Welcome to Best & Worst, where we count down Adam’s personal countdown of the best and worst new shows from June 2015. 15 shows that made their debut between June 1st and June 30th are ranked from worst to best. These shows are listed below and if you want to see the in-depth reasons for their ranking, make sure to check out the video above!
15. Proof (TNT)
Premiere date: June 16th
Cast: Jennifer Beals, Matthew Modine, Joe Morton, Edi Gathegi, Callum Blue, David Sutcliffe, Annie Thurman, Caroline Rose Kaplan
Why did it suck?: The only series on this list that made me angry, the pilot was so convoluted and despite some good acting, Jennifer Beals’ character was infuriatingly stubborn on her stance of no life after death despite the undeniable evidence presented to her in the episode.
14. Stitchers (ABC Family)
Premiere date: June 2nd
Cast: Emma Ishta, Kyle Harris, Ritesh Rajan, Allison Scagliotti, Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Why did it suck?: Despite a very interesting, Inception-like premise, Stitchers fumbles its potential with confusing physics (how come when Kirsten is stitched into someone’s mind she sees it from her perspective and not the person?) and a lead actress with very limited experience. The show picked up a bit towards the end of the first episode, but the forced romance and dire script was off-putting.
13. Killjoys (Syfy/Space)
Premiere date: June 19th
Cast: Hannah John-Kamen, Aaron Ashmore, Luke Macfarlane
Why so low?: Truth be told I actually liked the first episode of Killjoys significantly, but had to stop watching the show because I didn’t have the time. That kept the show towards the bottom of the list, but couple it with the pilot being overstuffed with plot threads and it pales in comparison to fellow Syfy debut Dark Matter. The first 2 episodes were fun, but not interesting enough to fully recommend.
12. Odd Mom Out (Bravo)
Premiere date: June 8th
Cast: Jill Kargman, Andy Buckley, KK Glick, Abby Elliott, Sean Kleier, Joanna Cassidy
Why so low?: For a young adult male, watching three episodes of a Bravo show was surprisingly not as difficult as expected. Odd Mom Out raises above its network’s reality-drenched stigma with hilarity and a great supporting cast. However after the initial double dose of episodes on premiere night, the show lost a spark in episode three, and while it surely regained its footing, you gotta understand this isn’t my usual style of show.
11. The Whispers (ABC)
Premiere date: June 1st
Cast: Lily Rabe, Milo Ventimiglia, Barry Sloane, Kristen Connolly, Derek Webster, Catalina Denis, Kylie Rogers, Kyle Harrison Breitkopf
Why so low?: An incredible cast brings to life this interesting and mysterious concept. Unfortunately the show has been doing fairly weakly in the ratings (although it is getting a solid DVR boost) and the show isn’t engaging enough following the first few episodes to really fully warrant sticking with it. Recently the cast were released from their contracts meaning if there is another season, Lily Rabe will only be in a limited number of episodes, and this may go for other cast members as well.
10. Zoo (CBS)
Premiere date: June 30th
Cast: James Wolk, Kristen Connolly, Nonso Anozie, Nora Arnezeder, Billy Burke
Why should you watch this?: From one Kristen Connolly show to another. Zoo is not the best written show of the Summer, however after just one episode you can see how fun this show may evolve into being. Despite an incredible cast, the acting is on average merely good (besides James Wolk being amazing as the lead), but in spite of the weak writing and good-at-best acting, Zoo is campy, cheesy fun with such a crazy plot (co-conceived by none less than James Patterson) that you can’t help but have a good time.
9. Sense8 (Netflix)
Premiere date: June 5th
Cast: Aml Ameen, Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai, Tuppence Middleton, Max Riemelt, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Brian J. Smith, Freema Agyeman, Anupam Kher, Terrence Mann, Naveen Andrews, Daryl Hannah
Why should you watch?: Realizing I am higher on this show than many, the Wachowskis wash away the travesty of Jupiter Ascending as best as they can. According to some starts off slow but with a vast array of characters spanning the entire world, Sense8 is a technical masterpiece with an extremely talented lead cast full of relatively unknowns. It’s got weaknesses in areas such as its attempts at creating an ultimately confusing think-piece type of plot but this improves on the Wachowskis now-Shyamalan-esque reputation.
8. Scream (MTV)
Premiere date: June 30th
Cast: Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, Amadeus Serafini, Brianne Tju, Carlson Young, Conner Weil, Tom Maden, Jason Wiles, Tracy Middendorf, Mike Vaughn
Why should I watch?: Coming from one of the biggest Scream (the movie) fans alive today, trust me when I say this is not as good. But the opportunity to expand on these characters’ relationships and personalities will make their hopefully gory deaths even more impactful and the opener to the new series had some solid deaths and eerie moments that justify its existence.
7. The Astronaut Wives Club (ABC)
Premiere date: June 18th
Cast: Dominique McElligott, Joanna Garcia, Yvonne Strahovski, Odette Annable, Azure Parsons, Erin Cummings, Zoe Boyle, Desmond Harrington, Bret Harrison, Wilson Bethel, Aaron McCusker, Kenneth Mitchell, Sam Reid, Joel Johnstone
Why should you watch?: With success in styling this period drama to match its ’60s setting, Astronaut Wives Club is not the next Mad Men but doesn’t have to be, as it is an enjoyable show with fantastic acting particularly from Azure Parsons.
6. Clipped (TBS)
Premiere date: June 16th
Cast: Mike Castle, Ashley Tisdale, Ryan Pinkston, Matt Cook, Lauren Lapkus, Diona Reasonover, George Wendt
Why should you watch?: TBS’ new comedy is replacing Sullivan & Son as the network’s new Summer comedy and is a worthy replacement. Our main cast, in particular lead Mike Castle and of course George Wendt, as pictured above, are incredibly fun to watch. The show is funny in that light entertainment kind of way and besides those irritating as hell Doyle sisters, there are few drawbacks.
5. The Brink (HBO)
Premiere date: June 21st
Cast: Tim Robbins, Jack Black, Pablo Schreiber, Aasif Mandvi
Why should you watch?: Funnier – though not quite as good in other areas – than timeslot companion Ballers, The Brink is a smartly written political comedy that takes full advantage of being on HBO. An extremely talented cast are inately fun to watch with Jack Black and Tim Robbins specifically providing many of the laugh out loud moments of the show. Just two episodes in, it is one of the funniest shows this year.
4. Dark Matter (Syfy/Space)
Premiere date: June 12th
Cast: Marc Bendavid, Melissa O’Neil, Anthony Lemke, Alex Mallari Jr., Jodelle Ferland, Roger Cross, Zoie Palmer
Why should you watch?: Syfy’s strongest offering in a long time is basically what you imagine Firefly crossed with Stargate SG-1 would be… with a little bit of amnesia, murder and mystery added in for good measure. Based on the comic book series of the same name, Dark Matter is intriguing from the get go and – three episodes in – is still introducing twists and turns that are incredibly compelling. The cast all work well off of one another and if you like sci-fi, you must give this a try.
3. UnREAL (Lifetime)
Premiere date: June 1st
Cast: Shiri Appleby, Constance Zimmer, Freddie Stroma, Craig Bierko, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Ashley Scott, Johanna Braddy, Aline Elasmar, Josh Kelly, Nathalie Kelley, Breeda Wool
Why should you watch?: A show following the behind-the-scenes goings-on of a Bachelor style show, airing on Lifetime, ended up being one of the best written, most intense and engaging shows in recent memory. Even more tense and thrilling than many thrillers, UnREAL defies all odds with its incredible writing and the manipulation happening behind the camera on Everlasting is equal times both heartbreaking and funny. You sympathise and care for practically every character in the main cast, be it the formerly abused mother, the girl who is being painted as villain right after her father died, or the bachelor himself who just wants to escape his father’s ever-judgmental shadow.
2. Ballers (HBO)
Premiere date: June 21st
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, John David Washington, Omar Benson Miller, Rob Corddry, Troy Garity
Why should you watch?: What Ballers lacks in laugh out loud moments it more than makes up for with its surprisingly complex characters and engaging storylines. Less funny than The Brink, Ballers still comes out as the most triumphant of the pair with exceptional writing that highlights the solid acting ability of the cast. A lone scene in the pilot where Dwayne Johnson’s bank account shows insufficient funds is silent but with facial expressions alone you can feel the devastation of the character. Playing out like NFL Entourage, Ballers is a great new comedy that may lack slightly in the actual comedy department (though it is not without its share of laughs) but you are invested in these people and although some characters may on occasion act like d***s, they’re ultimately good people and you want to follow them.
1. Mr. Robot (USA)
Premiere date: June 24th
Cast: Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, Martin Wallstrom
Why should you watch?: To sum up the pilot in one word, it would be hard not to have that word be “perfect”, because Mr. Robot is an undeniable triumph. The writing and narration is some of the most excellenty-formatted in memory and USA gave an early renewal to the show in confidence that it would be a success, that seems like a wise decision. What a great pilot should do is engage you, make you interested in every character (where Mr. Robot excels is making you care about characters outside of the main cast), and of course hit the pillars of success in writing, directing and acting. Mr. Robot goes above and beyond. Rami Malek is revolutionary in his lead performance which is most definitely Emmy-worthy, with Christian Slater finally triumphing in a TV show that seems to be shaping up to be a hit. One of the best drama pilots in memory, Mr. Robot is THE best new show of June 2015.
Thanks for reading! And by the way, keep in my these are my opinions and if you loved Proof but hated Mr. Robot, I strongly disagree on my own account but everyone is entitled to their own opinion and yours is just as valuable as mine. Thank you again.