Summer TV Roundtable: Hiatus? What Hiatus?

Kids these days don’t know how good they have it: Rather than spending all summer watching reruns and wishing for new content, they now get to leap from one series’ hiatus to another’s premiere. With so many ways to watch television, there’s never such thing as downtime; and while it sometimes gets overwhelming, it’s much more preferable than the old way of doing things. So, with most of our favorite “regular season” shows either on hiatus or soon to be there, if you’re actually wondering what to watch next, check out our humble suggestions.

Ok, team! Easiest roundtable ever since there’s just one question: Which summer tv shows are you looking forward to watching this year and why?

Shana: I have realized something awkward: This year, my summer tv schedule is going to be more full than my “regular” one was. For the longest time, the only summer series that I had to look forward to was FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance. This year, before SYTCYD’s June 4 premiere, I get to look forward to the second season of World of Dance on May 29 on NBC. For a complete and total dance addict like me, summer just got so much better. Each series brings something unique to dance lovers, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this time around.

…but reality tv isn’t for everyone (the dance shows are the only exception to my generalized hate for the genre) so let’s talk about drama. More specifically, let’s talk about two series that are telling women’s stories: Dietland and The Bold Type.

Dietland’s series premiere on AMC is slated for June 4, and I’ve been increasingly excited for this show every time new information has come out. Originally, I was just ready for Julianna Margulies to be back on my television; next, I heard Marti Noxon was heading up a predominantly female list of EPs. The trailers made the series seem just as epic as anything involving Margulies and Noxon ought to; and then I started reading Sarai Walker’s book by the same name, on which the series was based. Let me tell you: Dietland is going to be some patriarchy-smashing, female-empowering fun if it comes anywhere near to faithfully covering some of the insanity in that text. And if the series description on the network’s site is anything to go by, that’s exactly what’s going to happen:

“Equal parts revenge fantasy and heartfelt journey to self-acceptance, Dietland, which is based on Sarai Walker’s 2015 best-selling critically acclaimed novel of the same name, is a darkly comedic story that explores a multitude of issues faced by women today – including patriarchy, misogyny, rape culture, and unrealistic beauty standards.”

Sign me the fuck up.

The Bold Type returns to Freeform — a network that, by the way, y’all need to show some love — for its second season on June 12, and the only way that I can describe this one is to say that it’s the show I never knew I needed in my life until I had it and couldn’t understand how a series like this never existed. The Bold Type highlights female friendships in a refreshing way, while giving us a complex cast of characters — and there’s representation all over the place. The series also tackles deeper issues without being dismissive of those viewers who really just want to have some fun.

THE BOLD TYPE: Meghann Fahy, Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee Photo: Freeform/Phillippe Bosse)
THE BOLD TYPE: Meghann Fahy, Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee Photo: Freeform/Phillippe Bosse)

Although we don’t have a definite premiere date for either show, Suits eighth season and the series premiere of Second City (its Jessica-centric spinoff) are expected to come to USA sometime in July. While Suits season 7 started off an absolute mess, the back six episodes were a great recovery; and the season finale managed to set up Gina Torres’ new series, all while saying goodbye to Mike and Rachel and laying the groundwork for season 8. That’s a tough order, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here — especially when it comes to the new show. Gina Torres is phenomenal in everything she does, and the birth of a new major drama led by a woman of color — one we already know and love and who’s been sorely missed on Suits, no less — is so important.

Meanwhile, if Suits doesn’t let Darvey bang already, my head is going to explode.

Suits Darvey summer tv roundtable
Still waiting for that Darvey payoff in my summer tv… Source: (X)

On top of all of these, I still have some big streaming series — most notably Netflix’s Luke Cage on June 22 — to look forward to! Who needs sleep anyway?

Cammie: My approach to summer 2018 is just that I want to watch all the female-led shows — all women, all the time. The Bold Type returning with a second season, full of all ages and types of women, with gorgeous ships and a fun escapism setting? Check. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, with all the female comedic genius we could ask for, and sisterhood as the central tenet? Check! Young & Hungry coming back with female friendships and the kind of easy, mindless funny fluff we sometimes like in summer? Check.

I particularly love that the summer season more often has full-season releases, more binge-able content. I want to sit by the pool and watch hours of something that pairs with a mojito and see as few men as possible; and I’m so pleased that Netflix is willing to indulge me.

Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson -- Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/USA Network
Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson — Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/USA Network

In the category of content I’m excited for but won’t be watching in a bikini: Suits, 2 Suits 2 Furious and Suits: Tokyo Drift, and — oh, never mind, I’m receiving word that we’re just going with Suits and Suits: Second City. I’ll happily watch Gina Torres on my screen in any show, but I’m so happy that the one and only Jessica Pearson is going to shine in a Chicago-based show, and I think — or at least hope — that both Suits shows, with all their potential to be addictive, character driven, high-risk/high-reward worlds to get lost in, will be the perfect summer night vibe.

Generally, over the summer I get hopelessly addicted to some terrible reality show. We all do that over the warmer months, right? It’s just something in the air. Anyway, for that, I’ve got my eye on Making It or perhaps The Bachelorette…If nothing else, there’s usually a new season of The Great British Baking Show come August. Hmmmm.

Oh, the possibilities. Cheers to a lovely Summer 2018!

Anam: Marti Noxon and Julianna Margulies on the same project? Count. Me. In. The Dietland trailer gives off a bit of an Ugly Betty vibe…until it goes completely insane and men start dropping dead. I haven’t read the book it’s based off of just yet — I prefer watching things before reading — but it looks like it’ll be good. And I have so very much missed Margulies on my screen.

Technically, HBO’s Fahrenheit 451 is a TV movie, not a TV show; but I’m going to include it because it looks amazing, and Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) is starring in it. The movie is based off a dystopian society, where they burn all the books and try to — more or less — form humanity in a way they want. It’s Handsmaid Tale-esque. Farenheit 451 will air on HBO, May 19.

And finally…The Bachelorette. I’ve tried to get away from this franchise, but it’s the guilty pleasure that keeps pulling me back in. Originally, I was only going to watch Arie’s season because, like most people, I liked him on Emily’s season — that is, before we realized he was a douche. Lord have mercy. The shit he put Becca through. Yes, I want to see her as the Queen of the Castle and see her journey as she calls the shots. Do I really want to devote countless hours that I’ll never get back to this show, the one that stole 5 hours for the finale — 5 hours??! No. Will I? Yes. It’s Becca’s turn — but after this, I’m done. Maybe.

Melinda: In my best wrestling announcer voice: “Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling!” This summer, I am most looking forward to the neon spandex-donning, glitter-spreading, cringe-worthy wrestling apparel of the GLOW cast. GLOW was a surprise for me (as most TV is these days) because I never expected to so thoroughly enjoy a show about wrestling. But when storylines and plots are so overdone and reused, new and exciting material is both welcome and a breath of fresh air. While the plots are familiar (best friend feuds, daughters seeking bio-dads, family acceptance-seeking, etc.), the cast is unique and brings a new spin on old plots. Alison Brie brings everything to her character, Ruth Wilder, and makes you feel everything for her: a plain, struggling actress that sleeps with her best friend’s husband. You love her, you hate her, you pity her, you rejoice with her, and you want to put her up on your shoulders and parade her around while lecturing her on her low self-esteem and bad choices.

summer tv roundtable GLOW
Alison Brie & Betty Gilpin in GLOW Photo: Erica Parise/Netflix

At the end of season one, Debbie still has not forgiven Ruth, an interesting decision by the writers to end the season with the two leads still in turmoil. Their relationship is complicated — to say the least — but I love the complexities of their bond, and I love Brie’s portrayal of a jealous woman with real flaws.

Even though I love these two women and all of their frailness and developing strengths, I would also like to point out that the entire cast is brilliant. Marc Maron portrays a gruff and unlikable Sam Sylvia, but surprisingly, Maron’s spin on the repugnant director makes viewers love him. GLOW shows you the badass nature that a group of women can possess, the power and energy that occurs in female friendships when women help women rise up, and the insecurities and prejudices that are presented by a group of women wrestlers from the 80’s; these are still relevant struggles today.

I am by no means a wrestling fan, but this series is way more than just a show about wrestling. I applaud any show that focuses on women raising up women, gives an accurate depiction of women of all shapes and sizes, and attempts to tackle characters that are anything but stereotypes. And I will celebrate the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling through their successes and defeats in season two! I can only imagine where it goes from the end of season one.

GLOW season 2 will be available on Netflix on June 29.

Sarah: Out of everything, I am looking forward to this summer, the one that I’m most looking forward to would be the fourth and final season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Hands down.

Logan: The summer series that I am most looking forward to doesn’t start until the end of August, but I am so ready!

Amazon will release Jack Ryan this summer, and the buzz about this has been floating around for a long time. Jack Ryan stars John Krasinski as the title character, in a series that is loosely based on Tom Clancy’s book series (which has been used for films you’ll recognize, like: The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears.) It’s been an anticipated series since Krasinski was announced to star because Jack Ryan has historically been played by more action-oriented actors — and many people still know Krasinski only as Jim Halpert, the lovable office prankster from The Office. I’m excited to see Krasinski in an intense spy-thriller role. I think it will be a fun ride!

Jack Ryan premieres August 31 on Amazon Prime, and it (almost) makes me want to wish away the rest of my summer!

Lizzie: CLOAK AND DAGGER IS COMING, CLOAK AND DAGGER IS COMING. On June 7. Nothing else matters. Well, some things matter, but nothing TV-wise. This show is what we should be watching this summer, not just because it flips the script on what we expect from teenage-superhero shows, but because it does so while being…well, fun. That’s what summer TV is all about, right?

summer tv roundtable cloak and dagger.jpg

And fine, I know I said that was all that mattered, but then ABC announced that Take Two, the brainchild of the two people who made Castle a success (none of them are named Nathan Fillion — thank the Lord — that’s for another, way crappier show premiering on the same network in the fall) would premiere on June 21. And I’m here for this. It literally sounds like Castle 2.0. BUT! Eddie Cibrian is way better than the aforementioned, and Castle was actually really good and fun at first…before they pushed out the creators and let you-know-who dictate too much.

Which shows are you looking forward to for your summer tv schedule? Sound off in the comments! 


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