If waiting for your favorite fall shows to return is giving you the summertime blues, maybe you should consider giving May TV a chance.
From sacred artifacts and scares to princes and corsairs, here’s a look at the new TV shows and miniseries that are worth checking out this month:
“Penny Dreadful” – May 11 at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime
Showtime released the first episode of this horror show online in hopes of scoring new subscribers. The creepy and campy gothic series is like “Once Upon a Time” with classic horror stories instead of fairytales, and it’s easy to imagine “American Horror Story” fans really enjoying it (the opening credits even feature stitched-up bodies, snakes, and religious imagery). The spooky series explores the stories of Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Gray in a new and interesting new way by blending them all together. The first episode features vampire-like creatures, whispers of Jack the Ripper, a mad scientist in the making, and a “Book of the Dead” mention. Eva Green stars as a bewitching fortune teller with a mysterious secret, and Josh Hartnett plays a hired gun from a Wild West show. The eclectic cast also includes Timothy Dalton, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, and Helen McCrory.
“Rosemary’s Baby” – May 11 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC
If you don’t want to invest in a new horror TV series that looks like it could be around for many seasons, check out this two-part miniseries instead. Zoe Saldana fills in for Mia Farrow in the remake of the 1968 Roman Polanski film that haunted the nightmares of so many mothers-to-be, and Patrick J. Adams plays the proud future papa of Satan’s offspring. This time the setting is in romantic Paris, and Saldana’s Rosemary is reportedly going to see a lot more blood. It’s pretty amusing that NBC decided to air the first half of the four-hour miniseries on Mother’s Day. The second half airs on May 15 at 9 p.m. ET.
“Labyrinth” – May 22 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW
If you’re looking for adventure and mystery, check out this two-part miniseries about a quest for the Holy Grail. The series is based on Kate Mosse’s novel about two young women from different time periods whose lives become intertwined because of the religious artifact. Like the book, the TV series will jump back and forth between modern-day and medieval France. If the idea of going on another Grail quest doesn’t appeal to you after enduring the twists and turns of “The Da Vinci Code,” perhaps the cast will pique your interest. It includes John Hurt, Jessica Brown-Findlay, Tom Felton, Sebastian Stan, and Vanessa Kirby. The second half of the miniseries airs at 8 p.m. ET on May 23.
“I Wanna Marry Harry” – May 26 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX
This reality show just might become your newest guilty pleasure. It’s like the twisted fairytale version of “The Bachelor” – 12 American women compete to win the heart of a guy who looks an awful lot like Prince Harry. However, the dating competition is nothing but a huge hoax aimed at turning the poor contestants into laughing stocks. You’ll almost feel sorry for the women when you see how excited they are to meet a real royal at a masquerade ball ripped straight from the pages of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” At the end of the show, I’m guessing that the “winner” will find out that her prince is really a just a look-alike pauper, and she’ll be crushed when she realizes that Kate Middleton isn’t about to become her future sister-in-law. At least the clueless contestants got a free stay in an English countryside castle complete with butlers and maids.
“Undateable” – May 29 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC
There’s a chance that “Undateable” might end up being unwatchable, but I’m going to give it a chance simply because it’s the only new sitcom on the May TV schedule. It does come from Bill Lawrence, the creator of “Scrubs” and “Cougar Town,” so there’s that. Lawrence described the show about the dating lives of oddball guys as a “classic throwback sitcom.” I’m not thrilled about the laugh track, but I’m hopeful that Chris D’Elia will get better material than he had to work with on “Whitney.” The cast also includes Brent Morin, Ron Funches, Bianca Kajlich, and Briga Heelan.
“Crossbones” – May 30 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC
John Malkovich as a pirate: ‘Nuff said. In this very promising series, Malkovich plays a deliciously brutal and batty version of the legendary pirate Blackbeard. The corsair has an affinity for clocks, his idea of a proper introduction involves throat slitting, and he likes to relax by jabbing nails into his bald head. Richard Coyle stars as a crafty physician who the buccaneer enlists for help with his latest treasure hunt, and it looks like this meeting of two great minds could lead to banter that’s just as entertaining as all the typical pirate show trappings (sex, sword fights, swashbuckling, deck-swabbing, etc.). I just have one question: Where’s the black beard?
What show are you looking forward to the most?
Photo: Sagittarius – TFL Studio
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