Updated for new ABC Family series Stitchers
As of the current count, I see
ten eleven new sci fi / fantasy shows set to debut in the months of June through July (and that’s tacking on Golan the Insatiable because it’s right on the cusp with its May 31st premiere). That’s quite a lot considering the hot months also have (at current count) over a dozen returning shows (you can see the full schedule at this link). So which ones are worth watching? Hard to say, especially for some of the new entries, but below is my guide to each of those. I have included the official synopsis for each with my comments beneath the entries. They are listed in order of their premiere dates (links are to the show’s page on this site):
Golan the Insatiable (FOX, Debuted May 31st): Golan is the dark lord or an alternate universe, that comes to our world and is befriended by a little goth girl and her family and buffoonery ensue as he deals with everyday life. IMDb.com
Johnny Jay Says: I never caught this one when it ran on FOX’s Animation Domination, and I haven’t seen the premiere yet (but it’s in my queue). Looks like it might be worth giving a look for some Summer chuckles, though.
The Whispers (ABC, Debuts June 1st): We love to play games with our children. But what happens when someone else starts to play with them too? Someone we don’t know. Can’t see. Can’t hear. In The Whispers, someone or something — is manipulating the ones we love most to accomplish the unthinkable. ABC.com
Johnny Jay Says: This is based on the Ray Bradbury short story “Zero Hour” which definitely has me intrigued. But it was originally scheduled to bow at mid-season before getting pushed to a Summer run which has me worried that it may be starting off DOA just like The CW’s The Messengers. I’m still going to give it a look.
Stitchers (ABC Family, Debuts June 2nd): Follows Kirsten, a young woman recruited into a covert government agency to be ‘stitched’ into the minds of the recently deceased, using their memories to investigate murders and decipher mysteries that otherwise would have gone to the grave. Working alongside Kirsten is Cameron, a brilliant neuroscientist whose passion for the program is evident in his work. The secret program is headed by Maggie, a skilled veteran of covert operations, and includes Linus, a socially immature bioelectrical engineer and communications technician. Kirsten’s roommate, Camille, a gifted computer science grad student, is also recruited to use her skills to assist Kirsten in her new role as a ‘stitcher.’ ABCFamily.com
Johnny Jay Says: Yet another series about someone who talks to/communicates with/sees through the eyes of/channels dead people and uses the information to solve crimes. This one has received almost no promotion (I just stumbled on its existence today), which is not necessarily a good sign. I know I will be passing on it.
Sense8 (Netlfix, Debuts June 5th): One gunshot, one death, one moment out of time that irrevocably links eight minds in disparate parts of the world, putting them in each other’s lives, each other’s secrets, and in terrible danger. Ordinary people suddenly reborn as “Sensates.” Netflix
Johnny Jay Says: Will we get the good Wachowski brothers (Matrix) or the bad Wachowski brothers (Jupiter Ascending)? And will J. Michael Straczynski be able to temper their excesses? The early reviews have not been great on this one, but if JMS is involved then I have to check it out.
Dark Matter (Syfy, Debuts June 12th): In Dark Matter, the crew of a derelict spaceship is awakened from stasis with no memories of who they are or how they got on board. Facing threats at every turn, they have to work together to survive a voyage charged with vengeance, betrayal and hidden secrets. Syfy.com
Johnny Jay Says: The first of two Syfy Summer space-based shows (the other being Killjoys) and some high expectations are coming with this one. It was created by Stargate vets Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie and is based on their comic book series of the same name. The network is hoping this can become one of their next flagship franchises, so the pressure is on. I will definitely be tuning in.
Proof (TNT, Debuts June 16th): Jennifer Beals plays Dr. Carolyn Tyler, who has suffered the recent, devastating loss of her teenage son, the breakup of her marriage and a growing estrangement from her daughter. Carolyn is persuaded by Ivan Turing (Modine), a cancer-stricken tech inventor and billionaire to investigate cases of reincarnation, near-death experiences, hauntings and other phenomena, all of it in the search for evidence that death is not the end. TNTDrama
Johnny Jay Says: This series may only have minimal genre elements but still may be of interest to those who have tuned into supernatural dramas like Ghost Whisperer and Medium. It does have the added bonus of having Eureka‘s Joe Morton (an all-time favorite actor of mine) onboard in a supporting role, but I can’t say this will be high on my Summer viewing list.
Killjoys (Syfy, Debuts June 19th): Killjoys follows a fun-loving, hard living trio of interplanetary bounty hunters sworn to remain impartial as they chase deadly warrants throughout the Quad, a distant system on the brink of a bloody, multiplanetary class war. Syfy.com
Johnny Jay Says: The second of Syfy’s space-based Summer entries (the other being Dark Matter), this looks like it could be just good shoot-em-up fun. It might pair up well with TNT’s GI-Joe-saves-the-world series The Last Ship.
Humans (AMC, Debuts June 28th): A bold new eight-part drama series from AMC, Channel 4 and Kudos, is set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a ‘Synth’ – a highly-developed robotic servant eerily similar to its live counterpart. AMCTV.com
Johnny Jay Says: Coming from AMC, this one has some pedigree to live up to as that network has produced two of the best shows television ever with The Walking Dead and non-genre entry Breaking Bad (and I hear that Mad Men show wasn’t half bad either). This one is currently at the top of my Summer viewing list and I hope AMC lets it fully explore some of the interesting concepts in its premise.
Zoo (CBS, Debuts June 30th): A global thriller about a wave of violent animal attacks against humans sweeping the planet. James Wolk will play Jackson Oz, a young, renegade American zoologist who spends his days running safaris in the wilds of Africa when he begins noticing the strange behavior of the animals. As the assaults become more cunning, coordinated and ferocious, he is thrust into the race to unlock the mystery of the pandemic before there’s no place left for people to hide. CBS.com
Johnny Jay Says: This one sounds like it could deliver some good, dumb fun with its global/ecological disaster premise in the same vein as TNT’s The Last Ship. I think they would be best advised to keep it action-packed and not too heady (just like the other show mentioned) for it to appeal to the Summer audience. Seems like it could be a good counter-balance to the heavier material that Humans and Fear the Walking Dead will deliver (both of which are topping my Summer viewing list).
Scream (MTV, Debuts June 30th): What starts as a YouTube video going viral, soon leads to problems for the teenagers of Lakewood and serves as the catalyst for a murder that opens up a window to the town’s troubled past. Everyone has secrets. Everyone tells lies. Everyone is fair game. MTV.com
Johnny Jay Says: How do you do Scream without ghostface (which is the current plan as I understand it)? For that matter, how do you drag this out into an ongoing series? The movie franchise was already getting tired by its third entry, so I don’t have a lot of confidence in this show breathing new life into the original concept.
Fear the Walking Dead (AMC, Debut TBD): What did the world look like as it was transforming into the horrifying apocalypse depicted in The Walking Dead? This summer, AMC will answer that question with Fear The Walking Dead, an all-new original series set in Los Angeles, following new characters as they face the beginning of the end of the world. AMCTV.com
Johnny Jay Says: This seems like a can’t miss entry as it expands on the world of The Walking Dead and gives us a look at the early days of the zombie-pocalypse. This one, along with the same network’s Humans, will be topping my viewing list for the Summer.