Summer TV means summer bingeing. And this month, we’ve got 10 series to get ready for. Among them, you’ll see an unusual amount of freshman titles returning for their second seasons – with five Certified Fresh first seasons to watch, total – and in preparation for Loki, we’ve got the rare feature film binge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So: Buckle up!
What it is: From creators Mae Martin and Joe Hampson, this semi-autobiographical series follows Mae (Martin), a recovering addict and Canadian standup comedian living in London, and her quickly blossoming relationship with George (Charlotte Ritchie), highlighting the high highs and low lows along their way to love.
Why you should watch it: The first 100% Certified Fresh season may run as a quick, digestible six episodes, but it won’t take long into the pilot for audiences to fall for — and really feel like they know — Mae. Inspired in part by Martin’s own experiences, the series is as intimate and unflinching as it is funny, striking a fine balance between heartbreaking and hilarious. Plus, Lisa Kudrow stars as Mae’s mother, so what more could you ask for! Its second and final season premieres June 4 on Netflix.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 3 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Tom Hiddleston returns to his beloved Loki in this crime thriller series, co-starring Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Wunmi Mosaku. Much of the series is characteristically being kept under wraps, but what we do know is that it takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame and follows an alternate version of Loki after he’s created a new timeline and is brought to trial by the Time Variance Authority (TVA), which demands he corrects it.
Why you should watch it: If Marvel and Disney+’s joint venture into expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe via the streaming screen has taught us anything, it’s that no matter what it puts out, these series are going to be appointment viewing. We expect Loki to be just as satisfying a watch as its predecessors, WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and are recommending you watch all of Loki’s feature film outings to get ready: Thor (2011), Marvel’s The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Or watch the entire MCU, in order, if you really want to do your homework. Season 1 of Loki premieres June 9 on Disney+.
Commitment: Approx. 13.5 hours (for all six feature films)
What it is: From one-of-a-kind creator Crystal Moselle and based on her film Skate Kitchen, Betty centers on a group of Gen-Z skater girls as they navigate the boys club of skating in New York City, personal relationships, and their own coming-of-age.
Why you should watch it: Utterly unique among HBO’s offerings in both scope and tone, Betty is a showcase for one of the liveliest freshman ensembles in recent memory and an encapsulation of the ties that bind in skating and in friendship.
Commitment: Approx. 6 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Victor is a teen who doesn’t quite know himself yet, as so many teens are: a high schooler in a new district whose family unit seems to be dissolving while he’s coming to terms with his sexuality, he’s got a lot on his plate! Love, Victor, from creators Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, is his story.
Why you should watch it: What’s not to love about Love, Victor? A welcome expansion — and in some instances, a subtle course-correct — on Greg Berlanti’s boundary-pushing studio feature Love, Simon, the series is a funny, touching, awkward, and at-times sexy ode to modern-day teendom in all its shades, featuring a standout, grounding performance from newcomer Michael Cimino. Season 2 premieres June 11 on Hulu.
Where to watch it: Hulu
Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Tuca & Bertie is an odd-couple comedy following two 30-year-old birds who are best friends and neighbors. One’s care-free to a fault, the other’s too cautious and anxious for her own good.
Why you should watch it: No one’s happier than us that Adult Swim decided to pick up Lisa Hanawalt’s Tuca & Bertie after Netflix’s unceremonious cancellation in 2019. Featuring a stacked voice cast led by Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong — and including Nicole Byer and Steven Yeun — the cartoon rings as true to city-dwelling millennials as any live-action series could hope to. Season 2 premieres June 13 on Adult Swim.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Every mad scientist needs a sidekick – this one just happens to be his fretful and largely incompetent grandson. Rick and Morty follows scientist Rick Sanchez after he moves in with his daughter’s family, the Smiths, and as he involves them (and specifically grandson, Morty) on intergalactic, reality-jumping, time-bending adventures.
Why you should watch it: From the minds of Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, Rick and Morty is a show like you’ve never seen before. Brazenly dark and existential while also being charmingly unhinged and laugh-out-loud funny, the series’ 42 episodes will breeze by in no time.
Commitment: Approx. 15.5 hours (for the first four seasons)
What it is: From the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Moonlight, Tarell Alvin McCraney’s David Makes Man charts the life and hardships of David, a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects who, haunted by the death of his friend and relied on by his mother as caretaker, seeks a way out to a better life.
Why you should watch it: David Makes Man just may be OWN’s best original series to date, and more people need to be watching it. The young Akili McDowell delivers a star turn as David, and the ensemble matches him every step of the way. Paired with creative flourishes and an engrossingly dreamy aesthetic, it’s unlike most anything else on TV. Season 2 – which time-jumps to follow an adult David –premieres June 22.
Commitment: Approx. 7.5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) gets the leading lady treatment with Paramount+’s hit spin-off of The Good Wife. Set one year after the events of that acclaimed series’ finale (and picking up on the morning of President Donald Trump’s 2016 inauguration), The Good Fight follows Lockhart after she’s forced out of her own firm and teams up with goddaughter Maia Rindell (Game of Thrones’ Rose Leslie) and The Good Wife’s Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo).
Why you should watch it: Sure, if you loved The Good Wife, you’ll love The Good Fight — but believe it or not, Baranski is even more astounding here and finds exciting new shades to the beloved Diane. Fans new and old rejoice. Season 5 premieres June 24 on Paramount+.
Commitment: Approx. 30 hours (for the first four seasons)
What it is: Titus Welliver stars as Harry Bosch, a steely, determined homicide detective keeping watch over the City of Angels in this Amazon Prime original series. Each season follows one major case and strikes the perfect balance between contemporary crime grit and smooth, yesteryear noir.
Why you should watch it: Bosch may be the best crime series you’ve never heard of. Change that! Co-creator Eric Ellis Overmyer is a seasoned vet of the genre; Homicide: The Movie and Law & Order both earned him Emmy nominations in 2000 and 2002, respectively. He knows his way around the daily dramas of LAPD homicide and proves the perfect collaborator for the source material’s author, Michael Connelly.
Where to watch: Amazon
Commitment: Approx. 51 hours (for the first six seasons)
What it is: Save Manhattan’s famous Central Park from condo developers, save the world. And sing while you do it! That’s the basic premise of this animated series from Bob’s Burgers mastermind Loren Bouchard and co-creators Nora Smith and Josh Gad, which follows a family who live in the park as they fend off land developers vying to expand the city’s notoriously in-demand real estate.
Why you should watch it: Kathryn Hahn is doing more than stealing the show on WandaVision this year. She’s one of the many voice talents on Central Park, along with Gad, Stanley Tucci, Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom Jr., Tituss Burgess, and the list goes on! Plus, you’ll hear songs from Sara Bareilles, Fiona Apple, Meghan Trainor, Cyndi Lauper, Alan Menken, and more. Sounds like a recipe for success to us! (And Apple thinks so, too, considering the streamer’s already ordered Season 3.) Season 2 premieres June 25 on Apple TV+.
Where to watch: Apple TV+
Commitment: Approx. 4 hours (for the first season)
Thumbnail image: Patrick Harbron/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved; © Marvel Studios 2020. All Rights Reserved; © OWN