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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

what I’m looking forward to on summer TV

Oh noes! Lost is finished till Ben Linus knows when! Battlestar Galactica ends tonight till 2009! Doctor Who is almost over till Christmas! What am I gonna watch all summer?

Turns out, quite a bit, actually. Here’s what I’m looking forward to:
Saving Grace (returns July 14 on TNT): Grace talks tough, when she’s not talking to God… well, to an angel, anyway. Holly Hunter’s confused cop might be the most fascinatingly complicated woman on television at the moment.

The Cleaner (debuts July 15 on A&E): Oops, it’s another tough customer who talks to God, but here it’s Benjamin Bratt, so, you know: oo baby. Bratt plays an “extreme interventionist” who goes around helping people kick their addictions while he struggles with keeping his own kicked. Actually, it kinda sounds like My Name Is Earl, too, doesn’t it?

Eureka (returns July 29 on Sci Fi): It’s all about a town full of geeks, and they’re cool, too. When they’re not accidentally about to blow up the planet. If Frank Capra made science fiction, this is what it would look like: this is a sweet, funny, good-natured show about jes folks who just happen to be geniuses.

Stargate: Atlantis (returns July 11 on Sci Fi): I still miss SG-1, but I’ll make do with this spinoff, cuz it’s kinda like pizza — even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. We’ve been promised more of Paul McGillion’s Dr. Carson Beckett, who turns out not to be dead after all. So that’s one thing to be happy about.

In Plain Sight (already airing on USA): I’ve got the first couple of episodes of this one backed up on DVR. It caught my eye pretty much for star Mary McCormack alone, who always blows me away in everything I’ve ever seen her in, and here, as a federal agent who helps people in the witness protection program, she’s gotta be at least on a par with Holly Hunter.

Burn Notice (returns July 10 on USA): Jeffrey Donovan’s burnt spy Michael Westen is like MacGyver with a better wardrobe, plus he has Bruce Campbell as his sidekick. How awesome is that? BSG babe alert! Tricia “Six” Helfer will guest over a big multi-episode story arc.

Mad Men (returns July 27 on AMC): I never quite finished up Season 1, but that arrives on DVD on July 1, giving me almost a month to give the show the serious attention it deserves before it returns. What I did see last summer of this drama about advertising execs in the uptight 1960s was riveting…

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