Suits

USA, Thursdays, 10 p.m. ET/PT |

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DRAMA

Missed the legal drama's first season? This isn't Game of Thrones, so you can jump in now-the water's bracingly cool. Patrick J. Adams convincingly sells his character's wunderkind brand of (TV) genius as a self-taught lawyer with an impulsive streak, while Gabriel Macht is all sharp lapels and cologne-ad machismo as the powerful closer who stands behind him. Their white-collar cases aren't always riveting-charges of idea theft don't exactly incite edge-of-couch suspense—but as summer fare goes, hot guys and Manhattan backdrops are a reliably escapist combo. Gina Torres, meanwhile, brings a welcome alpha female vibe. Her stilettos could slice those suits to ribbons.

Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp

Lifetime, June 19, 10 p.m. ET/PT |

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REALITY

Daughter of Sarah Palin, contestant on Dancing with the Stars and unwed mother to a cute 3-year-old famously named Tripp, Bristol Palin moves from Alaska to L.A. for a wrong-footed reality series. Her goal is to get experience working with a charity, but she often sits by the pool of her rented mansion, brooding about the challenges of raising a child. (Her sister Willow balks at having to be nanny.) It's like watching The Hills with all the shallow fun, glamour and Lauren Conrad edited out. The show eventually will take Bristol home, back into Mama's realm. Maybe that trip with Tripp will be worth watching.

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As temperatures rise, kick back with these cool series you might have missed

REVENGE HULU.COM

Let's hope ABC's surgingly over-the-top melodrama gets a huge bump this fall when it replaces Desperate Housewives on Sundays. Season 1 not only builds to one of the best cliffhangers I've seen but swings between two great, contrasting performances: Emily VanCamp is emotionally remote as a woman whose sole aim is to avenge her father's death, while Madeleine Stowe, as one of her targets, communicates every sensation with purple intensity.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY

AMAZON INSTANT VIDEO

FX's cult hit returns this fall with a new cast, plot and setting (a '60s mental institution). But Jessica Lange is again a central character, and I can't imagine the show being as pleasurably sinister if you haven't watched her tease out every spidery nuance in season 1. Like her odd little pep talk about offal.

SMASH NBC.COM

The heralded drama about the launching of a Broadway musical turned out to be as corny as the old 42nd Street, but we got to watch the birth of two stars-and isn't that what showbiz is about? As rivals to play Marilyn Monroe, American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty sing, sizzle, dance, dream and blossom.

HOMELAND

SHOWTIME ON DEMAND

Relentless CIA analyst Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) suffers a breakdown on the hunt for a Marine turned terrorist (Damian Lewis)-and in her shattered mind is buried a clue on which season 2 may possibly hinge. The single best drama of the past year, it'll also be out on iTunes and DVD in August.

NEW GIRL iTUNES

I glommed onto the FOX sitcom because of Zooey Deschanel as childlike, panda-eyed Jess. Who knew a borderline personality could be so cute? Then the show got around to building up her male roommates. They're more articulate, but even more infantile and—Max Greenfield especially-just as funny.

CONGRATS ON THE BABY AND THE NEW SHOW.

I'm excited for fans to see the real, everyday side of me, because everyone's used to me partying.

HOW DID YOUR PREGNANCY AFFECT PLANS FOR THE SPINOFF?

Well, me and Jenni originally wanted to do a bucket list for ourselves: travel and do all this stuff, like skydiving, but obviously you can't do that when you're pregnant. So instead we decided to move in together for a little bit.

YOU'RE ALSO FILMING JERSEY SHORE AGAIN THIS SUMMER.

I'm excited to see my roomies again, but I'm taking this pregnancy very seriously. Pregnant women should stay away from clubs and just rest! I'm definitely going to be a different person.

ARE YOU PLANNING YOUR WEDDING?

No. Being healthy and trying to be good parents is our main priority, and maybe in a year or two we'll start talking about the wedding.