A return to the ’80s, the end of a prison stretch, the death of a dynasty and Russell Crowe’s roar are among the crop of best TV shows to watch this July.
Stranger Things (Netflix, July 4)
The gang from Hawkins, Indiana, are all back— with the addition of Maya Thurman Hawke, Jake Busey and Cary Elwes — for a new onslaught of ’80s pop-culture references and supernatural happenings. “While it’s our most fun season, it also turns out to be our grossest season,” co-creator Ross Duffer has teased. “We’re inspired by John Carpenter’s The Thing.”
Lambs of God (Fox Showcase, July 21)
Based on the Australian novel by Marele Day, the four-part Foxtel Original series unspools a twisted gothic tale of three nuns —played by Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale), Essie Davis (Game of Thrones) and Jessica Barden (The Lobster)— whose secluded existence is upturned by the arrival of an ambitious priest (Sam Reid).
The Last Czars (Netflix, July 3)
One hundred one years since the execution of the Romanov family in July 1918, this six-part series blends talking head-style documentary with big-budget drama scenes to follow the fall of the Russian royal family— ex-tsar Nicholas II, ex-tsarina Alexandra, their five children, and their four remaining servants—who were slaughtered following the Bolshevik Revolution.
Orange is the New Black (Netflix, July 26)
“After seven seasons, it’s time to be released from prison,” show creator Jenji Kohan said in a statement in November. “My heart is orange but fade to black.” The action picks up from last season’s finale, with Piper (Taylor Schilling) adjusting to her new life. “Piper has sort of been an Alice in Wonderland,” said executive producer Tara Herrmann. “And now she’s somersaulting out of that world.”
The Loudest Voice (Stan, July 1)
Russell Crowe is almost unrecognisable as he embodies his role of Roger Ailes, the disgraced, and now late, king of Fox News. The seven-part series chronicles the rise of Ailes as a prominent figure of the Republican party as well as the 2016 sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Fox News host Gretchen Carlson (played by Naomi Watts) that ultimately led to his downfall. Sienna Miller and Seth MacFarlane also star.
Grand Designs (LifeStyle, July 17)
Season 8 of the fly-on-the-wall renovation series sees architect host Peter Maddison return to present the blood, sweat and budget blow-outs behind ten new homes in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia Tasmania and the ACT.
Divorce (FOX Showcase, July 2)
Season 3 of the half-hour dramedy follows Frances (star and executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker) and Robert (Thomas Haden Church) as they navigate the next phase of their post-marriage lives – co-parenting with new partners. Scene-steal best friend Diane (Molly Shannon) is back, and broke.
The Boys (Amazon Prime, July 26)
An eight-part, super-violent satire from creators Evan Goldberg, Eric Kripke and Seth Rogen about a group of vigilante CIA operatives who set out to take down corrupt superheroes. Stars New Zealand actors Karl Urban (The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King) and Anthony Starr (Banshee).
The Rook (Stan, July 1)
Based on the 2010 supernatural spy thriller novel by Australian author Daniel O’Malley, the eight-part London-set series stars Emma Greenwell as a woman with mysterious powers and no memory. Oliva Munn and Joely Richardson co-star.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Netflix, July 19)
Jerry Seinfeld returns with a new clutch of revved up and caffeinated chats with some of the world’s funniest people, including Eddie Murphy Seth Rogen, Rickey Gervais, Martin Short and Jamie Foxx. Ironically, the short episodes make it perfect for bingeing on public transport.