In ancient times, summer television was a vast wasteland of reruns and made-for-TV movies. Those of us who hate the sun were forced to count the days until fall, when the real TV series would return. No more! We live in a Golden Age of year-round spectacular programming. And in case you, too, are avoiding the beach this summer because you burn at the mere suggestion of sunshine, these are some of the shows that will keep you indoors for the next 90 days:
If you feel betrayed by Amazon's Zombieland:
In the Flesh
Premieres June 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America
Luke Newberry stars as a poor guy named Kieren who suffers from PDS or "partially deceased syndrome." As in, he's a zombie. Kieren just wants to fit in when he returns to his hometown after going through zombie rehab. It's a prodigal son story -- with a son who has hankering for brains.
If you're looking to kill some brain cells:
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Premieres July 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW
Aisha Tyler hosts this reboot of a reboot in which improv actors (Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie) and special guest stars compete in increasingly improvisational games. This is the sort of show where you get to giggle over grown men wearing silly hats. It’s like one of those freeze pops that comes in a plastic tube: You know it's not gourmet, but it tastes like home.
If you are too lazy to see a blockbuster in theaters:
Under the Dome
Premieres June 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS
A small town in Maine gets trapped under an invisible barrier. Horror, chaos, and political intrigue ensue. Adapted by Brian K. Vaughan from the novel by Stephen King, it features effects that look cinema-worthy, and the 13-episode arc appears to be a blend of horror, science fiction and action-suspense.
If you like procedurals, but wish they were more obscure and Scandinavian:
Premieres July 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX
Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir play detectives on the opposite side of the U.S.-Mexico border who must work together to find a serial killer. Thus far, the creepy-dark trailers aren't hinting too much at the plot, but if it's anything like its Danish/Swedish predecessor Bron, there will be a lot of tension, mystery and murder.
If you've been wondering why there are no TV shows about lesbian moms:
Premieres June 3 at 9 p.m. on ABC Family
ABC Family is developing quite the reputation for thinking outside the box when it comes to representation of not-so-typical families. This spring, its hit Switched at Birth featured an all-American Sign Language episode. Now the channel is giving us The Fosters, a show about a lesbian couple (Terri Polo and Sherri Saum) raising a complicated and blended family. From the previews, the show seems to be a typical ABC Family heartwarming drama (expect tears).
If you believe superheroes are made, not born:
Premieres June 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on TNT
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson produces a reality competition show in which nine contestants compete in real-life physical, mental and moral challenges. One of them will be proclaimed "The Hero." This sounds more like a plot for a movie starring The Rock than it does an actual reality show, but I'm dying to know what "moral" challenges entail. Deciding between saving kittens from a burning building and giving CPR to an old woman? I'll have to watch to find out.
If you wish The Hunger Games was more realistic:
Premieres July 31 at 9 p.m. on The CW
Twelve teams of two enter "The Arena," where they have no shelter, no resources and no means of escape. Sound familiar? Yup, someone did the inevitable and turned The Hunger Games into a reality show. Hopefully no 11-year-olds are injured in the making of this reality series. And no one ends up threatening double-suicide to win.