Aside from the endless streaming options, we often think of summer TV as a wasteland. And for years it was — flashback to a younger me, channel-flipping endlessly, looking for anything that wasn’t an infomercial. The world is a different place now though, and summer TV has never been better. Here are a few of the shows we are veerrrrry excited to check out.
1. Bloodline (May 27); Netflix, Season 2 premieres at 12:01 a.m.
It’s slow, it’s plodding, and it’s dark, but we got hooked on Season 1 and you bet we’re coming back for the next go ‘round. The show focuses on the Florida Keys dwelling Rayburn family who, as the tagline goes, aren’t bad people but did a bad thing. It also has an A+ cast: Kyle Chandler! Linda Cardellini! Sam Shepard! Sissy Spacek! Chloë Sevigny! The list goes way on.
2. Roots (May 30); History Channel, 9 p.m.
A four-night miniseries, Roots is a remake of a massively popular 1970s television miniseries of the same name. The series follows the life of slave Kunta Kinte (the inspiration for Kendrick Lamar’s “King Kunta”), his family, and their experience as slaves in the American south. The series stars a ridiculous number of amazing people, including: Forest Whitaker, LeVar Burton, Anika Noni Rose, T.I., Jonathan Rhy-Meyers, Anna Paquin, Mekhi Phifer, and Laurence Fishburne.
3. Maya & Marty (May 31); NBC, 10 p.m.
Maya Rudolph and Martin Short in a one-hour variety show? We’re intrigued. Sure, this is the billionth time that television has tried to resurrect this one-time TV mainstay, but these two hosts are hilarious and if anyone can do it, they can. It seems the genesis of the show came out of the SNL 40th anniversary, when the two were paired up on stage (with Maya as Beyoncé). The chemistry was there, Lorne Michaels decided to take it to the next level, and voila.
4. Feed the Beast (June 5); AMC, 10 p.m.
This new series stars David Schwimmer (hi Ross) and Jim Sturgess, as friends who can’t stay out of trouble. In an effort to get their lives on track, they enter the New York City restaurant. While we will admit that we’re most excited to see David Schwimmer back on television, we are pretty jazzed about a drama based all around the world of food.
5. UnREAL (June 6); Lifetime, 10 p.m.
If you watched the first season of UnREAL, odds are you loved the first season of UnREAL. The world of UnREAL takes place behind the scenes of a Bachelor style reality show, shining a spotlight on all the weirdnesses of that pseudo-reality. It gives a glimpse at what life is like while on a reality show, as well as what it’s like for those working behind-the-scenes on the reality show. UGH, it’s just so good.
6. Guilt (June 13); Freeform, 9 p.m.
Freeform’s newest original series looks pretty dark, and gives us some major Amanda Knox vibes. The series is about an American study abroad student in London whose roommate is murdered and she becomes the main suspect. The show sounds mysterious, creepy, and if it’s anything like its Freeform predecessors, it will keep us at the edge of our seats.
7. Wrecked (June 14); TBS, 10 p.m.
Lost-style, the premise is a group of people on a deserted island after a plane crash. Not Lost-style, Wrecked looks pretty hilarious. The show has some It’s Always Sunny vibes, and is single-camera style (like other fave funny ha-ha shows of ours, including Modern Family and Veep).
8.Orange is the New Black Netflix (June 17); Netflix, Season 4 premieres at 12:01 a.m.
The ladies of Litchfield really need no introduction, but the fact that they’re back for a fourth season is beyond splendid. We’ve even been promised a Martha Stewart-esque character. Glory be.
9. The Fosters (June 20); Freeform, 8 p.m.
The Fosters is a quietly, consistently, reliably excellent show. Now in Season 4, the series about a group of foster and biological children never fails to make us cry, and has some serious guts when it comes to taking on topics that other series won’t touch.
10. Greenleaf (June 21); OWN, 10 p.m.
Okay, Oprah is co-starring in this series. Let that sink in, because it’s major. Premise-wise, this series also sounds awesome. It follows the Greenleaf family, who own a megachurch in Memphis, Tennessee. Sure it may sound straightforward, but the lies, and drama, and shenanigans that follow, certainly won’t be.
11. Pretty Little Liars (June 21); Freeform, 8 p.m.
Pretty Little Liars we just can’t quit you. It’s been a zillion seasons, so many random characters have died (remember Shana?), ‘A’ has been lost and found, and lost again, and yet, we hang on. We have to give it to the four gals helming this dramatic ship, they keep us totally hooked.
12. Queen of the South (June 23); USA Network, 10 p.m.
This series is an American remake of a massively popular Spanish book and following show called La Reina del Sur. The show is all about a woman who winds up the leader of a huge drug cartel. A queenpin, if you will.
13. Roadies (June 26); Showtime, 10 p.m.
Roadies is Cameron Crowe’s (think Almost Famous) first television foray. While we’ve long known that Crowe loves the music scene, this series gives him a real chance to showcase that passion. The show is all about a group of roadies traveling the U.S. with a rock band on tour. It stars Luke Wilson, and we’re here for it.
14. Dead of Summer (June 28); Freeform, 8 p.m.
Turning our eyes once more to the spooky factor on Freeform, this new series comes from the creators of Once Upon a Time. It’s also a murder-mystery style show that takes place at a summer camp. We’re already hooked.
15. Mr. Robot (July 13); USA Network, 10 p.m.
Season 1 was a hit, and we expect similar excellence from Season 2. The premise is all about hackers, hacktivists, and what happens when one hacker gets recruited by an anarchist named Mr. Robot (who is played by Christian Slater, ps). Season 2 looks like it will be all about the aftermath of the central hack.
16. Vice Principals (July 17); HBO, 10:30 p.m.
A new HBO comedy (yay!), this one about rival vice principals who are in competition for a principal gig. From the preview, we’re expecting to seriously, seriously LOL.
17. The Get Down (August 12); Netflix, first six episodes
The Get Down is high on our excitement list. This one comes from the mind of Baz Luhrmann, of Moulin Rouge glory, and is all about a group of young people in the Bronx in the 1970s who get hooked on the downtown music scene. Basically, The Get Down is about the birth of hip hop and our excitement is already palpable.