After this upcoming Sunday night we will be forced to deal with the unfortunate reality that for the next year Game of Thrones will be out of our lives. Well, as a television show. As a source of rumors and speculation, I expect that to be ramped up to levels that will dwarf even the show’s last off season, when stories about whether or not Jon Snow was dead or not seemed to pop up at least once a day. We don’t know how this season will end, but the odds are good it will end with the same type of fireworks as last season’s did. And then it will be gone.
Just like that.
Shit man, then what will we talk about? Politics? Uh, hard pass. This presidential election is going to be ugly, so let’s leave it to your disgruntled middle-aged white uncle and disgruntled Bernie supporters to hash things out on Facebook.
We could talk about sports. Sure. Go Pats. Remember baseball? That’s still a thing.
Yet as far as television goes, I’m not sure we’ll see a true event television show like we have the past two summers when True Detective filled that void. I think we may have some contenders though, and overall, there are definitely some shows out there to fill that crippling crater of a hole left behind by Game of Thrones. Some have already come out, while others are coming later this summer.
What Has Already Come Out, But Is Worth Watching
These are your binge-worthy candidates; what you should watch so you know what your co-workers are talking about.
Orange is the New Black
Orange is the New Black returned recently, something that should excite the dwindling number of people who have stuck with the show. I haven’t and hadn’t even thought twice about it. Wasn’t Piper only supposed to be in jail for like a year? How the hell is she in there? They’ve had at least two Christmas episodes and I might not be a genius, but that would have seemed to show a passing of time that conflicts with the idea of her being locked up for only a short stretch.
Peaky Blinders‘ third season also recently returned and if you like your TV shows confusing, but cool looking – then this show is for you.
Now I’m a fan, but I’ll also be the first one to admit that at least 40% of the show is lost on me thanks to two pretty big factors. First, the accents. The show takes place in Birmingham, England in the 1920’s and is over-flowing with thick English accents that can be a trifle hard to discern. Secondly, the writers of Peaky Blinders aren’t much for setting up a story and definitely prefer just jumping into them as opposed to laying a foundation for them. As a result, you’re generally a little confused during the first parts of seasons. But hey, they do love a good slo-mo entrance shot accompanied by some blistering British guitar rock. Peaky Blinders is easily one of the best looking shows on television, something that eases the pain and frustration that comes with not knowing what the hell is going on half the time.
Not on Netflix…
O.J.: Made in America
Well if you haven’t watched OJ: Made in America, you are only hurting yourself. Think of The People vs OJ Simpson, the FX show that ran earlier this year, as the appetizer. This five part documentary is the main course and it’s serious business. This isn’t just about OJ; it’s about the racial tensions in L.A. dating back to the ’60’s, OJ’s relationship with African American community, not just in L.A., but among other prominent black athletes, and the seeds of domestic abuse that were planted along the way to Nicole Simpson’s brutal murder. It’s gripping, truly gripping, and if nothing else, absolutely demolishes any lingering doubts about whether or not OJ killed Nicole and Ron Goldman because dude, he totally did.
Preacher on AMC is a handful of episodes in. I’ve seen two. I’m not totally sure what’s going on, but I’m certainly interested. The show had one of the best pilots I’ve ever seen and while the second episode doesn’t clarify much, it keeps things going forward. And hey, Texas forever, man. This show definitely has some serious potential.
What’s Coming Up…
HBO has two shows – two that couldn’t be more different, coming up and one of them has Event Television potential written all over it.
It’s not Vice Principals, the new show starring Danny McBride. Even still, the show looks hilarious. It might be interpreted as more of the same from McBride, but I for one love McBride and his style of comedy – so I’m in.
The Night Of
As for The Night Of, that one seems to be the potential big dog of the Summer of 2016.
I’m not entirely sure what it’s about, but it’s continued to have the most intriguing trailers; each one making me more and more interested in a show that seems to be about a murder, a suspect and you know, some other cool shit. One summer preview likened it to The Wire. You had me at The. In the absence of True Detective this summer, the smart money is on The Night Of being the show that your co-workers will be looking to talk about Monday morning.
Bachelor in Paradise
But get that gabbing out of the way because come Monday night, it’s all about THE BEST SHOW ON TELEVISION…Bachelor in Paradise. The wonderfully exceptional tropical dumpster fire kicks off August 2nd, which is literally the only reason to think past July right now. I can’t effin’ wait. Chadbear, Jubilee, the twins, Lace, some returners – all not drinking enough water, wearing enough sunscreen, harboring enough inhibitions. Dude, this show is amazing. Well, up until the last week or so. Because then it gets kind of boring. The first two weeks are great, but the middle is when things get good.
Also known as the show with the off-putting title on the network mostly known for Suits (USA,) Mr. Robot was last summer’s pleasant surprise, a show that snuck on nearly everyone. Well everyone who didn’t already watch USA because they seemed to be the only ones who saw it coming. The show’s second season kicks off July 13th and the weird thing about it, is that despite the fact that it garnered so much buzz last season, it’s still kind of flying under the radar. It’s almost as if everyone forgot how crazy the first season was and is somehow taking it for granted. That’s foolish and you’ll be back on board halfway into the first episode, if not sooner. I mean, I can barely even remember what the hell happened, but I’m ready to go again. Eff you Evil Corp!
Finally, there are two shows coming up on Netflix that look worth checking out.
This looks dope if you’re looking for a good mind screw in the hot summertime. Winona Ryder was really good in Show Me a Hero and who wouldn’t be rooting for a Winonassaince?
The Get Down
I only made it through the first couple episodes of Vinyl and one of the reasons I bailed on it was because I felt I was watching at least four different shows at once and unfortunately the main show, the one about the main character being a stereotype, was my least favorite. Yet one of the cooler ones was the glimpse of the early hip hop scene blossoming in New York in the late ’70’s. And now, as if there weren’t enough reasons out there to not go back to Vinyl, there’s The Get Down. This show looks lively as hell and next to Bachelor in Paradise, it might be the one I’m looking forward to the most.
I’m also looking forward to getting outside. It is summer after all.