘The Maze Runner.’ (Photo courtesy of ‘The Maze Runner’ on Facebook.)

Amidst all the other young adult dystopian novels being turned into movies, The Maze Runner is one that I am especially excited to see. The movie is based on The Maze Runner by James Dashner, which he told fans during the Nerd HQ panel at SDCC this year, was inspired by books he liked when he was younger: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. It’s easy to see the inspiration from those books in The Maze Runner, as well as the other two books in Dashner’s trilogy: The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure. I just recently finished the trilogy and it’s made me even more excited for the film.

One of the first stills released of the whole cast in the Glade. (Photo courtesy of 'The Maze Runner' on Facebook.)

One of the first stills released of the whole cast in the Glade. (Photo courtesy of ‘The Maze Runner’ on Facebook.)

Since I didn’t start The Maze Runner until after I found out about the casting choices, while I read the books I envisioned the characters as the actors who were chosen to play them. Although I usually don’t like to picture the actors as the characters while I’m reading, for The Maze Runner it worked. Many–if not all–of the cast members are a perfect fit for their character. For instance, the protagonist, Thomas, will be portrayed by Dylan O’Brien, a talented actor (currently working on Teen Wolf) whose ability will definitely do justice to Thomas’s character. As for the rest of the cast, I’ve seen some of them in other projects, but many were unknown to me. So I conducted a few online research into these actors and began to fall in love with everyone in the main cast. Not only do they constantly post pictures to Instagram and tweet about each other, they also seem to absolutely adore each other:

“I would genuinely describe this entire set as one big bromance.” –Will Poulter

Wes Ball’s adaptation of The Maze Runner comes out February 14, and personally I can’t wait. For anyone else who’s excited, or who wants the lowdown on the cast & characters, I compiled all my research (or internet stalking, whatever) about everyone into one post. So here’s a little bit of info about the Gladers, and the actors behind the characters.

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