Emma Doherty ’16 & Madison Gallup ’18/ Emertainment Monthly TV Editors
Have some time to kill this Summer? Want to explore the long list of shows you keep saying you’re going to get to but never do? We’re here to make it a little easier for you to keep track of what you should be watching or shows that you should at least see a couple episodes of. Here’s the Emertainment Monthly TV Editor’s top 10 picks for shows to marathon this Summer.
Created by Armando Iannucci and starring the wonderfully hilarious Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep is one of the best comedies on television right now. The episodes of Veep are thirty minutes long and they are chock full of ridiculous situations, scandals, and crude language that define Selina Meyer’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) time as perhaps one of the most powerless people in America to be one step away from the presidency. Dreyfus is surrounded by an incredible cast which includes Anna Chlumsky and Tony Hale as two member’s of Selina’s inner circle, and Timothy Simons playing the White House aide Jonah whose aspirations are a source of constant comic fodder. HBO has just ordered a fifth season of this witty political comedy, so this summer is a perfect time to catch up on Veep before the new season comes out! While Veep will not appeal to everyone, it’s dry humor and wonderful cast makes it worth checking out even if you think a political comedy is not your usual jam.
Recognized at the 2015 Critics Choice Award for being the Best Comedy Series, Silicon Valley is currently wrapping up its second season. This is the kind of show where the viewer will probably have to rewind their DVR to catch lines that they missed because of how hard they were laughing at a joke that was made. Mike Judge, John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky managed to create a show about a group of men developing an app together in Silicon Valley that appeals to a wide range of people. Silicon Valley has a very talented cast who play off each other beautifully. Thomas Middleditch heads the show, but TJ Miller might deliver the most ridiculously funny lines to grace HBO. He too won a Critics Choice Award for the work he has done on this show. With only two seasons to go through, this show will brighten your summer days in crazy thirty-minute spurts rather than drown them out in a television vortex.
Orange Is the New Black
Jenji Kohan’s hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black is about to become one of the most talked about shows this summer. Its third season hit Netflix on June 12th, and a fourth one is already lined up for next year. With a cast filled with amazing and diverse woman (and some pretty awesome men too like Emerson’s own Matt McGorry), this is a show that constantly pushes boundaries and deals with subjects that have rarely (if ever) surfaced in popular media before. Even though this drama (with a steady stream of comic elements throughout) has hour-long episodes, they fly by. To stay in the loop with one of the summer’s hottest shows, be sure to check Netflix for Orange is the New Black and catch up with Litchfield’s most popular inmates.
Dan Harmon’s Community has not had an easy road, but it finally finished its sixth season with the help of Yahoo’s streaming service which gave fans free access to this clever, meta, and funny show (the first four seasons of Community can be found on Netflix). In all honesty, the fourth season of Community is not nearly as witty and consistent in character development as all the rest. This is likely due to the fact that the beating heart of the show- Mr. Dan Harmon- was kicked off his creation during that time. While it may be tempting to skip season four all together, the last two seasons of Community made quite a few jokes that referenced the weak season four that will be all the more funny if you have suffered through it. If you like conceptual comedy that simultaneously celebrates and mocks movies, television, and other forms of popular culture while creating complex and sometimes lovable characters, Community is freakishly tailor-made for you. Seriously. Go watch it now. Early on in Community Abed (Daniel Pudi) prophesized that the show would go on for six seasons and a movie. Six seasons are finished, and a movie seems destined to come out somewhere down the road. Of course, Dan Harmon better be in charge of the whole thing. Watch the series on Netflix and Yahoo to see what Community is all about!
Six months ago, Faith Soloway (a writer of Transparent) came to Emerson to speak about this show that her sister Jill created as a fictional portrayal of her experience with their own “Moppa.” Faith showed two episodes from the show that she wrote, and they were met with applause from the small group gathered to see her speak. Even out of context, these episodes were truly compelling and beautifully made. Transparent has done remarkably well critically, and has wracked up quite a few honors this awards season including the Golden Globe for Best Television Series. It will certainly be on the summer watch list for this Emertainment editor! Head to Amazon if it sounds like it might be a show you would like to watch too.
Parks and Recreation
Well, it’s been over three months since the greatest show of all shows ended with what this editor would call the greatest series finale of all time. Do you miss all of Leslie’s nicknames for Ann? Or Ron complaining about government? Or Ben nerding out about accounting? If so then take this time to binge all seven seasons of this gift to the world from Mike Schur. And if you don’t have the time to watch it all, make sure to check out our writer’s pick for The Top Ten Parks and Recreation Episodes. So whip up a nice batch of waffles, put on your Pawnee Goddess T-Shirt and make sure you’re ready to laugh… and maybe cry if you make it to the end.
Do you love badass female comedians in the entertainment industry? If you do, (if you don’t, leave now you are not welcome here) make sure to check out this new show from comedy writing duo Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham on USA Network. Playing House aired in April of 2014 and recently got picked up for a second season. When Maggie (Parham) begins the process of splitting up with her husband while pregnant, her lifelong best friend Emma (St. Clair) quits her job and moves home to help Maggie prepare for the baby. Along with the down to earth and empowering storyline for women, the show has a killer list of guest comedians including Zach Woods, Jason Mantzoukas, and Bobby Moynihan. So if you have five hours you want to fill with laughter make sure to check out Playing House before season two airs later this Summer!
Can’t afford to go away on that tropical vacation this summer? Well crank up that AC grab some ice cream and let Matthew Fox cry those tears for you when you watch LOST. Now, this one is a commitment friends. LOST follows the lives of a large group of people who all survived a plane crash and are trying to find a way off the unknown island that they’re on. But the show is much more than it initially appears to be. This series is fast, complex, brilliantly written and at times, downright terrifying. LOST is an hour-long show with 121 episodes so you have to be in it for the long haul. However, if you’re like this viewer, you’ll get sucked in after the first episode and your fear and curiosity will push you to finish those 121 hours in 3 weeks.
The Mindy Project
These past few years have proven that we can’t always trust network television’s opinions and decisions on shows. One of the most glaringly obvious of these mistakes is when FOX decided to cancel The Mindy Project. Another thing to note is that television is definitely becoming much more of an online medium. This was proven when devastated fans’ hearts started beating easily again when Hulu announced they would pick up the show only a week after its cancellation was announced. With 26 episodes to look forward to and much more creative control from the writers and producers, make sure you watch the three seasons of Kaling’s incredibly entertaining The Mindy Project.
Looking for a comfort show this summer? Maybe you’re studying abroad or working away from home, whatever it may be, Modern Family is the show to turn to for familiar and fun hilarity. The beauty of this series from Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd is that you don’t have to go in order of episodes when watching. The show just finished its sixth season and although it is recommended that you have a general knowledge of each season, almost all episodes stand alone, making for an easy viewing! So kick back, relax, and enjoy this crazy family and pretend they’re yours.