From Netflix’s sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror and Henry Cavill’s final turn as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher to FX’s celebrated restaurant drama The Bear, here’s a taste of the TV and streaming shows you should catch up on before they return in June.
What it is: An anthology drama series (with a bit of a whodunit bent) that takes place during different periods of time in the 1990s, Cruel Summer follows the problematic relationship that develops between two teenage girls during their formative high school years. Season 2 premieres June 5.
Why you should watch it: If Pretty Little Liars and Memento had a baby, Cruel Summer would be it. Steeped in some wild YA flair, the series jumps around in multiple timelines to piece together an unfolding mystery that’s kicked off by a crime. The emotional core of the story falls on the female leads, which places the story lens specifically on their high school experience. Add in the period flavor of the 1990s, and a fair share of soap-y drama, Cruel Summer is a riveting binge that’ll keep you guessing until the very end.
Commitment: Approx. 10 hours (for the first season)
What it is: A group of oblivious narcissists – Mac (Rob McElhenney), Charlie (Charlie Day), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Frank (Danny DeVito), and Dee (Kaitlin Olson) – better known as, “The Gang,” are the owners of South Philly Irish bar, Paddy’s Pub. Each episode finds these worthless degenerates doing any con, scheme, or hair-brained career move to make a quick buck. Nothing is too low for these folks, and that’s what makes It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia so dang funny. Season 16 premieres June 7.
Why you should watch it: It’s the longest-running live-action TV sitcom in history, and that’s really saying something. In all that time, the series has remained relevant while continuing to deliver the unflinching laughs at our core group of depraved antiheroes. The Gang isn’t supposed to win, but watching them continue to try is a cathartic experience that keeps on giving.
Commitment: Approx. 54 hours (for seasons 1-15)
What it is: A dramedy that follows a first-generation Indian-American high school student who strives for popularity and status while dealing with family, friends, and all the emotional strife that comes with being a teenager. Season 4 premieres June 8.
Why you should watch it: Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher co-created the series and, given their previous creative partnership on The Mindy Project, it’s clear they’ve found a formula that works. Never Have I Ever is a comedy, a drama, and a romance all wrapped up in a coming-of-age tale inspired by Kaling’s own formative years.
Where to watch: Netflix (subscription, seasons 1-3)
Commitment: Approx. 12 hours (for seasons 1-3)
What it is: This animated workplace comedy (which is a spin off of Netflix’s raunchy hit Big Mouth) pulls back the curtain on the daily lives of the Hormone Monsters, Depression Kitties, Shame Wizards, and all the other supernatural entities that help people through every aspect of life from puberty to parenthood to the golden years. Season 2 premieres June 9
Why you should watch it: Using Big Mouth as a starting off point, Human Resources ventures beyond the hilarious horrors of puberty to dig into the meat of adulthood. And hoo golly do things get complicated. The gross humor fan have come to expect is here in in droves, but there’s also a surprising amount of heart. It’s a wonderful soul-stirring mix of sex jokes, potty humor, and life morals that you probably won’t find in any other animated series out there.
Where to watch: Netflix (subscription, season 1).
Commitment: Approx. 4 hours (for the first season)
What it is: One of the latest Star Trek original series in Paramount+’s ever-expanding TV universe, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is both a spin-off from Star Trek: Discovery and a prequel to the original series created by Gene Roddenberry. Strange New Worlds follows Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and the crew of the USS Enterprise on their mission to explore the galaxy and, just like the iconic opening monologue states, “strange new worlds.” Season 2 premieres June 15.
Why you should watch it: Unlike the recent Star Trek programs to hit television in recent decades, Strange New Worlds embraces the older format of The Original Series by delivering an adventure-of-the-week format to audiences. The standalone episodic narrative brings a lovely retro flair to things and harkens back to that feeling of wonder and progress that made Star Trek so appealing to begin with. Mount seems as if he was born to play Pike. He, along with the rest of the cast, prove to be worthy guides on this epic journey through space.
Commitment: Approx. 9 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Black Mirror is an anthology series that explores societal topics and tech-based concerns in various genre tales in a near-future world. Dystopian in nature and reminiscent of The Twilight Zone, Charlie Booker’s groundbreaking (and star-studded) anthology toggles the line between horror, sci-fi, comedy, and more, as it continues to tap into the modern world’s unease about the direction we may all be collectively heading. Season 6 premieres June 15.
Why you should watch it: The evolving relationship between humans and technology is the recurring theme that’s explored throughout the series. With the rise of AI, our reliance on social media, and our society’s continuing social disconnect, the concept feels more relevant than ever before.
Commitment: Approx. 24 hours (for seasons 1-5)
What it is: The food service—themed drama follows Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), a Michelin Star–winning chef, who returns home to Chicago to take over his family’s struggling sandwich spot after the death of his brother Michael (Jon Bernthal). Struggling to process his own grief while acclimating to his new surroundings away from the fine dining world he cut his teeth in, Carmy is faced with a stubborn kitchen staff and troubled family ties, all while working day and night to make the business profitable. Season 2 premieres June 22.
Why you should watch it: The opening episode of The Bear may be one of the most anxiety-inducing moments of television to air in recent years, but it’s also a jarringly realistic portrayal of working in a bustling restaurant kitchen. These chaotic beginnings flower into an exploration of grief and renewal against the backdrop of the Chicago food scene. It’s a smartly-written and fast-paced love letter to the food industry delivered by a stellar cast that also includes Ayo Edebiri, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Abby Elliott, Matty Matheson, L-Boy, Liza Colón-Zayas, and Oliver Platt.
Where to watch: Hulu (Subscription, season 1)
Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Based on Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s beloved books (which also inspired the hit video game franchise), The Witcher follows a professional monster hunter named Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) who works tirelessly to hold onto his humanity in a world overrun by supernatural beasts, corrupt royals, and sinister wizards. Season 3, Vol. 1 premieres June 29.
Why you should watch it: This one was a passion project for Cavill, who revealed his fandom of the books and video games. Not only does his character work prove Cavill was up to the challenge of taking on this brooding role, he’s become the face of the series. The world-building, effects, catchy songs, and family drama that plays out all result in a genre success for Netflix. And considering the fact that season 3 will be Cavill’s final run as the witcher (Liam Hemsworth will take over in the role in season 4), now’s the perfect time to catch up.
Where to watch: Netflix (subscription, seasons 1-2)
Commitment: Approx. 15 hours (for seasons 1-2)
Thumbnail image by Netflix.