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Image / Living / Culture

Summer TV is coming: Five shows we’re excited for this season


by Sarah Finnan
31st May 2021

Gossip Girl / Instagram

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From new seasons of our favourite shows to reboots to completely new programmes altogether, here’s a taste of the summer TV we're looking forward to this year.

Summer is exciting for many reasons. Long evenings, better weather (hopefully!), staycations. It’s all to play for, and there’s plenty of new TV on the way to keep us entertained throughout it all. 

Let’s get stuck in, shall we?

May

We Are Lady Parts

A new sitcom about an all-female Muslim punk band, We Are Lady Parts is unlike many of the other series that have come before it. Following the lives of five different women, the six-part series centres on Amina Hussain, a microbiology PhD student who joins the band as the lead guitarist.  Just after having its Channel 4 debut,  Entertainment Weekly describes it as “an edgy blend of punk-rock feminism, whimsical humour, head-banging tunes, and relatable tales of romance and friendship”. Written and directed by Nida Manzoor, the series stems from her love of music but also her desire to see TV that is more representative of her and the people she knows. Speaking to Vogue about the inspiration for the show, Manzoor said, “when I was a new writer, I was repeatedly being asked to write about honour killings and forced marriages, as though that was what it meant to be a Muslim woman,” she recalls. “It was frustrating because this idea that we were passive didn’t reflect my experience or that of the women I knew. I come from a family of funny women and I’d never seen Muslim women explored much in comedies.” Sounds right up our alley. You can watch We Are Lady Parts on Channel 4 every Thursday at 10 pm, or catch up after the fact over on All4 (the first six episodes are already up on the platform).

The Handmaid’s Tale 

Already having made its US debut this April, fans of the hit show have been patiently waiting every Thursday for a new episode of the fourth season on RTÉ 2. Based on the 1985 Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, the action takes place in Gilead, the totalitarian society formerly known as the United States. Set in an indeterminate dystopian future, season three ended on quite the cliffhanger and without giving too much away, let’s just say that there’s plenty of action yet to come – with actress Elisabeth Moss telling Jimmy Fallon that the new episodes will “fulfil a lot of the promises we’ve made over the past three years”. If you’ve managed to avoid spoilers thus far, I commend you. 

If you want to catch up, the first three seasons have just landed on All4, Channel Four’s streaming service, which is accessible from the Republic of Ireland.

June

Love Island

Got a text! Love Island will make its long-awaited return this summer. Love it or love to hate it, either way, the reality dating show is the epitome of summer and ITV has just shared the first promo clip for the new season. Set to return to our TV screens for the first time since early January 2020, it promises to bring all of the usual heat and will they/won’t they drama we’ve come to expect of the show. Reported to be kicking off at the end of June, all contestants will have to do a Covid test and quarantine prior to entering the villa. Filming will take place at the series usual destination over in Mallorca and both Laura Whitmore and Iain Stirling will return as presenter and voiceover extraordinaire respectively. A number of names have been linked to the show in recent weeks but ITV has yet to confirm the official line-up, so it remains to be seen whether there’s any truth to the rumours.

July

Gossip Girl

A series that defined the mid to late noughties, Gossip Girl can be thanked for introducing us to such big names as Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Ed Westwick, Chace Crawford, Taylor Momsen… the list goes on. Basically a Sex and the City type show for teenagers, the series became essential viewing fairly early on and if you weren’t watching it for the romances, you were definitely watching it for the fashion. HBO announced that a reboot of the original series was in the works way back in 2019, and we finally have a trailer. Featuring an all-new cast, it’s far more diverse than the original was with a focus on telling the stories of both people of colour and LGBTQ+ characters. “This time around the leads are non-white. There’s a lot of queer content on this show. It is very much dealing with the way the world looks now, where wealth and privilege come from, and how you handle that,” writer and executive producer Joshua Safran told Vulture. You know you love it, XOXO Gossip Girl.

August

Only Murders in the Building

An upcoming American comedy series, Only Murders in the Building will premiere on Hulu on August 31. Starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez, the story follows three true-crime obsessives who somehow find themselves wrapped up in an IRL murder mystery. Strangers, they band together to solve the case which took place in their own apartment building. An unlikely trio, each of them bring something special to the series – Gomez a faux fur mustard coat amongst other things. The trailer begins with the three leads introducing the story, each taking a line and saying “a great murder mystery unpeels itself like an onion. The secrets are the fun part. Sometimes it’s easier to figure out someone else’s secret than it is to deal with your own.” Only 10 episodes long, there will be plenty of celebrity cameos throughout with other famous faces to make an appearance including Sting, Jane Lynch and Nathan Lane. Internationally the series will be available to watch on Disney+, though no release date has been announced just yet. 

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