What to watch in summer
1. Grinding teeth. The Strain
This summer there aren’t many horrors and thrillers to please audiences. Only August is going to indulge us with two new episodes of the Fear the Walking Dead and it seems like that’s all there is.
But that’s not really the case. Guillermo del Toro is going to produce the third and new season of The Strain, which is an elegant combination of a vampire movie, a zombie apocalypse, a story about mutants and a historical thriller. Curiously enough, these things really work together.
Guillermo del Toro, who gave us two cult movies in the 90’s–Mimic and Blade, skillfully combined both of their aesthetics within his trilogy of books-The Strain. Yes, the filmmaker wrote the book first, anyway that’s something. That means that the TV series will not continue until its drop into complete boredom and closure due to low ratings. It is final by default and that’s great.
2. A bit of mystery. Wayward Pines
There are almost no real classical mystery movies this summer. However, the FOX channel, hoping to catch up and outdo NBC, pulled out M. Night Shyamalan from hiding and gave him the chance to shoot the series, Wayward Pines.
David Lynch resurfaced some two years ago from an even deeper abyss, from the darkness of time, from the ashes of oblivion, with a proposal for NBC to revive Twin Peaks. Kyle MacLachlan also resurfaced, driven by his intention to reprise his role as Special Agent Cooper.
FOX decided not to waste time and produced its own version with blackjack and the agents.
Wayward Pines, Season 2 was first aired in June. It should be mentioned that it includes everything from aliens and mutants, horrible experiments, the idea that ‘the truth is out there’, space anomalies and time rings, all this being within the small town, Wayward Pines, where a secret service agent, Ethan Burke, wanders around.
Interestingly enough, the author of the original Wayward Pines book trilogy, Blake Crouch, admitted that he had been inspired far more by the original Twin Peaks. Time is in a loop, though.
3. A real detective story. Aquarius
Aquarius, a breathtaking vintage television series with David Duchovny starring as a cool LAPD detective, has been renewed for its second season this summer.
The most interesting thing about it is that the series is based on the real and rather notorious events surrounding Charles Manson, the maniac, who, together with his henchmen, committed a series of horrible cult murders. Sharon Polanski, the wife of the well-known filmmaker, Roman Polanski, was one of his victims. There is certainly a lot of artistic fiction in the series, but that does not make it any less convincing.
4. This one’s for you, Star Trekker lovers. Dark Matter
The Sy-Fy channel presented dozens of shows for teenagers, including for the kidults: Stargate, Battlestar Galactica and Farscape.
This summer, the channel has delighted us, “the infantiles”, by with season 2 of both Killjoys and Dark Matter. However, the former has already disappointed Sy-Fy fans with its undisguised parady of the untimely ended Firefly, especially since this parody is a blatant failure.
The worst thing is that Killjoys characters are trying to make jokes about this.
Dark Matter seems better in this regard. First of all, there are no trifling jokes (the austere characters are far from being humorous, in general) and, secondly, the film’s main plot was well-scripted right from the very beginning.
In the beginning of Season 1, a group of six people with no memory of who they are and where they came from wake up on a starship. They get into a series of mishaps, they are threatened and almost killed and everyone wants something from them. In addition to this, they don’t trust each other and, lastly, they figured out that one of them is not who he claims to be.
Season 2, the first episode of which premiered a couple of days ago, maintains this intrigue and high degree of suspense.
5. For computer nerds. Halt and Catch Fire.
Surprisingly enough, the television series Halt and Catch Fire, which initially had a low rating, has returned for its third Season this year. Apparently there are quite a lot of computer nerds around the world who won’t let this show vanish.
Set in the early 80s, this series dramatizes the personal computing boom through the eyes of a visionary, an engineer and a prodigy, whose innovations directly confront a ‘big name’ corporate player such as the International Business Machines (IBM).
It contains many true stories about the development of the desktop PC market. The actor’s performance of the CEO is perfect. You could see a real ‘tough’ manager; a computer geek and a young coder-genius.
No one knows how long will this little masterpiece will survive, but it is worth watching it at least to have some new experiences and educate yourself.
6. and 7. Comic book series. Preacher and Outcast
Two new comic book-based series will be premiered this summer and both of them promise to be interesting, simply because they are very weird.
Preacher is an adaption of the comic book of the same name, published by the DC Comics’ company, Vertigo. It’s a story about a priest, who, accompanied by an Irish vampire and an angel who has escaped from heaven, is on a mission to find God. And not just to find, but rather to kill him.
Outcast is worth watching just because it is based on Robert Kirkman’s comics. He’s the same guy who created the Walking Dead. This new TV series tells the story of the boy, who tries to protect his demon-possessed mother and survive in the process.
8. 9. Vinyl and vintage. Roadies and The Get Down
Vinyl, a TV series created collaboratively by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, which made its premier on HBO, is about the history of show business. However, HBO decided not to air Season 2 of the series despite its high ratings. The problem was its enormous budget.
Two absolutely new TV series about the same topic – Roadies (Showtime) and The Get Down (Netflix) have made their premiers this summer.
For both of these shows, the film studios focused more on filmmaking rather than on casting. Roadies was created by Cameron Crowe, who has produced such movies as Jerry Maguire; Vanilla Sky and Almost Famous. As for the director of The Get Down, Baz Luhrmann, he is known for such films as Romeo and Juliette; Moulin Rouge and the Great Gatsby.
The former TV series is about a crew of people who organize rock concerts, while the latters offers the prospect of being a stylish, nice, musical comedy about the disco era.
In short, there is a lot to watch this summer.