Summer TV shows will have you glued to the screen


Liongate Television Netflix premiers “Orange is the New Black” on June 6. “Orange is the New Black” is about a woman in her 30s, Piper Chapman, who is sentenced to 15 months in prison after being convicted of a 10-year-old drug crime.

Taylor Armosino

In entertainment, summer is always acknowledged as the season of big blockbuster movies. It’s not thought of as a great time for television, which is mostly true. By the time June 21 comes around, although summer starts earlier for UA students, the first half of the final season of “Mad Men”will have wrapped up. The same is true for season four of “Game of Thrones”.

However, all is not lost for TV-watchers. The summer dry season will contain a few shows worth watching. We’ll cheat and say that any show premiering after May 15 — the last day of finals — is fair game.

The Essentials:

“Orange Is the New Black” season 2. June 6 on Netflix.

Whereas “House of Cards” might be more popular among the masses, “Orange Is the New Black” is the best Netflix has to offer by way of original programming. Taylor Schilling stars as a bisexual New York City woman sentenced to 15 months in a women’s prison for her involvement in an international drug smuggling ring. She’s imprisoned with her ex-girlfriend, but “Orange” is hardly cliché. It explores woman-to-woman relationships, as well as underlying themes regarding prison life.

“Masters of Sex” season 2. July 13 on Showtime.

Showtime’s very good “Masters of Sex” is a period drama that tells the stories of Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson, two of the pioneers of sexual research. Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan star as said researchers. Sheen is always good, while Caplan shows off good range. She’s best known for her comedy roles — she played lovable lesbian Janis Ian in “Mean Girls” and Nick Miller’s girlfriend Julia in “New Girl” — but she can really act. She’s great and the show is, too.

New Shows:

“The Leftovers” series premiere. June 29 on HBO.

Based on Tom Perrotta’s book of the same title, “The Leftovers” chronicles life on Earth after a rapture-like event. It stars Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Liv Tyler and Christopher Eccleston.

“The Wil Wheaton Project” series premiere. May 27 on Syfy.

Wil Wheaton of “The Big Bang Theory” will be hosting a 30-minute show exploring the sci-fi side of pop culture. Think “The Soup” but with nerd stuff.

“Return to Amish” series premiere. June 1 on TLC.
Not only is “Breaking Amish” an actual television show, but it has not one but two spin-offs. The first is “Breaking Amish: Brave New World,” and the second is “Return to Amish,” which premieres on June 1 on TLC. How on earth is there a market for three reality shows about conflicted Anabaptists deciding whether or not to remain in their communities or join the outside world? Good Lord, America.

Returning Shows:

“Pretty Little Liars” season 5. June 10 on ABC Family.
This show stinks, yet there’s something weirdly fun and appealing about it. Literally nothing has happened in five seasons. It suffers from Hobbit-itis in that it stretches little plot movement as far as it can possibly go. But if you’re already four seasons in, you may as well keep watching.

“Suits” season 4. June 11 on USA.

“Graceland” season 2. June 11 on USA.

USA has found great success with its dramas. They’re banal, but provide high entertainment value to the masses. Both “Suits” and “Graceland” are popular and return on June 11.

“Hemlock Grove” season 2. July 11 on Netflix.

Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove” is a horror that dives into the supernatural. It stars Famke Janssen, aka Liam Neeson’s wife in “Taken.”

Sidebar: Why was “Taken 2” necessary? And why does “Taken 3” exist? Are there even any Albanians left for Neeson to karate chop into oblivion? Watch out, Macedonia!

In all seriousness, “Hemlock Grove” is very good. It’s not as marketable as Netflix’s other shows because it delves into supernatural horror, but it was nominated for two Emmy Awards. Its visuals are very cool, and it’s worth the binge watch.

“Ray Donovan” season 2. July 13 on Showtime.

People seem to love this show. It’s essentially Showtime’s version of “The Sopranos.” The first season was very up and down. The cast, starring Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight, is very good, but the show can be ludicrous and hard to take seriously. In one episode, Ray Donovan (the show’s protagonist), makes a criminal take a bath in green dye so he can be identified later. As season one went on, you were unsure whether you liked or hated Donovan, among other characters. They’re worth sticking with, but “Masters of Sex” is much better.