Life + Arts TV

Summer watch list: Four shows to binge during the break

A graphic of a palm tree, beach ball, ice cream cone and sun inside a retro TV, on a yellow background.

Jose-Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

There are some TV shows and movies that are essential picks for anyone’s summer watch list. Keep reading for a list of some staples to help keep you out of the Texas heat.

“Outer Banks”

If any series reminds me of summer it’s “Outer Banks”, and if you haven’t seen it, at least the first season that gained traction during the pandemic, you might be living under a rock. Admittedly, I was peer-pressured into watching, but was hooked almost instantly.  The show is filmed on location along the Carolina coast and the relaxed, beachy vibe exudes summer. A tight-knit group of teens in the town of Outer Banks, South Carolina, embark on a chaotic adventure—or series of adventures—to find lost, ancient treasure. It’s fun, drama-filled, edge-of-your seat summer TV.

Season three was released in February and the show is already renewed for season four.

“The Summer I Turned Pretty”

Adapted from the lauded novel by Jenny Han, author of the written version of Netflix’s “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” this beachy summer drama is the perfect combination of romantic comedy and coming-of-age.

The Summer I Turned Pretty” follows Belly, who spends every summer with her family and friends at their house in Cousins Beach. Belly always had a crush on Conrad, except this particular summer, it becomes clear that their feelings are mutual. With that romance comes drama, heartbreak and some exciting twists.

The show’s first season was undoubtedly a hit and its second season is set for release July 14 on Amazon Prime.

“Mamma Mia”

“Mamma Mia” is, for many, a classic. A combination of beautiful writing, a phenomenal cast and a beautiful setting makes this film a no-brainer for anyone’s summer watch list.

The movie follows Sophie (played by Amanda Seyfried), daughter of Donna Sheridan (played by Meryl Streep), as they prepare for Sophie’s wedding. Donna is the single mother to Sophie and owner of a charming hotel by the water.

With the impending wedding, Donna and Sophie’s worlds are turned upside down by the arrival of Sophie’s secret guests—the three potential men who could be her father. “Mamma Mia” is the epitome of summer. It’s heartwarming, nostalgic and fun.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must watch, and if you have seen it, I suggest you watch it again. 

“Mamma Mia” is available on Amazon Prime.

“The White Lotus”

“The White Lotus” is one of my all time favorites. From the very beginning, the show’s intro and corresponding music score has garnered a cult following of its own. It’s an anthology series, meaning each season introduces a completely new cast (except for Jennifer Coolidge’s recurring character) and a new luxury resort location.

The show’s seasons usually begin with a mysterious murder at the resort (season one was set in Hawaii and season two in Sicily), then the story behind it unfolds throughout the season. There are usually a few separate groups or families, each composed of fascinating characters. Everyone who watches should expect to be instantly captivated and transported to a chaotic and beautiful summer destination. 

Seasons one and two are on HBO Max and it has been renewed for a third season.

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