Top telly this summer – you won’t want to miss these…
With access to so many streaming sites including Netflix, Amazon Prime and NowTV there really is no excuse to be watching awful telly these days. Fantastic new shows are appearing monthly, so to help you navigate your way to small screen satisfaction, we’ve picked out just a few of the ones that you should be looking out for.
New to Netflix
Over the last few years Netflix has grown rapidly in popularity. 2015 saw 5 million households (24% of the total) sign up to Netflix, 10% more than 2014.
The news that the upcoming Star Trek television series will be premiered in the UK on Netflix in 2017 will help drive further subscribers wanting to see the new show first. The CBS-produced sci-fi show includes Rod Roddenberry on the production team, for a link to the previous generations, but there’s no news on cast just yet.
Grabbing the worldwide rights outside North America to screen Star Trek is the latest move by Netflix to capture headlines and customers. However, there are lots of shows available that aren’t such big names. Just launched this week is Stranger Things, a new American show that borrows from the cinematic visions of Super 8, Cloverfield, Torchwood and Fringe.
The first eight episodes are available to binge watch now, and even though Stranger Things has a few big names in Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine, the show is picking up interest through social media sharing and strong reviews. Set in the 1980s, it starts off with ‘something’ escaping from a US lab, and a boy vanishing the same night. The next day a mysterious girl appears, but the townsfolk have their own mysteries and past to worry about, as well as the strange goings-on.
Lighter Netflix viewing arrives in August in the form of Beat Bugs, an animated series featuring some famous names from the musical world. However, the big new arrival this summer is The Get Down, a gritty youth series set in 1970s New York, starring Jaden Smith. Created and directed by Moulin Rouge mogul Baz Luhrmann, it will paint a vivid picture of a vibrant but challenging time in the Bronx while holding up a candle to recent American history.
On the movie front, it’s looking a lot quieter right now. That said, August sees XOXO premiere on Netflix. A coming of age film, it sees six people find familiar ground in the strange environment of an electronic dance music concert, or what we used to call ‘a rave’.
Amazon’s highlight reel
Netflix isn’t the only company picking up shows to boost its streaming content service. Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service is also packing in the new shows.
Leading the way will be the old Top Gear team’s new auto show The Grand Tour. Filming around the world, the first episode in South Africa just wrapped and tickets for the UK event are still available. Quite what the final product looks like is anyone’s guess!
For drama fans, Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience is a fine-tuned new show. A young woman played by Riley Keough, the grandchild of Elvis Presley, has to balance her law school education and an internship with a job as a high-priced call girl. Soon her two worlds mix and things get very complicated. A tightly scripted series with stark photography and sharp costumes, The Girlfriend Experience is definitely one for the grown-ups.
Also new is Roadies, focusing on the luggers, riggers, stagehands and technicians who get the show on the road for a fictional rock act, the Staton-House Band. A US series, UK actors Rafe Spall and Imogen Poots hold the British end up, with a great soundtrack, moments of comedy, drama and what-city-are-we-in peril. It might not be a vivid reflection of a real roadie’s life, but for Cameron Crowe’s first TV series it should make a four-chord impact.
Now on NowTV
Sky’s little streaming brother NowTV has managed to round up a number of cult shows for the viewing pleasure of their audience.
The new series of Nashville, the moreish country music drama which follows the life of a country music queen and her much younger rival is coming into its fourth season in August. Series 1-3 are also available on NowTV if you’re not up-to-speed on the hit show.
Looking ahead to October the ever-popular Walking Dead is set to return to NowTV. This immensely popular show is based on a comic book series by Robert Kirkman. The highly anticipated seventh season sees the introduction of Ezekiel and her tiger companion Shiva as well as the introduction of new locations also from the comic book.
A brand new show on it’s way to NowTV is Westworld. The latest show to come from TV Giant HBO is a science fiction thriller. One of the biggest pulls of this new show has to be Anthony Hopkins as one of the main roles. Hopkin’s character is Dr Robert Ford, the creative director of ‘Westworld’ the futuristic theme park which the story is situated against. Definitely, one to try out this October!
Between them, the streaming services are helping keep alive many syndicated shows while launching their own exclusives, bringing Hollywood talent to make them distinct. Hopefully, we’ll see plenty of great new drama, science fiction and comedy in the run up to Christmas when a streaming gift card will likely be high on many present lists.
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