If you are old enough to remember the days when summer vacation meant reruns and hours of game show television, then I am here to tell you, you don't have to worry about that any more!
Thanks to the beauty of online streaming, and a much more summer-friendly schedule from the networks, there is plenty of new programming coming your way.
So, for those of you who aren't quite ready to give up the 'Netflix and Chill' mindset to throw on that swimsuit, check out these five shows that are bound to make sure summer viewing a must!
1. Outcast on Cinemax
Even though the show has already had its much-anticipated premiere, there's nothing wrong with jumping in now! This newest book-to-screen adaptation from The Walking Dead's creator Robert Kirkman, is nothing short of spectacular. Set in rural West Virginia, Outcast follows the journey of Kyle Barnes returning to his hometown, only to be met with whispers and speculation about him and his family.
You see, when Kyle was a boy, his mother was possessed by a demon. While most of the town thought she was just mentally ill, it was the Reverend Anderson who was able to explain to Kyle what was happening. It was also then that Kyle discovered his unusual ability to exorcise a demon from its host.
Now, after losing his wife and daughter and returning to where it all started, Kyle is faced the traumatic events surrounding him, while trying to help Reverend Anderson on figure out why the people of Rome, WV are getting possessed.
Outcast is chilling, disturbing, and out-right scary. It will make you grateful for those few extra hours of daylight before it gets dark.
Currently airing Fridays at 10/9C on Cinemax.
2. Aquarius on NBC
One of the country's most notorious and heinous crime took place during the summer of 1969 when Charles Manson sent members of his family out to torture and kill Sharon Tate and her friends. The late 1960's became a turning point, as the height of the counterculture, Vietnam and racial riots came to a head.
Aquarius, is the story of how Charles Manson (played by Game of Thrones' Gethin Anthony) rose to be the figure of madness that he ultimately became. Set in and around Los Angeles, 1967, it focuses mostly on the LAPD, and a Detective named Sam Hodiak (David Duchovny) and his new partner, undercover agent Brian Shafe (Grey Damon). Their cases lead them straight to Manson, who is oozing drugs, women and whole bushel of crazy.
Throw in some sexism, racial and homophobic tensions, and this my friends turns into a recipe for a fun, intriguing summer show that may make you wish you knew Doc Brown and had use of his time machine. Did I mention the soundtrack is amazing?!
Season 1 is available on Netflix, Season 2 begins airing Thursday, June 16 at 9/8C.
3. Stranger Things on Netflix
Since Stranger Things has yet to begin streaming on Netflix, let me tell you a little about why this show looks so cool. Think of it as a mashup of Stand by Me, Super 8 and E.T. all rolled into one. Not interested? Well, at least watch the trailer and let me know if you feel differently now...
Great! It's got a great vintage vibe, and the cast looks pretty good. Oh, and anytime you have a team of kids banding together to try and solve a mystery that involves (presumably) aliens, the forever 10-year-old girl that lives in my heart squeals a little with nostalgic delight.
A love letter to the supernatural classics of the 80's, Stranger Things is the story of a young boy who vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl.
There is never enough good science fiction on TV for me, and I think that Stranger Things is going to fill a much needed roster spot on my summer tv schedule!
Stranger Things begins streaming on Netflix, on Friday, July 15th.
4. Orange is the New Black on Netflix
Yes, I am going to be one of those people... 'What do you MEAN you haven't tried OITNB yet?'
Seriously, get on this people.
I am not one for drama shows in general. That is, unless there is some sort of sci-fi or supernatural element to it. I resisted this show for a long time. I really did. Then, I found myself in a summer show black hole and I was bored to death. Don't get me wrong, I could binge watch certain shows over and over again till Netflix begs for mercy, but sometimes a girl just needs something new. I found my perfect fit, in Orange.
It's a foul-mouthed, borderline lesbian porno at times, but when you get down to the women who are serving their time at Litchfield, and the reasons they are there, all that other stuff just falls away. Even if you have little-to-no care for the main character (as I do), it is truly the other women that make this show so special.
There's even some humor at times that doesn't feel forced, and sometimes makes you feel bad for laughing (looking at you Crazy Eyes). At the end of the day, if you just want to fill a boring summer night with a little something spicy, start binging OITNB to catch up before Season 4 is available. Just make sure to bring your own drinks, all these girls can offer you is toilet water hooch. Can't imagine that is going to taste very good.
Season 4 streams on Netflix on Friday, June 17th.
5. Fear the Walking Dead on AMC
Now, before you get all, 'oh man, FTWD stinks!' 'It's nothing like The Walking Dead!' 'The characters are boring... dumb...' etc. etc. I implore you to try again.
As a big fan of The Walking Dead, I went into Fear with a lot of expectations and they were quickly dashed one by one. When the first season ended, I felt cheated. I agreed to watch season 2 begrudgingly, and decided to try watching it with a different mind set. You know what? It worked.
I know, I know... you shouldn't have to put that much work into watching a show. However, in the case of Fear the Walking Dead, I beg to differ. Having the mothership, mega-ratings show has been both a blessing and a curse to its prequel plotted off-spring. Yes, it helped draw people into watching it, but those same people are so in love with the original, that nothing will ever compare.
However, what you are missing out on is something we never actually got in The Walking Dead. We met that group after they had already transitioned from everyday schmucks going to work, to a band of hard core survivors. In most of their cases, we didn't see them lose their family or friends in the beginning. We didn't see what they did to get out of wherever they lived, to that camp outside of Atlanta. In Fear, we do. Because of that, we are getting a very different type of survivor. One that knows change is needed to survive, but not quite sure how to navigate those tricky waters yet.
So, give Fear another go. Find season 1 and season 2A on Hulu, and by the time season 2B returns to AMC on Sunday, August 21st, you will be ready to go and see what lies in store for those who are still standing.
HONORABLE MENTION: You want something really original and new? Check out The Path now streaming on Hulu. Aaron Paul in a religious cult... need I say more?
There you have it! These are not the only shows starting or returning this summer, but these are the ones I will have at the top of my watch list.