Television’s Summer Standouts

The summer shows have started, some of them anyway.  We still have The Bridge (FX) set to premiere this week, a few shows about camp life (Camp, an upcoming NBC dramedy, and Summer Camp, a new USA reality series), and The Vineyard (ABC Family) later this month… but out of the series that have already aired, which ones do you consider to be summer standouts?

Crossing Lines (NBC)

Devious Maids (Lifetime)

Graceland (USA)

King & Maxwell (TNT)

Mistresses (ABC)

Motive (ABC)

Ray Donovan (Showtime)

Siberia (NBC)

Under the Dome (CBS)

Whodunnit? (ABC)

For me, Siberia, Ray Donovan, and Whodunnit? are my summer standouts.

Siberia because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen on television before.  And not in a good way.  By definition, the show might not fall under the classification of a standout, but it does stand out. Let’s just say it’s a scripted reality program (yeah, might as well call it a drama) with Blair Witch-like cinematography.  Yet, I keep watching…

Ray Donovan because Liev Schreiber is hot.  Ray is a family man; he’s a successful business man (he’s a Hollywood “fixer); he’s a man of few words; and most importantly, he’s not one to cross.  Seriously, hurt his family (either physically or verbally), and just see what happens.  This new Showtime series reminds me a lot of Scandal… meets The Sopranos.

And Whodunnit? because I can’t figure it out.  It may be a corny-murder-mystery-reality series, but I simply can’t figure it out.  I have my suspects… but “the killer” has already proven me wrong once.  Will he/she again?

Your turn… what are your Summer Standouts?  Or Stand Outs?  I’d love to hear from you!

TNT –Terrific (Summer) Nighttime Television Continues…

I can remember back when the summer months meant we couldn’t find anything new to watch on television… maybe a reality program here, or a two-hour made-for-TV-special there, but no new series.

But not anymore.

TNT has some of the best summer programming of any network today.  This year, I count six series (five returning favorites and one new) that my household will watch, keeping our TV schedules full of terrific (summer) nighttime television.

Last week, we shared three of the network’s veteran programs premiering in their third and fourth seasons later this June.  And today, we’re talking about two more of TNT’s returning hits PLUS a new freshman series starring one of my faves…

*****

King & Maxwell

Based on the novel series of the same name by David Balducci, King & Maxwell stars Jon Tenney (Sean King) and Rebecca Romijn (Michelle Maxwell) as two former Secret Service agents now working together as private investigators to solve crime—by whatever means necessary.

Together they have an abundance of previous life experiences under their belt, making them two of the best at what they do—despite losing his job in the Secret Service (the president he was assigned to protect was assassinated), King attended law school and knows the legal system.. while Maxwell, a former Olympic athlete, uses her attributes and her connections to aid in the investigations.  And as with any good television partnership, opposites attract.

The new series also stars Michael O’Keefe (Caddyshack) as Frank Rigby and Chris Butler (The Good Wife) as Darius Carter, two FBI agents who clash a bit with King and Maxwell’s methods.

King & Maxwell premieres June 10th.

*****

Major Crimes

Over the last few seasons of The Closer, we tolerated Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell) as she terrorized Brenda Leigh, leading all of the officer-involved investigations (kind of like Internal Affairs).  But we also witnessed a softer Captain Raydor who stood by Brenda Leigh and did everything in her power to protect our favorite Deputy Chief.

And last summer, we watched Captain Raydor take over Brenda Leigh’s team.  That’s right—Raydor stepped in following Brenda Leigh’s departure and took over the Major Crimes Division, including almost the entire cast of The Closer (Provenza, Flynn, Tao, Sanchez, Buzz, Taylor, and even Fritzy on occasion.)

While it wasn’t quite the same without our favorite Southern belle, the series kept this Closer fan watching.  I expect some changes in season two, like the addition of new characters (Nadine Velazquez from My Name is Earl) and perhaps seeing less of a few of the cast members we love (King & Maxwell’s Tenney), but I am still looking forward to the return of Major Crimes.

Season two of Major Crimes premieres June 10th.

*****

Perception

I don’t know much about Perception, other than it stars Eric McCormack as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a neuroscience professor who suffers from schizophrenia.  Despite his internalized demons and hallucinations, he is a brilliant man who assists the FBI with complex cases.

The series also stars: Rachael Leigh Cook as Special Agent Kate Moretti, a former student of Dr. Pierce, and the FBI agent responsible for adding him to the team of investigators; Kelly Rowan as Natalie Vincent, Dr. Pierce’s imaginary best friend… who it turns out is based on a woman (Caroline Newsome) that Dr. Pierce saw once at a party and became infatuated with; and Arjay Smith as Max Lewicki, Dr. Pierce’s live-in teaching assistant who helps keep the good doctor’s real-life and hallucinations straight.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t know much about Perception.  I watched a few episodes but the series didn’t grab me in a way that makes me want to watch every single episode immediately.  And when my DVR crashed, I lost the rest of the first season… thus, I haven’t seen every episode.  However, the fact that TNT is bringing it back gives me hope.  Maybe the network will offer the first season online or via OnDemand and I can catch up before the premiere of the new season?

Season two of Perception premieres June 25th.

*****

Did you enjoy Major Crimes or Perception last summer?  Will you check out King & Maxwell?  I’d love to hear from you!