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Kick-butt shows to watch this summer

Action-packed shows

After a rough day at work, few things are more empowering than watching other ladies kick a little butt on television. It's the little bit of vicarious control you need to recharge — but what about during the summer? It turns out that summer programming isn't all reruns! Cable and streaming services like Netflix offer shows you'd never find on network TV, including ones with strong female characters who know how to take charge. Here are a few we love.
1

Covert Affairs

Covert Affairs

To outsiders, Annie Walker is just another worker at Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian Museum, but in reality, the strong female lead character is a young CIA operative working in the Domestic Protection Division. Watch as she trains to kick some bad-guy butt. Then, see her put her training into action as she tries to balance her work and love life. Piper Perabo, who plays Walker, was nominated for a 2011 Golden Globe for her performance. The new season of the USA show starts July 16.

2

Orange Is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black

It's no wonder this Netflix original series features a good girl gone bad. The new series, set to premier on Netflix on July 11, was created by the same writer and producer behind Weeds. Based on Piper Kerman's memoir Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, the show follows Piper Chapman, played by Taylor Schilling. For possessing a suitcase filled with drug money from her ex-smuggler lover, Chapman is sentenced to 15 months in jail — where she meets some interesting characters and learns to adapt to prison life.

3

Rizzoli & Isles

Rizzoli & Isles

Season 4 of this long-running USA show has been on the air since June, but you can still get caught up! The investigating female duo, played by Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, come across some rather disturbing finds in their line of work and often get caught up in the action as they research criminal cases — like with the creepy, corpse-touching Charles Hoyt. You'll have to watch to know more without us pouring on the spoilers!

4

The Killing

The Killing

As Seattle detective Sarah Linden is preparing for her departure from the city's police department, a call comes in about a bloody sweater found in a field. A girl has been killed, and the police need to find her killer. Realizing the importance of the case, Linden puts her move on hold, hoping the investigation will only take a few days. Three seasons later, Linden is still searching for killers who take the lives of innocent victims. The new season premiered June 2.

More summer TV

Large to small: Film stars who have successfully made the jump to TV
Major drama on Major Crimes: The inside scoop
Orange Is the New Black: 10 Reasons to catch Netflix's newest original series

Photo credits: USA Networks, Netflix, USA Networks, AMC
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