Summertime is essentially here, and that means that most, if not all, big TV shows have finished their seasons and are taking a break. A lot of networks use this time to air game shows and reality competition shows that don’t necessarily need to be followed on a week-to-week basis, or they burn off scripted shows that just didn’t turn out that well, hoping they’ll go gently into that good night.
Why would they ever decide to be this stark in terms of their offerings? Because they think everyone is out in the evening, enjoying the “summer nights” that those horny kids in “Grease” wouldn’t stop singing about. But not me! I have a decades-long hatred of hot weather and have been known to be violently attacked by mosquitos the instant I put one foot outdoors, so inside I shall stay.
While it might seem like there’s nothing to watch, with a little know-how (and a little research) you can find some actually good programming to fill your summer nights. (Although, to be fair, I actually find it kind of relaxing to not have something on every night that I just have to watch. I can read a book! I can talk to loved ones! I can watch baseball! I like baseball! It’s great. And yes, I know that I don’t actually ever have to watch anything. That’s not the point.) Here’s four shows that have already begun or will begin soon-ish that’ll likely keep us indoor kids entertained all summer long.
1) “People of Earth“ – TBS Mondays at 10:30/9:30c (July 24)
Part of TBS’s surprising comedy renaissance, “People of Earth” debuted last year and follows a support group of people who believe they have been visited by aliens. It stars my favorite former “Daily Show” correspondent, Wyatt Cenac, and has a very thoughtful, interesting and yes, very funny, take on the alien-abduction genre. I feel like it didn’t get its due when the first season aired last year, so be sure to check that out before the second season premieres at the end of July. And then tell your friends about it so it’ll become super popular and beloved, as it should be.
2) “Playing House” – USA Fridays at 11/10c (June 23)
I feel like I’ve written a bunch on this blog about how much I love “Playing House,” and after what feels like forever, it’s finally coming back! Created by and starring the incredibly funny and awesome Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair, the show follows their two characters as they work together to make it through life and raise Parham’s character’s child. The new season will reportedly delve into St. Clair’s real life battle with Breast Cancer (which she beat, yay!), so it’ll be interesting to see how the more serious elements of that play into a super funny show like this. Plus, if you’ve been missing “Key and Peele” (and really, who hasn’t), Keegan-Michael Key is on the show in the romantic lead he was born to play. I mean, seriously, what more do I have to say? Binge watch the first two seasons this week before the new season premieres on Friday. It’ll be a great way to spend your time, I promise.
3) “Orphan Black” – BBC America Saturdays at 10/9c
To be honest, it would be pretty difficult to catch up with this show now, given that it just started its fifth and final season and jumping in without any prior knowledge would be like jumping into surgery without any medical training, but if you’re looking for something to watch in its entirely over the course of the summer, this would be a great pick. An endlessly fascinating series about the ethical and moral implications of cloning and what it all means for the clones themselves, the show’s big claim to fame is that it’s star, the incredible and Emmy-winning Tatiana Maslany, plays all of the clones. And there are a lot of them. If you’ve been with it since the beginning, settle in for the final ride. If you’re new to the clone club, then get ready for something wild.
4) “Claws” – TNT Sundays at 9/8c
The only show on the list that’s entirely new, “Claws” stars always-great Niecy Nash as the owner of a Florida nail salon who also does some super chill money laundering on the side. I’ve only seen the first episode of this new series, but going off of that it seems pretty crazy and could be a fun show to escape into this summer. I could, of course, end up being totally wrong but sometimes you have to take a little risk, you know? Anything is possible if you just believe.
What do you think? Have any other shows you’re diving into this summer instead of diving into a pool? Do you wish you could dive into a pool and watch a great TV show at the same time? Me too. Maybe someday. Until then, always remember…
Keep it classy.
P.S. If you get a chance to see John Mulaney on his Kid Gorgeous stand up tour this summer, DO IT. I saw him recently and my jaw still hurts from laughing so much. He is truly my favorite comedian and he should be yours too. I think the tour is essentially sold out until the fall, so jump on them fall tickets guys!