It’s become running commentary that 2022 has been positively bloated with quality television, from under-the-radar gems, soon-to-be cult favorites, and the obvious highlights with endings for long-standing favorites like “Better Call Saul” and the long-awaited return of “Stranger Things.” July is about the same, with plenty of new arriving series — many adaptations from books, comics, and video games— as well as returning standouts like FX’s little mockumentary that could “What We Do in the Shadows.”
July sees not one but two series that play with audience nostalgia over the ’80s. One, “The Terminal List,” is a return for television for Chris Pratt and Constance Wu; the other, “Paper Girls,” is a YA teen riff with a sci-fi twist co-starring Ali Wong and a bunch of talented teen actors you’ll surely come to know soon. As per the trend of 2022, Apple TV+ — which, it could be argued, is becoming the best streaming service for original television— is back with two terrific-looking series, “Black Bird” from author/screenwriter Dennis Lehane, which is already garnering huge buzz and “Surface” a new series starring the greater Gugu Mbatha-Raw. All this said, it might be the quietest TV month of the year so far, but that’s ok; sometimes, we need a lean, clean, quality over quantity break.
Little is left to be said about “Stranger Things,” a definitive piece of event television that’s capping out its fourth season with two of its longest episodes to date. Following the first seven episodes, which ended with our group of heroes split up between Hawkins, California, and Russia and Nancy facing down Vecna, part two picks up exactly where we left off as the characters race against the clock again to save the day. Cast members such as David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, Natalia Dyer, Joe Keery, Sadie Sink, and more all return. Our critic wrote, “In the end, “Stranger Things” has become the Summer Blockbuster that Hollywood seems to be unable to provide this year (outside of Tom Cruise).”
Release Date: Season four, part 2, premieres July 1 on Netflix.
“The Terminal List”
Chris Pratt is committed to drama with his latest Amazon-produced television series, “The Terminal List,” based on the novel of the same name from author Jack Carr. Taylor Kitsch, Constance Wu, and Riley Keough star in the show, following Pratt’s elite soldier after returning home after his platoon of Navy SEALs are ambushed. Soon he learns that insidious forces are working against him and endangering the ones he loves. Antonie Fuqua directs the premier, with our critic writing that “…he gives the show some energy in the first episode.”
Release Date: Season one premieres July 1 on Amazon.
Taron Egerton has been delivering strong work throughout his career thus far, from his breakout in “Kingman: The Secret Service” to his critically acclaimed turn as legendary singer Elton John in “Rocketman.” Apple TV’s latest miniseries, the six-episode “Black Bird,” looks to confirm his star status further. Based on a true story, Egerton plays a convicted drug dealer who is offered his freedom in exchange for getting a confession out of A suspected serial killer (played by Paul Walter Hauser) and finding out where his victims have been buried. Our critic praised the series and said that Egerton delivers “…a complex and wrenching performance that deserves a fast pass to award season consideration.”
Release Date: The series premieres July 8 on Apple TV+.
“Better Call Saul”
As the series draws to an end and following the tragic part one finale of its sixth season, “Better Call Saul” has its fans anxiously anticipating its return while worrying about certain at-risk characters. As one of the best spin-off series of all time, “Better Call Saul” has been a testament to the storytelling abilities of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. As Saul is pushed further to the brink of no return (if he isn’t already there), Bob Odenkirk continues to deliver career-best work, with Rhea Seehorn and Jonathan Banks delivering similarly excellent performances. As “Breaking Bad” fans already know of Jimmy aka Saul’s fate, it’s endlessly impressive just how much the series can build tension as we wonder what part of Jimmy’s judgment, moral ground, or soul he’s going to lose next.
Release Date: Season six, part two, premieres July 11 on AMC.
“What We Do in the Shadows”
Returning after its solid third season, the FX Emmy-nominated mockumentary comedy series continues to showcase one of the strongest casts on television. Following the season three finale events that found the group split up as Laszlo (Matt Barry) prepared to raise baby Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), the trailers have already confirmed what we already knew that the group would soon reunite. Season four follows the group of vampires (and their servant familiar/vampire hunter) as they continue to seek space and notoriety in the underground world, from clubs that cater to the wealthy to trying to find a bride. The hilarious comedy troupe also features Harvey Guillen, Kayvan Novak, and Natasia Demetriou.
Release Date: Season four premieres July 12 on FX.
While video game adaptations have had a rough go of it in the film medium, they’ve faired decently better through television, with series such as “The Witcher.” “Resident Evil” looks to follow the same path. Developed by Andrew Dabb for Netflix, the series is set 14 years after a deadly virus caused a global apocalypse, following a Jade (Ella Balinska) as she tries to survive in a world overrun by infected creatures. Adeline Rudolph, Lance Reddick, and Paola Núñez also star.
Release Date: Season one premieres July 14 on Netflix.
Packed with impressive talents, “The Resort,” created by “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail, is one of the summer’s more anticipated dark comedies. The excellent William Jackson Harper (“The Good Place”) and Cristin Milioti (“Palm Springs”) star as a married couple who are drawn into a mystery while in the Mayan Riviera at the Ocean Vista Resort that took place 15 years prior. The mystery of the two missing persons will test their resolve and marriage of ten years. Andy Siara acts as showrunner, with Ben Sinclair directing. Nick Offerman, Luis Gerardo Méndez, and Skyler Gisondo also star.
Release Date: Season one premieres July 28 on Peacock.
Neil Patrick Harris, Brooks Ashmanskas, Tisha Campbell, and Emerson Brooks star in the upcoming Netflix comedy series “Uncoupled.” The series, created by Jeffrey Richman and Darren Starr, follows Michael, who has just been left by his husband of 17 years and is finding himself single and on the dating scene in his mid-40s. With credits ranging from “Frasier” and “Sex in the City” to “Modern Family,” it will be interesting to see if Richman and Starr can update a familiar but effective comedy formula.
Release Date: Season one premieres July 29 on Netflix.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars in the upcoming Apple TV+ drama, “Surface.” Created by Veronica West and directed by Sam Miller, the series follows a woman, played by Mbatha-Raw, who is trying to piece together her memories leading up to a suicide attempt she can barely remember. Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Stephan James, and Ari Graynor also star.
Release Date: Season one premieres July 29 on Apple TV+.
Based on the comic book series of the same name written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Cliff Chiang, “Paper Girls” is the latest science fiction series arriving at streaming. Set on the night of Halloween in 1988, four 12-year-old girls will have to face a mission to save the world through time travel. Developed for television by Stephany Folsom, the series stars Fina Strazza, Ali Wong, Camryn Jones, Sofia Rosinsky, Riley Lai Nelet, and Adina Porter.
Release Date: Season one premieres July 29 on Amazon Prime.
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