The 15 Geeky Coolest-Looking TV Shows Airing this Summer (and Whether They're Worth Watching)

By Greggory Basore in Daily Lists, TV
Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 6:00 am

#10. Under The Dome Season 2

Soooo... here's a bit've a confession. Seeing commercials about this show makes me feel a wee bit guilty. A dear friend of mine gave me a copy of the book for my birthday back in August 2010 and I still haven't read much past the first dozen pages or less. That's because it was still too soon after my Stephen King binge of 2004, when I was trying to catch up on all the books and short stories connected to The Dark Tower Saga before reading the final volume. Reading The Dark Tower books 5, 6 and 7 plus a trunk load of other stuff by King within the span of about a year warped me and burnt me out on King's work for the foreseeable future. Someday I'll be ready to read more of his stuff again. But today is not that day.

Premiering: June 30th
The Premise (in case you can't watch videos right now):

A town in Maine is suddenly enclosed by a gigantic clear dome and has to deal with this frightening new world. The second season looks to be upping the stakes with new and weird qualities emerging from the dome (which may be alive) and an announcement that "Two Shall Surely Die".

Is it recommended as watch-worthy?:

Yeah. It's got Dean Norris in it so how bad could it be? Seems like a fun sci-fi show that will eventually end up in my collection of DVDs or Blu-ray. The idea of a tense survival situation in a confined space on that scale offers a lot of potential for interesting plot development. It's got 13 episodes in the first season so it's not too hard to get caught up in time to be ready for season 2.

What should you have on hand to enhance the enjoyment of this show?:

A snow globe, a home made dome shaped cake and a some kind of iced drink with one of those dome shaped lids to complete the theme.

#9. Gravity Falls Season 2

No trailer, no firm date set, not a lot to go on. This here is a show that more than a few of my friends have been telling me I should watch and if the above clip is representative of the typical fare of the series I can see why..

Premiering: Sometime during Summer 2014
The Premise (in case you can't watch videos right now):

A pair of young fraternal twins named Dipper and Mabel travel from their hometown of Piedmont, California to Gravity, Falls Oregon for a summer vacation. Once settled in to the home of their Great Uncle or 'Grunkle' Stan, the kids start to find some weird things going on. It seems that the local legends and ghost stories of Gravity Falls may have more truth to them than meets the eye as the kids start getting drawn into weird and goofy adventures of a paranormal nature.

Is it recommended as watch-worthy?:

Yeah. All the buzz I been hearing about this indicates that it's got "off the rail awesomeness" built into it. The town of Gravity Falls is an amalgam of parts of the state that creator Alex Hirsch visited while working for Laika Studios in 2006. A turn off sign for "Boring Oregon" caught his eye and he's described the show as what he'd imagine that town might be like, or perhaps what the opposite of it might be. It also draws inspiration from the Oregon Vortex.

Being set in the state I live in is definitely a plus that puts it high up on my "get around to list" but life's too long to worry about when I sit down to watch it. I might just start up with the second season which as of this writing has not been given a firmer date than Summer of 2014. Hopefully Comic-Con will bring more answers if they haven't come by then.

What should you have on hand to enhance the enjoyment of this show?:

A copy of The Big Book of Weird, some Sasquatch Beef Jerkey and a 711 Slurpee.

#8. The Last Ship

Oh Yeah! Some Michael Bay action goin' on. And he's only producing instead of directing, which I know is also the case with that turtle movie coming up the pike. Speaking of the turtle movie, does anyone else think it's lamentable that director Jonathan Liebesman will get very little recognition for that movie? No matter how good or bad it is, a lot of people who like or dislike it will think it was directed by Bay who will get all the praise/blame which is kinda whack. Anyway...

Premiering: June 22nd
The Premise (in case you can't watch videos right now):

A naval vessel that's been on radio silence for 4 Months in Antarctica is coming to the end of their "so classified even the CO doesn't know what the science team are doing" mission only to find out that during their time time away from home, 80% of the global population has died from a viral pandemic and the lead scientist is in charge of making a vaccine which other nations are in pursuit of with a vehemence. The clock is ticking and the race is on to save the world!

Is it recommended as watch-worthy?:

If you like action TV with a realistically plausible sci-fi concept then yeah I think so. If that genre isn't your aisle at the tea shop then give it a pass. I know that the name of Michael Bay might put some people off, but I really have don't have that big a problem with his non-nerd property adapted works.

What should you have on hand to enhance the enjoyment of this show?:

A copy of a book on viral biology so you can look for technical errors on the show or be impress by how much they get right, box of MREs so you can eat what military guys eat, and a frozen margarita.

#7. Legends

Anyone wanna get the obvious joke out of the way here? Shall we skip it altogether? We all know what people are gonna be suggesting because of who the actor playing the protagonist is. No matter what happens during the first season, those jokes are gonna wear thin rather quick. Otherwise, this looks pretty cool.

Premiering: August 13th
The Premise (in case you can't watch videos right now):

Sean Bean is an FBI agent who has changes made to his personality and memories in order to blend in so well undercover that he isn't found out. When a stranger points out the obvious question of "How do you know if any of your memories are real or that you're not being played by your own agency?" things start to go down the rabbit hole of espionage, domestic spying and paranoia. The premise for the show seems like an over used engine put into the hands of a gifted mechanic. Some worn out genres can jump to life when you have the right guys behind the wheel, which seems to be the case here.

Is it recommended as watch-worthy?:

Yeah. It's gonna get a lot of comparison's to Person of Interest and The Bourne Identity but so what? If it rocks, it rocks. If it sucks, it sucks. There's enough room for another "The government can't be trusted and you don't know the real truth yet." show on the airwaves.

My only minor quip is the title of the series, which sounds rather generic. I'm not gonna hold it against the producers that they made the series and called it this instead of letting another studio use the name for a TV successor to Legend with Tim Curry, but I don't mind if anyone else does.

What should you have on hand to enhance the enjoyment of this show?:

A books from the Disinformation Series, a polaroid camera, newspapers to cut up, scissors to cut the paper, card stock posters, yarn and thumb tacks for making a cool conspiracy map, an energy bar and a cup of coffee so you can simulate the amount of energy a paranoid person feels.

#6. Manhattan

Realizing what they had done both for, and to the world by creating the atomic bomb and having to live with it is worse thing than any fate I can imagine for the scientists at Los Alamos. This series looks to be going for capturing the in-the-moment heartache in a way that conveys what life was like at the time for those individuals.

Premiering: July 27th
The Premise (in case you can't watch videos right now):

Scientists are working on a project in the 1940s that requires absolute secrecy from their loved ones, some of whom are living with them on a base in New Mexico. They are expected to lie to their families about what they're doing, which is designing a weapon that if it works will not only change the course of World War II, but alter the very fabric of the human condition in an irrevocable way.

Is it recommended as watch-worthy?:

If you like historically based movies and TV shows then this looks like a good one to check out. The subject matter and the history behind it almost certainly means that it's gonna be a dark and depressing ride with a downer ending, but that's what a story about the creation of nuclear weapons should be.

What should you have on hand to enhance the enjoyment of this show?:

A copy of Fallout: J. Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szillard and the political science of the atomic bomb, a plate of cooked mushrooms and an IPA to toast the end of the pre-nuclear world.

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