Thursday, June 19 (Syfy)
Series Debut: After the Season 2 premiere of cowboys & aliens future western Defiance—yes, they’re still defying their asses off—Syfy drops another big-budget original, Dominion, which is waaay better than a series based on the 2010 mess of a movie Legion should be. Twenty-five years later, in the rubble of an Earth ravaged by lower angels bent on the destruction/possession of mankind, new, high-tech bunker-cities house remaining humans—including a Vega (the former Las Vegas, somehow even more obnoxious than before) soldier who happens to be, yep, The Chosen One who’ll save humanity. Dominion establishes its dark tone and New Ruling Class hierarchy quickly, thanks to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Anthony Stewart Head, who lends serious weight even without his British accent, and writing that doesn’t dumb it down (see again: Legion).
Thursday, June 19 (Sundance)
Season Premiere: If you missed the first season of Sundance’s dream-state drama Rectify—which is likely, because, well, Sundance—get thee hence to Netflix, Amazon, your favorite pirate stream, whatever. It introduced Daniel Holden (Aden Young), newly-released from prison after serving 19 years for a rape/murder he may or may not have committed; with the exception of his sister (Abigail Spencer), no one in his small Georgia hometown is convinced of his innocence, maybe not even Daniel himself. Watch Season 1 now, come back later.
Sunday, June 22 (TNT)
Series Debut: Say what you want about Michael Bay—dude knows how to produce Big Action: The Last Ship looks like a pricey summer blockbuster movie, until you notice the B-list stars (Grey’s Anatomy’s Eric Dane and Strike Back’s Rhona Mitra) and the TNT logo and “Falling Skies Season Premiere Next” blaring in the corners. The Ship is a U.S. Navy destroyer on a weapons-testing mission at the Arctic Circle, but the skipper (Dane) is unaware that the “mission” is a cover for a scientist (Mitra) gathering samples to create a cure for an impending pandemic. Surprise! In the months they’ve been isolated and incommunicado, 80 percent of the planet’s population has been wiped out and global chaos reigns. Will the crew and the science lady make it back to what’s left of civilization in time to save what’s left of mankind? Is there a mole on the ship? Did Bay spend all of TNT’s money? Shut up and grab the popcorn, already!
Sunday, June 22 (HBO)
Season Premiere: The Only TV Column That Matters™ could tell you which major character gets killed in the opening minutes of True Blood’s seventh and final season, but who cares? Every major character has been offed at least once on this show, so it’s 50/50 that this “death” won’t stick, either. At least the season premiere, “Jesus Gonna Be Here,” is mostly fast-paced and action-packed, with the townsfolk of Bon Temps sticking with the “one vampire for every human” plan even after a vicious attack by the H-Vamps (rogue vampires cracked-out on the Hepatitis V virus … I know, I know). Only nine more episodes left!
Monday, June 23 (TBS)
Series Debut: Not so much an “unscripted” “reality” show about CeeLo “Baby T-Rex Arms” Green as a six-episode infomercial for the Goodie Mob, his ’90s hip-hop group that’s been attempting a comeback for well over a year now (they released a reunion album in 2013; nobody noticed). If CeeLo’s international fame and truckloads of money couldn’t get the job done, a half-hour on Monday nights following 15 Big Bang Theory reruns probably ain’t gonna do it, either.