Shows to watch over the summer

Arts - TV
(Top Right) Emilia Clarke plays Daenerys Targaryen on HBO’s Game of Thrones. (Top Left) Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are the leading charachters in HBO’s True Detective. (Bottom Left) Kevin Spacey is the star of Netflix’s House of Cards. (Bottom Left) Bryan Cranston and Anna Gunn play the leading couple in AMC’s Breaking Bad.

By: Saúl Berríos-Thomas | Layout Editor

If you prefer your free time to be spent inside rather than out, then you know summer is the slow season for TV shows. But thanks to Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime and other streaming services, your free time won’t be spent twiddling your thumbs. There are tons of shows that TV enthusiasts can catch up on.

I’m going to begin with some shows that really need no explanation. If you haven’t watched these programs you should start here. Some of my recent favorites include Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, True Detective, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Sons of Anarchy, Dr. Who, The Newsroom, House of Cards and Supernatural, all of which are available on Netflix or HBO GO. These are fan favorites that have received nationwide attention and grew communities on social media.

I arrived to the TV scene a little late so here are some older shows I recommend catching up on. The Fox hit show 24, which is on Netflix now, is a great show to get lost in. The plot follows a counter-terrorism unit for 24 hours each season, with each episode being an hour in the day of the characters.

Another show that is great to watch or re-watch is Nip Tuck, available on Netflix. This show, set in Miami, follows the lives of the two most successful plastic surgeons in the city, who also happen to be best friends. Their firm grows throughout the show, but they also go through turmoil in and out of the office. This show is dark, and will hit you with a barrage of emotions ranging from furious rage to overwhelming sadness, and any character can cause these reactions in any episode.

Bryan Cranston really shined as Walter White in Breaking Bad, but before that he was the loveable dad in Malcolm in the Middle, which you can find on Netflix. This comedy follows a dysfunctional family, with a gifted teen trying to navigate school and adolescence.

Then there are the shows that slip through the cracks. One that I always stop to watch is Friday Night Lights. This NBC show, now streaming on Netflix, seems like a cookie-cutter drama, but it went a lot deeper and took viewers through the ups and down of the intense life that is Texas high school football. The loveable coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) lives the picture-perfect, white picket fence fantasy, while facing decisions and the nightmares of raising a teen daughter who dates his quarterback.

Terriers is another show that many missed, even though it is a unique combination of crime drama and oddball comedy. Although this show had to call it quits after just one season, it rallied recently and gained a cult following. A couple others worth checking out are Portlandia, Arrow and Damages, all of which can be found on Netflix.

TV watching isn’t a solitary endeavor. Sometimes a great romantic evening can be spent cracking open the instant queue. One show that is great to watch together is Scandal. Much of the credit goes to the leading lady Kerry Washington, but this political soap opera is highly addictive and if you’ve been on Twitter on a Thursday night I’m sure you have felt left out by all the Scandal discussions.

Another one you might not expect to find in this category is American Horror Story. While this show is obviously a horror show that can scare the pants off of anyone, it also has its share of romance that makes it an easy watch and a “Next Episode” button masher. All of these are on Netflix.

Another odd fit for this category is Justified, available on Amazon Instant Video. This drama follows a crime fighting U.S. Marshall, but what makes it great for anyone is the amazing dialogue between characters and how each character can make you love them and hate them within a season.

Whatever your style may be, there are tons of shows that you can spend your summer catching up on. Don’t spend your summer watching the same movies over and over again. Find a show that suits your style and race to the finish so you can bother your friend who watched it years ago.