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The summer of 2017, like the summers of Peak TV before it, has been overloaded with buzzy hot-weather series like GLOW, Preacher, Twin Peaks, Rick and Morty, Orphan Black and, of course, Game of Thrones, to name just a few. Fortunately, there weren’t any other, below-the-radar shows that you’ll need to add to your catch-up cue once you’ve had enough of the sun and the outdoors and whatever the hell else life away from the screen offers, right?

Wrong. Here are 10 you probably missed:

The Jim Jefferies Show (Comedy Central): The overworked late-night talkers have done an admirable, if repetitive, job of taking the piss out of our Made-for-TV president. But none have done it with the glee and zero-fucks-given swagger of Australian comedian Jim Jefferies, who backs up his barbs with cold facts, on-location bits and “weatherman” Brad Pitt (yes, really) consistently predicting climate doomsday.

Blood Drive (Syfy): In the “distant future of 1999,” environmentally ravaged America’s favorite new spectator sport is the Blood Drive, wherein the cars run on human blood! The jarringly perverse and stoopid series is just Death Race 2000 with a cartoon-grindhouse twist (real Syfy complaint line: 325-400-DGAF), but emcee Julian Slink (Colin Cunningham) is a delicious villain for the ages.

Claws (TNT): Women chew Florida scenery and buff cuticles in this nail-salon crime thriller, led commandingly by Niecy Nash, drawing upon her comedy and drama backgrounds equally. Somehow, Claws’ colorful characters (like Dean Norris as Uncle Daddy, “a Dixie Mafia crime boss who’s deeply Catholic and actively bisexual”) never overwhelm the tense drugs-and-money-laundering narrative.

The Strain (FX): Eternal darkness has fallen, and a totalitarian regime that rules though fear and intimidation has taken over. Relax, it’s only Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire-apocalypse epic The Strain, now in its fourth and final season. Interest has waned (ratings are down to half of Season 1’s), but The Strain is still bigly more compelling and creepy than The Walking Dead.

Queen of the South (USA): The path by Teresa (Alice Braga) toward becoming a future drug queenpin got even more tangled than her hair in Season 2—surely, she can afford a brush by now—upping the stakes and the body count along the way. Also, the woman she’ll eventually replace, Camila (Veronica Falcon), transformed from an icy caricature into a fleshed-out, almost-sympathetic character. But only almost.

Wynonna Earp (Syfy): The demon-hunting great-great-granddaughter of Wyatt Earp may have a bit of that Jessica Jones smolder, but she’s ultimately a goofball, pushing Wynonna Earp closer to Buffy the Vampire Slayer territory. As Wynonna, Melanie Scrofano bites into an impressive array of emotional flavors when the show gets serious; when it’s not, Earp is Syfy’s funniest series after Blood Drive.

Odd Mom Out (Bravo): It’s Season 3—does Bravo even know this is still on? Odd Mom Out, an adaptation of author Jill Kargman’s Momzillas (and starring herself; Kargman’s also an adept comedic actress), is everything the Real Housewives are not: smart, self-aware and funny. In particular, SNL cast-off Abby Elliott shines as a Manhattanite so dim and self-absorbed that she’s practically a black hole.

Wrecked (TBS): Much improved from its first season, which apparently didn’t map out anything past, “Let’s mash up Gilligan’s Island and Lost,” Wrecked found its groove in Season 2 by adding outside conflict (pirates!) and internal lust (hot … well, weird castaway-on-castaway action!). Watching pampered idiots struggle to survive on an island is better when Jeff Probst isn’t calling the action.

I’m Sorry (TruTV): Longtime comedic side-player Andrea Savage’s first all-about-me vehicle doesn’t care to differentiate itself from other Comics as Themselves But Not Really half-hours—it’s all about the jokes. I’m Sorry, referring to mom/comedy writer “Andrea” and her tendency to say the most hilariously wrong things, is a white-wine spritzer of a sitcom: not too heavy, not too sweet, perfect for summer.

Decker: Unsealed/Mindwipe (Adult Swim): The shoot-first-think-never action hero ’Merica needs returned in Season 2 of Decker: Unsealed, Tim Heidecker's … tribute? … to Tom Clancy novels, Steven Seagal movies and the comedic power of incompetent, but patriotic, production. Then Decker segued into Mindwipe, because who cares? Heidecker could probably upsell this to InfoWars as a documentary.

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Friends From College (series debut Friday, July 14, Netflix), from Neighbors and Forgetting Sarah Marshall producer Nick Stoller, might have made a better movie than an eight-episode streamer. Or not: Who needs another outlet on any platform for pretty, well-off 30-somethings (the College was Harvard, and the Friends live in, of course, New York) to marinate on the hardships of adulting? Despite a killer cast (including Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Annie Parisse, Nat Faxon, Fred Savage and Jae Suh Park), Friends From College doesn’t make a case to give a shit about any of them—or its worst-of-the-’90s Spotify soundtrack.

Yet again, HBO has decided that TV critics don’t need to see any of the new Game of Thrones (Season 7 premiere Sunday, July 16, HBO), and that’s cool with me. Anything that annoys tubby TV critics (who, despite the rise of Peak TV, still haven’t reached the level of self-grandeur of movie critics—sad!) should be applauded. Anyway: What’s known about the penultimate season of the ultimate blood ’n’ boobs fantasy series is … well, nothing. Sure, there’s speculation on everything from the inevitability of Daenerys finally crossing paths with Jon Snow (duh) to the idea that Ned Stark is still alive (oh, shut up, nerds), but I’ll be watching Twin Peaks.

Eternal darkness has fallen, and a totalitarian regime that rules though fear and intimidation has taken command. Relax; it’s just The Strain (Season 4 premiere Sunday, July 16, FX)—what did you think I was talking about? You’re watching too much fake news. The fourth and final season of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire-apocalypse epic finds our heroes Eph (Corey Stoll), Fet (Kevin Durand) and Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) seemingly defeated by the Strigoli, who are thriving in the nuclear winter, but the war between humans and bloodsuckers isn’t over yet. Hulu Seasons 1-3; The Strain is better than any of that zombie fluff.

“The story of four tech entrepreneurs and childhood friends who, on the heels of selling their gaming company, become multi-millionaires and are forced to deal with the pitfalls that come with being an overnight success.” Is it Silicon Valley? Halt and Catch Fire? No, just British import Loaded (series debut Monday, July 17, AMC), which is neither as funny as the former nor as dramatically compelling as the latter—but it does have Mary McCormack as a deliciously nasty boss lady. (“Think of me as a sexy Darth Vader, because yesterday, you got bought out by the Empire, and behind me, there’s an emperor.”) She’s the reason to check out Loaded.

The network won’t acknowledge it, but Shooter (Season 2 premiere, Tuesday, July 18, USA), based on the 2007 Mark Wahlberg flick, is a hit with conservative Flyover America. Since the debut of its first season was delayed from summer to post-election 2016 due to, you know, actual shootings around the country, Shooter’s semi-jingoistic edge long preceded the “Should we Satanic Hollywood Liberals address whatever the hell falls between New York and California?” discussion. Politics aside, star Ryan Phillippe is far better as a Marine sniper on the lam than Wahlberg was, and Shooter’s worth a look. You can watch it with your parents instead of Fox News!

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After a fall-winter-spring blur of Too Many Shows, you’re thinking to yourself, “Summer is finally here—I can take a break from TV. Praise the Lord!”

Sorry. Your god has abandoned you: Here are 32 new and returning series you’re going to have to watch this summer, because peak TV knows no season.

In the unexpected return of Flaked (Season 2 premiere; Friday, June 2; Netflix), Chip (Will Arnett) heads back to Venice to rehab his ruined Local Hero status, if not his booze problem. Matters are even more dire for the gang on Fear the Walking Dead (Season 3 premiere; Sunday, June 4; AMC), as vigilante Build the Zombie Wall border patrollers won’t allow them to cross back over from Mexico. It could be worse; they could be struggling comedians in 1970s Hollywood—which is the setting for I’m Dying Up Here (series debut; Sunday, June 4; Showtime).

Tim Heidecker re-ups for more ultra-violent spy action in Decker: Unclassified (Season 2 premiere; Sunday, June 4; Adult Swim), while Aussie comic Jim Jefferies takes another stab at ’Merican TV with late-night talker The Jim Jefferies Show (series debut; Tuesday, June 6; Comedy Central). Latina heroine (?) Teresa (Alice Braga) continues her quest to rule the drug trade in Queen of the South (Season 2 premiere; Thursday, June 8; USA), and the ladies of Litchfield are still doing time in Orange Is the New Black (Season 5 premiere; Friday, June 9; Netflix), hackers be damned.

The ragtag crew of ridiculously good-looking intergalactic criminals remain lost in space in Dark Matter (Season 3 premiere; Friday, June 9; Syfy), and TV’s coolest demon hunter is back and gunning for souls in Wynonna Earp (Season 2 premiere; Friday, June 9; Syfy). Meanwhile, the end is near for the Clone Club in the final run of Orphan Black (Season 5 premiere; Saturday, June 10, BBC America), and even nearer for frenemies Billie and Gene in the two-weekend burn-off of Idiotsitter (Season 2 premiere; Saturday, June 10; Comedy Central).

An all-star cast chews scenery and buffs cuticles in new Florida nail-salon dramedy Claws (series debut; Sunday, June 11; TNT), and primetime goes grindhouse with Blood Drive (series debut; Wednesday, June 14, Syfy), about a cross-country death race where the cars run on—what else?—blood. The Mist (series debut; Thursday, June 22; Spike) rolls out more subtle Stephen King-y scares, and the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling finally get their ’80s-spandexed due in the Alison Brie-led docu-comedy GLOW (series debut; Friday, June 23; Netflix).

Fiddy Cent’s nightclubs ’n’ drugs drama Power (Season 4 premiere; Sunday, June 25; Starz) finds kingpin Ghost (Omari Hardwick) caught in the middle of a, yep, power struggle, while Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy finally hit the road looking for God in Preacher (Season 2 premiere; Sunday, June 25; AMC). Liza (Sutton Foster) deals with the fallout of her bestie Kelsey (Hilary Duff) learning her dark, old secret in Younger (Season 4 premiere; Wednesday, June 28; TV Land), and everybody’s favorite ragtag trio of ridiculously good-looking interplanetary bounty hunters gear up to fight the good-ish fight in Killjoys (Season 3 premiere; Friday, June 30; Syfy).

John Singleton’s Snowfall (series debut; Wednesday, July 5; FX) dramatizes the crack-cocaine epidemic of ’80s Los Angeles, while modernized period piece Will (series debut; Monday, July 10; TNT) juices the legend of a young William Shakespeare as he arrives in the, wait for it, “punk-rock theatre scene of 16th century London.” Back in the present, a pair of college eggheads break it to the White House that an asteroid is six months away from mercifully colliding with Earth in Salvation (series debut; Wednesday, July 12; CBS).

Game of Thrones … yeah, nothing more needs to be said here (Season 7 premiere; Sunday, July 16; HBO). In the final stretch of The Strain (Season 4 premiere; Sunday, July 16; FX), nuclear winter is in full effect; the Strigoi vampires have seized the planet; and our heroes are down for the count—but are they, really? Meanwhile, Ballers (Season 3 premiere; Sunday, July 23; HBO) and Insecure (Season 2 premiere; Sunday, July 23; HBO) are paired up for the most incongruent HBO hour ever, while Midnight, Texas (series debut; Monday, July 24; NBC) takes Charlaine Harris’ supernatural novels for a TV spin.

Would you believe … Sharknado 5 (movie premiere; Sunday, Aug. 6; Syfy)? Marvel’s The Defenders (series debut; Friday, Aug. 18; Netflix) finally brings together Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist for a dysfunctional superhero team-up, while the 21st go-round of South Park (season 21 premiere; Wednesday, Aug. 23; Comedy Central) attempts to find the funny in Trump’s America—if he’s still in office at that point. Fortunately, Abbi and Ilana drop the long-long-long-awaited comeback of Broad City (Season 4 premiere; Wednesday, Aug. 23; Comedy Central), and the new take on The Tick (series debut; Friday, Aug. 25; Amazon Prime) may reunify the country, after all. Spoon!

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The Strain (Sunday, Aug. 28, FX), season premiere: The most disconcerting part of the Season 3 opener of The Strain, FX’s scariest series (sorry, American Horror Story)? Setrakian (David Bradley) reminding us that it’s only been 23—23!—days since the Euro-vampires landed in New York City. Dr. Eph (Corey Stoll) is boozing through the pain of his girlfriend’s death and his son’s kidnapping by his now-vamp wife, and his bio-weapon is losing its lethality against “the munchers”—all of this stress could explain why his hair won’t grow back. The locals believe they’re still “New York Strong,” but even the military, which has essentially given up on saving the city, is outmatched. (It does make for some great Call of Duty: Vamp Town action sequences, though.) New Yorkers are on their own to fight The Strain … but what’s a little vampire takeover after beating back a Sharknado?

2016 MTV Video Music Awards (Sunday, Aug. 28, MTV), special: In a twist this year for the MTV Video Music Awards, the Best “Rock” Video nominees—All Time Low, Coldplay (!), Fall Out Boy ft. Demi Lovato (!!), Panic! At the Disco and Twenty One Pilots—are nearly out-rocked by the Best Electronic Video Nominees—and I can’t even tell you who they are, because they all look and sound identical! Is there really a difference between Calvin Harris, Mike Posner and The Chainsmokers besides hoodie textures? And why is there a Best Collaboration Video category when practically every video in every category has a “Ft.” guest? (I’m guessing “Ft.” means “Featuring,” though it could just as well stand for “Filler twits.”) And why is elderly lady Britney Spears performing? And where’s my channel-clicker? I’ve gotta watch five hours of MTV Classic now.

You’re the Worst (Wednesday, Aug. 31, FXX), season premiere: TV’s funniest comedy took a decidedly unfunny turn last season to deal with the clinical depression of Gretchen (Aya Cash), and still managed to wring some laughs out of a downer detour. In Season 3, You’re the Worst gets back on track with not only Gretchen and Jimmy (Chris Geere) in a relationship (and hating it, and loving it, and being confounded by it), but also a pairing of Edgar (Desmin Borges) and Dorothy (Collette Wolfe) and, to a weirder extent, Lindsay (Kether Donohue) and Paul (Allan McLeod). History dictates, however, that at least one, if not all, of these couplings will devolve into a hot mess—and it’s going to be glorious (and, thanks to creator Stephen Falk’s masterful writing, painfully real). Seasons 1 and 2 of The Only Anti-Rom-Com That Matters are on Hulu; get on it now.

Marcella (Streaming, Netflix), new series: Yeah, it debuted back in July—don’t make me play the There’s Too Many Shows card! Marcella, a British series that’s made its way stateside via Netflix, comes from producer/writer/director Hans Rosenfeldt (FX’s late, great The Bridge), with Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies; the late, not-great American Odyssey) in the title role as a troubled London detective back on the case of a suddenly active-again serial killer. If the setup sounds a bit “been-there,” consider some of Marcella’s troubles: Her husband (Nicholas Pinnock) has just left her for a younger woman at his legal firm; said woman is among the killer’s latest victims; Marcella suffers from rage blackouts after which she occasionally awakens covered in blood. Is she a murderer? Or, at the very least, sane-ish? The answers don’t necessarily come, but Friel is fantastic, and Marcella is cooler than any new cop show arriving this fall on ’Merican TV.

Aquarius (Saturdays, NBC), the final episodes: This is how it ends, not with a bang but a Saturday-night burn-off. After being bumped from the NBC schedule for more than a month due to political conventions, the Summer Olympics and Season 2 ratings that have sunk lower than a 4 a.m. infomercial for a Charles Manson box set (“Charlie Don’t Surf: The Complete Manson Masterworks! Order now!”), Aquarius is (un)officially over. The final six episodes of David Duchovny’s historical-ish ’60s cop romp will be blown out two-a-night for the next three Saturdays, and thanks to the show’s delusional five-season plan, there’s likely no wrap-up here, and we’ll never find out if the LAPD ever caught Manson, damn it …

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Another Period (Comedy Central): After a meh first episode, Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome’s Downton Abbey/Kardashians parody became bolder and funnier (and dirtier) every week. It’s Wet Hot 1902 Summer.

Halt and Catch Fire (AMC): Just ended and most likely canceled, ’80s tech drama Halt and Catch Fire really did catch fire in Season 2 by focusing on its women (Kerry Bishé and Mackenzie Davis, killing it). Maybe just skip the first season.

UnReal (Lifetime): And another female-led powerhouse: UnReal’s behind-the-sordid-scenes drama about a Bachelor-esque “reality” show was brutal, discomfiting and, for all we know, completely accurate. Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer FTW.

Wayward Pines (Fox): It was obvious that M. Night Shyamalan’s Wayward Pines meant “limited series” business when it killed off two big-name cast members (no spoilers!) early on. A taut, weird sci-fi conspiracy yarn.

Maron (IFC): No hype, just Marc Maron being Maron in Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Next Generation.

Dark Matter (Syfy): The setup of really, really, really ridiculously good-looking amnesiac fugitives in space didn’t seem sustainable, but Dark Matter rolled out the back-stories (and ass-kicking action) more intelligently than expected.

Killjoys (Syfy): Ditto on the looks and action here, though Killjoys was a bit more complex (read: confusing) and even more low-budget than Dark Matter (which seems impossible). Still, Hannah John-Kamen is the sci-fi heroine to top this summer.

True Detective (HBO): Quit your whining and just watch all eight episodes in a row.

The Brink (HBO): It was sold as a Jack Black comedy, but The Brink (a modern-day Dr. Strangelove via Homeland) belongs to Tim Robbins as the tenacious secretary of state, and Maribeth Monroe as his impossibly loyal assistant.

Mr. Robot (USA): Rami Malek’s mumbling, monologue-ing hoodie-rat hacker isn’t a logical TV hero—which makes Mr. Robot’s Fight Club-meets-The Matrix-meets-Dilbert existence encouraging (especially on a network like USA). Another binge-watch candidate.

Humans (AMC): The biggest surprise from this British import about synthetic “humans” living/serving amongst us? Joe (Tom Goodman-Hill) waited four whole episodes before bedding his nanny-bot (Gemma Chan). Humans was creepy, but with a heart—rare combo.

Extant (CBS): Halle Berry’s alien-takeover thriller is still insane—but at least it’s evolved into decent sci-fi, and new Season 2 co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan handily replaced what’s-his-name. Bonus: David Morrissey acting even harder than he did on The Walking Dead!

The Spoils Before Dying (IFC): Eric Jonrosh (Will Ferrell) and his lost crime-noir masterpiece somehow made jazz tolerable. That’s an accomplishment.

Rectify (Sundance): So rich, so moving, so … slow. Ray McKinnon’s Southern-gothic character study isn’t for everyone, but the quality of the performances (not limited to main stars Aden Young and Abigail Spencer) are undeniable.

The Strain (FX): Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire-invasion thriller kicked into high gear in Season 2, thanks partially to letting Kevin Durand’s badass Fet inject some comic relief into the occasionally too-damned-serious affair. Pretty vamps are so over.

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll (FX): Denis Leary’s comic love letter to rock wasn’t groundbreaking by any stretch, but it was loud and fun. That’s rock ’n’ roll, right?

BoJack Horseman (Netflix): You will feel all the feels of a cartoon horse (Will Arnett).

Ray Donovan (Showtime): As if Jon Voight weren’t enough, Liev Schreiber’s titular thug-to-the-stars Ray had to fight for screen-chewing time with new Season 3 guest Ian McShane—and he held his own.

Stitchers (ABC Family): Impossibly pretty 20-something scientists “stitch” into the memories of the recently deceased in CSI: Dead Brains. Sure, it sounds similar to iZombie, but Stitchers was even stoopider—and yet oddly entertaining.

The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail (Comedy Central): Backstage is sometimes funnier than what’s onstage at the comic-book-store stand-up show; comedians, actors and sometimes even porn stars drop in randomly, adding to the anarchic atmosphere of The Meltdown. So all stand-up shows aren’t like this?

Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell (Adult Swim): Season 2 of hell as a workplace comedy … not a workplace reality show.

Married (FX): The second season of Nat Faxon and Judy Greer’s domestic comedy may have found a groove, if not viewers. Married is pretty much canceled; proceed at your leisure.

Rick and Morty (Adult Swim): It’s probably best that Community is now dead as a TV show, because Rick and Morty is a far better use of Dan Harmon’s time. There’s not a more off-the-charts science-geeky show out there—sorry, Cosmos—and the funny is relentless.

Wet Hot American Summer (Netflix): First Day of Camp bested the 2001 movie by streamlining the gags and going for ridiculous broke. So how do I get a gig at Rock & Roll World Magazine?

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Rectify (Thursday, July 9, Sundance), season premiere: Critics spent the first two seasons of Rectify trying explain a series that defies description; the dirt-simple outline being: “Daniel (Aden Young) returns to his Georgia hometown after 19 years on death row for murdering his childhood sweetheart due to inconclusive evidence, and the God-fearing townsfolk are understandably—and in some cases, violently—wary of his innocence.” Like them, viewers don’t yet know if he did it, and Season 3 seems intent on introducing some hard law and order to this dream-state Southern Gothic, much to the distress of Daniel’s long-suffering, supporting sister Amantha (Abigail Spencer). Seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix: They’re short; they’re fantastic; and you should experience them now.

7 Days in Hell (Saturday, July 11, HBO), movie: So many questions: Was Game of Thrones’  Kit Harington aware that this would be his first post-Jon Snow role? Has there ever been a tennis mockumentary before? Did Andy Samberg already own that throwback John McEnroe/Andre Agassi wig? As the title states, 7 Days In Hell chronicles the longest match in tennis history, with “bad-boy” American Aaron Williams (Samberg) taking on British prodigy Charles Poole (Harington), as recounted by talking heads like Will Forte, Lena Dunham, John McEnroe and Serena Williams. At 45 minutes, 7 Days almost strains the limits of what’s essentially a beer-commercial sight gag, but Harington and Samberg commit. And really, what’s not funny about tennis?

The Strain (Sunday, July 12, FX), season premiere: Season 2 of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire-invasion thriller opens with the most terrifying bedtime story in the history of ever, and escalates from there. The Strain’s first season established New York City as Ground Zero for an ancient, horrific, not-sparkly-nor-pretty vampire race’s takeover of the planet (because, as any New Yorker will tell you, it’s the center of everything); now that it’s in full swing, Centers for Disease Control docs Ephraim (Corey Stoll, still wearing the wig) and Nora (Mia Maestro) may have sussed out a cure, whereas Prof. Geezer Van Helsing (David Bradley) would just as soon kill ’em all. It’ll never reach Walking Dead-levels of hyper-fandom, but The Strain deserves credit for being faster-paced and more genuinely scary than that zombie soap opera.

Ray Donovan (Sunday, July 12, Showtime), season premiere: As imposing as he and his giant head are, Ray Donovan star Liev Schreiber is always thisclose to being overshadowed by secondary players (namely Jon Voight as Ray’s unrepentant bad-ass father, Mickey). To complicate matters in Season 3, Deadwood scene-stealer Ian McShane joins the show as a billionaire movie producer who hires Ray to retrieve his kidnapped son (discreetly, of course). Lesser threat Katie Holmes also comes onboard. (Cue the Inevitable Sex With Ray countdown clock.) Fortunately, now that Ray’s estranged from his family and is acting as a lone-wolf Hollywood “fixer” free of boss/mentor Ezra (Elliott Gould), his swagger seems to finally match his billing. But don’t worry—Mickey’s still a bad-ass.

Masters of Sex (Sunday, July 12, Showtime), season premiere: It’s 1966, and Dr. Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) are now famous, published authors of the Human Sexual Response journal. Even more shocking than all of this was in the ’60s: Caplan finally has a TV series that’s survived to see a third season!

The Jim Gaffigan Show (Wednesday, July 15, TV Land), series debut: Darren Star’s Younger, which premiered in the spring, was TV Land’s first toe in the rebranding water as the retro-network dumps Baby Boomers in favor of Gen-Xers (can’t keep catering to a demo that’s almost extinct—unless you’re the GOP). Here, laugh tracks and cheap sets are being replaced with single-camera film and a snarkier attitude, and The Jim Gaffigan Show is a far more gentle bridge between the two than Younger was. If you’ve seen Gaffigan’s stand-up, you know what he and this sitcom are about: Tubby white guy who tries to do right by his wife and kids, whom he tolerates as much as they tolerate him—oh, and he loooves junk food. If you already like his all-inclusive comedy, The Jim Gaffigan Show won’t do you wrong. For slightly more edge, stick around for …

Impastor (Wednesday, July 15, TV Land), series debut: Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville’s Lex Luthor) plays a hard-partying gambling addict who, to escape thugs and loan sharks, assumes the identity of a new pastor who was supposed to take over a small-town parish—and he later learns that the no-show Craiglist hire is also gay, hence, wackiness. Despite the deep-cheese setup, Rosenbaum sells Impastor with rogue-ish charm and some surprising comedy chops. It’s a funny pilot, but will it hold up for nine more episodes? It had better—TV Land has to fill those Dukes of Hazzard slots with something.

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Hannibal (NBC; Thursday, June 4, season premiere): Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) and Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) are hiding out in Europe—but can the doctor keep his “tastes” under the radar? What a bore that show would be.

Sense8 (Netflix; Friday, June 5, series debut): The Wachowski Brothers bring their Matrix-y weirdness to TV in the tale of eight people around the world who can tap into each other’s existences. Coincidentally, they’re all ridiculously good-looking.

Orange Is the New Black (Netflix; Friday, June 12, season premiere): The gang’s all back—and so is Alex (Laura Prepon), as well as new inmate Stella (Ruby Rose). Larry (Jason Biggs), not so much. Please contain your indifference.

Dark Matter (Syfy; Friday, June 12, series debut): The crew of an adrift spaceship wakes up with no memories, and to outside threats galore. Based on the graphic novel (woo!) and produced by the Stargate SG-1 team (uh-oh).

Proof (TNT; Tuesday, June 16, series debut): A brilliant-but-troubled surgeon (Jennifer Beals) is hired by a dying tech billionaire (Matthew Modine) to find proof—get it?—that death is not the end. TNT, maybe, but not death.

The Astronaut Wives Club (ABC; Thursday, June 18, series debut; pic above): Imagine Mad Men, but focused on the spouses of NASA heroes of the late ’60s. That would be a better show than this reheated network leftover—but the fashion is sooo cute!

Complications (USA; Thursday, June 18, series debut): A suburban doctor (Jason O’Mara) becomes embroiled in a gang war after saving the life of a kingpin’s son at a drive-by. From the creators of Burn Notice, so expect plenty of yelling and gunplay.

Killjoys (Syfy; Friday, June 19, series debut): A trio of sexy bounty hunters (Aaron Ashmore, Hannah John-Kamen and Luke Macfarlane) work the interplanetary warzone. It’s Firefly meets Guardians of the Galaxy meets a Canadian budget.

True Detective (HBO; Sunday, June 21, season premiere): Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch navigate murder and mustaches in the badlands of California. Hold your “Season 1 was better” critiques until at least after the opening credits.

Ballers (HBO; Sunday, June 21, series debut): A sports dramedy (!) about retired and rookie football players just trying to get by in Miami, starring Dwayne Johnson, Omar Miller and Rob Corddry, and produced by Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg. Hut!

The Brink (HBO; Sunday, June 21, series debut): Bureaucrats (including Jack Black and Tim Robbins), military hawks (Geoff Pierson) and fighter pilots (Pablo Schreiber) scramble to avert World War III. It’s like Veep with higher stakes and (slightly) less profanity.

Mr. Robot (USA; Wednesday, June 24, series debut): Vigilante hacker by night/corporate IT drone by day Elliot (Rami Malek) is recruited by the mysterious “Mr. Robot” (Christian Slater) to e-destroy the company he works for. Never give up on TV, Slater.

Humans (AMC; Sunday, June 28, series debut): In the “parallel present” of suburban London, the must-have accessory is a “Synth,” a human-like servant/friend. But what happens when the Synths develop emotions? And, since they’re British, how do you tell?

Zoo (CBS; Tuesday, June 30, series debut): Animals are rising up against humans all over the planet, and only a “renegade biologist” (James Wolk) can stop the pandemic. People of Earth: If your lives are in the hands of a “renegade biologist,” you’re boned.

The Strain (FX; Sunday, July 12, season premiere): New York City is being overrun with not-pretty vampires, and it’s up to Eph (Corey Stoll) and Nora (Mia Maestro) to create a cure for the epidemic … if they can keep it in their pants. NYC, you’re also boned.

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll (FX; Thursday, July 16, series debut, pic below): A failed ’90s rock band (featuring Denis Leary and John Corbett) gets a second shot at fame with a hot young singer (Elizabeth Gillies). This will be the second-wiggiest FX series after The Americans.

Bojack Horseman (Netflix; Friday, July 17, season premiere): Everybody’s favorite Hollywood horse has-been (voiced by Will Arnett) is back! And so is Todd (Aaron Paul)!

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (Syfy; Wednesday, July 22, movie): The chompstorm hits Washington, D.C.! Ian Ziering and Tara Reid are back! Mark Cuban is the president! Ann Coulter is the VP! Like you needed any more reasons to root for the sharks.

Wet Hot American Summer (Netflix; Friday, July 31, series debut): An eight-episode prequel to the beloved 2001 cinematic classic, all about the first day of summer at Camp Firewood—with all of the cast members anyone cares about! Bring on the short-shorts!

Fear the Walking Dead (AMC; TBA, series debut): A six-episode flashback to the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, set in Los Angeles. No “renegade biologists” involved.

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You’re the Worst (FX): Like the equally surprising Broad City, You’re the Worst shattered preconceptions of the “edgy” cable comedy with smarts, heart, bracing moments of relationship realism (and outright debauchery), and a fearless cast led by relative unknowns Chris Geere and Aya Cash. No worries that the Toxic Twosome and gang are moving to FXX this year … right?

The Bridge (FX): Apparently, FX can only sustain so many quality dramas: The Bridge was canceled after a low Season 2 turnout, and those who did show up were treated to a Tex-Mex stew that was a little overcooked—yet it was still better than most crime dramas.

The Strain (FX): Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampires-bent-on-world-domination tale transitioned from novel to TV series with only a few bumps and a whole lotta scares (not counting Corey Stoll’s hairpiece), and reclaimed bloodsuckers from the glam universes of Twilight and True Blood.

Ray Donovan (Showtime): His sketchy character’s name is the title, and star Liev Schreiber did his damndest to take the show back from father figure Jon Voight in Season 2, mostly succeeding while taking on a twisted new FBI antagonist (Hank Azaria, killing it).

Masters of Sex (Showtime): There’s no power couple on television as compelling and confounding as Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), and they’re barely “together,” in any sense. Was anything easy in the ’50s? Besides Virginia? (Rim shot.)

Welcome to Sweden (NBC): This Swedish import turned up on NBC’s summer schedule seemingly by accident, a subdued and charmingly awkward comedy that should have no place on an American network—and yet it worked fantastically. Watch for Welcome to Sweden when it “accidentally” comes around again.

Garfunkel and Oates (IFC): Musical-comedy duo Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci are no Flight of the Conchords—they’re better, at least when it comes to song quantity and lack of indecipherable New Zealand accents. For Garfunkel and Oates, TMI means both Too Much Information and Touching Musical Interludes.

Outlander (Starz): Starz finally acknowledged that women watch TV—and then told them they’d have to wait six months for the second half of their new favorite Scottish bodice-ripper. Spartacus never would have stood for this.

The Knick (Cinemax): In yet another instance of indie-film directors realizing that television is where it’s at, Steven Soderbergh directed this 10-part oddity about a doped-up doc (Clive Owen) at the precipice of modern medicine—he’s House 1900, with a premium-cable license to shock.

Doctor Who (BBC America): Peter Capaldi. That is all.

Bojack Horseman (Netflix): A former sitcom star man-horse (voiced by Will Arnett) and his slacker roommate/squatter (Aaron Paul) get turnt up and knocked down in Hollywood. It’s Californication: The Cartoon.

Sons of Anarchy (FX): The seventh and final season of Hamlet on Harleys was overwrought, overindulgent and over-the-top—and you expected, what? For all his faults, showrunner Kurt Sutter is still a passionate storyteller, and the finale of Sons of Anarchy was a fittingly chaotic closer that tied up (almost) all of the loose ends. Time to retire the patch and the musical montage.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox): It’s not the Andy Samberg Show; it’s one of the best ensemble comedies on TV, something Fox is nailing better than anyone these days. Witness …

New Girl (Fox): By no logic should New Girl be this good in Season 4, but Zooey Deschanel and crew have become a fuzzy juggernaut of funny that still manages to surprise every week, putting one-note sitcoms like The Bang Theory and, well, every other half-hour on CBS to shame.

Gotham (Fox): Batman without Batman? Yeah, it’s working.

The Blacklist (NBC): James Spader’s “Red” Reddington is one of the best villain-heroes (villo?) ever, and Season 2 of The Blacklist has found his FBI foil Lizzy (Megan Boone, finally free of the wig) stepping up her game, if not her crazy. And kudos for selling Pee-Wee Herman (!) as an underworld “fixer.”

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC): Season 2 has introduced real danger and consequences for the agents, as well as Marvel-flick-worthy action and effects. Stop asking, “When’s Iron Man gonna show up?” and just get onboard, already.

Black-ish (ABC): Anthony Anderson’s TV resume (Law and Order, Treme, The Shield) didn’t indicate that he could head up a family comedy, but new sitcom Black-ish—I know, dumb title—is more consistently funny than Modern Family is now, thanks to strong assists from Tracee Ellis Ross and, yes, Laurence Fishburne.

The Flash (The CW): The sunny answer to Arrow (seriously—is it never daytime over there?) is the most comic-booky of all DC Comics adaptations, and the most fun.

Jane the Virgin (The CW): Usually, “Golden Globe-nominated” means nothing—but Jane the Virgin is the first CW show to ever score a nom! That’s also the first time I’ve ever used the term “nom.” Firsts all around, here.

The Walking Dead (AMC): Team Rick is on the road, finding new places to explore and more people (zombie or not) to kill—less talk and more rock makes for a more entertaining apocalypse; hopefully, they won’t slow down when Season 5 resumes in February 2015.

Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways (HBO): Idiotic Foo-hater rhetoric notwithstanding, Dave Grohl’s Great American Music Roadtrip uncovered gems even the most hardcore music geek wouldn’t be aware of. Real people playing real instruments writing real songs—embrace it while you still can.

American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX): The best elements of three previous seasons came together on No. 4, Freak Show, along with more gorgeous cinematography, more sympathetic characters and more Jessica Lange than expected. The early loss of Twisty the Clown seemed like a misstep, but the rest of this season has been perfect.

Benched (USA): With no hype besides airing after the craptastic Chrisley Knows Best, new comedy Benched, about a former corporate attorney (Happy Endings’ Eliza Coupe) slumming it in the public defender’s office, managed to crank out 12 hilarious episodes this winter—and no one even noticed.

The Birthday Boys (IFC): The sketch-comedy troupe relied more on themselves than producer Bob Odenkirk (who was presumably busy making Better Call Saul) in Season 2; the result was a hysterical collection of bits with callbacks and intertwining gags galore. (Fast-food spoof “How Do You Freshy?” is an instant classic.) It ain’t Mr. Show, but it’s as close as anyone’s come in years.

The Comeback (HBO): The first season nine years ago was merely uncomfortable; The Comeback’s out-of-the-blue comeback was borderline torturous—in the funniest possible way. Lisa Kudrow’s depiction of fame-junkie desperation is so masterful, you have to wonder why anybody’s even paying attention to Jennifer Aniston.

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (Bravo): Bravo’s first foray into (overtly) scripted programming is not only not terrible; it’s actually pretty great. How the hell did this happen?

Mike Tyson Mysteries (Adult Swim): Whatever drugs were responsible for the creation of this … thank you.

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The Summer of Too Much TV is nearly over and, besides Sharknado 2: The Second One and True Blood: The Finally Final Season, nothing has made much of a splash in ’Merica’s above-ground pool.

Even hyper-hyped new series like FX’s The Strain and TNT’s The Last Ship can barely keep up with the Kardashians’ ratings, even when the networks apply their convoluted “Live + 7” formulas (the audience watching the show as it airs is multiplied over seven days by DVR procrastinators, divided by a show’s hashtagged tweets and added to projected thought patterns of potential viewers squared by unicorn farts).

As far as The Only TV Column that Matters™ is concerned, the biggest disappointment of the summer is AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, the ’80s period piece about the dawn of the personal-computer boom that premiered with a sizzling pilot episode and decent ratings, only to get stuck in its own “We’re building computers! / No, we’re building dreams!” loop as star Lee Pace dismissed it on talk shows with hosts who only wanted to hear about his raccoon movie, anyway.

Despite the huge True Blood lead-in, HBO’s depresso-drama The Leftovers doesn’t exactly have viewers—wait for it—enraptured (thanks, I’ll be here all week … unless I suddenly disappear without a trace).

In addition to The Strain, FX has the second bizarro season of The Bridge this summer, as well as alleged new comedy Partners (unless the network has finally realized, “Wait, we put what on Monday nights?!”) and genuine new comedies Married and You’re the Worst (which get funnier every week—I hate the “You just have to stick with it” defense as much as you do, but I’m using my power of attorney), and a wacky little farce called Tyrant. For those unfamiliar—which the ratings indicate is all of you—Tyrant is about a murderous, psychopathic rapist of a Middle-Eastern dictator who somehow still hasn’t won the hearts of FX viewers. What does he need, a Harley and a SAMCRO patch?

And what the hell is going on with Extant? Viewers are fleeing CBS’ “event” series faster than Halle Berry can go through shapeless Target sweaters, either because it borrowed too many sci-fi themes to keep track of, or because it’s making less damned sense every week, or because, well, shapeless Target sweaters. The interest level in her alien baby and her Small Wonder A.I. son is now on par with “Hey, are those hicks and that Twilight chick still trapped Under the Dome?”

CBS also has a summer drama about sexy lawyers—no, really. It’s called Reckless, and it’s on Sunday nights. After Unforgettable. I’m not making these up!

Also swishing under the TV radar is The Quest, ABC’s Survivor-meets-LARPing reality-competition show that premiered to a resounding “Meh, verily” and still hasn’t attracted the fantasy crowd as well as, oh, fantasy, does. It’s like soccer: You might spend hours watching children play it out of parental obligation, but watching overpaid adults do it requires a special kind of dementia.

Were you aware that The CW aired shows called Famous in 12, Backpackers and Seed this summer? More than once? True. One was about TMZ trying to spin fame out of nothing; one was about a pair of bros backpacking across Europe; and one was about a sperm donor—none of which clicked with the network’s audience like previous summers’ programming, a screensaver of a CW logo bouncing from corner to corner two hours a night.

But they still attracted more eyeballs than Miley Cyrus: The Bangerz Tour, a July NBC concert special that now has a verified viewership of four frustrated housewives, since all them have filed “indecency” complaints with the Federal Communications Commission. So Miley simulated a BJ on Abraham Lincoln—what have you done for your country lately?


DVD ROUNDUP FOR AUG. 19!

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Spidey (Andrew Garfield) swings back into action to battle Electro (Jamie Foxx) and protect his girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone). He’s successful on at least one front—oh, don’t spoiler-whine; that comic came out, like, 40 years ago. (Sony)

Fading Gigolo

Fioravante (John Turturro, who also directs) becomes a professional man ’ho to help out his broke pal Murray (Woody Allen), who in turn acts as his manager/pimp. The best Jewish-themed porno flick since Kosher Salamis. (Millennium)

Gilligan’s Planet: The Complete Series

This cartoon actually happened in 1982: Gilligan and the castaways (the original voice cast, minus Ginger) build a rocket to get off the island, only to  overshoot and land on another planet. Saturday mornings were weird back then. (Warner Archive; released July 22)

A Good Man

An obese former special-ops agent (Steven Seagal) who goes off the grid and becomes an apartment manager is forced back into action when Russian mobsters threaten his tenants. Hey, tubby’s gotta eat, and dead tenants don’t pay rent. (Lionsgate)

Live Nude Girls

After inheriting his uncle’s Hollywood strip club, Shane (Mike Hatton) discovers that the joint is a dump run by a drunk (Dave Foley) and crazy strippers (Bree Olson, Asa Akira and Tera Patrick). Not really seeing a problem here. (Screen Media)

More New DVD/VOD Releases (Aug. 19)

Boardwalk Empire: Season 4, A Brony Tale, The Good Wife: Season 5, Jarhead 2: Field of Fire, The Millers: Season 1, The Mindy Project: Season 2, Once Upon a Time: Season 3, Only Lovers Left Alive, Parenthood: Season 5, Parks & Recreation: Season 6, Revolution: Season 2, Rosemary’s Baby.

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Welcome to Sweden, Working the Engels (Thursday, July 10, NBC), series debuts: Comedy Welcome to Sweden is based on creator/star Greg Poehler (younger bro to Amy) and his real-life experience of moving around the world with his Swedish girlfriend (played here by Josephine Bornebusch); the show premiered in that country months ago. It’s only on NBC because of Amy (who guests in the premiere episode); Welcome to Sweden has a subtle, sweet, indie-flick vibe that would probably play better on cable—unlike Working the Engels, which drives home its few laughs with a sledgehammer. Oh, and that’s Canadian filler.

Hemlock Grove (Friday, July 11, Netflix), season premiere: The Only TV Column That Matters™ asked a question upon the debut of this supernatural soap opera last year, and I’ll ask it again: Why is anyone surprised that terrible things happen in a town called Hemlock Grove? Season 1 didn’t sit well with critics, who largely dismissed the style-over-sense creep-theatrics of executive producer/occasional director Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) when they should have just embraced the chaos and marveled at star Famke Janssen’s endless array of white outfits. (Seriously, they’re stunning.)

Ray Donovan, Masters of Sex (Sunday, July 13, Showtime), season premieres: As awful and eff’dup as Ray (Liev Schreiber) and the Donovan clan are, they still won over viewers last summer—even paired with the turrible final season of Dexter. (Let us never speak of that again.) This season, Hollywood “fixer” Ray and ex-con dad Mickey (Jon Voight, still stealing the show) face some new heat from a FBI bureau chief (Hank Azaria) and a journalist (Vinessa Shaw), who are both very interested in the Boston mobster Mickey plugged last season. Meanwhile, in the Season 2 premiere of Masters of Sex, Dr. Masters (Michael Sheen) and “Dr.” Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) deal with being fired and labeled a ho, respectively.

The Strain (Sunday, July 13, FX) series debut: If you’re thinking, “Not another vampire show,” don’t worry—The Strain is definitely not another vampire show. The Guillermo del Toro/Chuck Hogan series (based on their book trilogy of the same name) kicks off with a slow-burn premiere episode as an international flight full of “dead” passengers and crew lands in New York City; it’s up to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agents Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and Martinez (Mia Maestro) to decipher how and why. The “how” is in freight: an ancient, vampiric monster let loose during the flight. The “why” is a conspiracy to turn Earth into Planet Vampire, with NYC as ground zero. According to sources (i.e., friends of mine who actually read), the series follows the source material faithfully, and the pilot sets up what should be, in a summer filled with apocalyptic TV epics, a genuinely scary experience. Suck it, True Blood.

Matador (Tuesday, July 15, El Rey), series debut: El Rey network el jefe Robert Rodriguez pulled off an impressive TV series remake/expansion of his From Dusk Till Dawn film earlier this year, but Matador seems like even more of a stretch: Tony “Matador” Bravo (Gabriel Luna) is a beloved soccer star who enjoys a jet-setting playboy lifestyle off the field—but it’s all a cover for his work as a CIA agent; his fame affords him access to criminal power players, but it’s also an increasing liability (unless he’s on a mission in the U.S. of A., where “soccer star” fame is equal to “badminton idol”). It may sound like a gag, but Matador is slick and action-packed, which we could all use after a month of the World Cup.


DVD ROUNDUP FOR JULY 15!

Labyrinth

Two women, one in Medieval times (Jessica Brown Findlay) and one in the present day (Vanessa Kirby), search for the Holy Grail in the Canadian/CW miniseries event—and there’s neither a Muppet nor a David Bowie in sight. (Lionsgate)

Orphan Black: Season 2

In the spectacular second season, Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) fights to protect her daughter from pro-clone Rachel (also Maslany), endangering the other clones (all Maslany). And yet more clones are introduced—guess who plays ’em? (Warner Bros./BBC)

Sx_Tape

From the producers of Paranormal Activity comes something different—ha! It’s more “found footage” horror cheese, this time about a dude filming sexy times with his annoying girlfriend in a—wait for it—insane asylum. Yes, really. (Well Go USA)

Rio 2

Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), Jewel (Anne Hathaway) and the kiddies hit the Amazon and run across new wacky characters (voiced by Rita Moreno, Bruno Mars and Kristin Chenoweth). Child critics rave, “Loud colorful blobs and doodie jokes!” (Fox)

Under the Skin

An alien in human skin (Scarlett Johansson) seduces and kills a succession of lonely men in director Jonathan Glazer’s meditation on humanity and the utter futility of resisting Scarlett Johansson, even in a bowl wig. (Lionsgate)

More New DVD Releases (July 15)

Bethlehem, Black Dynamite: Season 1, A Day Late and a Dollar Short, The Face of Love, The Junior Spy Agency, The Last Days, The M Word, A Night in Old Mexico, Open Grave, The Surrogate, Torment, Toxin.

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