Game of Thrones got you down? Big Bang Theory re-runs not cutting it? Fear not, fellow TV fans, there are a few series returning just in time for summer. Here are three heavy hitters and I promise none of your favorite characters will be murdered. Actually, I can't even promise that.
1. Dexter - Showtime - June 30
Miami may have lost the Super Bowl but South Beach's favorite serial killer is back in a big way. By now, we know the show's formula. Dexter will be visited by some dead people and make some bad people dead. Deb’s poor coping skills will be on display. Count on her continued descent into madness as a major plot line in the final season of Dexter. Masuka will be inappropriate and Quinn will be linked to a new hottie. What's new with season eight? We have a new serial-killer expert, Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), who will more than likely take an interest in Dexter. The show's best seasons may be behind it, but Rampling's inclusion certainly beefs up the cast. It may be unfair to saddler her with expectations but Dexter was at it's finest when guest stars took center stage (John Lithgow).
2. The Newsroom - HBO - July 14
Aaron Sorkin's misogynistic baby is back for another season live from the Atlantic Cable News studios. At it's best, The Newsroom eviscerates sloppy cable news coverage, which continues to dominate the news. At it's worst, the staff members at ACN conduct their personal lives with the skill and grace of high school freshmen. Actually, that's an insult to the mature high schoolers found in MTV's Teen Wolf. That hasn't stopped Yahoo's newly purchased Tumblr universe from dedicating thousands of posts to hypothetical Newsroom hook-ups. I'm partial to Dloan (Don and Sloan). The show displayed enough promise in its first season to warrant a second go-around, but its sophomore campaign will need to turn up the heat on the media and feature fewer attempts at mushy puppy love to be considered compelling.
3. Breaking Bad - AMC - August 11
In theory, the writers want the audience to identify with the work's protagonist. Vince Gilligan spoon-fed us that traditional model in season one. Walter began his journey a broken man, physically and emotionally weak. As he grew stronger, the audience shared in his newfound empowerment. And then he got away from us, as though each evil deed poisoned his soul. After five seasons he is almost unrecognizable.
The once harmless high school chemistry teacher has been transformed into a cold, calculating force. Season six is teeming with serious questions: Can Walter White be saved? Should he be? How many will fall in his wake as he pursues more and more power? Gilligan's masterpiece will force his audience to decide if it's on the hunt for WW in season six or hoping for the great Heisenberg to escape and cook another day. We're in unchartered waters as Breaking Bad reveals it's conclusion to the finest story told in the history of television.