Dear readers, stay safe out there. Summer has just started for a few weeks and the calamities keep piling up. Wildfires are engulfing Canada and sending toxic air across the northern United States. The Supreme Court will allow nothing to stop them from protecting white America, be it logic, reason, or even cases rooted in true events. And, as I write this, we’re only weeks away from the Emmy nominations, where voters will almost certainly give 15-25 valuable and prestigious nominations to the wreck that is season three of “Ted Lasso.” staying indoors with bad TV but better air, or venturing outside, where it’s still summer but the act of breathing can make you pass out.
Netflix, the streamer made for bingeing, is just a little help this month. July’s offerings feature two potentially ideal summer getaways: ‘The Witcher’ is a fantasy adventure so wild it’s impossible to look away. There are berserko monsters, wacky baths, and creative expletives galore, all led by the charming weirdo that is Henry Cavill. So enjoy! …for a few hours. The first five episodes will be released in late June, so the best July TV outing will be just three hours long, or on an average Friday night. The second best new show is 10 full episodes, albeit half-hour rumors, although this is so far unproven. “Survival of the Thickest” stars Michelle Buteau in a sitcom based on her book of essays (of the same name). Our high hopes are well justified—Buteau has been stealing scenes and winning hearts for years now—but like any freshman series, there’s no telling how she’s going to turn out until she falls.
As for the rest, well, read on and find out. I think it would be a stretch to label any July offering a “gourmet cheeseburger,” but there’s at least a bite or two of Chili’s Chicken. Whatever you decide, just remember to take care of yourself. It might be a cruel summer, but you still deserve the best.
“The Witcher” Season 3, Part 2
Release date: Thursday 27 July
Showrunners: Lauren Schmidt Hissrich
Launch: Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, Freya Allan, Eamon Farren, Joey Batey, Graham McTavish, Cassie Clare, Hugh Skinner, Bart Edwards, Robbie Amell, Safiyya Ingar, Rochelle Rose
Format: 3 hour episodes
The best reason to watch: That’s it for Henry Cavill. While “The Witcher” will continue into Season 4 (and beyond), our first live-action Geralt is stepping away after these last three episodes have been released. And frankly, I’m worried. “The Witcher” works best when he throws shitty chaos at the indifferent and often irritated brick wall so charismatically embodied by the former Superman. With Cavill gone (and a clean slate Hemsworth brother stepping in), I’m not sure Lauren Schmidt Hissrich’s fantasy adventure can thrive. Scenes without Cavill are already less compelling than those with him, and a rather disastrous spinoff hasn’t reinforced the belief that this universe makes sense without a central star as massive, mischievous, and downright excited to be here as Cavill. So savor these final three episodes, folks. Dark times await.
“Survival of the Biggest”
Release date: Thursday 13 July
Creators: Michelle Buteau and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel
Launch: Michelle Buteau, Tone Bell, Tasha Smith, Liza Treyger, Taylor Sele and Anissa Felix
Format: 8 half-hour episodes
The best reason to watch: Forget the title that makes you groan and focus on the production house: A24! But really, seeing Michelle Buteau (“Always Be My Maybe”) star in her own comedy should be enough to make you fall in love. So let’s break it down a bit, just for fun: “Survival of the Thickest” follows Mavis (Buteau), a 38-year-old stylist assistant who is on the way. But when she catches her partner—at work and at home—in bed with another woman, she has to go out on her own without missing a beat. “Survival of the Thickest” takes on the structure of a classic sitcom, surrounding her charismatic role with smart friends and charming colleagues, which should allow Buteau to shine. The half-hour comedy series is based on her book of essays and co-created by writer-producer Danielle Sanchez-Witzel.
Release date: Wednesday 12th July
Manufacturers: Patrick Mahomes, Peyton Manning
Launch: Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins and Marcus Mariota
Format: 8 hour episodes
The best reason to watch: Hagiography alarm. At first glance, “Quarterback” looks like an exciting documentary series for any football fan. Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins and Marcus Mariota – all professional QB1s – were bugged for every game of the 2022 season and followed off the field as well. The eight-episode series truly offers unprecedented access to some of the world’s most talked about athletes…but whatever ends up on screen is also completely biased. Not only is the NFL itself a producer and partner on the series, but Mahomes’ 2PM Productions is as well, which means you won’t see anything the league or the star quarterback doesn’t want you to see — which, in turn , typically means that spectators are ready for a piece that glorifies the game and each player. These non-objective documentaries are becoming increasingly prominent following the success of Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance,” but there are still plenty of clear documents in the making. Choose your adventure. Just make sure you enter knowing who is behind the camera.
Release date: 3, 10, 17 and 24 July
Directors: Max Salomon, Jesse Sweet, Mark Mannucci and Shai Gal
Format: 4 feature-length episodes
The best reason to watch: Following the same packaging and release strategy as the sports documentary series ‘Untold’, ‘Unknown’ follows various explorers as they venture into uncharted territory. (“How many ‘non-‘ words can you fit in one sentence?” you ask? I could do more.) The four feature-length documentaries: “Unknown: The Lost Pyramid” (July 3), “Unknown: Killer Robots”” (July 10 ), “Unknown: Cave of Bones” (July 17), and “Unknown: Cosmic Time Machine” (July 24) — touch on topical topics like artificial intelligence while also tackling questions you may never have thought to ask. Choose your favorite and try it, or watch the complete series. Remember: Netflix does not do weekly releases.
“The Great British Baking Show: The Professionals” Season 7
Release date: Wednesday 26th July
Launch: Looking for Cherish, Benoit Blin, Tom Allen, Liam Charles, Stacey Solomon
Format: 10 hour episodes
The best reason to watch: You are an addict and you can not help it. Sure, the global obsession with friendly Brits churning out tasty concoctions may have faded, but not for you. Your passion for ‘GBBO’ burns hotter than a tent full of ovens on a hot summer day. Who cares that this isn’t the main show? Not you. Professional or amateur, good or bad hosts, your craving must be satisfied. Alright then. If you’re going to devote hours of your life to a TV show, there are far worse options out there.
“Too hot to handle” season 5
Release date: Friday 14th July
Creators: Laura Gibson, Charlie Bennett
Launch: Alex Snell, Christine Obanor, Courtney Randolph, Dre Woodard, Elys Hutchinson, Hannah Brooke, Hunter LoNigro, Isaac Francis, Louis Russell, Megan Thomson
Format: 10 hour episodes
The best reason to watch: I’ve never seen “Too Hot to Handle”, but I’ve been assured by trusted colleagues that it’s rather an entertainment piece – and not something engineered by the “no sex in movies” crazy people to prove some strange point about the power of abstinence. So have fun, sick comrades!
“The Lincoln Lawyer” Season 2, Part 1
Release date: Thursday 6 July
Showrunners: Ted Humphrey, Dailyn Rodriguez
Launch: Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Neve Campbell, Becki Newton, Angus Sampson, Jazz Raycole
Format: 6 one-hour episodes (part 2, consisting of four episodes, will be released on August 3rd
The best reason to watch: “The Lincoln Lawyer” was first a book, by Michael Connelly, then a movie, starring Matthew McConaughey. Everyone’s favorite actor/author/professor/Texan also drove a lot in a little show called “True Detective,” which inspired this outstanding creation. I’m sure Netflix’s “The Lincoln Lawyer” is fine, but it’s only included in this month’s list, so I can introduce that video to more people. It’s worth it.
The rest of the TV to come
“The Dragon Prince” Season 5 (Available July)
“Kohrra” (available in July)
“The Days” (available July 1)
“Little Angel” Volume 3 (available July 3)
“Back to 15” Season 2 (Available July 5)
“Deep Fake Love” (available July 6)
“Fatal Seduction” (available July 7)
“Hack My Home” (available July 7)
“StoryBots: Answer Time” Season 2 (Available July 10)
“Nineteen to Twenty” (available July 11)
“Record of Ragnarok” Season 2, Episodes 11-15 (Available July 12)
“Sugar Rush: The Baking Point” (available July 12)
“Burn the House” (Available July 13)
“The Devil’s Advocate” (available July 13)
“Sonic Prime” Season 2 (Available July 13)
“The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem” Season 2 (Available July 14)
“Five Star Chef” (available July 14)
“Country Queen” (available July 15)
“Morphie 3D” Season 1 (Available July 15)
“My Little Pony: Tell Your Tale” Season 1 (available July 15)
“Sweet Magnolias” Season 3 (Available July 20)
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (available July 21)
“Tuning” Season 4 (Available July 25)
“Baki Hanma: The Tale of Pickle & The Pickle War Saga” Season 2 (Available July 26)
“A Perfect Story” (available July 28)
“Captain Fall” (available July 28)
“DP” Season 2 (Available July 28)
“The Tailor” Season 2 (Available July 28)
“The Uncanny Counter” Season 2 (Available July 29)
“BASTARD!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy” Season 2 (Available July 31)