It is rapidly shifting from pleasantly warm to dripping hot here in New York—which means we’re on the hunt for summer TV shows to keep us occupied over long, steamy weekends.
You’ve obviously made your way through Arrested Development Season 4 already. And House of Cards? You finished it in one sitting. We got you. Crank up the A/C, stock up on popcorn, and add our obsession-inducing show ideas to your streaming rotation.
By now, you should know that we’ve got a serious crush on USA’s SUITS, which pairs a slick closer, Harvey Specter, with a brilliant, lovably goofy, not-quite lawyer. We spun through Season 2 faster than you can say “pinstriped power suit” and are eagerly awaiting the Season 3 premiere on July 16. In the meantime, you can catch up on Amazon Prime.
Friday Night Lights
Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose. Trust us: Start watching this All-American show about a small town Texas high school football coach and his team, and you’ll soon be chanting this to everyone you know. It will make you see football in a new light—and we guarantee you’ll fall head over perfectly tousled waves for actress Connie Britton. Watch it on Netflix.
If you’ve been at all intrigued by World War Z this summer, we highly recommend this post-apocalyptic series. Imagine that the zombies are sentient (robots, in fact) and are willing to do anything they have to in order to dominate the human race. Then add spaceships, amazing acting, and train-wreck relationships that you can’t turn away from. Can you say perfect summer viewing? (If you don’t believe us, just watch this Portlandia clip.) All 5 seasons on Netflix.
Top of the Lake
Thanks to the BBC, we have a new appreciation for shorter series: They’re highly satisfying, with finely tuned characters and high production values, but don’t take up months of your life. (Check out Sherlock and see what we mean.) Our latest discovery is this haunting Sundance Channel 7-episode series, which takes place in New Zealand and features Elisabeth Moss as a detective chasing after a missing pregnant 12-year-old. Warning: It’s not the most uplifting show (some parts are very intense), but between the spectacular cinematography and the layered acting we guarantee it’s worth it. Available on Netflix.
A young Kristen Bell—whose sardonic voice you may recognize from Gossip Girl—plays the incredibly sharp, if emotionally complex, teenage girl detective. Think of her as the modern day take on Nancy Drew—one who’s a little more willing to add some bad-girl tendencies to her daily sleuthing repertoire. The cases are fascinating, how she solves them is strangely satisfying, and Enrico Colantoni’s turn as Keith Mars—Veronica’s good-natured, charming dad—will make your heart melt. Watch on Amazon Instant.
While we’re eagerly awaiting the return of Downton Abbey, our first love remains its inspiration, Upstairs Downstairs. Capturing the drama of everyday life between servants and masters at 165 Eaton Place in London, set against the backdrop of historical events like the Titanic sinking, World War I, and women’s suffrage (sound familiar?), the series was a smash hit in the UK when it aired in the 70s. What it may lack in production values it more than makes up in juicy plotlines. Stream away on Netflix.
For more fun ideas of what to eat, see and do this coming month, check out July’s Birchbox Agenda.