Pop Cultured Summer 2015 – June

Summer is upon us! Which means its that special time of year where a lot of things happen, but also don’t happen. The movie blockbusters are coming in at full force, while TV takes it easy (sorta). There will also be plenty of concerts and events to fill up those wonderful summer days and nights. So here are some of the things I’m looking forward to!

JUNE

Yeah, that thing I said about TV taking it easy? Well, by the look of things, it doesn’t really look like it. First of all, my favourite summer show, So You Think You Can Dance (June 1), is back! Some changes are afoot for season 12, the first being that Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo will be on the judging panel. I understand having Paula as a judge, Jason not so much. The biggest change for SYTYCD however, is that they will be doing Stage vs. Street – meaning the Top 20 will consist of 10 dancers with formal training (Stage) and 10 dancers with no formal training (Street). The logistics of how that will ultimately change the show’s fundamentals can be read here. Syfy continues to add some interesting new shows to their lineup with Dark Matter (June 12) and Killjoys (June 19), both of which are Canadian-made and American co-produced. Dark Matter, based on the comic book of the same name, is about a spaceship crew that awakens with no memory of who they are or how they even got there, and now must work together to figure out those secrets and survive. In Killjoys, Hannah John-Kamen, Luke Macfarlane, and Aaron Ashmore play a trio of interplanetary bounty hunters. While we’re on the topic of space, I’m actually quite excited to check out The Astronaut Wives Club (June 16), based on the true story of the women who were left behind as their husbands ventured into space. It’s an interesting time period to look at, but I’m actually just really excited about the cast involved: Joanna Garcia Swisher, Odette Annable, Yvonne Strahovski, Wilson Bethel, Bret Harrison, and Desmond Harrington are the more recognizable names. Then there’s Zoo (June 30), based on author James Patterson’s book about a not-so-distant future that sees all the animals in the world revolt against humanity for how we’ve treated them over the years. The so-called limited series (though CBS said the same thing about Under the Dome and Extant, which are going into seasons 3 and 2) is a suspense thriller with a slight tinge of sci-fi – all good considering one of the writers and executive producers on the show is Jeff Pinkner, one of the men responsible for Fringe. Lastly, June sees the return of Suits (June 24) and Graceland (June 25). Season 5 of Suits will see the fallout from last season’s ender, with Donna leaving Harvey and working instead for Louis, and of course, there’s that little thing of Mike and Rachel being engaged! Meanwhile, with season 3 of Graceland, we finally get the answer to whether Mike is dead or alive (he has to be alive though right? Hurt/damaged but alive.)

On the movie side of things, the only movie I’m REALLY looking forward to is Inside Out (June 19). It’s a Pixar movie, featuring a voice cast that includes Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling! I’m sorry, that’s just a no-brainer. I’m excited for everyone to see Love & Mercy (June 5), a movie about Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys, during two very critical times in his life. It’s a film I saw at last year’s TIFF and just really great.

June will see the release of two albums that I’m really looking forward to!. The first is Tori Kelly‘s “Unbreakable Smile” (June 23). After this post, I went and downloaded more of Tori’s previous releases. I’m still in love with her song “Nobody Love” and can’t wait to hear what the rest of the album sounds like. Joy Williams, formerly of The Civil Wars, will be releasing her first solo album “Venus” (June 30), since the band’s break-up (she released 4 albums prior to forming The Civil Wars). Based on her first single, “Woman” (which for the record, is co-written by Matt Morris, a wonderfully talented musician in his own right), Joy’s new sound is a departure from what people may expect (that is, if they’re expecting just The Civil Wars’ sound but solo) but it is entirely refreshing.

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