Our final days of classes are soon to be a distant and fuzzy memory, clouded by the sting of UV rays and the familiar scent of sunblock. Summer is fast-approaching, which means some much needed time to relax, decompress and question your life choices after yet another grueling semester. But who needs Vitamin D and sandy beaches when you have a recliner and a guide channel that’s saturated with some fantastic new shows? Here are a few of the upcoming series I am most excited for. You can bet your firstborns I’ll be holed up safely indoors for these summer premieres.
"Penny Dreadful" is Showtime’s newest original series and grisly brainchild of three-time Oscar nominee John Logan (“Gladiator,” “Rango,” “Skyfall”). Set in 19th century Victorian London, the gothic horror show breathes life to some of classic literature’s most celebrated and haunting tales, fusing characters from works such as “Dracula,” “Frankenstein” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray” into one incredibly sinister monster mash. The series stars Josh Hartnett as a charming trickster with a haunted past who is recruited by the mysterious Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) and Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) to help locate a missing girl. Together they dive headfirst into a dangerous supernatural underworld, battling a trove of malevolent creatures that have long plagued the area. Though the network has released the pilot episode as part of a promotional campaign, the series officially premieres Sunday, May 11.
Apparently summer is the new Halloween and I’m totally okay with that. Like "Penny Dreadful,” "The Strain" is an FX original sci-fi horror from the dark and fantastical minds of Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) and Chuck Hogan and is based on their 2009 novel of the same name. The series stars Corey Stoll (House of Cards) as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, an epidemiologist at the Center for Disease Control. He and his team of colleagues must fight to save the human race after a mysterious outbreak of an ancient vampiric virus threatens to ravage the earth and its mortal inhabitants. If the show is anything like the various promotional posters and sizzle reels that have been circulating the internet, "The Strain" is sure to please horror fans across the globe with its grotesque take on the classic genre. Though the exact date has yet to be determined, the season is set to premiere some time in July.
"Orange is the New Black"
Last summer I stumbled across "Orange is the New Black" during a nightly Netflix excursion and ended up binging the entire first season in less than three days. I laughed my ass off and it was worth all of the self-loathing that ensued; it’s surprisingly hard to feel bad about yourself when you’re watching someone named “Crazy Eyes” urinate on another woman’s prison cell floor. Based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, "Orange is the New Black" is a Netflix original series as well as Jenji Kohan’s (“Weeds”) latest comedic endeavor, which details the real life account of a 30-something-year-old white collar woman who is sentenced to 15 months in prison for a decade-old crime. Girlfriend drama, religious fanatics and racial rivalries had me cackling like a hyena and I cannot wait to experience more of the hilarious escapades that define life in a women’s prison—according to Kerman, that is. Season 2 is set to be released June 6th.
After a two-year hiatus, Louis C.K. is ready to get back in the saddle. "Louie" is an FX original black comedy centering on a New York comedian and single father as he traverses the sometime bleak but usually hysterical trials of life in the city. The comedian decided to take a break after show’s third season back in 2012 to recoup and I don’t blame him, since Louis serves as the show’s sole writer, producer, director and editor. The series returns with 14 more episodes and two years worth of fresh material May 5.
So program your DVR’s, fill out your vacation forms and plan your pool parties for another day because summer 2014 might just make your cable subscription worth it.
Is there any television you’re looking forward to watching? Let Callie know at firstname.lastname@example.org.