What TV shows to put on your summer watchlist

What TV shows to put on your summer watchlist

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Thursday, 8th July 2021
Clockwise L-R: Handmaid's Tale (Credit: Channel 4), Betty (Credit: Sky Comedy), Ridley Road (Credit: BBC), Physical (Credit: Apple TV)
Clockwise L-R: Handmaid's Tale (Credit: Channel 4), Betty (Credit: Sky Comedy), Ridley Road (Credit: BBC), Physical (Credit: Apple TV)

This summer lockdown may be over, but there's plenty of great TV to keep you entertained at home. 

Here are some of our favourites. 


Disney Plus, episodes released every Wednesday  

Continuing the story of one of Marvel’s most troublesome characters, Loki, known as the God of Mischief, is back to cause trouble. 

Set after the events of Avengers Endgame, the series explores the consequences of an alternate version of Loki creating a new timeline. 

This alternate version of Loki is taken in front of the Time Variance Authority, an organisation outside of time and space that monitors the timeline. 

With nowhere to turn, Loki is given an ultimatum: help fix the timeline and stop a greater threat or be erased from existence completely. 

Despite being forced to carry out a mission to try and fix the timeline, this doesn’t stop Loki from plotting away in the background. 

The Handmaid’s Tale

Channel 4, episodes every Sunday at 9pm

Initially based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale tells the story of life in the totalitarian society of Gilead, which was once the United States. 

Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birth rate, women are stripped of any autonomy and fertile woman, known as Handmaids, are forced into childbearing slavery.

Series four of the dystopian drama reveals that June (Elizabeth Moss) is alive after being shot in the series three cliffhanger. 

June begins to plan her fight back against Gilead, but her desire for justice and revenge threatens to consume her and take over everything, threatening her relationships with those she loves most. 

Ted Lasso

Apple TV+, 23 July  

The football comedy Ted Lasso returns for a second series.

The series follows a small time US American football coach, Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis), who moves to the UK to manage a struggling London football team in the English Premier League, despite having no experience with association football.

Underneath Lasso’s folksy and, at times, unsophisticated American charm, is a coach who is smarter than he looks and cares more about people and the team than winning.

The end of series one saw the team relegated from the Premier League, so Lasso will have to do everything he can to get the boys back on top. 

Physical, Apple TV+

Apple TV+, episodes every Friday 

Rose Byrne plays tortured and insecure housewife Sheila who is trying her best to play the dutiful picture-perfect wife and mother, in dark comedy Physical, set in 1980s San Diego. 

Sheila rediscovers her zest for life when she joins the world of aerobics, reinventing herself as a lifestyle guru and creating exercise tapes, which gives her newfound confidence and a feeling of empowerment. 

As her success increases, Sheila struggles to balance it with her home life, personal demons and ambitious husband, who is making a bid for state assembly. 


Sky Comedy

Based on the 2018 film Skate Kitchen, comedy series Betty follows a group of Gen Z women who are trying to break into New York’s predominantly male skateboarding world. 

The tight knit group of women include vibrant blogger Janay (Dede Lovelace), shy wannabe filmmaker Honeybear (Kabrina Adams), loveable stoner Kirt (Nina Moran), wealthy weed dealer Indigo (Ajani Russell) and serious skater Camille (Rachelle Vinberg). 

The coming-of-age comedy follows the friends as they navigate sexuality, friendships, dreams and perfecting kickflips. 

The title is a reference to the term “Betty”, which is used by male skaters to put down and mock female skaters, but this series looks to reclaim the word. 

Nine Perfect Strangers

Amazon Prime, 20 August 

Based on the popular book by Liane Moriarty, the limited series tells the story of a group of strangers who come together for a wellness retreat, where all is not as it seems. 

The nine stressed out city dwellers enter the ten-day retreat run by Masha (Nicole Kidman), looking to refresh their bodies and minds. 

The strangers include romance novelist Frances (Melissa McCarthy), divorce lawyer Lars (Luke Evans), and husband and wife duo, Jessica (Samara Weaving), a lottery winner obsessed with plastic surgery, and Ben (Melvin Gregg), a sports car fanatic. 

Napoleon (Michael Shannon), his wife Heather (Asher Keddie) and their 20-year-old daughter Zoe (Grace Van Patten) who are all grieving the loss of Zoe’s twin. 

Carmel (Regina Hall) a single mother of four dealing with the fact that her husband left her for a younger woman and Tony (Bobby Cannavale) a retired football player. 

Ridley Road


Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Set against the backdrop of the swinging sixties, thriller Ridley Road takes a look at an East End where far right fascism is on the rise. 

The series follows a young Jewish woman, Vivien (Agnes O’Casey) who leaves her comfortable life in Manchester behind to join a coalition of Jewish men known as the 62 Group, who are standing up against rising neo-Nazism in post war Britain, after she falls in love with a member. 

When Vivien discovers that her missing boyfriend has been badly injured, she infiltrates a neo-Nazi movement known as NSM, but as she falls deeper into the fascist group, she starts to find her loyalties and courage tested. 

This Way Up

Channel 4, Available on All4

Aisling Bea’s This Way Up is back for series two and follows Aine (Bea) continue to leave rehab behind and live her life as best as she can.

Aine shares an unshakeable bond with her sister Shona (Sharon Horgan), with them both offering support to each other’s lives when going through dark times. 

Series one ended on a cliffhanger with Aine ‘s chemistry with her employer Richard (Tobias Menzies) reaching boiling point. 

Plus, a newly engaged Shona is reeling from her recent kiss with business partner Charlotte (Indira Varma).

Love Island

ITV2, weeknights at 9pm

It’s that time of year again when the sound of islanders screaming “I’ve got a text” begins.

Series seven will once again be hosted by Laura Whitmore and narrated by Ian Stirling, with more applications sent in to apply for the series than ever before. 

After last series was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s contestants will be back in the Mallorcan villa to enjoy a summer of love. 

ITV has announced that psychological support will be given to the islanders and they will be given financial training and training on how to deal with social media abuse. 

Find out everything you need to know about this year's contestants here

The Morning Show

Apple TV, 17 September 

Alex Levy (Jennifer Anniston) anchors the popular breakfast news programme The Morning Show along with her co-host Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell), but after 15 successful years, Kessler is fired due to a sexual misconduct scandal. 

Levy fights to keep her job at the top while sparking a rivalry with field reporter Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon), who introduces her to a different side of television journalism.

Series two of the drama will explore racism, sexism and homophobia in the media and the impact of covid-19. 

Sex Education

Netflix, 17 September 

Sex Education returns for a third series and once again follows the sexual exploits and general mishaps of the students at Moordale High. 

A new year sees the students don brand new grey uniforms complete with ties and blazers. 

Otis (Asa Butterfield) is dabbling in casual sex, Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and Adam (Connor Swindells) are an official couple, and Jean (Gillian Anderson) is preparing for the arrival of her baby.

There is a new headteacher Hope, (Jemima Kirke), who wants to reform Moordale into a pillar of excellence, Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood) finds feminism and Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) finds himself with a crush. 

Never Have I Ever

Netflix, 15 July 

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is back playing awkward 15-year-old Devi in the Mindy Kaling created comedy series, narrated by tennis icon John McEnroe. 

Devi is desperate to climb the social ladder at school and find a boyfriend, while dealing with her overbearing mother, Indian identity, changing friendships and the grief over the recent death of her beloved father. 

Series two sees Devi wrapped up in a love triangle with her old nemesis Ben (Jaren Lewison) and popular high school jock Paxton (Darren Barnet).

Cruel Summer

Amazon Prime, 6 August 

American teen drama Cruel Summer takes place on the same day over the consecutive years 1993, 1994 and 1995 in the fictional town of Skylin, Texas. 

Each episode shows the events that occur across all three years and focuses on two teenage girls, Kate and Jeanette. 

Kate is a popular girl who is loved by everyone in the town but suddenly disappears without a trace. Jeanette is an outcast who seems to take over Kate’s life once she goes missing.

When Kate is found a year later, she accuses Jeanette of witnessing her abduction and doing nothing to help, making Jeanette one of the most hated people in America. 

As the story is told from each girl’s point of view, the truth begins to unfold, sides are picked, and relationships destroyed. 

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This summer lockdown may be over, but there's plenty of great TV to keep you entertained at home.