The best TV shows for you to stream in June

By Thomas Mitchell

Top streaming in June (from left): Erin Moriarty as Starlight in The Boys, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things and Devin Way as Brodie in Queer As Folk.Credit:Amazon Prime, Netflix, Alyssa Moran/Peacock

Another month, another slew of TV shows to keep you entertained across your platform of choice.

While the options can seem daunting, imagine if someone had waded through all the platforms and come up with a best-of list that covers all the major providers?

A mix of old, new, funny and true; our ‘what to watch’ list for June is guaranteed to offer something for everyone. Let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to tell us what you’re watching.

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered every Thursday.

Netflix

Clockwise from main: Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things, Sidse Babett Knudsen in Borgen – Power & Glory and Chris Hemsworth in Spiderhead.Credit:Netflix, Mike Kollöffel

Our top recommendation on Netflix is Stranger Things, which gets ★★★★.

In the paranormal period adventure that is Stranger Things, danger lurks in “The Upside Down”, the nightmarish parallel dimension that co-exists alongside the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. The initial episodes of the blockbuster show’s fourth season require you to consider a new concept: “The Inside Out”. The 1980s-set hit returns with a discombobulated set-up and dispersed ensemble cast. Nothing knits together easily. It takes three episodes to really click – an issue when the entire season has just nine episodes (the first instalment releases May 27, the second on July 1). You can feel the show’s narrative engine slowly revving up, but the wait is excruciating in part. When Stranger Things is just a story of teenage angst, exacerbated by cliche blonde bully Angela (Elodie Grace Orkin), the seams show via over-the-top costumes and uneven performances. Only some hallucinatory nightmares for bit players, which portend a new evil at work in Hawkins, offer the promise of the necessary new adversary. – Craig Mathieson

If you liked the original series of Borgen … then Borgen Power & Glory will be right up your alley. The deliciously paced and sharply plotted political drama returns after nine years, with Netflix taking over from the Danish public broadcaster. Few series have better depicted the machinations of government and the demands it makes on those involved. – Craig Mathieson

If you’re a Chris Hemsworth fan … Spiderhead is his latest Netflix film. Hemsworth plays Steve Abesti, a visionary who runs a futuristic jail. Instead of being locked up, Spiderhead inmates are free to roam the hallways before becoming guinea pigs in Steve’s sick and twisted experiments. From June 17.

If you want to see Hemsworth’s wife, Elsa Pataky, in action … check out the film adaption of Matthew Reilly’s bestselling book, Interceptor. Pataky plays Captain JJ Collins, who must defend the launch platform of a nuclear missile interceptor base against a determined assault led by a rebel US soldier (Luke Bracey). From June 3 – Paul Byrnes

Binge

Clockwise from main: Alicia Vikander in Irma Vep, Ariana DeBose in Westworld and HBO documentary The Janes.Credit:HBO/Binge

Our top recommendation on Binge is Irma Vep, which gets ★★★★.

This is a bewildering, bewitching and brilliantly self-reflexive delight. Directed by award-winning French filmmaker Olivier Assayas (Personal Shopper, Clouds of Sils Maria) is a more playful exercise than his 1996 film of the same name, albeit one haunted by the past: his own, his characters, his films, and films generally. In the series, director Rene Vidal (Vincent Macaigne) is attempting to make a multipart movie for television – he refuses to even consider the word “series” – called Irma Vep. He’s cast as his lead an American actress called Mira (Alicia Vikander), a star thanks to a string of superhero movies but desperate to do something more artistically challenging. The cast and crew in this making-of are a wild bunch of eccentrics. The major financier, meanwhile, is only interested in the project as leverage to get Mira to sign on as the face of his company’s perfume range. It’s a story bursting with ideas and a whirlwind tour of the crazy, by-the-seat-of-the-pants world of moviemaking. From June 7– Karl Quinn

If you’ve persevered with Westworldyou will be pleased to know that the show is returning for a fourth season. While much of the cast has moved on (we miss you, Anthony Hopkins and James Marsden), Evan Rachel Wood, Aaron Paul and Thandiwe Newton all return. From June 27.

If Roe vs Wade has you riled up … HBO documentary The Janes charts the history of a group of women in Chicago who fought for the right of termination. In a time when abortion was a crime in most states, the Janes provided low-cost and free abortions to an estimated 11,000 women. From June 9.

Amazon Prime Video

Clockwise from main: Antony Starr as Homelander in The Boys, Erin Doherty in Chloe and Sissy Spacek in Night Sky.Credit:Amazon Prime

Our top recommendation on Amazon Prime Video is The Boys, which gets ★★★★.

The new season of The Boys, Amazon’s blackly comic superhero saga, is true to form. Within the first few minutes alone, you’re likely to exclaim in surprise at a casting coup, grin at the takedown of Marvel’s storytelling cliches, and recoil in shock at a scene of superpowered pleasure gone bloodily awry. The show, in gleeful and galvanising ways, is a lot. A scabrous satire that’s become almost as successful as the superhero industry it feeds off, The Boys is a study in riotous excess. Heads explode, superheroes run amok without oversight, corporations protect their depraved stars, power is explicitly connected to perverse self-interest, fight scenes are drenched in gore, and institutions are invariably flawed. In the new season, the increasingly deranged Homelander self-righteously complains that he’s being cancelled for speaking the truth, an echo of real-life transgressors cloaking their crimes in political expediency. Every time you think The Boys has gone too far, real life reels it in. And every time contemporary culture appears too shameless or fixed, The Boys has a superhero-tinged extension. The show’s success is its ultimate retort to convention. From June 3 – Craig Mathieson

If you’re obsessed with Instagram … then new series Chloe will make you think twice before hitting follow. Erin Doherty stars as Becky Green, a twenty-something who is obsesses with social media and becomes fixated with a stranger named Chloe on Instagram. As she starts taking risks to learn more about Chloe, her web of lies begins to come undone. From June 24.

If you’re keen to see Sissy Spacek in outer space Night Sky should be next on your must-see list. The shape-shifting tale pairs Spacek and JK Simmons – absolutely aces together – as a retired couple whose backyard has a chamber leading to another planet. It feels like several shows are trying to coexist here, but it’s worth persevering with. As ungainly as it sounds, there’s an intriguing series at play. – Craig Mathieson

Stan*

Clockwise from main: Hannah Einbinder and Jean Smart in Hacks, Everything I Know About Love and Devin Way in Queer as Folk.Credit:Karen Ballard/HBO Max, Simon Webb, Alyssa Moran/Peacock

Our top recommendation on Binge is Hacks, which gets ★★★★½.

There’s always an anxious moment tuning in to the second season of a beloved show. Can it possibly be as good as the first? When it comes to Hacks, the short answer is yes. For a start, it reminds us how much is going on in what is ostensibly a simple half-hour comedy. It actually takes a while to reconnect with all the moving parts: no character is just taking up space, each is fully developed, and each has their own story arc. DJ’s marriage to a cage fighter, Jimmy’s sexual harassment issues, Marcus’ romantic problems – not to mention Ava’s drug- and booze-fuelled meltdown at the end of season one – are all put back in play, igniting additional threads and the opportunity for further character development and some terrific cameos. Technically, this is also every bit as good as season one. Costumes and sets are sublime. It’s seriously funny, in small, offhand ways, the throwaway lines – and in the big set pieces. It has a beautiful, emotional ebb and flow. It also – and this is the thing that genuinely elevates it – captures the complexity of its two female leads and the loving, brittle relationship between them that drives everything else that happens. – Melinda Houston

If you think you’re an expert in romance … well, hold your horses because Everything I Know About Love may just teach you a thing or two. Based on Dolly Alderton’s wildly funny, occasionally heartbreaking memoir, the series follows a group of best friends as they navigate the many highs and numerous lows of their 20s. From June 8.

If the original Queer As Folk remains an all-time favourite you may be pleasantly surprised by the reboot. While reboot can be a dirty word in the world of TV, (we’re looking at you, Fuller House), the new Queer as Folk has managed to pay homage to the original without becoming a pale imitation. Shifting the story to New Orleans, the series follows a group of club-going friends whose lives are transformed in the aftermath of a tragedy. From June 10.

Disney+

Clockwise from main: Ewan McGregor in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious in Pistol and Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel.Credit:Lucasfilm, Miya Mizuno/FX, Marvel Studios

Our top recommendation on Disney+ is Obi-Wan Kenobi, which gets ★★★½.

Over the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, all the strengths and weaknesses of the ever-expanding Star Wars universe – which has shifted its focus from big screen to small since the disappointing performance of the spin-off movie Solo in 2018 and the mixed reception to The Rise of Skywalker in 2019 – are on display. The immaculate (if derivative) world-building, the fusion of medieval chivalry and futuristic sci-fi, the cherry-picking of the western and the samurai genres all make this the third live-action streaming series (after The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett) eminently watchable. The new six-part series is set 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, the final film in the much-maligned prequel trilogy, which ended with the burnt-to-a-crisp Anakin Skywalker being salvaged from the lava and retrofitted with gleaming chrome, glossy black trimmings and a dashboard sound system to become Darth Vader, the evilest Chevrolet in the universe. – Karl Quinn

If you’ve ever rocked out to the Sex Pistols … Danny Boyle’s Pistol will take you right back to where it all began. Punk flamed into life circa 1976 and sputtered out by late 1978 (the dates are open to debate, as is much else in the history of the moment-cum-movement), but the impact has been lasting, widespread and multi-faceted – in fashion, film, music, art, even in politics. The Sex Pistols were at the heart of it all, and Trainspotting director Danny Boyle’s six-part tragicomedy about their grimy rise and precipitous fall is as much a portrait of a time and an attitude as it is of a band. Keep an eye out for Australian actor Toby Wallace playing Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. – Karl Quinn

If you like star-studded crime dramas … Under the Banner of Heaven is for you. Inspired by the true-crime bestseller written by Jon Krakauer, the series follows the events that led to the 1984 murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty (played by Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones) and her baby daughter in a suburb in Salt Lake Valley, Utah. Oscar nominee Andrew Garfield plays Detective Jeb Pyre, tasked with investigating the crime.

If you want more Marvel in your life … Ms Marvel is the latest series to come out of the Marvel Universe. The series introduces Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), a 16-year-old Pakistani-American high school student from Jersey City. Kamala is a superhero mega-fan with an oversized imagination, particularly when it comes to Captain Marvel. But Kamala’s life changes when her fan fiction becomes real life, and she finds herself wielding the same superpowers as her heroes. From June 8.

Apple TV+

Clockwise from main: Pachyrhinosaurus in Prehistoric Planet, Rose Byrne in Physical and the architectural design series Home.Credit:Apple TV+

Our top recommendation on Apple TV+ is Prehistoric Planet, which gets ★★★½.

Sir David Attenborough appears in front of the skeleton of a tyrannosaurus rex to introduce this five-part series on worlds unknown to us. CGI animators imagine how such creatures lived and in what kinds of environments. Watching the beasts swim, run, climb or fly in episodes spanning forests, salt and fresh water, sand and ice deserts, is Jurassic Park without Sam Neill and Attenborough’s late actor brother, Richard. Weird, but infinitely interesting. – Bridget McManus

If you worked up a sweat during Physicalseason two should get the blood pumping once more. Rose Byrne returns as Sheila Rubin, the San Diego housewife who turns a passion for fitness into a business in the new videotape exercise industry. From June 3.

If you marvel over architectural design … then rejoice because Home is returning for another season. This fascinating docuseries focuses on some of the most unique homes across the planet. From Sweden to Mexico and beyond, we see homes that use a diverse set of materials and styles to suit specific purposes. From June 17.

Paramount+

Clockwise from main: Ansel Elgort in Tokyo Vice, Crossing Swords and Tian Richards in Tom Swift.Credit:HBO Max, Hulu/Sony Pictures Television, Quantrell D. Colbert/THE CW

Our top recommendation on Paramount+ in Tokyo Vice, which gets ★★★½.

Tokyo Vice was adapted from the 2009 memoir of the same name by Jake Adelstein, an American expatriate who in 1993 became the first foreign reporter on a major Japanese newspaper. Ansel Elgort (West Side Story) plays Adelstein in this series, which begins with his hire in 1999 and details his survival in a rule-bound newsroom before a sympathetic police detective, Hiroto Katagiro (Ken Watanabe), brings the reporter inside the organised crime squad. The Yakuza-laden plot sometimes verges on the formulaic, but the depiction of Japanese working culture is as intriguing as the neon-lit nightlife is familiar. The American expat story can allow for exotic excess, but the pairing of Adelstein and Rachel Keller’s Samantha Porter, an American bar hostess, makes for a show about exiles caught between two worlds. There’s substance beneath the sleekness. – Craig Mathieson

If adult cartoons are your vibe … Crossing Swords is the foul-mouthed, oh-so-wrong stop-motion animation from Robot Chicken veterans John Harvatine and Tom Root. What sets it apart is the adorable character and set design, the quaintness of which is mercilessly defiled by filthy dialogue and visuals. Our hero is pure-hearted young squire Patrick (Nicholas Hoult), who is appalled by all the sex and violence. The impressive voice cast includes Tony Hale, Tara Strong and Seth Green. – Brad Newsome

If you’re a Nancy Drew fan … Tom Swift is a spin-off series that follows a brilliant inventor with unlimited resources and unimaginable wealth. After the shock disappearance of his father, Tom (Tian Richards) finds himself thrust into a world of mysterious conspiracies and unexplained phenomena.

ABC iview

Clockwise from main: Julian Assange’s father in Ithaka, You Can’t Ask That: Bogans and David Mitchell, Rob Brydon and Lee Mack of Would I Lie To You?Credit:ABC

Our top recommendation on ABC iview is Ithaka, which gets ★★★★.

At the unveiling of a statue of her husband in Geneva in November 2021, Stella Moris says: “I’m here to remind you that Julian isn’t a name, he isn’t a symbol, he’s a man and he’s suffering.” The Julian in question is Assange, and that simple statement is what Ithaka, Ben Lawrence’s superb two-part documentary, is all about. Lawrence entered the fray at the urging of Gabriel Shipton, Julian’s half-brother. Assange remains almost entirely off camera, reduced to disembodied snippets of voice on phone calls from prison, so the focus shifts to the two people doing most to press his case: wife Moris and father John Shipton. The latter is an especially fascinating character, in no small part because – despite his protestations to the contrary – the apple clearly didn’t fall far from the tree. Assange remains in prison and the central issue remains live: both a human being and press freedoms are under assault. – Karl Quinn

If you like asking anonymous questions … You Can’t Ask That returns for the seventh season. Prepare yourself for awkward chats about bogans, gay men, models and porn stars, as well as more serious episodes focused on people who have experienced post-natal depression, juvenile detention, prescription drug dependency and addiction, and dementia.

If you’re after lighthearted laughs …Would I Lie To You? is your classic British game show. The format mainly exists so guests can laugh at each other’s expense for our benefit. Hosted by Rob Brydon, two teams compete to fool their opponents into mistaking fiction for fact, and truth for lies, in a series of hilarious rounds.

SBS On Demand

Clockwise from main: Alone Denmark, Dr Michel Mosley and A Class Apart.Credit:SBS

Our top recommendation on SBS On Demand is Alone Denmark, which gets ★★★★.

More fighting to come out on top from Denmark. Unfolding in the vast wilds of Norway’s north, where the nights are plainly very cold, the Danish edition of the survival franchise is proof that a great concept transcends language barriers. The English subtitles do nothing to lessen our voyeuristic enjoyment of watching eight contestants try to last the longest in the wilderness with only a few tools and basic gear. Given this is a European production, there is also swearing and a touch of nudity. – Craig Mathieson

If you’re craving a good night’s sleep … How to Sleep Well with Michael Mosley should sort you out (I mean, the show’s title would be misleading otherwise). Michael Mosley uses the latest science to explore how poor sleep impacts our health and what we can do to improve the quality of our sleep. From June 9.

If the cold weather calls for Nordic drama … Swedish drama A Class Apart will have you on the edge of your seat. Set on campus at Sweden’s most elite boarding school, tensions run high when a school student dies after a hazing ritual.

If you miss Line of Duty D.I. Ray might go close to satisfying you. The four-part police procedural stars Parminder Nagra (Bend It Like Beckham) as police officer Rachita Ray. When DI Ray is promoted to a homicide investigation, she’s overjoyed. But as the cultural aspects of the case emerge, DI Ray suspects her promotion may have more to do with her heritage than her skill set.

Other free streamers

Clockwise from main: the cast of Five Bedrooms, Queen Elizabeth II and Chucky.Credit:Network 10, Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Our top recommendation on 10Play is Five Bedrooms, which gets ★★★½

After streaming on Paramount+ last year, the second season of this intelligent Australian sitcom is now available on 10Play. We were left hanging at the end of season one, so it’s a relief to be back with these tenants for the next chapter of their glorious, messy journey. The combination of Kat Stewart, Stephen Peacocke, Doris Younane, Katie Robinson and Roy Joseph is special. Hugh Sheridan is superb as the closest thing the show has to a villain. – Bridget McManus

If you’re feeling rather Royal … Queen of the World is a two-part docuseries that offers a rare look inside the life of Queen Elizabeth II, featuring footage from the Queen’s private film archive. Given this is the year of her Platinum Jubilee, why not spend a little watching time with Her Majesty? 7Plus

If killer dolls do it for you … check out Chucky, the TV adaptation of the 1988 film Child’s Play. All eight episodes of the first season are available to stream on 9Now, and superfans of the franchise will notice Brad Dourif reprising his role as the voice of the titular character. 9Now

* Nine is the owner of Stan, 9Now and this masthead.

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered every Thursday.

Most Viewed in Culture

Source: Read Full Article