Ever since the days of Stick Stickly (Nickelodeon’s popsicle stick seasonal host of the ’90s), I’ve loved me some summer television. When you get burnt out on bikinis and barbeques, crank up the AC, crack open a beer and check out these summer shows.
True Blood (9 p.m. June 10, HBO) – Sookie, Bill and Eric return for season five of the Southern-fried vampire drama. Christopher Meloni puts a face to the elusive Vampire Authority, Fellowship of the Sun’s Rev. Steve Newlin is now a vampire and Russell Edgington is back.
The Newsroom (10 p.m. June 24, HBO) – Aaron Sorkin presents this new series about the inner-workings of nightly cable news. Jeff Daniels stars as an anchor gone rogue.
Wilfred(10 p.m. June 28, FX) – Down-and-out Ryan (Elijah Wood) tries to kill himself with a bottle of pills but survives, and now he sees his neighbor’s dog as a human man in a dog costume. If you missed the twisted dark comedy’s debut, catch up before season two premieres. Consider it “summer reading.”
Louie (10:30 p.m. June 28, FX) – Following Wilfred is Louis C.K.’s series about a fictional version of himself. Expect more of the priceless self-deprecating humor from the stand-up comedian/single dad.
Weeds (10 p.m. July 1, Showtime) – Who shot who? This is what we’re left asking after Season 7’s cliffhanger. The Botwins have relocated in New York City and are back in their element (weed), but a mystery gunshot leaves everything up in the air.
The Real L Word (10 p.m. July 12, Showtime) – Whitney, Romy, Cori and Kacy are back for my ultimate guilty pleasure (it’s like Real Housewives, but with lesbians!) and a slew of new chicks. This season, they’re going bi — coastal, that is, shooting in New York and L.A.
WEDNESDAY MAY 16
Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – Alex is working on a class project on “family harmony” but no one at home seems to be getting along.
Don’t Trust the B—— in Apartment 23 (9:30 p.m., ABC) – Chloe attempts to welcome June to the wonderful world of casual sex. Meanwhile, a Chloe-James Van Der Beek sex tape surfaces and James worries it might affect his odds on Dancing With The Stars.
THURSDAY MAY 17
Community (Season Finale, 8 p.m., NBC) – On this epic Community night, the second season wraps up over three episodes (two follow 30 Rock, from 9-10 p.m.). The gang attempts to help Pierce secure his inheritance, stop Chang from taking over and end the sandwich shop dispute. Community will return in the fall on a new night — Friday.
30 Rock (Season Finale, 8:30 p.m., NBC) – Despite Liz’s warnings about vow renewals being bad luck (see: “JLo and Marc Anthony, Don and Vicki from OC”), Jack asks her to officiate his and Avery’s ceremony. The aptly titled episode, “What Will Happen to the Gang Next Year?” comes just after NBC announced its real-life fall schedule. The TGS crew will stick around for one more year: 30 Rock has been renewed for a final 13-episode season.
FRIDAY MAY 18
Magic City (10 p.m., Starz) – Ike gets caught lying to Ben and is forced to make it up to him. Danny tries to use Stevie’s affair with Lily to blackmail him. More gross, bloated bodies from the ocean!
SATURDAY MAY 19
Saturday Night Live (Season Finale, 11:30 p.m., NBC) – Mick Jagger rounds out SNL’s 37th season. Drinking game suggestion: Whenever that annoying Maroon 5 song gets stuck in your head (and it will), drink until it stops!
SUNDAY MAY 20
Game of Thrones (9 p.m., HBO) – How to follow an episode with charred children, a sweet Cersai and a multiplying blue-mouthed warlock? Theon faces consequences at Winterfell; Danaerys refuses to leave Quarth without her dragons; Jon is turned over to the Lord of Bones.
Veep (10 p.m., HBO) – Bloggers take to calling Selina by some unsavory nicknames and the Veep becomes obsessed.
Mad Men (10 p.m., AMC) – It’s Christmas at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce! We finally catch up with Lane (he’s been MIA since the glorious Pete-punching event), Harry helps a friend and Betty presumably saves up those Weight Watchers points for a slice of Christmas ham.
Girls (10:30 p.m., HBO) – Hannah returns home to Michigan for her parents’ 30th anniversary, reconnects with old friends and goes on a date but suffers a blow when her dad (is he gay?) has a crisis.
TUESDAY MAY 22
Glee (Season Finale, 9 p.m., Fox) – Turn on the Vitamin C, ’cause it’s Graduation Day for Rachel, Finn, Kurt and the rest of McKinley High’s seniors (but not necessarily from the show). Glee will return in the fall, moving to Thursdays.
CONTACT JAC KERN: