From Stranger Things to the return of Poldark and Orange is the New Black, Eddie Mullan picks the programmes worth seeing this month.
It’s been two years since we last dropped in on Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Hopper (David Harbour), Joyce (Winona Ryder) and the rest of the crew, which is a longer wait than usual for fans of the sci-fi horror. But Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin in the show has said series three “will be darker but funnier” than ever before.
The summer of 1985 is heating up, and school’s out in Hawkins, Indiana. There’s a new mall in town – which happens to be the perfect spot for a showdown with a monster from the Upside Down – and Joyce is still just trying to keep herself and her kids safe. However, evil never dies in Hawkins; it just evolves – and when the threat of enemies old and new descend on the town, Eleven and her friends have to band together to survive. Watch the trailer here. Premieres 4 July on Netflix (Credit: Netflix)
The powerless take on the powerful in this comic book adaptation that imagines what superheroes would be like in the real world – revered by an adoring public, holding the power of politicians and with the fame of celebrities. In the universe of writer Garth Ennis’s The Boys, superheroes can be the bad guys. Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, who adapted Ennis’s Preacher series for TV, the story follows a group of vigilantes wronged by The Seven – the world’s most notorious superheroes – who set out to bring them down with nothing more than a willingness to fight dirty.
When Hughie (Jack Quaid) suffers a devastating loss at the hands of a reckless “Supe”, his trauma turns to outrage when he discovers there is no recourse for victims of collateral superhero damage. Hughie then meets mysterious operative Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) who recruits him to join in his pursuit of some vigilante justice and uncover some dirty secrets about the Supes. Watch the trailer here. Premieres 26 July on Amazon Prime Video (Credit: Amazon Prime Video)
With the last series ending on a cliffhanger, Ross (Aidan Turner) and Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) will return for the fifth and final instalment in the Poldark chronicle. It’s a new century and with it comes the promise of a hopeful future, but the past casts a long shadow over Cornwall. Following the devastating events of the last series, Ross resolves to put Westminster behind him and spend more time with the people he loves.
However, when an old friend emerges with a plea for help, Ross is compelled to challenge the establishment again. As the Enyses (Luke Norris and Gabriella Wilde) rally to join the cause, Demelza must contend with dangers close to home, while George (Jack Farthing) courts corrupt powers whose influence spans the Empire. Premieres July on BBC One (Credit: BBC One)
Orange Is the New Black
We drop in on the ladies of Litchfield Penitentiary one final time, as the seventh series will be its last – and there are some storylines that need to be resolved before lights out. We’ll find out what life is like on the outside for lead character Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), after she got an early release along with Sophia (Laverne Cox). How will she adjust back into middle-class New Yorker life without Alex (Laura Prepon)?
Taystee (Danielle Brooks) is dealing with being put back behind bars having being found guilty of a murder she didn’t commit – but Cindy and Suzanne know the truth, so not all hope is lost. Everyone’s favourite inmates return for the final run, including Russian Doll’s Natasha Lyonne as Nicky, and Dasha Polanco as Daya, who turned to drugs and spiralled out of control in series six. Watch the trailer here. Premieres 26 July on Netflix (Credit: Netflix)
Six years on from crowdfunding more than $5m for a feature film, Veronica Mars superfan ‘Marshmallows’ can again rejoice as the wisecracking sleuth returns with a fully charged stun gun for an eight-episode revival of the mystery drama. The Rob Thomas series that made Kristen Bell a household name follows the story of Veronica, a student who moonlights as an amateur private investigator solving crimes in Neptune.
In the new series, an explosion in the affluent California town kills spring breakers, which is driving tourists away from the seaside town. After Veronica is hired by the family of one of the victims to find their son’s killer, the snarky investigator pits the enclave’s wealthy residents, who would rather put an end to the month-long drunken celebrations, against those who rely on tourism boost. Watch the trailer here. Premieres 26 July on Hulu (Credit: Hulu)
This four-part series tells the fictional story of The Mensahs, an ordinary working-class family from London whose youngest son Isaac has recently finished filming a major Hollywood movie role – but Manny (Babou Ceesay) and Sam’s (Jill Halfpenny) world is shattered when Isaac reveals he was abused by a famous Hollywood producer.
Despite being guilt-ridden, the family are unable to find any other kind of justice and decide to accept a substantial pay-off to keep silent, thinking it will enable them to start a new life and avoid the publicity hell in pressing charges against a celebrity. However, the damage runs deep, and the price of taking the money may turn out to be too high. Premieres July on BBC One (Credit: BBC One)
From writer Sharon Horgan, Divorce follows the ups and downs of a pair of middle-aged exes who encounter several bombshell surprises that spin their post-divorce lives in unexpected directions. In series three, Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) embraces being alone for the first time, and ex-husband Robert (Thomas Haden Church) begins a future with new partner Jackie.
The divorce may be final, but the awkwardness remains, as it remains to be seen what fate has in store for the separated couple. A strong supporting cast features Molly Shannon, Talia Balsam, Amy Sedaris and Tracy Letts. Watch the trailer here. Premieres 1 July on HBO and 8 July on Sky Atlantic (Credit: HBO)
It’s the summer of 1984 in Los Angeles, and as police are just waking up to the growing crack cocaine epidemic in the South Central area, sergeant Andre Wright (Marcus Henderson) has set his sights on aspiring Kingpin and neighbour Franklin Saint (Damson Idris). While local law enforcement fights to stem the tide, Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson) and the CIA are working to make sure the flow of the drugs doesn’t stop, to continue funding the war against communism in Central America.
For that to happen, Teddy will need to find new routes into the US using Gustavo “El Oso” Zapata (Sergio Peris-Mencheta), but as the stakes continue to rise, all the major players truly begin to understand the destructive force they have set in motion. Watch the trailer here. Premieres 10 July on FX (Credit: FX)