If someone had told me four months ago that we’d still be quarantining in July, I would have (a) nervously laughed in their face (what? no way that’s possible!) and (b) done a few things differently. For starters, I’d have paced my binge-watching of my favorite shows instead of spending nearly every night in April and May on the couch with my husband watching ‘just one more’ episode of whatever show we were hooked on that week.
With nothing left to watch in June, we read books, did online workouts, cooked (well, I cooked), had deep conversations, and didn’t turn the TV on once — it was much-needed and so wonderful. But now that we’ve hit our thirty day TV sobriety goal, all we keep hearing from our friends and families are the amazing shows we’ve missed. And since we’re not a couple that deals very well with FOMO, we’re back to living it up from the couch (just not every night), and we’re not feeling one bit guilty about it.
Anchoring in front of the TV with the AC turntt’ up is one of our team’s favorite ways to recharge, cry a little, laugh a lot, and even learn a thing or two, so we compiled a list of our top picks of the best shows to binge watch this summer.
Scroll on for our team’s top picks (in no particular order) of what you should be watching right now and why. Have anything that we must-try? Let us know in the comments what you’ve been watching (and loving!) lately.
This sharp, satirical comedy follows the trajectory of one very ambitious millennial with his sights set on becoming President… and it feels prescient in its ability to comment on our cultural landscape in a way that makes you laugh, makes you squirm, and makes you think, all at the same time. We just finished Season 2 on Netflix, and although the plot lines are outlandish, they’re just close enough to reality to drive home some thought-provoking ideas. Created by the team that brought us “Glee,” it’s the same lightening-fast dialog and on-point costuming, but through a darker, more cynical lens. –Camille
Gosh, I wish these episodes were longer. I’ve watched Insecure since it’s debut and love the deep, thought provoking, real life topics it covers. This season strangely mirrored our society, diving into racial complexities including the tension that exists within POC communities, specifically between Asian Americans and African Americans. I loved the evolution of the characters and Issa Rae’s ability to provide humor and warmth even amidst adversity is truly refreshing. –Riley
I love a good hook, and this show wastes no time, drawing you in right at the beginning with a suspenseful, thought-provoking pilot. Adapted from the book by Celeste Ng, this show follows the story of two women of starkly different identities and backgrounds, and unfolds the conflict between them. It explores complexities about race, background, sexuality and family that are especially important today. Plus, it’s set in 1997 and I’m a sucker for nostalgia and 90’s vibes. –Michelle
The Last Dance on Hulu (but coming to Netflix this month!)
This 10-part series was a total flashback to the late 90’s and a deep dive inside Michael Jordan’s career from highschool to pro ball. I knew it would be nostalgic and full of history, but it was the story of the sports marketing machine that really stuck with me. As a seasonal viewer, it’s easy for me to watch a one-off game — or — if I’m into a team — the whole season and see it as just that; a game. What I often forget about are the endorsement deals; owner-to-coach drama or bias; and a general reminder that at the end of the day, it’s a business. A business full of millions of dollars, celebrity-status, and more recently, a venue for activism and political statement, but a business no less. It makes me view the sport through a different lens and highlights the power of money. Fun fact: the series name comes from a phrase coined by old Bulls coach Phil Jackson, who knew the season would likely be the final run for the core members of the 90’s Bulls dynasty. –Kelly
The first show to premiere on HBO’s streaming channel, HBO Max was a hit for me. Produced by Anna Kendrick, she stars in a fresh take on a romantic comedy anthology series about the journey from first love to lasting love, and how the people we’re with along the way make us into who we are when we finally end up with someone forever. It felt like a modern day Sex and the City, but only following one character’s progression from a partying 20-something girl without a care in the world, into a responsible, independent woman who won’t take anything less than the love she wants and deserves. Great to watch solo or with your girlfriends, but boyfriends or husbands may want to sit this one out. –Kat
We discovered this reality show on the latest Season 7… then promptly binged each episode and went back and started from Season 1. The show follows the self-documented struggles of 10 people as they survive in an impossibly wild location (Vancouver Island, Patagonia, the Arctic) for as long as possible using a limited amount of survival equipment. The last man standing takes home $500,000. My favorite part of the show is watching the mental endurance they have to go through, which proves possibly even more difficult than the physical challenges. I always learn a few things too — ya know, just in case I ever find myself in the wilderness with only a tarp and a fire starter. –Camille
This show is literal sunshine and after 5 seasons, I still can’t get enough. If you haven’t seen Queer Eye before, you’re in for a treat. Season five just came out on Netflix in early June, and each feel-good episode features the “Fab Five” – a team of hilarious experts you’ll fall in love with. These five men give fashion and lifestyle makeovers to people of all genders and backgrounds, but the show delves below the surface and points out real-life struggles people face in our society today. Each episode is packed with tips and wisdom for all, and you’ll laugh and cry all the way through, while learning something new about yourself, too. –Michelle
I am happy to announce that my fiancé watched this entire season by my side and even choreographed a dance to match the opening music. Entertaining, provocative and historic, Mrs. America kept us engaged on every level. The show provides a stunning portrayal of the political landscape in the 70s told through the eyes of the women of the era. The story of the movement to ratify the ERA and the aggressive, surprising backlash led by a conservative woman reveals the diversity of our gender and how politically driven our country is (then and now). –Riley
The latest season of Phil Rosenthal’s hit show is a delight. Starring the Everybody Loves Raymond producer and writer, the episodes are short in length but pack an entertaining punch – enough so to keep my four-year-old son entertained. Phil is genuine, kind and inquisitive. We love how he breaks bread with those different than himself and explores new places and ideas with an open heart. It’s a refreshing respite from the 24-hour news cycle! –Anne
Yellowstone follows the Dutton family in Montana, led by John Dutton (Kevin Costner), who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the US. The ranch is under constant attack by those it borders—greedy land developers, an Indian reservation, and those who will do just about anything to gain control of the Dutton’s land to make it their own. This ‘Wild West’ style show takes a deep look at love, life, family, and leaving behind a legacy that you’re proud of. My whole family loves it! –Kat
This is not another food show. Padma takes viewers around the US speaking to immigrants and locals to tell the story of the roots and history of the food and cultures we know and love to today. As I watched, I thought about everything I enjoy about food and dining out: exploring other cultures; sitting around a table for good conversation or celebration; and trying new-to-me foods, yet, I rarely think about where the food originated and the story behind it. So many immigrants have brought their food culture to the US and we’ve Americanized and profited off it for years. I love that Padma story tells through the lens of education, and celebration, while leaving me curious about how I consume and how I’ll approach food consumption and appreciation moving forward. If I were a teacher, this would be required watching for my classroom, and I’ll probably “assign” this to my family on our next Sunday catch up. –Kelly