Once upon a time, summer was reserved for flip flops, flowing dresses and ice cold drinks consumed in the great outdoors. Nothing could keep you inside and definitely not that sad rerun lineup on TV. Not so fast… This summer, there’s a fabulous lineup of shows you’ll want to watch on the small screen, so set your PVR to record now. Network and cable TV offerings are top notch—even rivalling the quality of shows that have wrapped up. In fact, since summer is the shortest (and hottest) season actually forces writers, directors and stars to bring their A-game when making must-see TV. Here are the top 13 TV shows you should tune into on those inevitable rainy days, when you need a break from mosquitos, or just because you can.

THE TOP 13 TV SHOWS TO WATCH THIS SUMMER

AQUARIUS Before David Duchovny reprises his role as Agent Fox Mulder in the Xfiles in early 2016, you can catch him as a detective on the trail of a missing person who, it turns out, is somehow linked to the infamous Charles Manson. Set in the late 1960s, before the Manson family went on a famous killing spree, Aquarius will transport you back to a time of free love, hippies and experimentation. Groovy. Debuts May 28 on NBC. *NBC is dipping a toe into the television streaming pool by releasing all 13 episodes on its website and mobile app on May 29. 

THE WHISPERS Get off on entertainment that’s just that side of creepy? Then check out this sci fi thriller about unseen forces manipulating the world’s most naive people: children. Word of warning, though. Kids with imaginary friends won’t seem so cute from here on out. Debuts June 1 on ABC

HANNIBAL If you know anything about the main character (and who doesn’t?), you know that his tastes are rather, um, cannibalistic. With Season 3 kicking off with an episode titled Antipasto, we imagine that Hannibal’s life on the run in Italy will prove to be a bloody good time. Returns June 4 on NBC

PROOF What happens when we die? That’s what Jennifer Beal’s character is trying to find out as surgeon Carolyn Tyler. Will exploring the world of reincarnation, out of body experiences and hauntings bring proof of life after death? The death of her son, breakup of her marriage and strained relationship with her daughter adds to the drama. Debuts June 16 on TNT

THE ASTRONAUTS WIVES CLUB If you’re already mourning Mad Men, get ready to get hooked on this show. You’ll find yourself stepping straight back into the 1960s as you join the lives of wives who were left here on Earth while their men took off for space. Quel retro. Debuts June 18 on ABC

MISTRESSES Airing right after Astronauts Wives Club, Mistresses returns for Season 3. We were left with three cliffhangers back when: Karen’s health (is she pregnant?), April’s daughter knowing the truth about her dad and Savi teetering on the verge of catching her ex in a sandy romp with Joss, and it’s time to find how it all turns out. The season hasn’t even started and we’re already stocking up on wine. Returns June 18 on ABC

THE LAST SHIP Eric Dane in dress whites? Yes please! Captain McSteamy and crew continue their quest to bring a vaccine to survivors after an epidemic levelled 80% of the Earth’s population. In the second season, several factions and political regimes wage war. There’s a lot at stake: Those who control the vaccine will control the new world. Returns on June 21 on TNT

TRUE DETECTIVE If you missed out on the phenomenon that was the first season of True Detective, don’t worry. The second season has a revamped cast and a new story to get lost in. Just like the first, it’s still shrouded in mystery with few teasers about what to expect. Get ready to keep guessing. Returns June 21 on HBO

SUITS Mike and Rachael. Harvey and Donna. Donna and Louis. Wait… WHAT?!?! Still miffed at Harvey for not making a move, Donna goes to work for Louis. Harvey is like a ship without a rudder, without “his” Donna but will the firm’s new psychologist be able to help him get his game back? Or will he be, wait for it…Litt up? Returns June 24 on USA

MASTERS OF SEX The sexual revolution dawns in Season 3 as Masters and Johnson present their book on sexuality to a medical community full of doubters. With a 4-year time jump from the end of Season 2 to the premiere this summer, the story shifts from research to treatment of sexual dysfunction. Masters and Johnson are on the cusp of fame. And there will be fallout. Returns July 12 on Showtime

DOMINION One of the most original concepts we saw last year, Dominion follows humanity’s effort to survive in a world where God has disappeared and angels wage war on the population. Only Archangel Michael chooses to fight alongside humans as they battle fallen Archangel Gabriel and his minions. Biblical themes run wild, pitting brother against brother and good vs evil. Returns July 10 on SyFy

SATISFACTION USA is keeping everyone in the dark about this sleeper hit. What we do know is this: Neil is in danger, there is a gun-toting lunatic on the loose and we can’t wait to find out more! Returns July 17 on USA

STRIKE BACK You will be hard pressed to find a television show that has the action that Strike Back brings to the screen. It’s the final season (boo!) so expect stars Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester to be firing (literally) on all cylinders. There will be chaos and mayhem as the Section 20 team goes rogue try to save the day from yet another baddie bent on world domination. These boys are not all work and no play, however. It wouldn’t be Skinemax, er, Cinemax without some sexcapades. Final series returns July 31 on Cinemax

What are you going to watch?

About the author

Patricia Thomas

Patricia is a proud geek raising two little geeklings along with her geeky husband. You can find her on Twitter fangirling about her latest obsessions. Since she spends 8 months out of the year living in a barren winter waste land, she dreams of living bare foot on a tropical beach someday.

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