Television Without Pity

A Season to Remember: The 10 Best New Shows of Summer

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These shows got us through the dog days of summer

These shows got us through the dog days of summer

We could go on for days about our love of "Dance Moms," or about how much we've enjoyed this sexed-up season of "True Blood," but that's not surprising -- we expect to be entertained by reality TV trash and our favorite returning shows. What really shocked us this summer was just how many new scripted programs kept us genuinely enthralled. Here's what made it a summer to remember:

10. "Falling Skies"
The finale of this show was actually pretty awesome, but we had to take some points off for the less-than-exciting episodes in the middle. Still, sign us up for Season 2 next summer -- you don't even have to harness us. We're too old for that, anyway.

9. "The Nine Lives of Chloe King"
It's not as engaging or fashionable as "Pretty Little Liars," but "Chloe King" impressed us with a great portrayal of friendship, a pretty hot love triangle, and a fantastic mother/daughter relationship. Oh, and that twist-filled finale's cliffhanger had us purring with delight.

[Photos: Meet the "Chloe King" Cast]

8. "Torchwood"
Technically, this isn't a new show, but it got an almost total reboot and has more of an American procedural flair to it. While it's not quite the series we first became obsessed with years ago, it's still quietly and solidly keeping our Friday nights interesting.

7. "Alphas "
Can this whole show be a buddy-cop procedural starring Bill and Gary? That would be our not-so-secret wish. Even with some of the less captivating other characters around, this show is far more enjoyable than "No Ordinary Family" or the latter days of "Heroes."

[Video: Watch Clips From "Alphas" Right Here]

6. "The Lying Game "
We're already completely smitten with this teen drama about separated twin sisters with a secret past. We've seen the "Ringer" pilot already, and right now, we're inclined to say that this one may end up winning the battle of the near-identical premises. Sorry, Sarah Michelle.

5. "Awkward"
The first episode didn't wow us, but this comedy has taken a turn for the raunchy and ridiculous. It's prompted us to add some skanky new "teen" terms to our vocabulary in honor of a show that exposes high school life in a wickedly wonderful way.

[Related: MTV Renews "Awkward" For Season 2]

4. "Wilfred"
A (stoned) boy and his (neighbor's seemingly human) dog -- it's a tale as old as time, but never done quite like this. This comedy is totally out there and really makes no sense, but we hang on to every minute. Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy?

3. "Teen Wolf"
MTV initially did the show a disservice by encouraging comparisons to the goofy '80s movie of the same name, but after a few weeks, it developed into a dark, mysterious drama with huge twists, some great action, and one of the most adorable and loyal best-friend sidekicks on TV.

[Video: We Talk With the Cast and Crew of "Teen Wolf"]

2. "Switched at Birth "
What could've been a contrived family melodrama turned out to be nothing less than the most nuanced portrayal of the complexities of deafness and deaf culture ever seen in the mainstream media. But it wasn't some afterschool special: The show's characters were flawed, often infuriating, and refreshingly honest about their unique circumstances.

1. "Suits"
It's got a great cast, is filled with snappy, well-written dialogue, has pop-culture references (and impressions!) galore, and features a compelling pairing between a shark of a lawyer and his protégé, not to mention a star-making turn by Gabriel Macht. In a summer sadly bereft of Don Draper, Harvey Specter was as refreshing as a G&T on a warm evening.

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What's your favorite new scripted show of the summer? Let us know in the comments.

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