Going outside” was always overrated, right?
It’s been a running joke these last few years that the tidal wave of new, great summer TV—once the scorched earth doldrums of reruns and one-off special events—has made an appealing case for hunkering down on the couch instead of seeking fun in the sun. Who needs a tan, anyway?
This year, however, it’s no joke. While the situation is different state by state and, of course, evolving, we’re all going to be stuck at home, whether or not it’s because we’re just that excited to see what Peacock, the new streaming service, has to offer. The world is in differing stages of shutdown. We’re in quarantine. And, thankfully, summer is no longer TV’s No Man’s Land. There’s a hell of a lot of stuff to watch.
Two major new streaming services are coming, with HBO Max getting about a six-week start on Peacock in its ploy for your subscription cash. Both are bringing massive catalogs of past movies and TV series—in the ruthless streaming wars, HBO Max boasts Friends, while Peacock is armed with The Office—but will also launch with big plays at original content. And that’s in addition to the dozens of new and returning shows coming from the channels and streamers to which you already subscribe.
Week by week, the future of TV programming is changing. Premiere dates are shifting later to ensure that networks have enough content to stretch across however long production shutdowns may last. Other premiere dates are moving up earlier, with platforms hoping to capitalize on captive audiences desperate for content. And new “at home” shows filmed during quarantine, predominantly reality TV, are announced on a seeming daily basis. I can only imagine that’s going to continue.
That said, we’ve perused the hundreds—quite literally—of shows, both new and returning, linear and streaming, coming to make your summer quarantine more enjoyable. From the return of critical favorites like Ramy and Search Party, to splashy new series starring Matthew Rhys (Perry Mason) and Ethan Hawke (The Good Lord Bird), and the streaming debut of a little phenomenon called Hamilton, here’s our roundup of a mere 50—yes, 50—summer TV series worth checking out.