Summer is fully underway, and we've got our eyes on new TV shows that will help us deal with the lack of fun in the sun. Yes, thanks to social distancing recommendations still in effect, many of us are still avoiding big crowds at beaches, parks and other outdoor venues.
So, you still need ideas for what to watch and we’ve got a list of new TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, HBO and more streaming services this weekend.
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This is an eclectic, top-notch batch of new TV shows. Celebrate Pride by bingeing Hulu’s Love, Victor, which features a queer main character. Celebrate Black culture and storytelling with an ABC News special on Juneteenth and Lena Waithe’s Showtime drama The Chi. Celebrate diversity and immigrants (and great food) by watching the food travel series Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi. And celebrate Father's Day with a documentary about modern-day Dads.
Here are our top choices for the new TV shows to watch this week.
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The Politician season 2 (Netflix)
Ryan Murphy’s The Politician is back for more electoral shenanigans. Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) continues his quest to eventually become President of the United States, by running for one office at a time. In season 1, Payton won the campaign to be his high school president (though he was forced to resign in disgrace). Season 2 picks up three years later, when Payton is a student at New York University. He’s running for the state senate against Majority Leader Dede Standish (Judith Light) and her nefarious campaign manager Hadassah Gold (Bette Midler).
Dirty doesn’t even begin to describe the politics here. You name it, The Politician season 2 has it: Sex scandals. Incriminating photos. Spicy lube. Throuples. If you thought season 1 was over the top, Murphy’s show is shooting for the stratosphere.
Starts streaming June 19 (all 10 episodes)
Love, Victor (Hulu)
Pride Month is the perfect time to launch a television series headlined by a teen LGBTQ character. The 2018 YA rom-com movie Love, Simon inspires this spinoff series, which introduces a Latinx teen as the new protagonist. When Victor (Michael Cimino) moves from Texas to Atlanta, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery. As he navigates Creekwood High life, Victor seeks answers to his own questions about his identity and sexuality.
Along the way, he reaches out to Simon (Nick Robinson, reprising his role from the film) for advice and support. This is a teen dramedy through and through, so expect plenty of angst (high school is The Worst, amirite?) but also a ton of heart and sincerity.
Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi (Hulu)
The Top Chef host and judge has a new show that’s all her own, which sends her across the country to explore the food cultures of various immigrant and indigenous communities. Lakshmi will eat burritos in El Paso, Persian kebabs in Los Angeles, chop suey in San Francisco, poke in Honolulu and more in the 10 half-hour episodes.
Taste the Nation is a wistful reminder of The Before Times, when we could travel to new places and break bread with friends and strangers. While it may feel odd to watch, it’s also an energizing celebration of diversity.
Dads (Apple TV Plus)
Just in time for Father’s Day, Apple TV Plus drops this documentary film from Bryce Dallas Howard, making her feature directorial debut. Dads provides a firsthand look at the trials and tribulations of modern-day parenting through interviews with celebrities including Howard’s own father, director Ron Howard, as well as Will Smith, Neil Patrick Harris, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Hasan Minhaj and more.
The doc also spotlights the stories of regular, non-famous everyday dads from the U.S., Japan, Brazil and around the world. It’s heartwarming, positive programming that will make you want to hug your dad (or send him a digital wave on Zoom).
Starts streaming June 19
Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming (ABC)
This hour-long ABC News special focuses on the holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., its history and its legacy. It will feature ABC News Live Prime Anchor Linsey Davis, Nightline co-anchor Byron Pitts, The View moderator Whoopi Goldberg and correspondents Deborah Roberts, TJ Holmes, Steve Osunsami and Janai Norman.
The special will incorporate reporting from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Galveston, Texas and other cities. And it will examine the fight for voting rights, the struggle to pass anti-lynching legislation and the Black community’s spirituality and faith.
Airs June 19 at 8 p.m.
The Chi season 3 premiere (Showtime)
Lena Waithe’s drama about the everyday lives of people in Chicago’s South Side returns for another season of smart, raw storytelling. Kandi Burruss (of the Real Housewives of Atlanta) is coming on board as the estranged wife of Douda (Curtiss Cook). She’ll influence his political agenda as well as wield her own.
The Chi is turning a fresh page in season 3, since Jason Mitchell is no longer on the show (due to misconduct allegations). But you can expect to see other familiar faces like Jacob Latimore as Emmett, Alex Hibbert as Kevin and Michael Epps as Jake.
Airs June 21 at 9 p.m.
Perry Mason series premiere (HBO)
What’s old is new again and what’s new is old again. Perry Mason is a character that’s existed on page and screen for decades, but HBO puts a fresh, exciting spin on the hardboiled investigator. The Americans alum Matthew Rhys dons the fedora as the down-and-out Perry, supported by a colorful cast of characters.
The setting is 1932 Los Angeles, which is prospering thanks to an oil boom, the film industry, the summer's Olympic Games, and a massive Christian revival. When Perry gets embroiled in a sensational child kidnapping case, he finds himself contending with politicians, a corrupt police department and a fervent radio evangelist.
Airs June 21 at 9 p.m.
Other notable new TV shows this weekend
Babies season 2 (Netflix)
A new set of infants from around the world experience the joys and challenges of their first year of life. (June 19)
Floor Is Lava (Netflix)
The supremely silly game show challenges teams to navigate an obstacle course without falling into the liquid “lava.” (June 19)
United We Sing: A Grammy Tribute to the Unsung Heroes (CBS)
Harry Connick, Jr. hosts a celebration of essential workers. (June 21, 8 p.m.)
Sports are on pause, so this year’s awards show will highlight narratives of service, perseverance and courage. (June 21, 9 p.m.)
Yellowstone season 3 (Paramount)
The Duttons continue to protect their ranch, while dealing with the fallout of Tate’s kidnapping. (June 21, 9 p.m.)
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Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.