Stuart’s guide to summer TV

Summer’s right around the corner and with it comes that question, “what’s on TV?” After all, Game of Thrones won’t begin its final season for about another nine months and a lot of the broadcast TV stuff has finished for the year.

There are about a dozen different articles out there designed to tell you how to spend your TV time this summer. They all have their points of view. If you’re too old to have a crush on a Jonas brother and too young to have a crush on Troy Donahue, though, you might not agree with their recommendations. For what it’s worth, here’s the stuff I plan on watching this summer.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Future TV scholars will write whole books on Tina Fey and how she, along with producing partner Robert Carlock, gave television and movies their smartest decade. Love or hate her politics, it’s hard to deny that her wit is as sharp as they come. Season 4 of Kimmy will be its last, save for a rumored movie that will tie everything up for the oddball group of New Yorkers. Must-see TV, indeed. Available now on Netflix.

So You Think You Can Dance

NBC calls World of Dance the hit of the summer, but last year’s outing was totally boring to me. For being an entire world of dance, it really focused on the same kind of stuff over and over, with tons of manufactured drama along the way. Fox’s Dance is rolling into its 15th season with a keen sense of humor about what it is, and isn’t. It’s a flat out popularity contest full of people who really want to be there, and that makes it eminently watchable. Actually premiered June 4, but the first episode is usually pure fluff. Catch up on the Fox app and watch live on your Fox affiliate.


For every roughly 25 kids out there, a teacher sits planning lessons and making copies. There are about 3.5 million teachers in the country and I suspect most of them will find something to like about this sharp sitcom. The leads (who all share the same first name in real life) create really relatable characters in situations that are both absurd and realistic. Definitely worth a try. First episode has already aired. Catch up on the TV Land app and watch live on TV Land.

The Gong Show

Forty years ago, TV producer and possible CIA hitman Chuck Barris figured out something that took the rest of the world decades more. People will go on TV and do something stupid, and we’ll all watch because it’s stupid. ABC brought back The Gong Show last year, descended from the original ’70s cheesefest and starring a bizarrely made up Mike Myers. It’s hilariously bad and 100% just what you need if you read too many headlines. Premieres June 21 on ABC.


Based loosely on a real 1980s wrestling league, GLOW brings heart to a story of a bunch of misfits who discover the key to happiness in fake fighting using real athleticism. The first season was 80s-tastic, perfect in every way thanks to sharp acting and giant shoulder pads. While you’re waiting, binge it. Even if you’ve seen it before you’ll love it. The whole season’s available June 29 on Netflix.

Jack Ryan

Jim Halpert is a spy. Come on, that’s got to be worth at least trying this once. John Krasinski has already proven to me that he’s a lot more than a mop-topped paper salesman and I’m looking forward to his take on a role already polished by the likes of Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine, and Ben Affleck. Available on Prime Video August 31.

…and all the rest

Those are the shows I’m looking forward to this summer. They join a crowded stable of TV entertainment that’s better than anything I’ve seen in summers past. Are you ready to DVR and stream?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.