When the summer heat is blazing, the pool’s too crowded and the only tropical paradise in sight is on Instagram, you know where you can find me: In the glorious air conditioning, catching up on some good ol’ television. (OK, you can always find me there.)
Here are some new and returning TV series to look out for this summer.
The Handmaid’s Tale (Wednesdays, Hulu) – Season 3 of this dark dystopian drama sees June leading the resistance as she continues to try and rescue her daughter Hannah. It will follow Emily and Nicole’s escape and the return of both Commander Lawrence and Aunt Lydia. Christopher Meloni and Elizabeth Reaser join the cast as Gilead power couple the Winslows.
Big Little Lies (9 p.m. Sundays, HBO) – While this miniseries’ first installment tied up most of the loose ends of the murder mystery, no one could resist getting The Monterey Five — Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoë Kravitz — together for another season. Meryl Streep joins the stellar cast as the slain Perry’s mother who is intent on getting to the bottom of her son’s death, and suspicious of the women.
Pose (10 p.m. Tuesdays, FX) – Just in time for Pride month, Ryan Murphy’s tribute to the LGBTQ melting pot that was late-’80s/early ’90s New York ballroom culture returns for a second season. This season jumps ahead to 1990, with AIDS activism in full force.
The drama is a true example of representation, with queer people of color actually portraying queer people of color and telling their stories, and offers many viewers a valuable history lesson without being too preachy.
All That (8:30 p.m. Saturdays starting June 15, Nickelodeon) – The Saturday Night Live of ’90s (and early-’00s) Nickelodeon viewers complete with hilarious sketches and big-name musical guests, All That returns nearly 25 years after its debut for a new generation. Executive-produced by original stars Kenan Thompson (probably the most successful alum, who, obviously graduated to SNL) and Kel Mitchell, this revival is decidedly for a tween audience, but I just might tune in for a little nostalgia fest.
City on a Hill (9 p.m. Sundays starting June 16, Showtime) – In the early 1990s, Boston was rife with crime, violence and a corrupt law enforcement. A policing initiative to combat youth gun violence now known as the “Boston Miracle” resulted in a drop in youth homicide rates. This new series — based on an idea by Ben Affleck — takes a fictionalized look at how the operation was implemented. When a district attorney (Aldis Hodge) sets out to take on criminals on boths sides of the law, a corrupt but respected FBI agent (Kevin Bacon) becomes an unlikely ally.
Euphoria (10 p.m. Sundays starting June 16, HBO) – High school is all about sex, drugs and EDM in this new series from A24 and Sam Levinson. Zendaya stars as Rue, a 17-year-old grappling with addiction. On top of the more typical concerns of her peers, like school, relationships and social media, she struggles to manage sobriety. On the heels of 13 Reasons Why and Riverdale, it’s safe to say dark teen dramas are having a moment.On the heels of 13 Reasons Why and Riverdale, it’s safe to say dark teen dramas are having a moment.
Stranger Things (July 4, Netflix) – It’s summertime in Hawkins, Indiana, too, and the typically dreary setting gets a playful spin with swimming pools, fairs and a new shopping mall. The kids are growing up, with the older lot joining the workforce (hello Billy the lifeguard) and Eleven and Company finding love. But it wouldn’t be Stranger Things without some serious monster drama, and of course the gang encounters a new baddie in Season 3. If you just can’t wait until July, perhaps the new canonical novel, Darkness on the Edge of Town, will tide you over — the book follows Jim Hopper’s time as a homicide detective in New York City a decade before we first meet him on the show.
Mindhunter (August, Netflix) – Charting the early days of criminal profiling and psychology, this thriller debuted almost two years ago, offering a dramatized look at real-life killers and detectives. Season 2 will arrive sometime in August, bringing with it the Atlanta Child Murders, Son of Sam and Charles Manson (interestingly played by Damon Herriman, who also portrays the cult leader in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood).