Cards on the table, traditional broadcast TV has never been terribly good in the summer. But, let’s be honest, it’s gotten better. Why? Because streaming apps showed the big networks that if you put out quality programming, people will come. That upended almost 100 years of thought from the major broadcasters who believed that people spend most of their time outdoors during the summer. That may have been true in 1925, but today — for better or worse — people spend just as much time indoors during the summer as they do during the winter. And during that time, they’re hungry for entertainment.
It’s become common to dig into Netflix and Hulu for original programming during the summer, and honestly I do it — there’s a great selection of stuff there while the networks show a lot of reruns. But, you’ll find more than just reruns on DIRECTV and DISH this summer… you’ll find some of the best TV of the year
Game of Thrones
It’s become a phenomenon in the US, drawing in people who never thought they would go for a cross between Lord of the Rings and 10th Grade World History class. But it’s huge, and it’s coming. July 16 would be a great time to go to a sporting event or to the mall, because the world will be glued to their TVs watching the latest machinations from George R.R. Martin’s world of intrigue and nudity.
Showtime brings us a sequel to that early-90s phenomenon that some of us remember and some were too young to watch. It’s a complete mystery but that only serves to heighten the anticipation. Look for this one May 21.
This new show from Starz asks and odd and intriguing question. What if gods walked the earth and you couldn’t tell them apart from mere mortals most of the time? At its heart it’s a new take on the rapidly decaying superhero trope that’s dominated the airwaves for a few years, but it could also be a very interesting take on religion if it’s done right. There’s only one way to know for sure… check it out. It started April 30 but is available on demand and older episodes are airing on Starz right now.
This one could be a sleeper hit. Brought to you on the USA network, it could be the kind of prestige TV thriller that we all got so excited about last year when HBO brought out The Night Of. It stars Jessica Biel in a complex role as a woman whose unexpected act of violence demands explanation. This one’s coming in August.
Yes it’s true that most of these are on premium channels but there are going to be free preview weekends which means you can download all the episodes on demand and binge them when you’re ready. There are also going to be other standout hits in the summer, and the best ones will no doubt be the ones we’re not expecting.
So, give that internet connection a rest for a little while this summer and take the time to fall back in love with subscription TV. There’s a lot of content out there and it’s all waiting for you!