The Best TV Shows You Should Be Watching This Summer

Photo Credit: HBO

Summer can give you a chance to turn off the TV and walk away from the computer to enjoy some of the best weather of the year while exploring the great outdoors. Sure, the heat can be tough to beat. But you can’t spend your entire summer in an air-conditioned room binge watching the best shows that TV has to offer.

Or can you? If you’re reading this, then chances are good that you are also a connoisseur of great television. And there’s definitely some TV shows that should have your undivided attention. There’re only about six weeks left before the fall TV schedule begins, and at that point, you’ll have far too many shows for any one person to watch. But there should still be enough time to binge your way through some of the best television series on streaming and cable networks that you might have otherwise missed in these incredibly hot months.

Because we also love television, CraveOnline has put together a quick guide to the 10 Best TV shows you should be watching this summer. It’s always tricky narrowing the list down to ten, so feel free to share your picks in the comment section below! 

Dark Matter

What’s this? A Syfy show on the list of best summer TV programs? It’s true. You may or may not appreciate the joys of watching a sci-fi series set in the far future, but the majority of TV snobs realized the genre’s potential when the Battlestar Galactica reboot proved to be one of television’s great shows of this millennium. Dark Matter doesn’t quite hit the dramatic heights of BSG, but it’s a very enjoyable and largely well-acted series about a team of deadly mercenaries who have been forced to reinvent themselves after their memories were wiped. Syfy’s Killjoys is also a lot of fun, but Dark Matter is definitely our favorite of the two. We caught up with the male and female leads of Dark Matter at San Diego Comic-Con, as well as the executive producer, Jay Firestone, who teased what’s coming up this season. 

Halt and Catch Fire

AMC was spoiled by a run with two of TV’s greatest dramas ever, with Breaking Bad and Mad Men; which was followed by The Walking Dead, which is perhaps the most successful basic cable drama of all time. AMC is now such a victim of its own success that even when the network has a great show like Halt and Catch Fire, it is still in the shadow of the previous AMC hits. 

There’s a new season of Halt and Catch Fire coming to AMC on August 23, but you can still catch up on the first two seasons on Netflix; both of which explore the early days of the internet and the computing age with a compelling cast of characters. Welcome to Mutiny! 


Perhaps you want something more visceral from your TV experience. DirecTV’s Kingdom is one of the first MMA dramas on TV, and it has some very impressive fight choreography. Not everyone has Audience Network or DirecTV, which is why Kingdom flies way under the radar despite a very good cast led by Frank Grillo, Kiele Sanchez, Matt Lauria, Jonathan Tucker, and Nick Jonas. It’s a well-acted and well-written show that just happens to kick a lot of ass. But there’s nothing wrong with that!

Mr. Robot

It’s almost impossible to accurately describe Mr. Robot without spoiling its best surprises. It is a hacker drama, but not like one that you’ve ever seen before. The second season is currently unfolding on USA, but it’s very important that you start watching Mr. Robot from the very beginning and don’t skip over any episodes. Trust us.

The first season is on Hulu, and that’s where you should start looking for it.

The Night of

The late James Gandolfini was originally going to star in The Night of back when it was still called Criminal Justice. It took three years for HBO to finally bring this project together with John Turturro taking over Gandolfini’s role as John Stone, a lawyer who appoints himself as the lawyer of Nasir Khan (Riz Ahmed), a Pakistani-American college student accused of murder.

Without Gandolfini’s star power, The Night of didn’t get a lot of press this summer. But it’s momentum is steadily rising, and this may be the best new HBO series since the first season of True Detective

Peaky Blinders

Don’t let the name fool you. Peaky Blinders is one of Netflix’s best British imports. It’s a post-World War I historical drama starring Cillian Murphy as the leader of the Peaky Blinders gang, with Sam Neill as the police official who develops a very personal vendetta against the gang in his quest to bring them down. All three seasons are up on Netflix, and ready for your enjoyment!


As crazy as things get on Preacher, it’s still pretty tame compared to the comic book series that inspired it! Dominic Cooper stars in the title role as Jesse Custer, a small town preacher who is given a unique gift that allows him to order around almost anyone in creation. Despite his best intentions, Jesse’s not exactly cut out for saving souls even with that kind of power. This show is exceptionally well cast, with Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, W. Earl Brown, and Ian Colletti as the standouts with Cooper. 

There’s a lot to digest in this first season, as it slowly reveals the more incredible aspects of this world including a drunken vampire, a man who loves meat too much, incompetent angels, and a cowboy assassin from hell. 

Stranger Things

One of the greatest things about being a fan of TV is that a new series can take you completely by surprise. This summer, that show was Netflix’s Stranger Things, the Duffer Brothers period thriller starring Winona Ryder, Matthew Modine, and a very talented group of young performers. Stranger Things plays like an extended movie that escaped from the ’80s, and it nails every beat of its story with strong execution throughout. This show is going to make stars out of its younger cast members, and elevate the careers of the Duffer Bros. to the next level.

The Strain

The Strain will be back on FX for its third season on August 28, so this is your chance to catch up on the first two seasons via Hulu. The Strain is adapted from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s novel series, which depicts a truly horrific breed of vampires as they slowly overrun New York City and threaten the rest of the planet as well. There are no shiny, romantic vampires to be found here, and anyone infected by the vampire plague is doomed to a quick death or fated to join the ever growing horde. 


The first two seasons of FX’s Tyrant are also on Hulu, and the third season is currently unfolding. Howard Gordon once described Tyrant as a “Reverse Homeland,” and it’s never quite lived up to that billing. But the story of Bassam Al-Fayeed (Adam Rayner) and his rise to power has been unexpectedly compelling. This season has become more soapy than the first two years, but it still has us wondering how long Bassam can hold his country together before losing himself to the dark legacy of his family.


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