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Summer Viewing: Five Best New TV Shows

BY BOBBY HANKINSON

With the traditional television season drawing to a close, now’s the perfect time to catch up on all those shows your friends can’t stop talking about. Before season premieres kick off this fall, indulge in some lighter fare with these recent TV highlights.

The following five shows are perfect for breezy summer viewing. These series just finished their first seasons (so it’s not an insurmountable amount of content to consume), and they’ve all been renewed for a second season. Episodes can be found on iTunes or Amazon Instant Video.

More, AFTER THE JUMP

The Mindy Project (Fox)

Starring: Mindy Kaling (The Office), Chris Messina (Julie & Julia)

The Pitch: In this sitcom, "having it all" also includes having a brain.

Why It’s Worth It: Kaling does “quirky” without letting her protagonist devolve into an Etsy caricature.

 

Arrow (The CW)

Starring: Stephen Amell (Hung), John Barrowman (Torchwood)

The Pitch: Imagine Christopher Nolan’s Batman films starring Abercrombie models.

Why It’s Worth It: Beyond the super sexy hero, the show generally sticks to gritty realism instead of hokey spandex tropes.

 

Nashville (ABC)

Starring: Connie Britton (American Horror Story, Friday Night Lights) and Hayden Panettiere (Heroes)

The Pitch: It's a twangy musical about two dueling divas.

Why It’s Worth It: Britton's and Panettiere's layered performances really sell the emotional highs and lows on this evening soap.

 

Elementary (CBS)

Starring: Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting), Lucy Liu (Charlie's Angels)

The Pitch: Law & Order meets House.

Why It’s Worth It: This contemporary take on Sherlock Holmes scratches that procedural itch while providing an effective character study.

 

The Carrie Diaries (The CW)

Starring: AnnaSophia Robb (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Freema Agyeman (Dr. Who)

The Pitch: Travel back in time with Carrie Bradshaw.

Why It’s Worth It: It transcends ‘80s pastiche and Sex and the City reverence by eschewing winking irony for a sweet (if sometimes overly earnest) coming-of-age story.

What will you be watching this summer?

Bobby Hankinson is a Brooklyn-based writer and digital strategist. His days are spent thinking about digital engagement for non-profits, while his nights are spent shimmying to Spotify, reading comic books and watching the best (and, let's be honest, worst) TV has to offer. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe and Houston Chronicle.

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Comments

  1. Yummy!

    Posted by: Fenrox | Jun 6, 2013 2:36:46 PM


  2. Back off gurl, he's mine!

    Posted by: David Hearne | Jun 6, 2013 2:37:07 PM


  3. I'm excited for THE MINDY PROJECT!

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 6, 2013 2:38:29 PM


  4. The Mindy Project's Chris Messina is my next husband. :)

    Posted by: Gigi | Jun 6, 2013 2:49:45 PM


  5. "Nashville's" Britton and Panettiere are far better than the cliched scripts...and songs they're given. The series didn't interest me in revisiting next season until they introduced a gay character, not unexpectedly semi-closeted for a show set in Rednecklandia, but that they did it at all contrary to the expectations of their demographic is courageous, and I'm eager to see where it goes from here. Besides, the actor portraying him, Chris Carmack, is sex on a stick.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jun 6, 2013 2:50:44 PM


  6. I'm loving Hannibal at the moment.

    Posted by: Peter Hargmier | Jun 6, 2013 2:54:13 PM


  7. So in love with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.

    Posted by: DavidR | Jun 6, 2013 2:59:17 PM


  8. I totally agree about Arrow. The show's not perfect, too much CW-themed nonsense blended in, but it got better and better as the season wound down. Amell for example is incredibly hot, but is certainly struggling to find the character early on, but he gets much better at it. In the meantime, they get his shirt off at least once an episode, and lather him with oil. Most of the cast is very strong, and great stunt work and combat scenes, too. Can't wait for Season 2, where I bet they'll really hit their stride.

    Posted by: Marty | Jun 6, 2013 3:05:40 PM


  9. "The Carrie Diaries" is much better than it has any right to be AnnaSophia Robb is magnetic.

    Posted by: Mikey | Jun 6, 2013 3:12:17 PM


  10. Coincidentally, the only summer show I am interested in is the return of Whose Line is it Anyways? No Drew Carey but Aisha Tyler is hosting.

    Hopefully it fairs better than Drew's Improv-aganza.

    Posted by: Sam | Jun 6, 2013 3:39:31 PM


  11. Coincidentally, the only summer show I am interested in is the return of Whose Line is it Anyways? No Drew Carey but Aisha Tyler is hosting.

    Hopefully it fairs better than Drew's Improv-aganza.

    Posted by: Sam | Jun 6, 2013 3:39:31 PM


  12. Hannibal all the way-yes I'm an unashamed Fannibal ..... And now that Dr Lector has moved from just smelling Will Graham to gas lighting him ( but he will give him orange juice and people noodle soup and watch over him ....) I can't get enough of -HANNIGRAM

    Posted by: slippy | Jun 6, 2013 3:43:10 PM


  13. The only reason Arrow is even remotely a good show is because of the hunk factor, because it's definitely can't be its in-depth storylines and complex characters or good acting.

    Posted by: Bryan | Jun 6, 2013 4:45:30 PM


  14. Arrow takes a while to find it's footing, but it's not as hokey as Smallville was a lot of the time. It gets much better as the season goes along and the actors get a feel for their characters. The show really paid off with interest in the season finale, and i'm totally looking forward to season 2.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Jun 6, 2013 5:29:05 PM


  15. Elementary is the only one worth watching.

    Posted by: Paul | Jun 6, 2013 5:51:36 PM


  16. I would have to say Da Vinci's Demons and Hannibal are the two top new shows to watch.

    Hannibal is made by the guy who made Pushing Daises and Dead Like Me, and Da Vinci's Demons is by some of the people that made that excellent Spartacus Blood and Sand TV show and I believe one of the people making the new Superman movie is involved with it. There's a Kryptonite chunk in the background of the latest episode.

    Though Da Vinci was supposedly gay in reality, they made him very closeted bi in the TV show. Also, Da Vinci's Demons is very much a mix of fact and fantasy so don't freak out when he meets Vladd Dracula or sees Excalibur and the spear that stabbed Jesus on the cross in the Vatican vaults. It's also a very anti-religion TV show so it will likely upset the people that believe in that crap.

    Posted by: Yaoi | Jun 6, 2013 7:33:40 PM


  17. I would have to say Da Vinci's Demons and Hannibal are the two top new shows to watch.

    Hannibal is made by the guy who made Pushing Daises and Dead Like Me, and Da Vinci's Demons is by some of the people that made that excellent Spartacus Blood and Sand TV show and I believe one of the people making the new Superman movie is involved with it. There's a Kryptonite chunk in the background of the latest episode.

    Though Da Vinci was supposedly gay in reality, they made him very closeted bi in the TV show. Also, Da Vinci's Demons is very much a mix of fact and fantasy so don't freak out when he meets Vladd Dracula or sees Excalibur and the spear that stabbed Jesus on the cross in the Vatican vaults. It's also a very anti-religion TV show so it will likely upset the people that believe in that crap.

    Posted by: Yaoi | Jun 6, 2013 7:33:40 PM


  18. @Slippy I am also a Fannibal. The casting and acting on that show is amazing, and the style really shows that it is from the Pushing Dasies creator.

    I find that the actors in the TV show are even better than the ones in Red Dragon and Manhunter movies.

    I'm so happy it was renewed. Hopefully NBC will move it to a proper time slot next season so it can get the ratings it deserves.

    Posted by: Yaoi | Jun 6, 2013 7:43:13 PM


  19. Arrow is amazing from beginning to end, the stories are great and the acting is incredibly. Seriously, the cast is wonderful.

    The only CW-ness of it all is in the love triangle, but it seems like such a remote part of the story line that who cares?

    Posted by: Ryan | Jun 6, 2013 7:43:48 PM


  20. Don't really like Elementary, but that's probably because I watch the UK Sherlock TV show and can't watch a lesser version made for the US that is dumbed down for mass consumption.

    I do like Arrow though, but that's because I love comic stuff, AND JOHN BARROWMAN IS AWESOME!

    Posted by: Yaoi | Jun 6, 2013 7:52:02 PM


  21. I love the Mindy Project.

    Posted by: Glenn | Jun 6, 2013 8:22:33 PM


  22. The Mindy Project is hysterical, I highly recommend it!

    Posted by: Derek | Jun 6, 2013 9:04:02 PM


  23. you left out "TEEN WOLF" and the 8th/final season of Showtime's "DEXTER"..that's the shows I'll be watching..the only thing besides the "hunk factor" for Arrow is that Amell is very good to his fans..the show went downhill so quick for me and I did look at about 8-9 episodes..

    Cheers.
    Tony(NYC)

    Posted by: tonyC | Jun 7, 2013 5:32:36 PM


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