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'The Defenders,' 'Claws,' 'Snowfall' and all the other new and returning TV shows to check out this summer

The women of Westeros are going to war in 'Game of Thrones' Season 7

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister in "Game of Thrones." (Helen Sloan / HBO)
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister in "Game of Thrones." (Helen Sloan / HBO)

The great war is here.

Or at least it will be when “Game of Thrones” returns in July and the show enters, presumably, the final stages of the battle for Westeros.

A formidable list of contenders are circling from as many directions as the blades of the iconic Iron Throne point, which has not escaped the notice of the throne’s current occupant. “Enemies to the East. Enemies to the West. Enemies to the South. Enemies to the North,” says Cersei Lannister in the latest trailer. “Whatever stands in our way, we will defeat it.”

What stands in her way are the armies of at least two women with a claim to the throne and several more who would literally kill to see anyone but a Lannister ruling the realm from atop King’s Landing.

All, however, have the chance to rule the show’s forthcoming narrative; what started as a classic male-dominated adventure six seasons ago has become an unlikely tale of female empowerment.

The surviving women of “Game of Thrones” have been endlessly brutalized by the men of Westeros and Essos, but now they have the upper hand … and there’ll be hell to pay.

'GLOW,' 'Midnight, Texas,' 'The Mist' and what's new on TV this summer

Clockwise from top left, "Gypsy," "GLOW," "The Mist" and "The Sinner." (Netflix / Spike)
Clockwise from top left, "Gypsy," "GLOW," "The Mist" and "The Sinner." (Netflix / Spike)

When Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Mike Love wrote "All Summer Long" back in 1964, they did not think to include watching television along with miniature golf and spilling Coke on one’s blouse to capture the delights of the season. TV took a kind of summer vacation itself back then, filling prime time with reruns.

Well, things have changed.

Trends emerge. At least six new series this summer are set in the 1970s or '80s; four of those take place in Los Angeles, and two of them involve "The Tonight Show.” Two mess around with Shakespeare; two adapt Stephen King. Pick a few or watch them all — ha! Here’s a partial guide to what’s in store.

Thursday, June 22

"The Mist"

Stephen King's Maine-set novella becomes a full-blown series, with Frances Conroy and Isiah Whitlock Jr., Don't go in the mist, basically. (Spike, 10 p.m.)

Friday, June 23

"GLOW"

Alison Brie (desperate, determined) and Marc Maron (weary, grumpy) star in Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch's spunky comedy of 1980s cable-TV women's wrestling. (Netflix, to stream)

John Singleton's 'Snowfall' delves into the story of how cocaine changed L.A.

It's an untold story. It's the story about how cocaine changed Los Angeles. There's a whole kind of oral history, folk tale about this era. 

John Singleton, show creator

“Snowfall,” set in 1983, explores the early days of the crack cocaine epidemic in the inner-city neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

The 10-episode first season interweaves the stories of a number of characters, including Franklin Saint (Damson Idris), a young street entrepreneur on the quest for power; Gustavo Zapata (Sergio Peris-Mencheta), a Mexican wrestler caught up in a power struggle within a crime family; Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson), a CIA operative running from a dark past who begins an off-book operation to fund the Nicaraguan contras; and Lucia Villanueva (Emily Rios), the self-possessed daughter of a Mexican crime lord.

Watch what happens when a Times reporter braves the 'American Ninja Warrior' course

This story isn’t about how thoroughly ‘American Ninja Warrior’ destroyed my ego. It’s about how it renewed my belief in human spirit. It’s also a little bit about how I scraped my leg.

Libby Hill, Los Angeles Times reporter

'Claws,' with its comedic and dramatic sides, is Florida noir set in a nail salon

Karrueche Tran as Virginia, Carrie Preston as Polly, Niecy Nash as Desna, Jenn Lyon as Jen and Judy Reyes as Quiet Ann in TNT's "Claws." (TNT)
Karrueche Tran as Virginia, Carrie Preston as Polly, Niecy Nash as Desna, Jenn Lyon as Jen and Judy Reyes as Quiet Ann in TNT's "Claws." (TNT)

The claws in TNT’s “Claws” may be out, but that’s not all. They’re spangled, glittered and polished.

Because, of course, there are no animals in “Claws.”

There is, however, no shortage of wild behavior in this new hourlong drama about five manicurists working in a South Florida nail salon. There’s no girl-fight action like the title suggests — the manicurists all get along, and “claws” refers to their over-the-top custom designs that transform fingers and toes into miniature objets d’art.

Women sticking together and not looking for the permission of men is so vital right now.

Janine Sherman Barrois

Everything you need to know about 'The Defenders,' Marvel's new broody superhero team

Luke Cage (Mike Colter) Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Iron Fist (Finn Jones), and Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) in "Marvel's The Defenders." (Sarah Shatz / Netflix)
Luke Cage (Mike Colter) Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Iron Fist (Finn Jones), and Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) in "Marvel's The Defenders." (Sarah Shatz / Netflix)

Move over, Avengers: A new team of scrappy, street-smart superheroes is moving into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On Aug. 18, Netflix will unveil the miniseries superhero team-up it’s been building toward for three years, “Marvel’s The Defenders.”

Not familiar with the new good-guy gang? Don’t fret. “The Defenders” aren’t as easily recognizable as the heavily marketed band of “Earth’s mightiest heroes” from the movies. But with an impressive roster of Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) and a ravenous audience already primed thanks to the characters' previous standalone series all leading into this eight-episode miniseries, “The Defenders” certainly have their fair share of buzz.

Unlike the aforementioned Avengers, who are often steered by the straight-arrow protector Captain America, these supers are a group of no-nonsense New Yorkers. “There's no official hierarchy, all that's yet to be set,” co-showrunner Marco Ramirez said. “We get to lean into the messiness, and the haste, of these four all thrown together dealing and working professionally with each other.”

With no team leader in sight yet, the foursome will have to begrudgingly work together to defeat the new big bad, Sigourney Weaver, who plays the mysterious Alexandra.

Jerrod Carmichael is busy making sitcoms smarter, and ignoring Trump ... for now

Jerrod Carmichael is the creator and star of the NBC comedy "The Carmichael Show." (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Jerrod Carmichael is the creator and star of the NBC comedy "The Carmichael Show." (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Jerrod Carmichael is lugging two chairs up to the stage inside the unoccupied International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel — the annual site of the Golden Globes.

On this particular day, though, the ballroom is one of the few quiet spots at the bustling hotel — long an epicenter of the rich and famous — where the 30-year-old comedian has just wrapped a news conference to promote the third season of his edgy NBC sitcom, “The Carmichael Show.”

The series, which tackles topical issues through the unfiltered conversations among family members, returns Wednesday after hovering in limbo without an air date since its Season 2 finale this time last year.

Comedy at its best is provocative and edgy in a real way, in a thoughtful way. And adult and fun. And so I just want to contribute to that. It’s the thing that I grew up enjoying, and I don’t see a lot. 

Jerrod Carmichael

Jim Carrey mines real memories for new TV series, like waking up to 'a girl with no pants on making bacon'

Timing is everything in comedy, and it’s equally crucial for “I’m Dying Up Here,” which chronicles how, when and where modern stand-up comedy was born, with guidance from some real-life regulars at the Comedy Store like Jim Carrey.

“Nowhere else you could go where you would see Richard Pryor and Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy and everybody who’s anybody showing up and baring their soul. It was phenomenal,” says Carrey, who also serves as an executive producer on the series debuting June 4.

One detail in the series — two struggling comics (Clark Duke and Michael Angarano) arrive from Boston and wind up living in a closet — was mined from Carrey’s move here as a rising star in Toronto but a nobody in L.A.

The first time I rented my new closet I woke up the following morning and found a girl with no pants on making bacon.

Jim Carrey
The cast of "I'm Dying Up Here." (Patrick Ecclesine / Showtime)
The cast of "I'm Dying Up Here." (Patrick Ecclesine / Showtime)

How good intentions lead to a midlife crisis for Naomi Watts' 'Gypsy' character

Naomi Watts in "Gypsy." (Alison Cohen Rosa / Netflix)
Naomi Watts in "Gypsy." (Alison Cohen Rosa / Netflix)

In “Gypsy,” coming to Netflix on June 30, Naomi Watts plays Jean Halloway, a New York City therapist with a cute daughter (Maren Heary), a dashing husband (Billy Crudup), a picturesque home in the suburbs — and some serious middle-age angst.

When she decides to track down Sidney (Sophie Cookson), a patient's manipulative ex-girlfriend, things get, well, a little complicated. 

It starts out with pure intentions. She really does want to help her patient. Then she connects with this woman in a way that reminds her of a lost part of herself. 

Naomi Watts, actress

Here is a recap to prepare for new 'Orphan Black,' 'Insecure' and more returning summer TV favorites

Clockwise from top left, Tatiana Maslany in "Orphan Black," Issa Rae in "Insecure," Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner in "Difficult People" and Liev Schreiber in "Ray Donovan." (BBC America; Anne Marie Fox / HBO; Ali Goldstein / Hulu; Michael Desmond / Showtime)
Clockwise from top left, Tatiana Maslany in "Orphan Black," Issa Rae in "Insecure," Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner in "Difficult People" and Liev Schreiber in "Ray Donovan." (BBC America; Anne Marie Fox / HBO; Ali Goldstein / Hulu; Michael Desmond / Showtime)

Plenty of new shows may try to ensnare you this summer, but several returning series — some in their farewell seasons — also want to pull you back in. Here are five shows we’re looking forward to either seeing how the story continues or comes to an end.

Carter Hudson is a CIA officer turned undercover drug dealer in his major TV debut, 'Snowfall'

Carter Hudson as Teddy McDonald in "Snowfall." (Prashant Gupta / FX)
Carter Hudson as Teddy McDonald in "Snowfall." (Prashant Gupta / FX)

My mom is very excited about the show and said she was thinking about throwing a party. My parents live in Texas. She wants to have some friends over. I hung up and was like, 'Wait a minute. I should definitely warn her that there are some things that her friends in Dallas might find questionable.'

Carter Hudson

Meet 5 real-world comics who take a trip back to the comedy heyday in 'I'm Dying Up Here'

Competition and reality shows with a twist bring the new ('Candy Crush') and the old ('Gong Show') together

Summer is upon us and so is a television landscape full of new competition series and game shows. The theme for this new crop of family-friendly entertainment appears to be “recycling,” since most are classic concepts with a slightly new twist. Here are a few:

Overrated/Underrated: TV reunions, remakes and reboots this summer; 'House of Cards' faces an uphill battle

Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey in the Netflix series "House Of Cards." (David Giesbrecht / Netflix)
Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey in the Netflix series "House Of Cards." (David Giesbrecht / Netflix)

OVERRATED

‘House of Cards’ on Netflix: Due to return for a fifth season on May 30, this political thriller best known for backstabbing, revenge and furious ambition now has the distinctive misfortune of coming back to a world where Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) offers less of a cautionary example in political leadership based on lies and more of a weirdly more effective one. But even if Spacey, Robin Wright and newcomer Patricia Clarkson continue to hold up the series’ high bar for bad behavior, does anyone really want to be immersed in more accounts of Washington intrigue after a long day of watching the news? Or did this show just get sloppily rebooted on MSNBC and nobody said anything?

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