(Photo by CBS All Access, HBO Max, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video)
Summer technically begins June 20, but we’re already celebrating some titles that will see you through the season. From drama queens and magical fairies to serial killers and superheroes, the season’s offerings promise at least a tale or two to keep you entertained at home while things outside try to get back to normal. Have a look at some TV and streaming movies and series that we think you should check out between now and September, including some highly-anticipated titles that haven’t announced their premiere dates yet, but we expect to see this summer.
Can’t find a title on our list that works for you? Check out TV Premiere Dates 2020 to see the full list of shows and movies anticipated for at-home enjoyment this summer, and tell us in the comments what you’re most looking forward to.
Now AiringPremiering slightly ahead of the official summer season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will air new episodes deep into the heart of the traditional vacation period, so we’re highlighting it anyway. The final season of the series promises a sad goodbye to its longtime stars as they jump through time to preserve the characters we’ve come to know and love over the past six seasons. Airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT with next-day streaming on Hulu.
Stars: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge
Out NowGiven that the start of summer looks somewhat anemic for real-life romantic antics, it may be that Anna Kendrick’s charming Darby may be just the heroine we need (to live vicariously through) this summer. Just shy of a Fresh score – but notably boasting an Audience Score over 70% – this story about a millennial’s epic journey through love and life remains a worthy binge for the rom-com inclined.
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Zoë Chao, Peter Vack, Sasha Compere, Lesley Manville
Out NowGolden Globe winner Ramy Youssef’s Certified Fresh comedic series about the dichotomy of being a millennial Muslim Egyptian American returns for more soul-searching in its second season. Season 2 guest stars include Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, social media maven Mia Khalifa, and Awkward’s Jared Abrahamson as a vet suffering from PTSD.
Stars: Ramy Youssef, Amr Waked, Hiam Abbass, May Calamawy, Mahershala Ali
Out NowWriter-director Andrew Patterson’s debut feature is a sci-fi mystery that makes the most of its tiny budget – you won’t find any A-list actors or gonzo special effects here. But if this small-scale, high-concept story about a 1950s switchboard operator and a radio DJ who team up to discover the source of a mysterious, otherworldy audio transmission is any indication, then this is just a taste of what Patterson is capable of, and bigger things are likely in his future.
Stars: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Gail Cronauer, Bruce Davis
Out NowThe Netflix space-race series reunites The Office star Steve Carell with writer-producer Greg Daniels and is another title that scores with audiences, if not critics. Does it feel like someone pitched it as a joke over dinner? Sure, but the show’s all-star cast makes up for any flights of comedic fancy in the story; with John Malkovich playing the sober scientist to Carell’s blustery Air Force general, for instance, an entertaining binge awaits any who have not yet savored the quirky “Spacemen” humor. (Pro tip: Order in some of the limited-batch “Boots on the Moooo’n” Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to complete the indulgence.)
Stars: Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Diana Silvers, Jimmy O. Yang, Tawny Newsome
Now AiringNeed to use a lozenge or a lifeline? Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen and Fleabag’s Sian Clifford star in this miniseries about the couple who may have swindled their way to the top of the British version of game show Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? through some stealthy signals like throat clearing. Michael Sheen plays game-show host Chris Tarrant. The final episode of the three-part miniseries airs June 14, so catch up with the first two now on AMC.com.
Stars: Sian Clifford, Matthew MacFadyen, Michael Jibson, Michael Sheen
Out NowNeed something to sing about? Darren Criss and You’re the Worst’s Kether Donohue play struggling song artists on their way to greatness, complete with cameo appearances from stars like Rufus Wainwright, Julianne Hough, Lil Rel Howery and Mark Hamill playing – according to the press release – “fictitious (and ridiculous) music stars.” A bonus: The series features 12 original songs and 10 music videos, all co-written by Criss.
Stars: Darren Criss, Kether Donohue
Now AiringAmanda Peet and Christian Slater dramatize the riveting ripped-from-the-headlines story of a woman scorned who descends into murderous rage. Critics have embraced the portrayal, lauding Peet’s performance as Broderick as “astonishing” and “career-best.” Now three episodes in, there’s still time to catch up with the series on demand and USANetwork.com as it unravels over 10 episodes in total. Want more? Season 1 of the anthology series tells the true story of Debra Newell (Connie Britton) and John Meehan (Eric Bana) and is now available to stream on Netflix.
Stars: Amanda Peet, Christian Slater, Rachel Keller
Out NowElisabeth Moss follows up her critically acclaimed turn as a gaslit “woman on the verge” in The Invisible Man with, well, another showstopping “woman on the verge” performance in the Sundance breakout Shirley. Moss plays writer Shirley Jackson in a fictionalized telling of the period in which the author – here housebound, hobbling, and equal parts tormented and encouraged by her philandering professor husband Stanley (Michael Stuhlbarg) – worked on her gothic novel, The Hangsaman. Reviews from Sundance say this could be a career-best performance from Moss and is a biting continuation of form for Madeline’s Madeline director Josephine Decker. Look out too for a star turn from Odessa Young, who plays one half of a young couple that stays with the famous literary couple in their upstate New York home and gets the full Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? treatment. Available by subscription on Hulu or to rent or buy on demand.
Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg, Odessa Young, Logan Lerman
Out NowA new season finds the Fab 5 in Philadelphia, making over more of America’s style-challenged, including a dog groomer who needs a confidence boost to get her small business rolling again, a pediatrician whose style got stuck back in med school, and a father-of-the-bride who needs an overhaul before the wedding. Uplifting and “Awe”-inspiring, the Queer Eye revival continues to be a great escape.
Stars: Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness
Now AiringMichaela Coel, who is known for the British hit Chewing Gum, plays Londoner Arabella, who was living a carefree, confident life with a close group of friends, a great career as a budding writer, and a boyfriend in Italy. On a night out, her drink is spiked, creating a chasm between what she thinks she knows and her fuzzy memories. The story follows her as she tries to rebuild her life and solve the case of her assault.
Stars: Michaela Coel, Weruche Opia, Paapa Essiedu
June 12Disney tapped director Kenneth Branagh to breathe cinematic life into Eoin Colfer’s wildly popular YA novel in an adaptation intended for theatrical release, but, in light of the the health crisis, the Mouse House sent it to Disney+. Though critics so far aren’t charmed, kids may yet fall under the spell of the fantasy adventure. The film stars newcomer Ferdia Shaw as the title character, a 12-year-old genius who forces a fairy to help him rescue his kidnapped father, and boasts the kinds of big production values and special effects you’d normally see on the big screen.
Stars: Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Nonzo Anozie, Josh Gad, Judi Dench, Colin Farrell, Tamara Smart
June 12Spike Lee turns his provocative eye on the Vietnam War with this action-drama about a quartet of veterans who return to the country in order to retrieve their squad leader’s remains and track down a stash of buried gold. The film flashes between the past and present, with Isiah Whitlock Jr., Norm Lewis, Clarke Peters, and Delroy Lindo playing their characters in both time periods. The story packs a powerful message and pulse-pounding thrills into what critics are calling one of the best films Lee has ever crafted.
Stars: Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Chadwick Boseman
June 12Writer-director Judd Apatow follows comic Amy Schumer’s semi-autobiographical Trainwreck with another semi-autobiographical work, this time centering on, co-written by, and starring Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson. In the film, Davidson’s Scott lives with his mom (Marisa Tomei) in the titular New York borough where he moves between getting high with friends in the basement, his job at a local restaurant, and a burgeoning romance with a long-time friend (Bel Powley). Davidson’s father was a firefighter who died during 9/11, and here Scott’s dad too was a firefighter who died on the job. The movie sees Scott forced to grow up – after acting out – when his mom begins dating a new man who also happens to wear the uniform. Available to rent or buy on demand June 12.
Stars: Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow
June 17From the writers of 91% Certified Fresh film Love, Simon, the Hulu series follows Victor, a teen adjusting to a new high school in a new city, facing trouble at home, and struggling with his sexual orientation. When it all becomes too much, he reaches out to Simon for guidance.
Stars: Michael Cimino, Ana Ortiz, James Martinez, Isabella Ferreira, Mateo Fernandez, Rachel Naomi Hilson, Bebe Wood, George Sear, Anthony Turpel, Mason Gooding
June 19Writer-director Channing Godfrey Peoples makes her feature debut with this family drama about a former beauty queen and single mother trying to navigate life and guide her daughter to victory in the same pageant she won as a teen. The film premiered to rave reviews at Sundance earlier this year before it was scheduled for a VOD release on June 19, the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, which commemorates the day that slaves in Texas were finally read the Emancipation Proclomation, two years after it was first issued.
Stars: Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, Alexis Chikaeze
(Photo by Nicole Rivelli/Netflix)
June 19Though season 1 of this high-school political satire struggled to get critics’ support, viewers voted its Audience Score into the high 80s. Season 2 finds Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) challenging popular New York state senator Dede Standish (Judith Light) for her seat. Bette Midler appears as Standish’s no-nonsense chief of staff, while Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Payton’s mother Georgina in the series created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan.
Stars: Ben Platt, Judith Light, Bette Midler, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lucy Boynton, Zoey
Deutch, Julia Schlaepfer, Laura Dreyfuss, Theo Germaine, Rahne Jones
June 21From Emmy-winning creator Lena Waithe, the series’ first season was Certified Fresh at 87% for its hopeful coming-of-age story about the intertwining stories of a group of working-class African-Americans on Chicago’s volatile south side. To catch up with the story so far, the first two seasons are available to stream on Showtime.com.
Stars: Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Jacob Latimore, Alex R. Hibbert, Shamon Brown Jr., Michael Epps, Jason Mitchell
June 21An origin story about the famed TV lawyer, Perry Mason traces his steps from private investigator to the defense chair in Depression-era Los Angeles. Former star of The Americans Matthew Rhys takes on the iconic role in a story that sees Perry Mason hunt kidnappers who killed their infant hostage.
Stars: Matthew Rhys, John Lithgow, Juliet Rylance, Tatiana Maslany, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham
June 25You are about to enter another dimension, also known as the second season of Jordan Peele and Simon Kinberg’s revamped The Twilight Zone. Peele will again narrate the anthology series, where each episode brings in new members of an all-star cast. Episodes this year include ones written by The X-Files’ Glen Morgan and Peele’s former MADtv co-star, Heather Anne Campbell.
Stars: Jordan Peele, Morena Baccarin, Kylie Bunbury, Jenna Elfman, Ethan Embry, Sky Ferreira, Tavi Gevinson, Topher Grace, Tony Hale, Gillian Jacobs, David Krumholtz, Thomas Lennon, Sophia Macy, Natalie Martinez, Joel McHale, Chris Meloni, Gretchen Mol, Paula Newsome, Billy Porter, Jimmi Simpson, Jurnee Smollett, Daniel Sunjata, Damon Wayans Jr.
June 25The weirdness continues in season 2 of the series starring DC’s strangest group of heroes. “Robotman” Cliff Steele (Brendan Fraser), “Negative Man” Larry Trainor (Matt Bomer), “Elasti-Woman” Rita Farr (April Bowlby), “Crazy Jane” (Diane Guerrero), and “Cyborg” Victor Stone (Joivan Wade) confront their feelings of betrayal by “The Chief” Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton) and work to embrace the newest member of the Doom Patrol family, The Chief’s dangerous daughter Dorothy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro).
Stars: Brendan Fraser, April Bowlby, Matt Bomer, Diane Guerrero, Joivan Wade, Timothy Dalton
June 28The six-part documentary series is based on Michelle McNamara’s best-selling book I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search For The Golden State Killer that was finished posthumously and published through the efforts of her husband, comedian Patton Oswalt. McNamara tracked the unsolved case in her crime blog, “True Crime Diaries,” but became increasingly dependent on prescription painkillers to help manage her anxieties and died in her sleep of an accidental overdose.
Stars: Michelle McNamara
July 3In season 2, Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) runs from the shadowy CIA program that birthed her and an army of teenage trained assassins. Mireille Enos returns as CIA agent Marissa Wiegler, while Dermot Mulroney joins the cast as the program supervisor eager to assimilate the wayward killer.
Stars: Esme Creed-Miles, Mireille Enos, Dermot Mulroney
(Photo by Disney+)
July 3Could this be the new journey for the modern musical: Off-Broadway, Broadway, Pulitzer Prize, National Tour, Global Dates… Disney+? When the pandemic hit, the Mouse House’s streamer announced that the planned 2021 theatrical release of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton – not a feature film per se, but a version of the musical put together from filmed performances of the original 2016 Broadway production – would be released on the platform ahead of Independence Day. The musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, the country’s first secretary of the Treasury, and his relationships and rivalries with historical figures such as George Washington and Aaron Burr, sir. All to the tune of genre-bending hip-hop tunes, of course. Available to stream on Disney+ July 3.
Stars: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Leslie Odom Jr., Christopher Jackson
July 3A timely reminder of the power of activism in all forms, John Lewis: Good Trouble dives into the career of Civil Rights champion and current U.S. Congressman John Lewis. The movie combines current-day interviews with Lewis, archival footage, and conversations with those who’ve been important to his life’s work advocating for Civil Rights, voting rights, immigration reform, and more. Lewis famously worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was among those attacked on Bloody Sunday in March 1965, when Dr. King led activists across the on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in one of the first attempts to complete the Selma to Montgomery march.
Stars: John Lewis
July 10Action-packed war drama Greyhound, starring and written by Tom Hanks, tells the story of a longtime Navy veteran who, in his first outing as captain, is assigned to protect a convoy of 37 ships carrying thousands of soldiers and crucial supplies across the treacherous Atlantic waters during WWII. Greyhound based on the novel The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester, was inspired by events during the Battle of the Atlantic in the earliest months of America’s alliance with Great Britain and the Allied Forces. Apple TV+ scored worldwide release rights for the film, directed by Aaron Schneider and produced by Gary Goetzman, that was originally slated for theatrical release following the COVID-19 theater closures.
Stars: Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan, Elisabeth Shue
July 10From J.J. Abrams and Grammy-winning singer and musician Sara Bareilles, Little Voice tells the story of Bess King (Brittany O’Grady), a talented music artist struggling to succeed in life and love in New York City. The series features original music by Bareilles.
Stars: Brittany O’Grady, Sean Teale, Colton Ryan, Shalini Bathina, Kevin Valdez, Phillip Johnson Richardson, Chuck Cooper
July 10If you couldn’t get enough of Charlize Theron kicking ass and taking names in Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde, and The Fate of the Furious, you’re in luck. In Netflix’s The Old Guard, based on the comic book of the same name, she teams up with director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights, Love and Basketball) to tell the story of a team of immortal mercenaries who have survived through the centuries and protected humanity through their covert operations. So it’s kind of like Wanted meets Forrest Gump meets Zero Dark Thirty, and that could be a lot of fun.
Stars: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, Harry Melling
July 10This Andy Samberg–Cristin Milioti rom-com wears the distinction of being the most expensive acquisition in the Sundance Film Festival’s history, with Neon and Hulu joining forces to buy it for more than $17.5 million back in January. It also wears the distinction of sitting at 100% on the Tomatometer following reviews written during the festival. Critics say the less you know, the better, so we won’t get too detailed, except to say there’s a wedding, some romance, big laughs, and some unexpected turns.
Stars: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes, Tyler Hoechlin.
July 10This Australian horror film, starring Emily Mortimer and Aussie stage and screen veteran Robyn Nevin, was one of the best-reviewed offerings of this year’s Sundance Midnight program. Produced by the Russo Brothers and Jake Gyllenhaal, among others, it’s a haunted house/creepy grandmother mashup that critics say grapples inventively and surprisingly with what it means to care for someone suffering from dementia, and what it means to be losing your mind.
Stars: Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, Robyn Nevin
July 12The temperature’s rising, and we don’t just mean the weather. Playwright Katori Hall, who is known for lauded biographical Broadway productions about the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tina Turner, has now created a tale of the steamy, gritty, and dangerous world of strip clubs on the Mississippi Delta.
Stars: Brandee Evans, Nicco Annan, Shannon Thornton
July 15Based on Aldous Huxley’s novel, Brave New World presents a utopian picture of society cured of its ills through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family, and history. When adventurous citizens Bernard Marx (Harry Lloyd) and Lenina Crowne (Jessica Brown Findlay) travel beyond the safety of New London to explore the Savage Lands, they are rescued from a violent rebellion by John the Savage (Alden Ehrenreich). John escapes back with Bernard and Lenina to their New World, but his presence threatens to disrupt its harmony.
Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Harry Lloyd, Demi Moore, Jessica Brown Findlay, Kylie Bunbury
July 17It’s about time the women of fables got to be more than bit parts. This new series, which is based Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler’s illustrated novel, stars Katherine Langford as Nimue – aka the future Lady of the Lake from the King Arthur legend. Devon Terrell, who also appeared in 2018’s femme-focused version of Hamlet called Ophelia, costars as young Arthur, while Gustaf Skarsgård plays the wizard Merlin.
Stars: Katherine Langford, Devon Terrell, Gustaf Skarsgård, Daniel Sharman, Sebastian Armesto
Related: First-Look Photo Gallery
July 24Rosamund Pike stars in this historical biopic, based on a graphic novel, as famed scientist Marie Curie, focusing on her groundbreaking work in chemistry and physics even as she fought against a scientific community that refused to take her seriously because she was a woman. Sam Riley plays fellow physicist and Curie’s husband Pierre Curie, while Anya Taylor-Joy appears as their daughter Irene, and the film is directed by Marjane Satrapi, whose acclaimed debut film Persepolis was also an adaptation of her own graphic novel.
Stars: Rosamund Pike, Sam Riley, Anya Taylor-Joy, Aneurin Barnard, Simon Russell Beale
July 26Based on author Caleb Carr’s novel The Angel of Darkness, season 2 of the crime series finds Dakota Fanning’s Sara Howard at the head of her own private detective agency and recruiting famed alienist (psychiatrist) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and New York Times reporter John Moore to contribute to her new case.
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Dakota Fanning, Luke Evans
July 31The eagerly-anticipated second season of this series about adopted siblings with their own unique special powers and major daddy issues launches soon. Last season, the siblings survived the apocalypse by time traveling, but, where and when have they gone? And how many needle-dropped fight scenes will be in this season?
Stars: Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher
(Photo by Courtesy of HBO Max)
August 6Don’t let that foreboding promo image fool you: An American Pickle is about as high-concept as a high-concept comedy can be. Seth Rogen plays dual roles here, both as a 1920s laborer who falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years, and as the laborer’s great grandson, a modern-day computer coder. This HBO Max original film promises a lot of Rip Van Winkle–style fish-out-of-water hijinks and generational humor, likely paired with a healthy dose of Rogen’s trademark stoner comedy.
Stars: Seth Rogen, Maya Erskine, Sarah Snook, Jon Donahue
August 7It’s Shaun of the Dead meets The Hunt in this story of four teenage boys competing for the Duke of Edinburgh Award – think: a kind of Scouts camping challenge, but in the Scottish Highlands – who suddenly find themselves being hunted by a group of well-dressed toffs. Critics are calling the film a bold, brash, chaotic, and hilarious genre mashup (it’s also a bit of a stoner flick), and singling out writer-director Ninian Doff as Britain’s next Edgar Wright.
Stars: Samuel Bottomley, Rian Gordon, Lewis Gribben, Viraj Juneja, Kate Dickie
August TBD From executive producers J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele, Lovecraft Country is based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff. A road trip through 1950s Jim Crow America turns into a nightmare for Atticus Freeman, his friend Letitia, and his Uncle George as they face racist terrors and terrifying, Lovecraft-style monsters while searching for Atticus’ missing father.
Stars: Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Courtney B. Vance, Michael Kenneth Williams
Summer TBDAmazon’s cynical superhero tale based on a comic book series returns this summer for more mayhem. Superhero league The Seven promise to be as out of control as ever now that Madelyn Stillwell is out of the picture. And anti-superhero vigilante Butcher has to square himself with that little revelation dropped on us the end of season 1. All bloody hell is about to break loose — and we can’t wait!
Stars: Jack Quaid, Karl Urban, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty
(Photo by Epix)
Summer TBDThe origin story of Alfred Pennyworth’s association with the Wayne family continues. Season 1 saw Batman’s future butler battling criminals throughout an alternate-universe London, while falling in love. James Purefoy joins as a series regular in season 2, playing Alfie’s former SAS Captain, Gulliver Troy, “a charismatic, cultured brute and a powerful man of appetites – whether that be drink, women or danger.” Edward Hogg, Jessye Romeo, Ramon Tikaram, and Harriet Slater also join the cast.
Stars: Jack Bannon, Ben Aldridge, Paloma Faith, Emma Paetz, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett, Ryan Fletcher, Dorothy Atkinson, Polly Walker, Jason Flemyng