Let the Summer TV Binge-Watching Commence!

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With 'Texas Rising,' 'Aquarius,' above, 'Hannibal,' 'Orange Is the New Black,' 'True Detective,' 'Tyrant' and more, summer TV's binge watching will be h-o-t. (NBC photo)
With ‘Texas Rising,’ ‘Aquarius,’ above, ‘Hannibal,’ ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ ‘True Detective,’ ‘Tyrant’ and so much more, summer TV’s binge watching will be h-o-t. (NBC photo)

It’s going to be difficult to get outside this summer. The new television lineup is that good. Hannibal the cannibal is back, ooh, which friend will he be having for dinner? “True Detective” has another chance to blow our minds. The second season of “Tyrant” brings high drama and mayhem. It’s opulence in the Middle East where the Al-Fayeed’s money doesn’t make them happy; it makes them twisted.

There are plenty of new shows, too. The beach won’t stand a chance. How can it possibly compete with air-conditioning, a wide-screen TV and multiple movie-quality shows? Gosh, I love summer.

Mondays through June 15: “Texas Rising

The History Channel offers up a five-part miniseries about the Texas Revolution. Yeah, most of us have at least a teensy bit of knowledge about the Alamo, but we don’t really know much. Here’s a show that depicts how the Texas Rangers came to be. Get ready for lots of Texan-style wild, wild west with horses and wagons, men in uniforms, Native Americans forced to defend what’s theirs. Expect a whole bunch of testosterone. Bill Paxton plays Texas founding father Sam Houston. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the Texas independence hero Deaf Smith. A sexy uniform-clad Olivier Martinez plays Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, and a bearded, almost-unrecognizable Ray Liotta plays Lorca, the self-appointed Angel of Death. This show is also loaded with other big names: Brendan Fraser, Crispin Glover, Kris Kristofferson.

Watch the trailer:

Thursday, May 28: “Aquarius

“Murder, Madness, Manson.” is the tagline for this show that stars David Duchovny (“Californication,” “The X-Files”) as L.A. homicide detective Sam Hodiak on NBC’s 13-episode series, “Aquarius.” It’ll take us back in time to 1967 where Hodiak teams up with undercover detective Brian Shafe (Grey Damon). Shafe poses as a hippie in this mystery series about Charles Manson (Gethin Anthony, aka Renly Baratheon on “Game of Thrones”) and his creepy cult “family.” Get ready to binge-watch the whole series. This is the first time NBC had the sense to take a cue from Netflix — it made all 13 episodes of a new series available for online streaming. NBC.com, the NBC app and On Demand offer all 13 episodes for free viewing. This is a first for any main broadcast network. NBC will also show each episode weekly on TV. It’s also limiting the amount of advertisers who can buy time on “Aquarius,” which means shorter commercial breaks for both online streaming and television. Here’s another cool fact: The streaming episodes will include extra risque scenes that TV regulations wouldn’t allow. How cool izzat?

Watch the trailer:

Thursday, June 4: “Hannibal

He’s back. Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) will continue his macabre life and bizarre appetites. Season three offers more pieces of human meat and other adapted slices from the Thomas Harris books “Red Dragon,” “Hannibal” and “Hannibal Rising.” Gillian Anderson’s character, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, takes a very dark turn. She accompanies our favorite cannibal to Europe where they live together in high society. They’re dressed to kill and eating haute cuisine. Hugh Dancy is back as Will Graham, Caroline Dhavernas returns as Dr. Alana Bloom — who I will never forgive for betraying Will. Raul Esparza (“Law & Order: SVU”) is back as Hannibal’s nemesis, Dr. Frederick Chilton. Also returning are Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford, and Lara Jean Chorostecki as tabloid journalist “Freddie” Lounds, who continues to stick her neck out by nosing around. The “Tooth Fairy Killer” Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage) shows up a la “Red Dragon” — complete with his grotesquely glorious tattoos.

Watch the trailer:

Friday, June 5: “Sense8

The title of this show, “Sense8,” is a play on the word “sensate,” which means aware. The premise for this new Netflix sci-fi series is about eight strangers from eight cities all around the world who become psychically linked. “You are no longer just you” and others are “not really here.” The connected strangers all begin to feel anger, joy, pain, and pleasure — all seemingly at random. What’s happening is that they can access each other’s knowledge, skills and language. Car chases and lots of kabooms abound in this trippy offering. The main cast is Tuppence Middleton, Brian J. Smith and Doona Bae. Frankly, I haven’t heard of any of them, but the series was created, written and executive-produced by Andy and Lana Wachowski (“The Matrix” trilogy) and J. Michael Straczynski (“Babylon 5”), so we’ll see. This is the first foray into sci-fi for Netflix. The series premieres with 12 episodes available for streaming. Expect exploration into subjects typically only lightly skimmed through in other sci-fi efforts.

Watch the trailer:

Friday, June 12: “Orange is the New Black

Season three of the Emmy-award winning “OITNB” brings more comedy this season. We’ll see a loony love triangle. Stella Carlin (Australian model Ruby Rose) plays the instigator stirring up trouble. She’ll come between Chapman (Taylor Schilling) and Vause (Laura Prepon). It’ll be juicy to watch as they vie for Stella’s attention. Where we left off, Litchfield Penitentiary was on lockdown after psychotic Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) escaped via a stolen van. None of the prisoners were sorry to see her go. This season, it’s a whole new world with Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba), Sophia Burset (Laverne Cox), Red (Kate Mulgrew), Larry Bloom (Jason Biggs) and more. Topics will include motherhood, bodies and who knows what else. Everybody has been so damn tight-lipped about what’s to come, so the deets are a mystery. What we do know is there will be more comedy in the prison dramedy this season and as of June 12, all 14 episodes of season three will be available for streaming. Oh, and, hey, guess what, Season four has already been confirmed for 2016. Yeeha!!

Watch the trailer:

Monday, June 15: “Making of the Mob

AMC’s docudrama “Making of the Mob” is an eight-part miniseries about the dawning of organized crime in America. It spans 50-plus years, tracing the original five families that led to the Mafia. Ray Liotta narrates this tale about New York gangster Lucky Luciano and his rise in New York City’s underworld. It’s also about infamous murderous crooks like Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel. The series includes a mix of dramatic scenes, archival footage and really cool visual effects. Talking heads will include former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Meyer Lansky II. Other terrific peeps involved include Chazz Palminteri, Drea de Matteo, Joe Mantegna, Frankie Valli and more.

Watch the trailer:

Tuesday, June 16: “Tyrant

Blood guarantees nothing. FX’s Middle East drama returns. Bassam “Barry” Al-Fayeed (Adam Rayner) gets locked up for partnering with the U.S. to try to overthrow his tyrannical brother Jamal (Ashraf Barhom). Jamal inherited the position as Abuddin’s new president when their father died, but he is a sociopath — a violent and vindictive one. Barry’s wife Molly (Jennifer Finnigan) has had a really tough time standing by her man, but she’s trying. Her original idea was to convince hubby Barry to mend fences with his family on a vacation visit. She never dreamed that Barry would end up wanting to stay in the misogynistic culture where fights easily escalate to death. Their teenage kids Sammy (Noah Silver) and Emma (Anne Winters) escaped back to America. Barry’s mother Amira (Alice Krige) seems to be the only sane Abuddin native to talk to. She hates what’s happening between her two sons. Jamal’s wife Leila (Moran Atias) is not going to be easy to oust as First Lady of Abbudin. She loves the power too much, and the riches make her cream. Meanwhile Jamal’s son Ahmed (Cameron Gharaee) wants to get away from Abbudin, but his wife Nusrat (Sibylla Deen) is determined to say. After the humiliating rape by her new father-in-law Jamal on her wedding night — to prove that she was “pure” — Nusrat feels entitled to getting her way after withstanding such degradation. Oy, it’s a hot mess, and the actors make it very exciting indeed.

Watch the trailer:

Thursday, June 18: “Complications

USA network offers up a new thriller called, “Complications.” This 10-episode series stars Jason O’Mara (“Vegas”) as Dr. John Ellison, a suburban doctor who is grieving over his daughter’s death. His life takes a dramatic turn when he saves a boy’s life during a drive-by shooting. When the doc finds out that the boy is still in danger, he switches into ready-to-kick-some-ass vigilante mode. Jessica Szohr (“Gossip Girl”) plays nurse Gretchen, Beth Riesgraf plays John’s wife Samantha, and Lauren Stamile is Dr. Bridget O’Neil, who finds working with Dr. John far, far from easy.

Watch the trailer:

Sunday, June 21: “True Detective

Viewer’s expectations may be too high after such a perfect first season, but hopefully HBO series creator and writer Nic Pizzolatto will wow us again. This season brings a bizarre murder, but instead of Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) trying to solve a case in Louisiana, season two is set in California. This time, the players who are brought together are three crime fighters, cops Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell), Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) and Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch). The villain is Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn). McAdams, by the way, looks nothing like her perky, smiley rom-com self — she’s a pissed-off badass with knives. Yay! I’m definitely tuning in to watch this cat-and-mouse game of cops hunting a killer.

Watch the trailer:

Ray Donovan” returns for its third season Sunday, July 12, woooot! Thank goodness I’ll have May and June shows to keep me busy till then.

Dorri Olds is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine

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