Looking forward to…

Call me silly but I always get sentimental this time of year.  Every TV lover knows what I’m talking about, May/June is the time of series finale, some shows get cancelled, others might get picked up but you still won’t see your favourite characters till fall.  But it doesn’t have to mean settling for reruns and watching music videos on MTV for three months.  There are still those that can keep us company during lazy summer days.  Here are four TV series which are coming back for new seasons this June/July in the US.   Each of them is of a different genre which guarantees you’ll like to get a hold of a DVD copy of at least one of them.

Leverage

Leverage is “Mission: Impossible” meets “Ocean’s Eleven”. If you’re a fan of both franchises, you’ll love this team.  They call themselves the modern Robin Hoods and this is exactly what they are.  A group of the best con artists: Hitter – Eliot Spencer (Christopher Kane), Hacker – Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), Grifter – Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), Thief – Parker (Beth Riesgraf) and ‘the man with the plan’ – Nate Ford (Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton).  They unite to bring justice to ordinary people hurt by corruption, corporations and all the rich and powerful of this world.

Leverage’s strongest aspect is definitely chemistry between the characters.  Some relationships you just can’t fake and watching the show you instantly notice warm personal relations between the lead actors.  This makes the show even better giving that extra spark to already smoothly written dialog and puns.  Kudos to the casting people for getting those five together, leaving us with some unforgettable, laugh-out-loud type of quotes, most of them coming from or directed towards the show’s geek, Hardison.  The “jobs” are packed with action and brilliant approaches to every case.

People tend to argue on the superiority of the slightly similar British TV show “Hustle”. I say: watch both.  And “get ready to get even”!

US – Season four starts 26th June on TNT.

UK – Seasons one and two were shown on Bravo – no news on who is showing season three

DVD – First two seasons available on DVD, third one to be announced soon.

 

Entourage

Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) is a promiscuous young actor discovered by agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), Vincent and his three best childhood friends – Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), Eric (Kevin Connolly), and his older brother Johnny “Drama” (Kevin Dillion) move to the City of Angels to follow Vince’s bursting career.

The show’s brightest star is undeniably Jeremy Piven.  The choleric agent whose offensive and sexist lines would get beeped out if the show wasn’t a HBO production stands exactly for what the movie industry is like – aggressive, highly competitive and merciless.  But also wild, wealthy and full of sinful pleasure.  The show is known for numerous cameos by stars like Jessica Alba, Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, James Cameron, Kanye West and Eminem, and for giving a porn star Sasha Grey a supporting role in the seventh season.  Even though the main theme in the show is brotherhood – it really focuses on the relationship between those four guys and the strength of male friendship – it’s a pretty good guide to making it in L.A. It shows how succeeding is the easy part – the most difficult one is staying on top.  It also makes you aware that there’s nothing like good advertisement and talent is not always what matters most in this business. Managed by the right people anyone could be the next Robert Pattinson – and then get a cameo on “Entourage” if it wasn’t finishing after this season.

US – Eighth and final season starts 24th July on HBO.

UK – Eighth season to be shown on Sky Atlantic in July

DVD – All seven seasons available.

 

True Blood

After three scandalous seasons True Blood doesn’t really need introducing.  What would happen if a group of Japanese scientists created synthetic blood that allowed vampires to live amongst people like equals?   Not a lot of good let me tell you. A waitress/mind reader Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) gets to experience it on herself.  Meeting the love of her life, vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), seems to bring drastic consequences to her whole life and the life of her loved ones.

If you’re willing to get a hold of any DVD edition of True Blood I would make sure that your younger sister/daughter isn’t going to secretly watch it hoping for a sparkling vampire romance.  The amount of wild, uncontrollable and sometimes disgusting sex scenes along with disturbing violence may scar her for life.  Also another word of advice based on autopsy – eating while watching True Blood is not a good idea unless you’re used to the sight of people’s hearts being ripped out while you’re enjoying your steak.  That said I can now only hope your nerves are strong enough so I don’t have you on my conscience.  Not being a fan of horrors and vampire flesh exploding on the screen myself I personally rarely watch one episode of True Blood without looking away.  Still, the plot and the dark, dangerous world in the show are so enticing a little bit of blood and human particles here and there can’t put me off watching it.

US – Season four starts 26th June on HBO.

UK – All three season shown on FX, no news yet on four

DVD – All three seasons available.

 

Damages

Glenn Close stars as Patty Hewes, THE heartless and successful lawyer in New York City.  When a vacancy at Hewes & Associates opens, thousands of eager to work with the biggest legend of the law environment want it.  Surprisingly, Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), law graduate with a strong backbone gets the spot.  She immediately discovers that in this profession no one plays by the rules she was taught in law school and gets new lessons on life while working on Arthur Frobisher’s case.

Damages got numerous awards such as Golden Globe and Emmy’s not without a reason.  The cases the office is dealing with throughout each season and the way the plot advances is very compelling. The show is known for its brilliant acting, not only the terrific Glenn Close but also the young actress Byrne and my personal favourite Zejlko Ivanek.  The structure of the show is unusual, every episode starts with a flash forward showing the events that all the action took by the characters led to.  It’s a great trick to get viewers glued to the screen and come back for the next episodes.  Damages took legal drama to the new level with its horrifying world of big names, big crimes and big money.

US – Season four starts 13th July on DirecTV.

UK – BBC has shown Seasons 1-3 with repeats on Universal

DVD – Seasons 1-3 available.

 

Pretty Little Liars

A year after Alison’s mysterious disappearance her four best friends get reminded of the tragic past events and the secrets they all have are threatened to be exposed. When Ali’s body gets found the investigation continues and with the helpless police the girls, Aria (Lucy Hale) who is dating her teacher, closet lesbian Emily (Shay Mitchell), bankrupt miss popularity Hannah (Ashley Benson) and a brainiac Spencer (Troian Bellisario) who has a particular skill of getting close with her older sister’s boyfriends decide to uncover the murderer themselves.  They quickly learn that digging deeper than you should is not the safest way to get through high school and they get sucked into the game where a mysterious blackmailer “A” seems to always be one step ahead of them.

Pretty Little Liars is darker than Gossip Girl, although not as dark as Veronica Mars (and not as good, to be completely honest). It holds a certain amount of tension but since all the leads always lead to nothing we’re constantly left hanging and the emotions start to wear off.  Still this is a great teen drama and will definitely be more satisfying to those seeking teenage love problems and fashion than those craving great suspense, crime and mystery.

US – Season two starts 14th June on ABC Family.

UK – First season is currently being broadcasted on MTV,

DVD – Season one is available.

Marta Konopka

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