Come summer time, the only thing worth watching on the Big Four Networks is…when does football start again? Unless you’re a fan of reality shows and sitcoms that weren’t even good enough to make it on the midseason schedule, Fox, NBC, ABC, and CBS are all entertainment wastelands from June to August (the CW, too, but that’s year-round). Cable, on the other hand, is absolutely stacked, with both returning favorites (“Breaking Bad”!) and intriguing-sounding new shows (don’t make me regret calling you “intriguing,” “NTSF:SD:SUV”).
This is Warming Glow’s official summer TV preview, highlighting 25 shows, some great and some awful, but mostly somewhere in-between, that will keep you in the confines of your home instead of enjoying the warm weather and getting some much-needed exercise. (Also, before it’s brought up, “Beavis and Butthead” isn’t included because it doesn’t have an official premiere date yet.)
“Franklin & Bash” (TNT, June 1)
I’m looking forward to “Franklin & Bash” (it’s like the male version of “Rizzoli & Isles,” which returns July 11, FYI) because I’ll finally have a good reason for disliking Breckin Meyer. For years, the star of Road Trip and “Inside Schwartz” has bugged me, even though he’s in two shows I really like, “Robot Chicken” and “King of the Hill,” just because he looks so punchable. But now, when “Franklin & Bash” — about two “hotshot lawyers” played by Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who presumably don’t play by the rules — premieres, I’ll have visual proof of why I dislike Breckin Meyer. Hopefully the world follows suit.
“Men of a Certain Age” (TNT, June 1)
Really, it’s good! I hate “Everybody Loves Raymond,” too, and think that Major League: Back to the Minors is the one weak spot in the otherwise perfect Major League trilogy (I have no previous grudge against you, Andre Braugher), but “Men of a Certain Age” is a great summer stay-at-home show. It’s easy to find yourself watching multiple episodes at a time, and Braugher, Ray Romano, and Scott Bakula (Dr. Beckett/Captain Archer!) have convincing chemistry between them. Although I can’t decide if “Men” makes me happy to be 23 years old or sad that I’m not in my 40s, I still suggest giving the show a chance.
“Childrens Hospital” (Adult Swim, June 2)
Rob Corddry, Megan Mullally, Rob Huebel, Ken Marino, Erinn Hayes, Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Henry Winkler, Malin Akerman, Nick Offerman, David Wain, Nick Kroll, Ed Helms, Jason Sudeikis, Joe Lo Truglio, Lizzy Caplan, Jon Hamm…the number of insanely funny people who have appeared on “Childrens Hospital” isn’t fair to other shows; they’re hogging all the talent. Season 3 begins at the very DVR-able time of midnight.
“Love Bites” (NBC, June 2)
Dead before it even aired, the hour-long comedy (uh oh) “Love Bites” was supposed to air in the fall of 2010. But a slew of behind-the-camera changes—like actress Becki Newton getting pregnant, even though her character on the show is a virgin, and Jordana Spiro fleeing back to her other, more successful show, “My Boys”—pushed “Love” back to midseason, then the summer, where it has a decreased episode count, from 13 to 9. Newton has already been cast on another pilot, so “Love Bites” is all set to be a trivia answer to a question no one ever asks.
“The Glades” (A&E, June 5)
Like “Dexter,” but for stupid(er?) people.