7 Shows to Stream This Summer

Sense 8
Sense 8

Plug into summer with these seven online shows:

Premieres June 5, Netflix

The Wachowski siblings’ first foray into TV is as sprawling and esoteric as one would expect from the directors of The Matrix and Cloud Atlas. Eight strangers around the world begin receiving the same strange vision—a woman (Daryl Hannah, above) committing suicide—and soon find themselves in one another’s heads, Vulcan mind-meld style. If that weren’t freaky enough, the “sensates” soon learn they’re being hunted by an organization that wants to study and then kill them. The idea, says executive producer J. Michael Straczynski, came from a weekend spent at Lana Wachowski’s San Francisco home, when a deep, philosophical conversation about identity and connectivity took a turn toward the televisual. “We wondered what would happen if there was suddenly someone in your head who had access to all your truths,” Straczynski says. “It’s both terrifying and liberating.”

The show flows between the sensates: An Icelandic DJ in London (Tuppence Middleton) finds herself in the mind of a Chicago cop (Brian J. Smith); an Indian woman in Mumbai (Tina Desai) hears the thunderstorm in which a safecracker in Germany (Max Riemelt) is caught.

To lend authenticity, everything in each character’s city was shot on location. The production puts even the globe-trotting Game of Thrones to shame: Twelve episodes were shot in nine countries over more than 100 days. Specific characters and locations are closely entwined by design, adds Straczynski. “There’s something about going from a character in the slums in Kenya to a nicely appointed house in San Francisco—you’re more aware of the contrasts.”

Straczynski notes Sense8 is the kind of show that lends itself to a binge rather than an episode doled out once a week. “The first episode is ‘What the hell just happened?'” he says. “The second is ‘I kind of see where you’re going with this.’ And the third is ‘OK, now I’ve got it.'” And the next nine? Just waiting in your queue.

Premieres June 1, Acorn TV

New Zealand detective Harry Anglesea (Oscar Kightley) returns to the field after suffering his wife’s premature death. Lucky for him, he’s got Sam Neill’s older, wiser Detective Senior Sergeant Jim Stockton to help him readjust. Episodes debut every Monday through June 29.

JoJo Whilden/Netflix

Orange Is the New Black
Returns June 12, Netflix

The ladies of Litchfield are back, and, yes, that includes Alex Vause (Laura Prepon, below, right), who can’t seem to stop rocking the underfunded boat. Meanwhile, Suzanne (Uzo Aduba) tries and fails to deal with Vee’s death.

Premieres June 19, Amazon Prime

American boy (Rob Delaney) meets Irish girl (Sharon Horgan). American boy and Irish girl accidentally make a baby. American boy moves to London to be a real father, unlike the absentee dad he had to deal with.

Premieres June 24, Hulu

From “The Yada Yada” to “The Contest” to “The Chinese Restaurant,” Hulu has procured all 180 episodes of the iconic comedy, available to watch whenever you like.

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
Premieres July 31, Netflix

In 2001, David Wain’s summer camp spoof starring a bevy of superstars in the making (Amy Poehler! Paul Rudd! Bradley Cooper!) hit theaters. The gang is back together for a prequel series, with the 14-years-older actors now playing
younger versions of themselves.

Difficult People
Premieres August 5, Hulu

Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner, close friends in real life, star in this scripted-but-very-autobiographical comedy about two miserable friends (a waiter and a comedian) who are a trial to everyone but each other.