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7 Shows You Should Be Obsessed With This Summer

L to R: Review, Bunheads, iZombie, Burning Love; Bottom: Orange is the New Black (Graphic: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight.com)

What better way to celebrate sunny skies and sultry temperatures than to hide inside, surrounded by the comforts of home and episode after episode of riotous comedies and tissue-requiring dramas? Here are a few that you’ll want to watch in their entirety while hunkered down in the air conditioning. A few you’ve heard of, and some may be brand new — to you.1. Burning Love

A tart refresher for fans of The Bachelor‘s roses-and-rings universe, this Ben Stiller-produced show has some of comedy’s brightest lights — among them Ken Marino (Party Down, The State), June Diane Raphael (Grace and Frankie), Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars), and Natasha Leggero (Another Period) — taking on the American ideal of “happily ever after” and the not-here-to-make-friends archetypes that populate competitive reality TV. Packed with absurd situations (“fruit run,” puppetry) and the sort of people who would only be welcome in your living room through your television, Burning Love offers laughs that are just familiar enough to be passable as actual Bachelor segments. (Stream it here.)

2. iZombie

Ever been to a party and had it turn into a buffet for a bunch of uninvited-yet-desperately-ravenous zombies? Medical resident Liv Moore deals with the fallout of becoming a member of the walking undead in this bleakly witty procedural co-created by Veronica Mars mastermind Rob Thomas. Liv’s crossover to the zombie world forces her to take a job at the medical examiner’s office, where her boss allows her to nosh on the brains that come through. She soon discovers that eating those organs allows her to both inherit the owners’ personality traits and gain insight into just how they died. Cue the crime solving, complete with beleaguered detective with whom Liv shares her “psychic-ish” insights. (Stream it here.)

3. Review

Comedian Andy Daly — who earlier showed off his game-for-anything nature in a cheerfully beleaguered turn on Eastbound & Down — plays Forrest MacNeil, a happily married TV host who’s given the charge of reviewing life experiences. (One episode’s opening premise: “What would it be like to eat 15 pancakes in one sitting?”) Part comedic take on experiential TV, part harrowing look at how a person’s job can ruin their entire existence if they let it, Review is one of the most boundary-pushing comedies on TV right now. Season 2 premieres July 30, giving you plenty of time to catch up. (Stream it here.)

4. Cheers

About 33 years have past since cameras first glimpsed the interior of the Boston bar owned by former Red Sox hurler Sam Malone, and while some of Cheers‘ fashions and gender attitudes might seem a bit dated in 2015, the patter between Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Rhea Pearlman, George Wendt, and the rest of the bar’s regulars remains electric. (Stream it here.)

5. Bunheads

Earlier this month, a panel reuniting most of the original cast from Amy Sherman-Palladino’s quirky dramedy Gilmore Girls caused hearts to flutter. Sherman-Palladino’s follow-up show, Bunheads, about a Las Vegas showgirl (Sutton Foster) who abandons the Sunset Strip for the sometimes-off-kilter charms of small-town California life, may not have had the same effect, but it was still a noble successor. Foster and her castmates (including Gilmore matriarch Kelly Bishop) share a crackling chemistry, and the titular “bunheads,” a group of ballerinas-in-training (among them The Affair‘s Julia Goldani Telles), charm viewers as they balance the everyday ups and downs of adolescence with their rigorous study. It only lasted one season, but its combination of quick-talking, yet deeply felt dialogue and gorgeously expressive dancing makes it a singular television achievement. (Stream it here.)

6. Orphan Black

When I tell people they should be watching Orphan Black, they ask me what it’s about, and I say, “Tatiana Maslany plays a small-time con artist who watches her doppelganger commit suicide by train and then takes on that woman’s identity.” To say much more about the premise of this twisty, twisted series — now in its third season on BBC America — would be to reveal too much. Which isn’t to say it’s only about the element of surprise; the richly realized performance by Maslany, as well as her co-stars like Jordan Gavaris and Maria Doyle Kennedy (The Commitments), leaps off the screen, and the universe the show has created provides a precisely calibrated dystopian chill. (Stream it here.)

7. Orange Is The New Black

The third season chronicling the ups and downs of life at Litchfield Penitentiary landed a few weeks ago on Netflix, and if you haven’t dug into the day-to-day trials of Piper, Red, Taystee, Poussey, Crazy Eyes, and the rest of the prison’s general population yet, it must be really nice out where you’re living right now. (Stream it here.)

Filed under: TV

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Maura Johnston

Maura Johnston is the editor of Maura Magazine and the ILA Journalism Fellow at Boston College. Her favorite album of 2013 is Marnie Stern's The Chronicles Of Marnia.

1 Comment

  1. diane says

    Unreal is fab on lifetime… way better than reality and odd mom out on bravo beyond funny

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