Skip the countless reapplications of sunscreen and instead opt to stay inside watching June’s TV lineup. Our Media Manda has complied a list of all the must-sees this summer. Read the predictions, watch the trailers, and get ready to be fully entertained!
By Amanda Thornton (aka Media Manda)
Netflix – Premieres June 8
In 2001, Michael Peterson called the police to report that his wife was dead after having fallen down the stairs in their home. He was eventually indicted for her murder, which is when filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade started filming the events for a docuseries that would become The Staircase, a Peabody Award–winning work that chronicled the legal battle all the way through Peterson’s eventual conviction. Although he was sentenced to life in prison, Peterson was released in 2011 and granted a new trial after it was discovered that a witness for the prosecution lied on the stand. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter (though he maintains his innocence) to stay out of jail. Now the story of The Staircase returns to Netflix with three new episodes from de Lestrade covering the events since his original conviction. Get caught up on the whole affair starting June 8.
REVIEW: It’s interesting that Netflix and Investigation Discovery are both airing documentaries on this subject. Surprisingly, I don’t know much about this case and would rather go in blind about it rather than read up and be “spoiled.” My only fear is that the show may turn out to be one-sided like Making a Murderer where they leave out some of the more important facts about the case because it’s told from the convict’s point of view. Overall, I’ll still binge this when it comes out.
Too Stupid to Die
MTV – Premieres in June
Human Sling Shots. Pubic Hair Tug of War. Rat Traps to the face. Those are just a few stunts capturing the attention of from legends like Tony Hawke, Steve O, Johnny Knoxville. All wondering the same question – WHAT WILL ZACH HOLMES DO NEXT? In the rich tradition of JACKASS and PUNK’D, TOO STUPID TO DIE follows YouTube sensation Zach Holmes and his twisted, yet close-knit group of friends as they lovingly shock, slap, and zap the shit out of each other – all in the name of stunting.
REVIEW: MTV is still trying to get back to its “roots” it seems with this Jackass knockoff. Jackass was interesting because the characters were all funny guys who were best friends. This series looks like they’re trying very hard to emulate that even though it seems to just be Zach Holmes doing all the stunts himself and his friends watching and filming. I don’t think this show can live up to Jackass fame and success, but MTV definitely wants it to succeed.
A&E – Premieres June 25
A&E has joined forces with acclaimed filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and his company, Warrior Poets, and Time Inc.’s Entertainment Weekly to produce “Cultureshock,” an eight-hour original documentary series that looks at the untold stories behind watershed moments in pop culture that have had a lasting impact on our culture. Each episode of ‘Cultureshock’ will shed light on the untold stories behind those big, unforgettable moments, helmed by an acclaimed director with the full participation of the key players in the story. Moments covered include Michael Jackson’s Final Curtain Call, The Osbourne’s: The Price of Reality, The Rise of Trash-TV, Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary, and Chris Rock: Bring the Pain.
REVIEW: I always love a good series recapping pop culture’s greatest hits. In my opinion, the I Love the 80s series on VH1 was one of the better iterations of this format. In this series, I like that the audience can pick and choose which “moment” looks the most interesting to them. I, for one, will be tuning in to see the Osbourne and Rise of Trash TV episodes.
Just Another Immigrant
Showtime – Premieres June 8
This is a comedic docuseries that follows Romesh Ranganathan, one of the most popular stand-ups in the UK, as he uproots his entire family – his supportive wife, their three kids, his Sri Lankan mother and his eccentric uncle – and immigrates to the U.S. Displaced in Los Angeles, Ranganathan attempts to find success and happiness, while rebuilding a life from scratch. In addition to his efforts to adapt, he has committed himself to booking a U.S. gig – the 6,000-seat Greek Theater – with only three months to sell it out. The series chronicles the true-life adventures of this modern immigrant family and the obstacles of making it in today’s America.
REVIEW: I’ve never heard of this comedian, but this trailer makes it out to be like I should know who he is. I think the whole premise of him trying to make it from scratch over here after success in the UK makes for a great television series. Hopefully, he pulls off selling all of his tickets to the Greek Theater show.
Scripted Series to Watch for the Month
Netflix – Premiers June 8
Eight strangers around the globe find themselves connected — first by a violent vision, then by their shared ability to connect with one another’s thoughts and actions, and finally by the urgent need to find out what happened and why. Their need to know goes beyond simple curiosity — as they pursue answers, a mysterious organization hunts them down, intent on destroying them.
REVIEW: I think everyone knows I love Sense8 and I wish Netflix understood what a great show they have on their hands. I was heartbroken when they cancelled this series, but, for once, they’re giving it a chance to close up all this loose ends with a “series” finale. After all, it will work in Netflix’s favor in the end because no one wants to start a new binge of a show on Netflix if you know it has a crappy ending like Sense8 would have had if they didn’t order a two-hour wrap up finale. I look forward to seeing if all my favorite characters live.