So, it’s well and truly summertime and all of our favourite shows are on hiatus, right? Wrong, as the summer period has slowly but surely become as filled with entertaining TV as the rest of the year. We’re not sure when it happened, but returning series from last year are among the most exciting, and must-see summer TV has snuck in alongside the smell of sun lotion and sweaty bodies (just us?). While we’re in the thick of it, then, here are ten shows Girls Talk TV are watching this year.
The very welcome return of Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino comes in the form of surprisingly similar, but vitally different, ABC Family series Bunheads. Following a former Vegas showgirl to a small town with her new husband, things get messy when the husband dies, leaving his whole life to her. Starring Gilmore Girls favourites like Kelly Bishop, it retains the small-town charm of the former show, with a distinctly Lorelai-esque central character, but sets itself apart in other ways.
Bedlam’s first series was riddled with problems, but a cast shake-up that saw all but one character leave whipped up hope that the second run of episodes would improve on the issues and tap into the potential fans had seen all along. Sadly, that hasn’t so far been the case, and we’re just hoping that the second series’ last two episodes will up their game in search of an elusive third run.
Canadian sci-fi Continuum, currently showing on Showcase, is a little hidden gem, and one that everyone should go watch right now. Initially set in a heavily policed future world, where a group of hard-core terrorists have been condemned to death for killing thousands of innocent people in the crossfire, we follow their plan to travel to 2012. Unfortunately, Peacekeeper Kiera goes with them, and she must navigate our brave old world whilst trying to find a way back to her husband and son. It’s a smart sci-fi series that has the courage to tap into post-9/11 concerns, and has the potential to become a Fringe-style mind-bender.
We’re still not entirely sure when Doctor Who is coming back to the BBC, but we’re informed it’s sometime in August, and we can’t bloody wait. With the promise of Amy and Rory stepping out of the TARDIS, and a brand spanking new companion for Matt Smith’s Doctor, it sounds like the seventh series of New Who will freshen things up more than has been possible thus far in the Stephen Moffat-era.
Fans were a little worried about Pretty Little Liars after last season’s revelation, given how quickly mystery shows tend to descend after showing their cards. Twin Peaks anyone? But the show has somehow managed to maintain momentum, even if a side-effect is cheapening the reveal of ‘A’, as a new villain takes to torturing the girls. It’s nastier, with an added sense of real peril, and bodes well for a show that desperately needs to grow up and break out. It’s still one of our favourite shows, and we’re curious to see how everything turns out.
The start of the MTV original drama renaissance, Awkward won itself many fans last year when it rose from the average to become a smart and witty teen drama to counteract the 90210’s and Gossip Girl’s of their peer networks. Using the talents of rising star Ashley Rickards to their full potential, the show was a surprise hit, and has returned in 2012 to much anticipation. There’s the obligatory love triangle to resolve, as well as the cliff-hanger that Jenna’s mother had left the note that caused much of season one’s aggravation.
One of the pleasant surprises of last year, it’s a wonder that MuchMusic/CW show The L.A. Complex has come back at all. With dire ratings, everyone thought that the little experiment for the notoriously teen-targeted network would be deemed a failure, but they still decided to bring it back for a second run. The plots might be soapy, but have an edge rarely seen on US shows, and aren’t afraid to show issues like self-harm, homophobia and over-the-hill desperation. It’s an undiscovered hit, and we hope it gets the viewers it deserves when it comes back in August.
Mixing the best bits of crime shows and sci-fi, Alphas was an incredibly confident addition to an overcrowded genre last year, and promises to come back bigger and better when it returns in August. We can also look forward to more stellar guest stars, as the first season was riddled with geek favourites that invited a notoriously loyal cult following, as well as appealing to the masses by rooting the other-worldly plots in the real-world.
We can’t sing the praises of Teen Wolf enough, as the second series of the MTV show has come back smarter, glossier, funnier, and more horrific than ever. The shows first season was a mixed bag of brilliant ideas and happy accidents, but lacked the confidence of older shows like The Vampire Diaries. This year, however, the writers seem to have nailed the tone just right, and thus taken more risks with character development and plotting that have so far paid off in entertainment and intrigue. It’s one of the best shows on TV, so don’t let the title put you off.
Returning earlier this week in the US, but already wrapped up in the UK, Episodes comes back this summer with more of the same, it’s weird mix of British and American humour creating one of the most original comedies to come out in a long while. Matt LeBlanc will continue to pull people in, but they’ll stay for the brilliant ensemble cast and, in a world where US remakes of British shows are more and more common, it’s nice to see some gentle ribbing of the television industry.
Tell us what you’re watching in the comments below.