'Orange Is the New Black,' 'The Leftovers,' & 7 More Must-See Summer Shows
There are still a few weeks left of regularly-scheduled TV shows, but let's be real: once the Scandal season finale has aired, the primetime TV season is basically over. The couple of shows that haven't yet wrapped up will do so within the next few weeks, and even the ones that seemingly just started — Game of Thrones, Veep, Orphan Black — will be gone before you know it. If you're worried that without your normally scheduled programming, your DVR will turn into a mess of Bachelor re-runs and Long Island Medium, fear not; the summer TV season is upon us, and with that comes nine great shows you won't want to miss. Below:
1. 'Orange is the New Black'
The first season of Netflix's prison-set comedy received rave reviews for its sharp humor, stellar performances, and thrillingly diverse ensemble, and it's a safe bet that the second season won't be any different. Laura Prepon (Alex) might not have been able to spill any secrets when she spoke to Bustle about the upcoming episodes, but in a recent interview with EW, OITNB 's creator, Jenji Kohan, revealed that the show's second season is "a little darker, a little more fractured" than the first.
"It was getting a little summer-campy," Kohan said, "and we wanted to address the realities that this is prison.”
The interview also revealed that this summer will showcase backstories from Lorna, Taystee, and Poussey, among other fan favorites, and introduce a new prisoner who makes things "hell" for the rest of the women. June 6, come soon.
2. 'Pretty Little Liars'
The fourth season of Pretty Little Liars ended on a big note, with Mrs. DiLaurentis dying, Ali explaining the whole "buried alive" thing, and Ezra getting shot (and maybe dying, too). Thankfully, fans won't have to wait long to find out what happens next; the fifth season premieres on June 10, and will consist of a whole 25 episodes. Liars, get ready.
3. 'The Leftovers'
The man currently known as Mr. Jennifer Aniston is about to make it big on his own, thanks to HBO's upcoming drama, The Leftovers, premiering June 15. Starring Justin Theroux as a small-town police chief, the series follows a group of residents struggling to understand why millions of people worldwide suddenly disappeared in a Rapture-like phenomenon and left the rest of them behind.
The first trailer for the series was scary and gripping, and the series, based off the bestselling novel by Tom Perrotta, will hopefully be just as exciting. The impressive cast also includes Amy Brenneman (Private Practice), Liv Tyler, Ann Dowd, and Doctor Who's Christopher Eccleston.
4. 'The Fosters'
With the impact its had on pop culture, it's hard to believe that The Fosters is just one year old. Thanks to its honest, compelling depiction of a different kind of family than typically seen on TV, The Fosters has garnered enormous praise and attention, even winning GLAAD Media's award for Outstanding Drama Series earlier this month. The show returns June 16.
5. 'True Blood'
6. 'Taxi Brooklyn'
This upcoming NBC show, premiering June 25, hasn't gotten too much promotion, but from the little we know, it looks like it has serious potential. Based on Luc Besson's Taxi, the action comedy stars Chyler Leigh (Lexie from Grey's Anatomy) and Jacky Ido (Inglourious Basterds) as a detective and taxi driver, respectively, who solve NYC crime cases. Sure, it's a familiar premise, but any show that revives Lexie Grey is fine by us. Now, if only they could find a role for Eric Dane...
A show about outer space would've peaked our interest even if it didn't star Halle Berry in a role that promises a much-needed career comeback. Extant , a drama about an astronaut (Berry) who returns home to her family after spending a year in space, premieres on CBS on July 9, and with no less than Steven Spielberg at the helm, it has all the makings of must-see TV. We're all in support of a talented woman leading her own show, and Extant, thanks to that fascinating premise, could easily become our new favorite show.
8. 'Welcome to Sweden'
If something has even the slightest bit to do with Amy Poehler, we're into it, and Welcome to Sweden , debuting July 10, is no exception. Starring the actress' brother, Greg (and produced by both siblings), the NBC comedy follows an American man who experiences culture shock upon moving to Stockholm with his girlfriend.
Sweden debuted in its title country three weeks ago, and it's already been picked up for a second season. Even without having seen a single episode, it's easy to imagine why; could you picture any studio turning down a chance to produce a show that features cameos from Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell on a regular basis?
9. 'Masters of Sex'
It feels like it's been forever since we last saw William and Virginia on our TV screens, but thankfully, we only have to wait a few more months before we can be reunited with our favorite sex researchers once more. The critically acclaimed series returns July 13, a smart move by HBO to let it gain momentum before Homeland and more fall dramas take over. If the show is anything as good as it was last season, though, then Masters of Sex should have no trouble getting enough fans to stay on board.
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