When I grew up, with a set of TV rabbit ears that would only tune in five channels, summer TV was a wasteland. Cable networks have been giving us fresh new programming (of varying quality) during the summers for a few years, and the networks are stepping up from reruns and burning off shows too terrible to take up valuable ad space in the fall and spring seasons.
Not only are we getting a wider variety of not entirely terrible summer TV, this summer there are several shows featuring interesting (hopefully) female characters.
The Fosters (ABC Family, Mondays 9pm, EST) – The Fosters is about a biracial lesbian couple who are raising a family of adopted, foster, and biological children. While the show can be a bit precious, I can totally overlook it. I’m so excited by seeing something other than a straight marriage in prime time, I can totally deal with the Afterschool Special vibe. Plus, it’s pissed off One Million Moms. The cast is lead by Sherri Saum and Teri Polo, two actresses you’ll recognize instantly by their faces if you don’t already know their names.
Orange is the New Black (Netflix Instant, July 11) – Orange is the New Black will be the fourth original series developed by Netflix, and the previews look hilarious. Alyson is planning on reviewing this for us this summer.
Camp (NBC, premieres July 10 ) – I was a camp kid, so I’m already pretty interested, and I loved Wet Hot American Summer, which this series seems to be at least partially inspired by. Plus, it features Rachel Griffiths, who deserves a palate cleanser after putting in all those years on Brothers and Sisters.
Mistresses (ABC, Mondays 10pm EST) – I’ve seen the pilot for this as well, and it has the potential to become a fun summer diversion. The first episode was rough, despite a winning and winsome cast, the dialog is groan-worthy and the plots are more than a little ludicrous, and not in the good Scandal way. Worse, they’re ludicrous and boring, which really shouldn’t be the case in a show with as much sex as this one promises. Many series went on to be at least entertaining after a terrible pilot, so there may be some hope for Mistresses, but it’s too soon to tell. It also has the worst website I’ve seen in quite some time.