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8 Summer Shows You Should Catch Up On Now

Get ready for the new seasons — from ‘The Bear’ to ‘Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’

spinner image John Krasinski sitting at a dinner table holding a glass cup in Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan; Sarah Jessica Parker talking on a smartphone in And Just Like That; Timothy Olyphant in Justified: City Primeval
(Left to right) John Krasinski as Jack Ryan in "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan"; Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in "And Just Like That..."; Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in "Justified: City Primeval."
Attila Szvacsek/Prime Video; Craig Blakenhorn/Max; Chuch Hodes/FX

To get the most out of the summer’s most promising TV, find out what’s up for the new season — but you’ll appreciate it more if you brush up on past seasons first. Here’s a guide to eight great shows and their backstories.

Happy Valley, Season 3streaming now

You should definitely discover this wonderful show by Sally Wainwright (Last Tango in Halifax) upon its return to TV seven years after its last season. In the new Season 3, moody West Yorkshire policewoman Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire, 58), a flawed woman very like Mare of Easttown’s Kate Winslet character, is anticipating retirement and struggling to protect her 16-year-old grandson, Ryan, from his rapist father (James Norton), who’s in prison for life but still dangerous. But first, watch at least the last episode of Season 2, in which Ryan (Rhys Connah) is only 9. It will heighten the drama.

Watch it: Happy Valley, on AMC+, BBC America and Acorn TV

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spinner image A group shot of the participants from Season 10 of The HISTORY Channel series Alone
The 10 contestants for Season 10 of "Alone."
A+E Networks

Alone (History Channel, June 8)

Bears, moose and wolves — oh, my! The History Channel’s smart survival show drops 10 contestants in beastly, frigid Saskatchewan, vying for $500,000 (and survival). To see how they measure up, watch what some consider the baddest contestant to date, Roland Welker, a trapper from Red Devil, Alaska, who survived 100 days (and killed an 800-pound musk ox with a belt knife) in Canada’s Northwest Territories during Season 7.

Watch it: Alone, on History Channel, or old episodes on Hulu

The Full Monty (FX/Hulu, June 14)

First, rewatch (or discover) the classic 1997 movie The Full Monty, about unemployed steelworkers turned strippers in Sheffield, England. Then check back on the same characters (and most of the cast) a quarter century later, when the dead-broke town is deader yet — but their gallows humor is intact. The Full Monty and Slumdog Millionaire writer Simon Beaufoy, 56, is back, along with Alice Nutter, 60, who cowrote Donald Sutherland’s 2018 series Trust with him — plus, she was in the one-hit band Chumbawamba (of “Tubthumping” fame), so she knows about downtrodden characters who get knocked down, but get up again.

Watch it: The Full Monty (1997), on Max or Prime VideoThe Full Monty (2023) on FX/Hulu

The Righteous Gemstones, Season 3 (HBO, June 18)

Need a rich family’s power-struggle drama to scratch that Succession itch, only with broader comedy? Try the saga of televangelist Dr. Eli Gemstone (John Goodman, 70) and his three rather spoiled children (Danny McBride, Edi Patterson and Adam Devine). To fully savor their clash with a new, snake-handling, gun-besotted rival (Steve Zahn, 55, The White Lotus), catch up on Season 2, which fills in the family dynamic so you’ll be up to speed for the miracles to come.

Watch it: The Righteous Gemstones, on Max



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The Bear, Season 2 (FX/Hulu, June 22)

Shameless star Jeremy Allen White reached a new level of fame with this drama about an ambitious restaurateur who’s recovering from his brother’s death — and maybe not recovering from his own demons. “The really interesting thing about [my character] Carmy’s arc in Season 2 is that he has the opportunity to get everything that he wanted when we met him,” White told Esquire. “And the question becomes, is that enough? Is that going to make him happy?” Chomp on an Italian beef sandwich and try to figure out what guest star Bob Odenkirk, 60, will bring to Season 2. And refine your taste by watching Season 1.

Watch it: The Bear, on FX/Hulu

And Just Like That…, Season 2 (Max, June 22)

The big news about the return of the Sex and the City reboot is that Samantha (Kim Cattrall, 66), who split the quartet into a trio — Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker, 58), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon, 57) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis, 58) — after the second, fathomlessly bad SATC movie, is back! In a cameo, anyway. Watch Season 1 to find out why Samantha and Carrie fell out, not unlike the actresses themselves in real life.

Watch it: And Just Like That…, on Max

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Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Season 4 (Prime Video, June 30)

Every season so far, Amazon’s series version of Tom Clancy’s thrillers keep getting better, so hopes are high for this final season — especially since Michael Peña (Narcos: Mexico), 47, joins the cast as Domingo Chavez, the CIA pal of Jack Ryan (John Krasinski — who knew that kid on The Office could be so buff and tough?). Jack investigates a drug cartel converging with a terrorist group, plus internal corruption that shakes his faith in the system. Brush up on Season 3, which has plot similarities with Ben Affleck’s not-great 2002 Jack Ryan flick The Sum of All Fears (but the series is better). The new season bears a resemblance to 1994’s far superior Harrison Ford film Clear and Present Danger.

Watch it: Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, on Prime Video

Justified: City Primeval (FX/Hulu, July 18)

In the sequel to the legendary 2010–2015 series Justified, Elmore Leonard’s rule-bending, infinitely cool U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant, 55) returns to contend with his teen daughter (Timothy’s real-life daughter Vivian Olyphant), plus a Detroit sociopath (Boyd Holbrook) and his lawyer (Aunjanue Ellis, 54). But first you really need to watch the original series, or at least the ones with a perfect 100 percent Rotten Tomatoes critics’ score: Seasons 2, 4 and 6 (the finale).

Watch it: Justified: City Primeval, on FX/Hulu, and Justified, on FX/Hulu

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