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“You Ever Think about Just Maybe Trying to Have a Little Fun?” Jump and Jive Over June’s TV

In between the start of your summer barbecues, beaching, and backyard parties, here’s a reminder that there are still some great series headed our way. From fantasy to comedy, this season’s television is taking a turn toward the lighter side, and alongside the wicked fun of Thor’s scheming brother come two delightfully black comedies. So after you clean up from whatever you’ve been up to all day, kick back, relax, and enjoy the best of this month’s new shows!

Sweet Tooth

June 4, 2021 (Netflix)

Based on the DC comic by Jeff Lemire about a worldwide catastrophic viral (*cough*) event that led to the emergence of human-animal Hybrids, this fantasy series follows adorable part-deer moppet Gus (Christian Convery) as he tries to survive in a hostile human world, with a reluctant former pro athlete as his protector. Created and written by Jim Mickle (Hap and Leonard, We Are What We Are), executive produced by Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey, Sweet Tooth also stars Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Will Forte, Dania Ramirez, Neil Sandilands, and Stefania LaVie Owen, and James Brolin will narrate the series. Newcomer Convery is utterly adorable and the trailer will make this an easy add to your check-it-out list.

Lisey’s Story

June 4, 2021 (Apple TV+)

I’m not gonna lie, this Stephen King book is one of my least favorite (though reportedly it’s his favorite) reads and I have zero interest in watching it play out onscreen. That aside, King adaptations are always huge, Apple is putting out some great shows (For All Mankind, The Morning Show, Servant), and the cast — Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Ron Cephas Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Joan Allen, Dane DeHaan, and Sung Kang — is duly excellent. So, here’s hoping Academy Award-winning director Pablo Larraín (No, Jackie) can pull out the best of the Story for this miniseries. All eight episodes were written by the author himself.

The Kings

June 6, 2021 (Showtime)

If boxing is your bag, how about a four-part miniseries chronicling the “The Fabulous Four” who followed in Muhammad Ali’s footsteps, and reigned over the sport in the 1980s? Roberto “Manos de Piedra” Durán, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, and Sugar Ray Leonard fought their way to the top amid intense rivalries. Directed by Mat Whitecross (The Road to Guantanamo, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll), The Kings features in-depth interviews and archival footage to cover each athlete’s rise and their interactions… er, fights.

Little Birds

June 6, 2021 (Starz)

(trailer NSFC/W)

Sexy times, ahoy! This six-part adaptation of Anaïs Nin’s short story collection is set in 1950s Tangier and features Juno Temple as American heiress Lucy Savage Cavendish-Smyth, who wants more than the traditional path set before her. So, of course, she marries a handsome lord — way to break away from the pack, missy! To be fair, her husband does harbor an interesting secret or two and upon the couple’s move to parts unknown, Lucy’s world opens up in (*ahem*) unexpected ways. Directed by Stacie Passon (Dickinson, American Gods, House of Cards); written by Sophia Al Maria (The Medusa), Little Birds also stars Hugh Skinner, Yumna Marwan, Raphael Acloque, Jean-Marc Barr, Rossy De Palma, Nina Sosanya, Dave Constabile, Amy Landecker, and Matt Lauria. (This series aired previously across the pond on Sky TV.)

Loki

June 9, 2021 (Disney+)

Next up in the Marvel TV universe is master of manipulation and the god of mischief — albeit an alternate version — your fiend and mine, Loki Odinson. Tom Hiddleston returns as our favorite antihero, rescued in a way by the Avengers’ time-shenanigans used to outwit Thanos in Endgame. In a deal with the Time Variance Authority (TVA), Alterna-Loki must help fix the timeline or else be erased himself. With Owen Wilson as TVA analyst Mobius M. Mobius, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as TVA judge Ravonna Lexus Renslayer, and Richard E. Grant (who I could easily see playing an older Loki) in a secret role, this six-parter is your summer must-see Marvel. All episodes are directed by Kate Herron (Sex Education, Five by Five); Michael Waldron (Rick and Morty, Community) is head writer and producer. Don’t even try to pretend you won’t watch.

Physical

June 18, 2021 (Apple TV+)

Flashdanceback to the 80s with the fabulous Rose Byrne as a frustrated housewife who rediscovers herself through… aerobics? Yes please and hey, remember this and this? Written by Annie Weisman (Suburgatory, Dead Like Me), with the pilot directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Fright Night [2011], United States of Tara), this dark comedy also stars Paul Sparks, Rory Scovel, Dierdre Friel, Della Saba, Ian Gomez, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Ashley Liao.

Kevin Can F**k Himself

June 20, 2021 (AMC+)

Schitt’s Creek’s Annie Murphy gets what she truly deserves: the lead in a comedy series. As Allison McRoberts, Murphy, aka “the typical suburban sitcom wife,” finally decides she’s had enough. What takes this up a notch — aside from Murphy’s casting — from what might at first sound a little ho-hum is in the viewpoint, switching between single and multi-camera (not unlike Marvel’s WandaVision) — just check out that clever trailer. Created and written by Valerie Armstrong (Masters of Sex, Lodge 49), executive produced by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, and co-starring Alex Bonifer, Mary Hollis Inboden, and Candice Coke, this gem is not to be missed.

The Mysterious Benedict Society

June 25, 2021 (Disney+)

An adventure for the kidlets that looks fun for grownups too, this adaptation of Trenton Lee Stewart’s popular book series couldn’t be better suited for a Disney show. Arrested Development and Veep’s Tony Hale takes on the role of twin brothers, one being the eccentric leader of the titular group on a mission to stop a villainous plot, and the other the perpetrator of said plot. Inside a boarding school, the Society members (gifted orphans) first meet each other and Mr. Benedict, and from there, the shenanigans ensue. Flight of the Conchords’ James Bobin directs the pilot, written by series creators Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (The Invitation, Destroyer), and Kristen Schaal, MaameYaa Boafo, Ryan Hurst, Gia Sandhu, Mystic Inscho, Emmy DeOliveira, Seth Carr, and Marta Timofeeva are along for the ride.

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Writer and Editor-in-Chief at @oohlo_com, also seen @pajiba, @bust_magazine. Currently working on her first novel, Cindy seeks solace in science fiction and tales of darkness not her own.

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