Remember, years ago, when television seemed to be completely dead for the summer and we were left with nothing but reruns and poor reality shows? Never again! There is a lot of great television happening this June (and all summer) that will keep us occupied on those days when it’s too hot to go outside. From the return of USA and ABC Family dramas to the unfortunate end of two great FX series, here are the biggest TV events to watch in June.
June 6: Orange Is the New Black
Let’s get this one out of the way first: All you care about this month is Orange is the New Black. That’s fine! That’s all we care about, too. Thirteen brand-new episodes will arrive on Netflix in one big chunk at midnight so we can watch all weekend and talk about it on Monday morning. Season 2, which goes even darker than the first season, introduces new characters (watch out for Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) who battles with Red) and continues the bleak but funny adventures of the rest of the Litchfield inmates.
June 10 & 11: USA Premieres
Bless networks like USA for premiering shows all throughout the year so there is always something to watch on TV. Season 6 of Royal Pains premieres on June 10, and it’s a fun and low-stakes Hamptons-centric medical drama to help you kill time this June.
On June 11, Suits Season 4 begins (only two months after the Season 3 finale!), and it’s going to be a great one. The finale ended with Mike leaving the firm to work elsewhere, both for his benefit and the firm’s, but how long will that last?
After Suits, the undercover cop drama Graceland returns for its second season.
June 10 & 16: ABC Family Premieres
ABC Family is another network that keeps us happy during the summer. First, on June 10, is the return of everyone’s favorite soapy teen drama Pretty Little Liars. Immediately following is the premiere of Chasing Life (the pilot is available online now), a drama about a 20-something woman whose life is turned upside down when she’s diagnosed with cancer.
On Monday June 16, the second half of the third season of Switched at Birth premieres at 8 PM, and we’ll finally get some closure on that night Bay and Emmett spent together. Right after is the Season 2 premiere of The Fosters, the show you inexplicably keep forgetting to watch.
June 9: True Blood‘s Final Season Premieres on HBO
Depending on who you ask, True Blood is ending too early or not early enough. Either way, Season 7 will be the show’s last. The ten-episode season will center on Eric’s fate, the increased tension in Bon Temps, and heavily focus on the “Hep-V” vampires.
June 16: Louie finale on FX
Every season of Louie prompts fervent Internet discussion, but Season 4 is getting more attention than usual. Each episode has launched a million words — especially “So Did The Fat Lady” and the possible TV movie “Elevator” — as the show explores deeper themes. As Jason Bailey points out in his weekly recaps, “Louie (and Louie) are so clearly interested in doing much more than merely being funny,” and it’s never been more apparent than in this season. The finale airs on June 16. Let’s hope he doesn’t make us wait over a year for Season 5.
June 17: Fargo Finale on FX
Will 2013-14 be known as the TV season when FX finally broke out? Between Louie, The Americans, and now Fargo — which we already named one of our favorites of the season, and it hasn’t even finished its first season — FX is consistently churning out some really special programs. Fargo is a unique crime mystery in that we already know who did it and why (and Molly mostly has it all figured out, too), so from day one, it’s just been a countdown to how Lester will finally get caught — and how much blood will be shed before it all comes to an end.
June 21: Orphan Black Finale on BBC America
At first it seemed impossible that Orphan Black would manage to top its spectacular first season, but so far, Season 2 has been nonstop engaging action, each episode more intense than the last. If you haven’t joined the Clone Club yet, there’s still some time to catch up, because based on the thrills this season — I still can’t stop thinking about Helena in that bloodied dress — you’re going to want to watch the finale live.
June 27: Girl Meets World Premieres on Disney
TV show spin-offs have become as inevitable as blockbuster movie sequels and are just as hit or miss. For every hit like Frasier, there is an embarrassing mess like Joey. Girl Meets World has the potential to go either way: Boy Meets World was such a big, cultural experience and most of the cast is returning, but Girl Meets World is also unabashedly preying on our nostalgic feelings and will likely disappoint. But hey, it’s definitely going to be interesting!
June 29: The Leftovers Premieres on HBO
It’s no secret that out of all the new shows that are premiering this summer, I’m most excited about The Leftovers. I’m not entirely sure how well the novel will lend itself to a serialized drama, but I have total faith in Damon Lindelof and Tom Perotta, who co-wrote the pilot, and the news that Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) is directing the pilot only increased my excitement. Plus, if any network can pull this off, it’s definitely HBO.
June 29: Showtime Finales
I may have been lukewarm on Penny Dreadful in the beginning but, as predicted, it remains a fascinating show, and it’s slowly coming together. The Season 1 finale airs on June 29 at 10 PM, and I’m becoming more and more sure that it’s going to end up being a great season of TV.
Before that, Nurse Jackie airs its Season 6 finale (it has already been renewed!) and Californication finally, thankfully ends for good after seven frustrating, meandering seasons.