Rake (Friday, June 27, Fox), series finale: Try and follow this: The now-canceled Rake, starring Greg Kinnear as a rakish (get it?) screw-up who also happens to be a brilliant defense lawyer, debuted in January with its second episode. Fox continued to air episodes out of running order for several Thursdays before moving it to Fridays and, ultimately, blowing out the final 12th and 13th eps in what its few remaining viewers were left to assume was a two-hour series finale on a Saturday in April. But wait! Here’s the official series finale, the sixth episode, which makes no storyline sense airing after No. 13. Thanks, Fox.
Reckless (Sunday, June 29, CBS), series debut: She (Anna Wood) is a gorgeous, street-smart Chicago defense attorney; he (Cam Gigandet) is a gorgeous, charming Charleston, S.C. city attorney; together, they’re Pretty Lawyers Fighting the Throbbing Urge to Bone In and Out of the Courtroom. (Reckless was a more manageable title.) The one-season/one-case scenario centers on “a police sex scandal (that) threatens to tear the city apart,” but Reckless is really only about its lusty litigators, meaning this summer-filler series would have better-realized on late-night Showtime as, well, Lusty Litigators.
The Leftovers (Sunday, June 29, HBO), series debut: As the Summer of the TV Apocalypse continues, Lost’s Damon Lindelof takes on the series adaptation of The Leftovers, a 2011 novel about a Rapture-ish event in which 2 percent of the Earth’s population mysteriously disappears. The “poof!” moment is shown with little fanfare in the first episode’s opening minutes; The Leftovers is about the confusion, malaise and outright weirdness that spreads among those still here—specifically, a suburban police chief (Justin Theroux), his estranged wife (Amy Brenneman), a post-Rapture cult leader (Ann Dowd), a devastated bride-to-be (Liv Tyler) and others in a small New York community. The capital-D Downer of a pilot episode is at least beautifully acted and staged, and does have a few light moments (among the taken: Anthony Bourdain, Jennifer Lopez, Shaquille O’Neal, Pope Benedict XVI and … Gary Busey?), but The Leftovers looks to be an even darker, life-has-no-meaning wallow than True Detective. Cheer up—your existence (or lack thereof) could be waaay worse.
Californication (Sunday, June 29, Showtime), series finale: Does Hank (David Duchovny) finally get his shit together and make an honest woman of Baby Mama No. 1 (Natascha McElhone), or at least Baby Mama No. 2 (Heather Graham)? The Only TV Column That Matters
Under the Dome (Monday, June 30, CBS), season premiere: Part of the appeal of Under the Dome when it debuted last summer was its perceived One-and-Done format: 13 episodes, and it’s over, fans and familiars of the 2009 Stephen King novel thought; no further commitment required! Then the ratings went through roof (but not the dome), and CBS caught If It’s Worth Doing It’s Worth Overdoing fever, resulting in a Season 2 pickup and a cliffhanger finale that stunk worse than a weeks-sealed bubble full of unwashed townies. The Season 2 opener, written by King himself, at least provides instant resolution—and, of course, new characters, new questions, more dewy-eyed blank stares from Julia (Rachelle Lefevre—you can take the girl out of Twilight, but …) and now, a magnetized dome!
DVD ROUNDUP FOR JULY 1!
Two buds traveling the world filming a Web series find their trip cut short when one of them hooks up with a vampire in Paris and, upon realizing that he can’t die and must feed, becomes a vigilante Dexter vampire. There’s your Web series. (Sony)
Helix: Season 1
Investigating a viral outbreak at an Arctic bioresearch station, government researchers learn that they—and, eventually, mankind—are totally screwed. From Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore, so it’s nice and claustrophobic. (Sony)
Seven friends en route to Las Vegas are forced to spend the night in a roadside motel, and sure enough, they’re soon being tortured and killed. Yet another scenario in which a AAA membership would have come in real handy. (Lionsgate)
Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!
Long Island parents’ anxiety over their sons coming out if the closet(s) together only gets worse when the boys decide to adopt. The one film in which you’ll see Bruce Vilanch and Carmen Electra sharing screen time. Hopefully. (Breaking Glass)
Rockabilly Zombie Weekend
A couple’s rockabilly-themed wedding is ruined when a West Nile Virus outbreak spreads swarms of zombie-spawning mosquitoes. (Sure, it could happen.) Featuring the way-out sounds of Slip and the Spinouts and The Dive Bar Stalkers! (Green Apple)
More New DVD Releases (July 1)
City of Lust, Killervision, Once Upon a Time in Vietnam, Scavenger Killers, The Unknown Known, A Young Doctor’s Notebook.