July is sizzling, and that refers to both the outside temperature and what’s going on inside your living room. Your streaming devices are likely already on overdrive while catching upon the best June offerings (and some of those, like The Boys and Only Murders In The Building, aren’t done with their seasons yet), but there’s more quality TV on the way. That includes multiple psychological thrillers, some true crime offerings, and a lot of love for lovers of comic books. On that note, you’ll see both the return of Harley Quinn and the introduction of Paper Girls, but there’s also a juggernaut on the way.
The month begins with the season finale of Stranger Things, and coincidentally, Paper Girls will finish the month with some of those strange vibes. Apple TV+, Peacock, and AMC+ have new prestige productions on the way (Surface, Moonhaven, and The Resort, to get started), and Paramount+ has the latest gift from the South Park guys on tap to skewer the streaming wars themselves. In other words, there’s a lot of heat for you to appreciate while staying cool. Here are the must-see shows coming your way in July.
Stranger Things: Season 4, Part 2 (Netflix series 7/1)
Well, it’s time for all-out war and overwhelming darkness in Hawkins, Indiana. The Upside Down’s still throwing out more questions than answers, and it’s time for the team to conquer this season’s big villain, Vecna. Maybe we’ll get more Kate Bush amid these immensely long episode runtimes. They’re practically movies! But the whole gang is back to take on the psychic monster, so expect more Millie Bobby Brown (if she comes back from the desert), Sadie Sink, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, and the rest. Is this show ever gonna get down to business and pull a Game of Thrones with character deaths? That’s what Millie wants, and you gotta admit that this outcome wouldn’t be boring. And let it happen with some real bangers.
Moonhaven: Season 1 (AMC+ series 7/7)
Good news for mankind: this show takes place 100 years from now when the Moon hosts a utopian colony. The bad news, though, is that there are shadowy forces at work and a conspiracy and a murder and all that jazz. So an intrepid pilot teams up with a detective, and we’ve got a sci-fi procedural vibe going on, which will hopefully be able to vanquish the evil at work. Emma McDonald, Dominic Monaghan, and Joe Manganiello star, but try not to think too hard about that Magic Mike XXL convenience store scene while you’re enjoying this gorgeous-looking show about the very fate of civilization.
Boo, Bitch: Season 4, Part 2 (Netflix limited series 7/8)
To All The Boys star Lana Condor is a gem, and here, she’s a gem that realizes that she’s a ghost who (naturally) decides that this is the best time to live her best life. This looks charming as heck and like a fuzzy summery confection. Yes, this one’s geared toward a younger crowd, but one can always appreciate the idea of not appreciating what one has until it’s gone, but in TV land, one can always go get that thing, and we can live vicariously in the process.
Black Bird: Season 1 (Apple TV+ series 7/8)
The recently departed Ray Liotta returns to our screens to bid the world farewell in his role as Big Jim Keene. He’s the father of Taron Egerton’s Jimmy in this psychological thriller/true-crime adaptation series based upon the real life Jimmy’s In With The Devil: A Fallen Hero, A Serial Killer, and A Dangerous Bargain for Redemption memoir. Dennis Lehane produces, and the cast also includes Paul Walter Hauser (who’s rarely anything but trouble) and Greg Kinnear. I hope you’re in the mood for a suspenseful ride because you’ll get it here.
D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! (Netflix limited series series 7/13)
Does the world really need another D.B. Cooper take? Well, we’re getting one, even after countless pop culture references (including Loki and Justified) and an HBO documentary. Netflix gives this story a whirl, too, so sign on to watch more about the 1970s skyjacker who disappeared with all that cash and a never-surfaced identity. This limited series takes on quite the task of wrapping itself around all of the rumors and theories and sightings, all in an effort to make some sense out of it all.
South Park: The Streaming Wars: Part 2 (Paramount+ movie 7/13)
Alright, so this is technically a movie that’s part of the canon for the long-running show from Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Yet one cannot resist these subsequent installments while we all wait for Casa Bonita to finally make that comeback. As the title indicates, there’s still ongoing streaming wars (this show is so good at trolling real life), and Cartman’s stuck in the ultimate battle of wills, and he might not be the most hated character of this show? Get ready for Randy to go “full nuclear Karen,” if that tells you anything at all.
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin: Season 1 (HBO Max series 7/28)
Get ready for a fresh group of liars from a new generation in the same universe. This group hails the blue-collar town called Millwood, where a great tragedy took place decades ago, and now, a new tormenter has surfaced to remind these liars of what their parents did, back in the day. Will there actually be explicit connections to the O.G. series? The secret’s still out on that detail, but Millwood is not Rosewood, so that that as you will. The principal group include a ballerina, and a track star, a virtual-reality obsessive, and (you guessed it) a horror movie buff.
The Resort: Season 1 (Peacock series 7/28)
Vacation stories are where it’s at (while actual travel is hellishly backed up right now) with recent successes like White Lotus and Nine Perfect Strangers, and here, there’s a story about a unsolved mystery in Yucatan that collides with an anniversary trip. This is also a multi-generational tale and stars one hell of a cast, including Cristin Milioti, William Jackson Harper, Nick Offerman, and Skyler Gisondo. Even better: Palm Springs writer Andy Siara came onboard as showrunner.
Harley Quinn: Season 3 (HBO Max series 7/28)
King Shark, King Shark, King Shark! Oh right, he’s back (the voice of Ron Funches, that is), and so is Kaley Cuoco’s title character with her lady love, Poison Ivy (Lake Bell). They’re on new adventures of DC villainy, but Ivy sure would like for Gotham to be a paradise akin to Gotham. The show also performed some enormous fan service already with the central couple, so surely, no one will mind the “Harlivy” moniker while all of the outrageous profanity and baseball-bound violence does down, too.
Paper Girls: Season 1 (Amazon Prime series 7/29)
There’s more comic book content coming your way. This live-action adaptation (of the works of Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang) follows four paper-delivery girls (yes, this takes place in the past — 1988 to be precise) who end up (while only doing their jobs) stumbling into a war of time travelers. They end up springing into the future and meeting their future selves, and they want nothing more but to get back to their real homes, but first, they need to conquer their differences as well as their own selves. It’s a personal journey with the highest of stakes, and Ali Wong stars as one of the grown-up papers girls, so prepare yourself to witness supremacy.
Surface: Season 1 (Apple TV+ series 7/29)
Because one can never have enough psychological thrillers in one month, this show follows Sophie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) after debilitating memory loss caused by a traumatic blow to the head. She tries, with the “help” (and that’s the term used by Apple TV+) of her husband and pals, to recover her self and what she’s been through, but of course, who knows if the truth matches up to reality. It’s a sexy thriller, too, which also stars Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Stephan James, and Ari Graynor, and the show digs deep into existential musings about whether self-discovery can really uncover one’s self if there’s any suggestive programming going on as well.