It’s time to slip on your sunglasses, pour yourself a Pimm’s and rejoice; for summer has finally arrived. But beware, with the warmer months comes terrible television — here’s looking at you, Love Island.
So, instead of succumbing to that muscle-bound, baby-oiled escapism, we’ve rounded up the perfect list of streaming shows to kickstart your summer. From the hotly anticipated return of several hit series, through Netflix originals, to some timeless classics — we’ve got your June viewing sorted.
Snatch, 1st June
Originally released in 2000, if you haven’t already seen Snatch, we’re tempted to send a gang of Guy Ritchie’s heavies around to sort you out.
Written and directed by the British auteur, it’s a film worth the watch for Brad Pitt’s accent alone. And the A-lister is just one of many diamonds in the crime comedy. Jason Statham, Benicio Del Toro, Stephen Graham and an actual literal diamond (86 whole carats worth) are also key to the plot. Oh, and guns. Lots of guns.
Black Mirror (Season 5), 5th June
That’s right, it’s time to throw your smartphone and high-tail it in the opposite direction — Black Mirror is back!
It’s everyone’s favourite gripping, chilling, terrifying dystopian thriller, and Charlie Brooker’s celebrated series is returning to Netflix this summer with its most spine-tingling, albeit shortened season yet. In this batch’s fictionalised foray into the world of tech, expect creepy electronic dolls, drive-sharing disasters and an actual Miley Cyrus.
Designated Survivor (Season 3), 7th June
Somehow, unfathomably, this Kiefer Sutherland vehicle is still trundling away. Even more unfathomably, it’s still really, very, inexplicably good. Stepping back into the Oval Office, Sutherland’s President will tackle even more action, drama and political tension in this third season.
“Well, I really screwed that up, didn’t I?”, mutters the President at one point early in the upcoming series. In our eyes — and from the edge of our seats — we couldn’t disagree more.
The Chef Show, 7th June
There’s a clue in the title of this one — if you’ve enjoyed Netflix’s recent foodie content, such as Chef’s Table follow-up Street Food, you’ll love this. The Chef Show features Roy Choi team up with Jon Favreau — the guy who directed 2014 cult hit Chef — to explore food in all its forms, from oysters to grilled cheeses to chocolate lava cakes.
Featuring a host of celebrity guest stars, including Gwyneth Paltrow, this proves to be a show with wit, with heart and with enough close-ups of food to keep your mouth watering until its inevitable second series.
Rush, 10th June
The late Niki Lauda was one of the most daring, famous and iconic Formula 1 drivers to ever get behind the wheel, and it is his rivalry with British driver James Hunt that forms the basis of Ron Howard’s thrilling 2013 film.
Telling the powerful true story of the 1976 racing season, this fascinating story centres on the dynamic between the two key racers — played convincingly by Chris Hemsworth and former Gentleman’s Journal cover star Daniel Brühl. Well worth a watch.
Blue Planet II, 10th June
We all dived in every week when Blue Planet II was shown on BBC1. Now, we’ve been given a second chance to take a dip, with the David Attenborough-narrated docu-series splashing its way onto Netflix this month.
Cinematic television at its best, explore creatures and seascapes hitherto unknown to humans, all set to a triumphant score by Hans Zimmer. You’ll discover a whole new world, spend most of the runtime with your jaw hanging open and perhaps even shed a tear (two words: baby walrus).
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, 12th June
Sure to be a water cooler hit, this Netflix original documentary brings together two of the greatest artistic talents of our time: singer-songwriter Bob Dylan (“Bobby”, in the film), and director Martin Scorsese.
The backdrop of the film is 1975 America, focusing on the atmosphere of the country at the time, and studying how Dylan’s music both informed the zeitgeist and drew inspiration from it. With a creative team such as this, we’re expecting great things — not to mention newly sparked interest in Dylan on Spotify.
Murder Mystery, 14th June
Having last co-starred in Just Go With It back in 2011, comedy veterans Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston once more reunite in this Netflix original. Sandler’s form is patchy to say the least, but this fun, rip-roaring ride proves to be good throwaway fun.
Sandler and Aniston play a bickering married couple on a long overdue European holiday, who are invited aboard a billionaire’s yacht for a party. Sure enough, not everything goes to plan, the tycoon is murdered and all fingers are pointed squarely at the comedy duo.
Exhibit A, 28th June
The true crime phenomenon continues. At once a fascinating insight into the practices of forensic science and a gripping exposé into how such evidence can still lead to the conviction of innocent people, this isn’t one for the faint-hearted.
But, for those of you brave enough to give this your undivided attention, this is certainly a compelling watch — and you’ll never watch CSI the same way again…
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, 30th June
Because who doesn’t need a 5’7” dose of Tom Cruise action this summer? And, from the criminal underworld of London to the centre of Moscow, this is one of the superstar’s most potent.
Co-starring former Gentleman’s Journal cover star Jeremy Renner, the fifth instalment in the franchise sees the Kremlin bombed, Cruise’s Ethan Hunt fighting to clear his name for the crime and a series of ludicrously entertaining set-pieces — among them, a free-climb up the Burj Khalifa, an underwater shoot-out and a fist fight in a ultra-modern Mumbai car park. It’s as fun as it sounds.
Want more ways to enjoy this summer? We’ve rounded up some of the best gear in our Editor’s Picks…