I’ll admit it: I watch a lot of television. I regularly watch the premieres of fifteen to twenty new television shows each fall, and sometimes hit a dozen premieres for the summer. This summer, I haven’t quite hit that yet, but these four have me on my way with their fill of broken heroes.
Graceland (USA, Thursdays): Rookie FBI agent Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) is assigned to the safe house run by Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata), and inhabited by some cross-departmental spooks who are all undercover with different criminal organizations around the region. Warren proves himself worthy of ascending quickly in Bello’s (Gbenga Akinnagbe, The Wire) criminal organization, but he discovers that FBI sources want him to investigate suspected criminal behavior by Briggs as well. He’s immeshed in the life of the house, Graceland; he’s trying to date a woman who’s clueless to what he really does; he’s trying to stay out of Briggs’ way but struggling with his loyalty to the man. It all boils and brews in a serialized story that spills out onto the beach and the seedier sides of southern California.
Crossing Lines (NBC, Sundays): Edward Bernero has helped spin Third Watch and Criminal Minds into American success stories, but now he turns his eyes toward international serial killers with a globe-trotting band of crimestoppers. Detective Major Daniel (Mark Lavoine) is the head of the team, but William Fichtner’s former NYPD detective Carl Hickman is the one we’re tuning in for (if it’s not Donald Sutherland as the ICC’s Michel Dorne). It certainly doesn’t help that a main part of the team dies quickly like a warning shot, so we figure no one is safe except Fichtner. Hickman stopped saved a girl from a serial killer years ago, but in the process, lost the use of a hand (a mark of the struggle) and his job. Now, he’s addicted to pain meds and trying to capture the one who got away. Each week has an episodic villain, but we all want to see what happens to the man in the trailer at the carnival…
Camp (USA, Wednesdays): Headed by Mackenzie Granger (Rachel Griffiths), Little Otter Family Camp is trying to make it in the big, bad summer world against the evil, rich forces of Ridgefield and its director, Roger Shepherd (Rodger Corser), who she may or may not have a thing for. Granger is going through a breakup (maybe?) with her husband (Jonathan LaPaglia), and struggling to watch over her son (Charles Grounds). But the most interesting part of the show so far revolves around Kip (Thom Green), a leukemia-recovering teen who arrives thinking there’s nothing to live for and begins realizing he’s got plenty of room to grow. It’s rather uplifting, certainly funny, and has serious potential in the “coming of age” laden ground of summer camp.
King & Maxwell (TNT, Mondays): The powers that be hope that this will provide the kind of partnership with Major Crimes that will keep people watching. It helps that The Closer’s Jon Tenney is King, and Rebecca Romijn is Maxwell, based on bestseller David Baldacci’s bestsellers about the disgraced Secret Service agents. They’re two witty cards, solving cases the FBI’s dour Agent Rigby (Michael O’Keefe) won’t or can’t, and aided by the Ausberger-like Edgar Roy (Ryan Hurst), who provides intel and more levity. Baldacci’s crew is definitely fleshed out by NCIS’s head man, Shane Brennan, and viewers can expect that the overall mystery behind King’s shame will be solved by the end of the season.
Shows I’ve already pulled the plug on: Siberia, In the Flesh, Motive, The Goodwin Games, Whodunnit?
Shows I haven’t seen enough of or aren’t out yet: Low Winter Sun, The Bridge, Broadchurch, and Under the Dome. Tune back in later and I’ll revisit them.
Yes, I’m still watching Suits, The Killing, Major Crimes, Copper, Hell on Wheels, Longmire, and, begrudgingly, Rookie Blue and The Glades.