Binge Guide

13 TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch This June

Legion, Jessica Jones, Big Little Lies, Pose, and more series are among the month's top binge TV offerings.

by | June 3, 2019 | Comments

Listen, we get it: This is the time of year that you want to be soaking up some sunshine and staying away from the various screens in your life. But with a crop of 13 certified fresh returning series like this, how can you resist!?

Fear the Walking Dead 75% (AMC)

What it is: An extension of the zombie apocalypse world of AMC mega-hit The Walking Dead that takes place in Los Angeles before the events of its mothership series and shows how city dwellers deal with the virus outbreak.

Why you should watch it: It comes as little surprise that if you love The Walking Dead, you’ll love Fear. Its engrossing backdrop and cast of memorable characters is enough to tune in week to week, even through some of its more languid, slow-boiled pacing. Season 5 premieres June 2 on AMC.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 40 hours (for the first four seasons)

Luther 88% (BBC America)

What it is: This BBC drama follows a brilliant Detective Chief Inspector (Idris Elba) who finds it difficult to strike a work-life balance as he struggles to toe the line between genius and madness.

Why you should watch it: Elba is a four-time Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner for his spellbinding performance as DCI Luther, a magnetic cross between Sherlock Holmes and Columbo, in this gritty character study that adds a new dimension to the cop show genre. Season 5 premieres June 2 on BBC America.

Where to watch it: Amazon, Google Play, MicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 17 hours (for the first four seasons)

Black Mirror 84% (Netflix)

What it is: Basing its title on the black, reflective screen of a powered-off phone, tablet, or computer, this hit anthological Channel 4-turned-Netflix series from creator Charlie Brooker examines mankind’s dark, twisted (and thankfully, for now, hypothetical) future when beholden to modern technology.

Why you should watch it: Few other sci-fi series today have proven as prescient on technology, sociology, and politics as Black Mirror, and it just keeps getting better. Plus, the Emmy-winning series has helped launch the careers of U.K. talent like Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Alex Lawther, Hayley Atwell, Domhnall Gleeson, and many others.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 20 hours (for the first four seasons)

The Handmaid's Tale 83% (Hulu)

What it is: Set in a not-too-distant future and adapted from Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale is the harrowing imagining of a society where fertile women are forced into slavery to help procreate for the rich and powerful. A gripping and prescient look at modern patriarchy’s darkest corners (and possible futures), it truly is must-watch TV.

Why you should watch it: Last year, The Handmaid’s Tale became the first-ever streaming series to take home the Television Academy’s top honor: the Emmy for best drama. We’d follow its formidable cast — Elisabeth Moss, Ann Dowd, Joseph Fiennes, Alexis Bledel, and Samira Wiley among them — and behind-the-camera creatives anywhere, maybe even to Gilead. Season 3 premieres on Hulu June 5. 

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 19 hours (for the first two seasons)

Designated Survivor 71% (Netflix)

What it is: David Guggenheim’s political thriller imagines what would happen if an entire presidential administration was killed in one fell swoop and the low-ranking cabinet member tapped as designated survivor (a true-life position here played by Kiefer Sutherland) was sworn in as leader of the free world.

Why you should watch it: This network drama-turned-Netflix reboot marks a welcomed return to TV for Sutherland, who, as the titular survivor Tom Kirkman, holds no prisoners as a man between a rock and hard place. Paired with crackling scripts and an excellent ensemble, Designated Survivor is a mile-a-minute thrill-ride and a worthy follow-up to 24. Season 3 premieres on Netflix June 7.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 30 hours (for the first two seasons)

Big Little Lies 89% (HBO)

What it is: From creator David E. Kelley and based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies is an murder mystery of intertwined upper-class mothers living in Monterey, California.

Why you should watch it: Big Little Lies is one of the buzziest ensemble dramas on TV today, and that’s thanks in large part to its stacked cast of A-list stars and producers: Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz — and, in an twist that just about broke the internet, Meryl Streep is co-starring in the new episodes as a woman whose arrival in the rich seaside town of Monterrey causes trouble for the main women. Season 2 returns by popular demand on HBO June 9.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, HBO Now, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 7 hours (for the first season)

Claws 90% (TNT)

What it is: Niecy Nash stars as Desna Simms, the takes-no-prisoners owner of  a nail salon in the swampy town of Manatee County, Florida. She’s flanked by a scene-stealing assortment of coworkers and patrons. The drama flares, however, when she and her employees turn to organized crime and start laundering money.

Why you should watch it: Full of camp, high-stakes crime drama, and firecracker scripts with performances to match, Claws is some of the most fun you’ll have with a TV series this summer. Plus we’ll take any excuse to see two-time Emmy nominee Nash execute her perfect blend of humor, brawn, and heart as the leading lady. Season 3 premieres June 9.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 15 hours (for the first two seasons)

Pose 98% (FX)

What it is: From creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals, Pose depicts New York City’s ballroom and voguing scene of the 1980s with sickening pageantry, tea-spilling drama, and high fashions for the gods.

Why you should watch it: Pose made waves upon its premiere by being the largest ever ensemble cast of transgender actors playing trans characters on TV. But aside from its progressive stamp of approval for onscreen representation, it’s also just damn good TV, expertly acted, written, and directed, and unafraid to tackle LGBTQ+ issues that we’ve never seen explored in such a way before. Season 2 premieres on FX June 11.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOWGoogle Play, Microsoft, NetflixVudu

Commitment: Approx. 6 hours (for the first season)

Queen Sugar 98% (OWN)

What it is: After the unexpected death of their father, estranged siblings Ralph-Angel (a conman fresh out of prison), Nova Bordelon (a New Orleans–based journalist and activist), and Charley Bordelon (an upper-class Los Angeles mother to a teenage son) move to rural Louisiana to claim their inheritance: hundreds of acres of sugarcane farmland.

Why you should watch it: Queen Sugar is the result of women both behind and in front of the camera joining their powers: executive producer Oprah Winfrey; executive producer, director, and writer Ava DuVernay; stars Rutina Wesley and Dawn-Lyen Gardner; and other female directors for each episode of its three seasons. And their work isn’t the only stunning aspect of the series — sprawling locations under the Louisiana sun and timely discussions of racial prejudice, mass incarceration, and more make it a thought-provoking family drama. Season 4 premieres on OWN June 12.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 32.5 hours (for the first three seasons)

Younger 98% (TV Land)

What it is: Sex and the City helmer Darren Star strikes gold again for city-dwelling women of a certain age with Younger, starring theater vet and now small-screen charmer Sutton Foster as a single mother who lies about her age to pursue her dreams in publishing.

Why you should watch it: Foster is absolutely pitch-perfect in this fun, sexy, metropolitan comedy, and she’s matched by a bevy of scene-stealing co-stars: Miriam Shor, Hilary Duff, Nico Tortorella, and Debi Mazar, who are all stellar. Season 6 premieres on TV Land June 12.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: About 25 hours (for the first five seasons)

Marvel's Jessica Jones 82% (Netflix)

What it is: Private detective/hard-drinking superhero Jessica Jones overcomes abuse and reluctantly helps save the residents of New York City in the final season of Netflix’s Marvel propjects.

Why you should watch it: Krysten Ritter is sublime as the jeans-and-leather jacket-wearing titular superhero, and her nuanced performance is vital to the portrayal of abuse on screen. Plus, the supporting cast — led by Rachael Taylor and Carrie-Ann Moss, plus David Tennant as the insidious first-season villain Kilgrave — is second to none.  Season 3 premieres on Netflix June 14.

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: About 17.5 hours (for the first two seasons)

The Detour 90% (TBS)

What it is: The Detour follows the Parker family as they embark on a roadtrip from their Syracuse, New York home to Florida for a family vacation.

Why you should watch it: As its title would indicate, not everything goes to plan in this well-meaning family road trip, and missteps and mishaps abound. Created by husband-wife duo Samantha Bee and Jason Jones (who stars as the central father with Natalie Zea, Ashley Gerasimovich, and Liam Carroll), the scripts are funny and heartfelt while still leaving room for some unexpected run-ins with the law and other twists. Season 4 premieres on TBS June 18.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 11 hours (for the first three seasons)

Dark 95% (Netflix)

What it is: This foreign-language streaming series from creators Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friesehildren combines elements of time travel sci-fi, horror, and family drama to tell the story of the fictional German town of Winden; its children are inexplicably disappearing, leaving residents in varied states of emotional disarray.

Why you should watch it: Netflix’s first German-language original series is a doozy: spine-tinglingly eerie, fantastical, and at times downright terrifying, it’s a must-watch for any fans of the genre. Season 2 premieres on Netflix June 21.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 8.5 hours (for the first season)

Legion 91% (FX)

What it is: While Legion is among the most original—and undefinable—series on TV today, in the simplest of terms, it’s the story of psych-ward patient David Haller (Dan Stevens) and his sidekick-turned-nemesis Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) as David more fully becomes what he’s always known himself to be: a mutant.

Why you should watch it: To anyone who says they’re tiring of the superhero genre overtaking film and TV, we say, “Have you seen Legion?” Noah Hawley’s absolutely singular X-Men–based vision is a mind-bending and engrossing head-scratcher that’s well worth committing to. And committing is exactly what Stevens and Plaza do with their no-holds-barred, fearless performances. Season 3, its final season, premieres on FX June 24.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 15 hours (for the first two seasons)

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Thumbnail image photo credit: David Giesbrecht/Netflix; Sarah Shatz/FX; Pari Dukovic/FX

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