TV Brew: Summer Television Catch-Up Guide
It’s summer and that means binge watch season. Here’s our list of what to catch up on and what we’re looking forward to!
Catch Up – Riverdale
The current Mark Waid run on Archie takes our favorite gang of friends and puts them in the modern day. They deal with multiple topics such as cyber bullying, body shaming, suicide and so much more. Riverdale also tackles these issues. Plus it’s very interesting to see these takes in the Archie universe.
Upcoming – Jack Ryan
I am excited for Jack Ryan because I am a huge Tom Clancy fan and I think this could work really well as a series. My Dad introduced me to Clancy’s first book, The Hunt For Red October, when we were at a local bookstore when I was 13 years old. I fell in love with the story and the characters and read Red October in one day. I just couldn’t put it down. I wanted more so I picked up more of Clancy’s books and fell deeper in the rabbit hole. He was such an amazing storyteller, I look forward to seeing his characters week-to-week.
Catch Up – Barry
This dark comedy from Bill Hader and Alec Berg takes the premise of Grosse Pointe Blank to its actual logical conclusion. In Barry we have a villain protagonist who, at his heart, is actually a good guy but who has no coping mechanisms outside of killing. When he decides he wants to live a normal life, both his handler – Stephen Root at his terrifying best – and his own lack of social skills and understanding of the world outside of war and murder, sabotage him at every turn. Hader turns in a wonderful, funny and heartbreaking performance, supported by a fantastic cast with the standouts being the legendary Henry Winkler, the consistently amazing in everything Anthony Carrigan and the show stopping Paula Newsome.
Bingeing – Queen Sugar and Atlanta
These two groundbreaking series from Ava DuVernay and Donald Glover are part of a larger black renaissance in film, theater and music.
Queen Sugar, the series that’s basically King Lear set in the south, follows the three children of Ernest Bordelon, owner of the Queen Sugar plantation. When he dies it throws his children’s lives into chaos as he evenly splits the shares of the plantation among them. Wonderfully written and beautifully acted, this series, like This Is Us, is almost too much to wait for and, for me personally, I find it better to watch the episodes back to back as opposed to making myself stressed waiting to find out what happens next!
As for Atlanta, I love Donald Glover, I have since Community and seeing him live as Childish Gambino at Ramshead. Atlanta is surreal and hilarious but, again, the twists and turns of the seasons are too much for me and I need to be able to know what happens now!
Upcoming – Raising Dion
Based on the comic book (Which, if you haven’t read it, you really should) and short by Dennis Liu Raising Dion is the story of a single mother who is trying to raise her child after her husband dies tragically. The problem? Dion happens to be a metahuman. Picked up by Netflix and produced by Liu and co-star Michael B. Jordan this series drops in 2019 and looks to be an intense, yet wholesome look at a superhero’s life…from their mom’s perspective.
Catch up – Bojack Horseman & Black Lightning
At this point it’s hard to find superlatives to describe Bojack Horseman, but I’ll take a crack at it regardless. Bojack has proven itself to be a very deep look into the cyclical nature of abuse, trauma, and the cancerous isolation that fame can create. Combine that with the voice work of a cast filled with people like Will Arnett (who is doing the role of his career), Alison Brie, Aaron Paul, and Paul F. Tompkins and it’s really hard not to be excited about the show’s return.
The CW Arrowverse as a whole is something I’ve grown increasingly worn out by. The shows all tend to be anchored by a primarily white cast, that all veer into varying modes of betrayal as the main source of drama. (How many times has Barry/Ollie screwing everyone over been a plot point?) While Black Lightning is cast from the same mold as the other DC CW dramas, the shape it takes is most definitely not of a kind. Like Luke Cage, Black Lightning is a very socially conscious show, with both of the main protagonists and most of the main cast being of African descent. Both shows take on what it means to be black, in very different social and economic contexts, while showing that some problems are universal. Given what a blast the debut season was, it’s hard not to be excited to see what road the sophomore season will walk.
Upcoming – Young Justice
There’s a litany of reasons that Young Justice’s return is a must see. Aside from the Timmverse, Young Justice was one of the most concise adaptations of the DC Universe there has ever been with gorgeous art and fantastic vocal direction. That it took younger, less well-trodden characters in a distinct direction no less, really helped with making it unique. It also helps that they introduced one of my favorite DC characters of the last decade with Khary Payton‘s Aqualad. On top of that it managed to thread the line between servicing the universe it took inspiration from, balancing out teen drama and espionage stories in a superhero universe. Then there’s that ending; it’s hard not to want to see it return… even if it’s in 2019.
Alec and Justine
Catch up – Legion
I love superhero type shows/movies, but Legion doesn’t push the hero thing. Yes, they have powers, but the lines of hero and villain are blurred, which I love because it doesn’t continue the (incorrect) assumption that heroes can do no wrong.
Upcoming- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
I’m looking forward to the last season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend because it’s a great story of mental health struggles while not being too heavy and I hope that they can give a solid ending to what has already been an interesting, and sometimes hard hitting, story.
Watching – Claws
I’m enjoying the current season of Claws because it’s great to watch the consequences of Desna’s actions as she tries to make a good life for herself and her disabled brother. The fact that the cast is mostly POC and they call people on their racist ideas and terms within the plot of the show is amazing.
Bingeing – Wynonna Earp
Wynonna Earp with Alec. So far it’s good, but we haven’t watched much of it yet. Mostly watching it because we heard it was lady Supernatural but with the LGBT stuff being realized and recognized by the writers and actors.
No Wayward Sisters? Watch Wynonna
Wynonna presents excellent bisexual representation that I was made aware of on Tumblr, and the fact that I can get something with Supernatural-esque vibes during the hiatus. With the added bonus of it being supportive of female characters.
Catch Up – Brooklyn 99 & The Good Place
For years I have been laughing at memes and clips from Brooklyn 99 but I never watched the show. Then it was cancelled and I realized I missed my chance right up until it was pardoned. I won’t be making that mistake again.
The Good Place:
Two good friends of mine, who do not know each other, both swear by this show. The last show they both agreed on was Parks and Recreation, so it is definitely time to give this one a chance.
So, there you have it! These are our pics of what to watch this summer, and what we’re looking forward to, what are yours? Let us know in the comments!
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