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Katherine is the Managing Editor at The Hudsucker. She has been working in libraries for the past 10 years and holds a B.A. in American Studies & Ethnicity from the University of Southern California. In her free time, the Seattleite enjoys writing fiction, going to brunch, taking long walks with her roommate, and playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends. Katherine is a huge fan of the Seattle Mariners and has probably seen every Marvel movie at least five times. She loves classic rock and can quote even the most obscure lines from The Simpsons. Follow Katherine on Twitter: @thethingiskat.

6 TV Shows You Need to Binge-Watch Immediately This Summer

Image Credit: HBO

Summer is the perfect season to binge-watch TV shows. If you’re trying to stay inside to beat the heat or need something to do during your staycation, there is a seemingly endless supply of TV shows for you to binge-watch. Whether you’re re-watching an old favorite or discovering something new, summer is always a great time to Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime and chill. The hard part is that there are so many great shows to watch and only so much time to watch them. From great shows that have been off the air for years to gems that are still going strong, here are some of the best shows you must binge-watch this summer.

Oz

Image Credit: HBO

HBO’s groundbreaking show about the fictional Oswald Correctional Facility and its inmates debuted 20 years ago this month. The show launched the careers of some of TV’s finest, including Christopher Meloni, Kirk Acevedo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons, and features a who’s who of New York actors from the late 90s-early 00s and includes some real Hollywood heavyweights. Oz didn’t shy away from taboo themes and many episodes featured graphic violence and male nudity and was able to get away with the subject matter because it ran on HBO. Though looking back the show was a little rough around the edges, the characters and storylines were compelling enough for the show to last six strong seasons, and it paved the way for HBO and other premium cable networks to produce other critically acclaimed TV shows. While shows like The SopranosThe Wire, and Six Feet Under tend to get most of the praise, Oz was the first, and arguably the best, of the bunch and ushered in a new era of television.

Oz can be streamed on Amazon Prime and HBO Go. 

Unsolved Mysteries

“For every mystery there is someone, somewhere who knows the truth. Perhaps that someone is watching. Perhaps… it’s you.”

Image Credit: Everett Collection

The ominous tagline ended every episode of Unsolved Mysteries, which is one of the shows that is responsible for the current true crime boom happening on TV. Without shows like Unsolved Mysteries and America’s Most Wanted, there wouldn’t be shows like The First 48 and networks like Investigation Discovery Channel. When Unsolved Mysteries premiered back in 1987, there wasn’t anything like it on TV, and the show was compelling because it featured real crimes and asked viewers for tips and clues to solving the case. Though murders and missing persons cases were the primary focus on the show, there were also segments on the paranormal and people trying to find lost loves and family members. The show is currently streaming on Amazon Prime and includes updates to cases, many of which sadly remain unsolved to this day. For those who love true crime shows, though, Unsolved Mysteries is a great throwback to the beginning of the genre, and Robert Stack’s narration and the creepy music remain just as chilling as they were 30 years ago.

Unsolved Mysteries can be streamed on Amazon Prime. 

X-Men: The Animated Series

Image Credit: FOX

One of the best superhero cartoons, X-Men: The Animated Series is a large reason why the X-Men are so prevalent in popular culture to this day. The series, which debuted in 1992, also helped usher in an era of superhero cartoons for both Marvel and DC. If you’re an X-Men fan, the show is a must watch as it features many storylines and characters from the comics and isn’t bound by the same rights restrictions on characters as the movies are. The show focuses on the core of Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Jean Grey, Rogue, Gambit, Beast, Jubilee, and Professor Xavier, with Magneto being shown as both an antagonist and an ally to the team. The cartoon also did a great job of showcasing different story arcs, such as the Phoenix/Dark Phoenix Saga and an overarching Apocalypse storyline. Almost every X-Men character and villain is represented in some way during the show’s run, and the series was so popular that the original character of Morph was eventually added to the comic book realm. Whether you’re a hardcore or casual X-Men fan, this cartoon is definitely worth watching.

X-Men: The Animated Series can be streamed on Hulu. 

The Simpsons (the early seasons)

Image Credit: FOX

The Simpsons is one of the longest running shows on television, and for a cartoon series, is one of the best of all time. Though the quality of the show has waned over the years, the early seasons (approximately seasons 1-13, and some of season 14) showcase the show at its best. The early seasons have humor and heart, but also do culture and political satire better than many other shows. There’s also something comforting about watching The Simpsons, as many people have grown up with the show and it has saturated pop culture for as long as it has been on the air. Over 28 seasons, The Simpson family and the colorful cast of characters who populate Springfield have made us laugh countless times and the jokes from the earlier seasons are still funny to this day. If you’re in the mood for a nostalgia fix, watching the early seasons of The Simpsons is the perfect solution.

The Simpsons can be streamed on FXNow and Hulu (new episodes). 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Image Credit: FX

Probably one of the funniest shows on television right now, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia lends itself perfectly to binge-watching. The FXX comedy, which just ended it’s 12th season, focuses on “the Gang,” a group of some of the worst people you’ll ever meet. While many of the current popular binge-worthy shows are heavy dramas, It’s Always Sunny is the kind of light, comedic show you need to watch to brighten your mood. The episodes are short so you can watch an entire season in a small amount of time, but don’t just leave it on as background noise. Every episode is worth watching closely to catch even the most subtle jokes that might otherwise pass you by.  Though the humor can be offensive at times, the characters are never meant to be portrayed in a good way, so it’s okay to laugh at these people for being horrible. Starring comedic geniuses Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olsen, and Danny DeVito, if It’s Always Sunny doesn’t make you laugh until you cry at least once then you might be made of stone.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia can be streamed on Netflix and Hulu. 

Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage/Iron Fist (The Defenders)

Image Credit: Netflix/Marvel Entertainment

Marvel’s collaboration with Netflix has made for some great TV. Daredevil‘s two seasons, as well as the premiere seasons of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist have garnered rave reviews from fans and critics alike. These shows take place in the broader setting of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and showcase regular people with extraordinary gifts who fight to defend New York City. In mid-August, The Defenders debuts on Netflix and will showcase the characters coming together as a team for the first time to defeat The Hand. With less than a month until the premiere, now is definitely the time to catch up on the shows whose characters will feed into it. Whether you skipped one or need to refresh your memory, all these characters and their storylines from their respective shows are bound to play a part in The Defenders, so having at least some familiarity with them will be necessary. If you start binge-watching Daredevil season one now, you should have enough time to comfortably finish Iron Fist by the time August 18th comes around.

The Defenders debuts on Netflix August 18 and the rest are currently streaming on Netflix. 

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What show are you currently binge-watching? Let us know in the comments!

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