Aaaaaand the second half of June on the ol’ boob tube.
Another Period (Comedy Central) Season 2 – This show looked as promising and funny as any scripted show Comedy Central has ever done. At least it did before it premiered. The first season was a train wreck of disappointment. It’s certainly not the worst show on TV, not by a long shot, but the comedy, which has the tantalizing setup of being a reality show set in 1902 Rhode Island, just never lands any of it despite one of the most insane casts ever put together. Maybe Season 2 will step things up? The cast is so good it’s worth another chance. Stars Riki Lindhome, Natasha Leggero, David Wain, David Koechner, Christina Hendricks, Michael Ian Black, Brett Gelman, Jason Ritter, and Paget Brewster.
Aquarius (NBC) Season 2 – I missed the first season of this period mystery with David Duchovny, and it didn’t look great, but I heard good things. It’s back for a second season of atmospheric creep set against the terror of the Manson family. Stars David Duchovny, Emma Dumont, and David Meunier.
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) Season 4 – Ugh. No thanks. I’m not ready for another season of this show, but I know you all are, so I’m not going to hate. The ladies are back for a fourth season of drama and comedy and political discourse and jokes about vaginas in jail. I definitely appreciated the dearth of Jason Biggs in Season 3, so if I can get them to continue that trend by watching the show, I’ll be front and center. Stars Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Lea Delaria, and Natasha Lyonne.
The Jim Gaffigan Show (TV Land) Season 2 – Between this really good show and Impastor, which alternates excellence with moments of being not totally intolerable, TV Land is actually not the worst. This is really their flagship. Gaffigan is a hilarious guy and his tales of parenthood are equal parts preposterous and relatable. The show is fun if not compulsory watching. Stars Jim Gaffigan, Ashley Williams, Michael Ian Black, Caitlyn Moeller, and Adam Goldberg.
Greenleaf (OWN) New – Wow, Oprah’s OWN network is getting in the original dramatic programming game with both feet with this ambitious-looking show about a corrupt family running a Memphis megachurch. The cast is fantastic, featuring Oprah herself among other notables, and the production value looks strong. This could be really interesting. Stars Keith David, Merle Dandridge, Kim Hawthorne, Oprah Winfrey, and Lynn Whitfield.
Queen of the South (USA) New – The excellent Brazilian actress Alice Braga stars in this drama which threatens to be USA’s first piece of serious dramatic programming. And I’m not saying that to insult the likes of Burn Notice, but it was always more popcorn entertainment. With this story of a Mexican baroness setting up shop in Spain, they look to break out of the mold. I’m definitely giving this a shot. Stars Alice Braga, Hemky Madera, and Veronica Falcón.
American Gothic (CBS) New – As I’ve mentioned before, now that The Good Wife is over, the people who made The Good Wife are allowed to do absolutely anything they want at CBS. This is a shabbily marketed Spielberg product that looks like it might be similar to Wayward Pines, which I already don’t watch. Also, there already was a show called American Gothic back in the mid-90s, with Gary Cole and Lucas Black, which was produced by Sam Raimi and it was awesome. I don’t know why that’s relevant, but there it is. Stars Virgina Madsen, Justin Chatwin, and Anthony Starr.
Thirteen (BBC America) New – This is a dynamite-looking new thriller about a woman freed after 13 years in captivity who must deal with the new terrors of freedom while also helping the police catch her kidnapper. Gnarly. I’m on board. Stars Jodie Comer, Natasha Little, and Stuart Graham.
Ray Donovan (Showtime) Season 4 – One of my absolute favorite shows on TV returns for a fourth season of dark, brooding, violence-tinged drama. Jon Voight is being robbed every time he doesn’t win an award for playing Ray’s sh*t-heel father Mickey Donovan, possibly the best character on TV. I can’t wait for this. If you haven’t been watching, commence binging… now! Stars Live Schreiber, Eddie Marsan, Dash Mihok, Steven Bauer, Paula Malcomson, and Jon Voight.
Roadies (Showtime) New – Woof. This comedy/drama about the fast-paced world of roadies looks… terrible. I’m not sure how shows like this come about, but I’m even more perplexed with how they stick around. I guarantee this gets picked up for a minimum of five seasons. Stars Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino, Imogen Poots, and Rafe Spall.
Zoo (CBS) Season 2 – I had no idea this show existed, let alone that it was re-upped for a second tilt. But it’s about a scientist investigating the cause of a deadly epidemic. And it must involve animals. Who knows? I’m being dismissive because I know little about it, but I guess it could be great… Let’s face it, though, it probably isn’t. Stars Nonso Anozie, James Wolk, and Kristin Connolly.
Season 2 – There’s just too much quality TV to catch it all. I missed the first season of this show, but Denis Leary is usually pretty good. The premise; he’s a washed up rock star whose own daughter is rejuvenating his band with awkward and hilarious results. Yeah, that seems solid enough for laughs. And basically everything on FX has been high quality. I’ll give it a go. Stars Denis Leary, John Corbett, and Elizabeth Gillies.
By Ygal Kaufman