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Summer Guide 2013: Shows to Binge-Watch This Summer 

Wednesday, Jun 26 2013

Pretty Little Liars

High school has never looked so dark or so fashionable, and the mystery of who keeps taunting the popular crowd with threats and mysterious texts keeps the show moving briskly even when the plot points are absolutely insane.

The Riches

Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver play the parents of a family of gypsies and grifters who settle down in suburbia in this incredibly dark, and darkly funny, interrogation of the American Dream.

Slings & Arrows

This subtle Canadian show about the behind-the-scenes workings of a small town's famous Shakespeare festival is quirky, hilarious, and way more entertaining than it sounds.

Family Ties

The Keatons got us through nine months of unemployment; let the life lessons and general '70s vibe carry you through the summer.

Shameless (UK version)

At the risk of being that guy, we love the U.K. version of the show way better than its American counterpart. The six children of alcoholic patriarch Frank Gallagher try to get by despite their no-good dad and MIA mom, dodging social workers and bill collectors at every turn. James McAvoy guest stars in the first season.


Before the new season starts this fall, catch up on the adventures of crazy-as-fuck CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) as she tries to figure out whether newly returned vet Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) was turned by al-Qaeda during his time in Iraq. Worth watching alone for Mandy Patinkin's performance as Mathison's boss, mentor, and friend.


Idris Elba as an obsessive, intense London police detective who always gets it right regardless (think Dr. House, but British, and cops). Luther deals with terrorists, murderers, and becomes pals with a Manic Pixie Serial Killer who gets a crush on him. Its two-season run is both frustrating and illustrative of the BBC's wisdom in producing shows not intended to run forever, America.

Top of the Lake

Elizabeth Moss (Peggy from Mad Men) plays a police inspector visiting her New Zealand hometown when an 11-year-old girl turns up pregnant, then disappears. Writer/director Jane Campion (The Piano) conjures up a surreal, dreamy atmosphere that adds to the tension.

The Sopranos

RIP James Gandolfini.

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Staff, SF Weekly


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