Riverdale, Seasons 1-2

Where To Watch: Netflix

Cast: K.J. Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Madelaine Petsch
Created By: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Netflix just put up the second season of Riverdale, only a week after it aired on CW, so if you missed it live you can catch up to speed in no time. And really, why wouldn’t you, because Riverdale is one of the best teen shows currently airing, a high-wire camp act of murder, sex, and high school. It’s a blend of genres, from horror to noir to musical, based on the classic Archie comics, and has the benefit of being totally batshit and totally self-aware of its batshittiness. Where else can you watch a show with a gangster named Papa Poutine, where teens quote Shakespeare and Tarantino in the same breath, where the local prison is called Shankshaw, where bets are settled with drag races and brawls outside of the local chocolate shoppe? It’s a whole lot of ridiculousness, and a whole lot of perfection, and I can never recommend Riverdale enough.

True Blood, Season 1-7

Where To Watch: HBO Now

Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård
Created By: Alan Ball

I lost interest in True Blood around the fourth season, but the other day had this sudden urge to watch a clip from the show, which lead to watching full episodes, which led to a mini-binge. And honestly – I’m not mad. True Blood devolved into bonkers territory eventually, but dammit is this show fun. And absolutely perfect for summer, with all of its sticky Southern charm. The whole look and feel of the show – about vampires coming to public attention in modern-day Louisiana – is familiar; the sun through the trees, the dreamy sexuality, the bright colors, the massive amounts of gore. Returning to the town of Bon Temps, and to Paquin’s loopy Sookie Stackhouse, felt like meeting up with old friends. The show is full of a colorful cast who have a lot of fun with the campy vampire material. If you’re like me and trying to put good use to an HBO Now subscription outside of watching Westworld, it’s always fun to dig into that back catalogue. True Blood is a good place to start.

Twin Peaks: The Return

Where To Watch: Showtime Anytime

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Laura Dern, Naomi Watts
Created By: David Lynch

Yeah, okay. I’m going to be that person and once again since the hymn of my people: my fellow Twin Peaks obsessives who deserve nice things. The second it got warm this year, I was flogged with memories of last year’s magical return to the wicked brain of David Lynch, and the town of Twin Peaks. The newest season – it’s own miniseries, technically; subtitled The Return – came out last summer, and fundamentally changed television. It was an event, the way no show had truly been an event since the original, and nothing since has quite captured the collective imagination. I miss those long days between weeks, re-watching dreamlike sequences, theorizing on Reddit, picking up on little bits of dialogue, wondering when the hell we’ll see the real Dale Cooper again. It was a magical summer, and one I’m trying to re-capture in some small way, as I dig back through The Return at a snail’s pace. I highly recommend it; it’s not the same as it was the first time, but it’s already nostalgic.

Misfits, Season 1-5 

Where To Watch: Hulu

Cast: Iwan Rheon, Robert Sheehan, Lauren Socha, Nathan-Stewart Jarrett, Antonia Thomas, Joe Gilgun
Created By: Howard Overman

I used to be obsessed with this erratic, irreverent British series – about a group of juvenile delinquents who gain superpowers after an electrical storm – so it was a pleasant surprise to find all five seasons on Hulu. The show feels low-budget and kind of goofy, but that’s part of its affable charm. There’s also something super refreshing about watching dumb teens actually behave and speak like actual kids their age, something American TV hasn’t harkened onto just yet. They swear, they burp, they say crude things to one another, all while they try to navigate the unchartered territory of their newfound capabilities. It’s a bit like Buffy that way, with all of the supernatural puberty metaphors, but Misfits has its own unique energy, and great chemistry between its cast, with Robert Sheehan and Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon as standouts. The show shakes up the cast after season two, and loses a bit of its magic in the process, but it’s still a lot of fun, and makes for mindless summer entertainment.

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