PT’s Top 5 Returning Summer Shows

Falling Skies, Under the Dome, Rizzoli & Isles, Longmire, Defiance

Summertime… and the living is easy! Just as delicious as that fresh fruit salad, our favorite summer TV shows are back in season. As much as I miss my regular season shows, the summer does have some really wonderful shows to offer, perfect for lazy summer evenings and something to ease us through the hiatus!

To make this more challenging, I decided to force a choice – limiting myself to only five shows. It was really hard, because I am looking forward to nine returning shows this summer. Thankfully they are not all premiering at the same time. Rather, their appearances are staggered all over the summer months. Add in the new shows that I want to check out, and it still makes for a busy summer!

Longmire (A&E, season 3, Monday June 2, 10 pm EDT)

Longmire cast

Of all the crime drama shows I watch I think that Longmire ranks high among the best. The acting is top notch and the stories are compelling and entertaining. They draw you in and keep you fully engaged for the entire hour.

What makes Longmire different is the approach to crime solving. It is decidedly low tech. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good DNA scan as much as the next person, and in the first episode of season 3 which was recently aired, Walt actually did use forensic tests twice, certainly a record for him! But in general, their investigative techniques are mostly low tech boots on the ground type of stuff, which is a refreshing change from the other shows.

Falling Skies (TNT, season 4, Sunday, June 22, 10 pm EDT)

Falling Skies

Post apocalyptic world shows seem to be reasonably popular right now, but the cable shows have a better survival rate (RIP, Revolution). This tale of an alien invasion keeps you guessing from one week to the next about what will happen next.

The end of season 3 left viewers with a lot of questions. The alliance between the Volm and the humans became strained when the Volm announced the humans were being shipped off to Brazil for safety while they wiped out the Espheni. The 2nd Mass opted to stay and fight on their own. Then there is the issue of Alexis, the half human child of Anne and Tom. She is aging very quickly and will certainly be a major player this season, but exactly how is not clear.

Defiance (SyFy, season 2, Thursday June 19, 8 pm EDT)

Defiance 2014

Another post apocalyptic world, but in this one the aliens did not invade. They came to colonize, not realizing the planet was inhabited. I must ask – seriously? They can build ships for interstellar travel, and their sensors cannot detect all the signs of life on our planet? Yeah, the official explanation is that 50,000 years ago when they left their home worlds there were no signs of intelligent life on earth, but was it so hard to program a wake-up call during flight if things changed? Ok, so maybe they might have known we were here and just did not want to admit it. I’m just sayin’…

Either way, after a long war between humans and Votans, their sleeper ships mysteriously exploded, causing them to crash to earth, which unleashed their terraforming device. The result is that we now have an earth full of humans and aliens of different species, sharing a planet that has been partially transformed. At the end of the first season, the status quo was completely turned on its ear, so the new season is promising that characters will be in different places doing different things. Did I mention it has aliens? Yeah, lots of them.

Rizzoli and Isles (TNT, season 5, Tuesday, June 17, 9 pm EDT)

Rizzoli & Isles

This is a police procedural that manages to skillfully interweave the interpersonal drama with the case of the week. It is the story of best friends who are totally opposite in temperament and style and from two very different family backgrounds who work together as a medical examiner and police detective.

What I enjoy about this show is the family vibe of the characters. It helps that Rizzoli also works with one of her brothers, and her mom works in the cantina at the police station. But, it goes beyond that. All of these people, the team of detectives, and the rest of the people working at the precinct are a de-facto family, with all the baggage that brings. Entertaining baggage, in my opinion!

On a sad note, it has been announced that the show will address the death of actor Lee Thompson Young, who played Detective Frost, in the first two episodes of the new season. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in August of 2013.

Under the Dome (CBS, season 2, Monday June 30, 10 pm EDT)

Under the Dome

This program was a surprise to get a second season, because it was planned to be a one season, 13 episode run based on the Stephen King book. I know that a lot of people were skeptical that the premise could be sustained for more than one season, me included! I mean, after all, how are these people going to survive, cut off from the world and resources like food and water? Well, during the first season they actually addressed that, and food and water, while causing a power struggle, did turn out to be renewable. What was not renewable was medicine. For instance, a meningitis outbreak severely depleted the supply of antibiotics in the town.

The second season, which by the way will be preceded the week before (June 23) with a special program looking back at season one and ahead to season two, will hopefully bring us some answers to our many questions. What is the link to the 4 teens? Who will be the next to die? How do they take the dome down, and do they really want to do that?


What are your favorite returning shows? What do you think of my favorites? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.