There was once a time when you had the summer blockbuster: big, beefy, unashamedly crowd-pleasing popcorn flicks. Has this role entirely been usurped by the TV? No, obviously not, what kind of a silly question is that – but the increasing conglomeration of all media companies into a few umbrella brands has created a strange symbiotic effect between the small and large screens, as our first entry from this month will show.
Here are the biggest new TV shows of June 2022.
What’s New On TV In June 2022
1. Ms. Marvel | June 8th
With infinite money and endless clout, have Marvel just gone insane and put out their own version of Ms. Pac-Man, the same product with a little bow on top? Perhaps – and what’s interesting is that Ms. Marvel is herself a fan of Marvel as a franchise, creating a weird recursive effect. Never mind Dr. Strange’s CGI-heavy multiverse shtick, this could be the most mind-bendingly self-aware comic adaptation since Howard the Duck.
Disney probably don’t have the guts to go quite that meta, especially while also trying to foist a female protagonist with the surname Khan on middle America. They’re clearly serious about this one, though, releasing ‘A Fan’s Guide to Ms. Marvel’ on the first of the month as a taster, and with the show itself intended to feed into the wider MCU and the upcoming The Marvels. Essentially, you already know if you’re going to watch this or not.
2. Becoming Elizabeth | June 8th
Surprising the whole girlboss trend didn’t strike on this sooner, really – it’s a historo-drama set after the death of Henry VIII, he of the six wives, who left behind one sickly son and two fairly ruthless daughters with diametrically opposed religious views. As Game of Thrones told us before marching proudly into the toilet, this sort of unclear succession is a tinderbox waiting to go up – and a vehicle for great telly.
Alicia von Rittberg plays Elizabeth, Romola Garai plays Mary, the elder sister, and the one who got the descriptor ‘Bloody’ tacked onto her name by history. The reigns of the Tudor kids were not a bucolic time of people happily working in the fields and then having a bit of a dance, to put it mildly.
3. Dark Winds | June 12th
Let me not just risk accusations of favoritism, but practically invite them, by saying this is here purely because of the involvement of Zahn McClarnon. The man is a wonderful, underrated performer, and was by far the best thing about the over-praised Reservation Dogs. Letting him lead something is well overdue.
(For fans of The Office, it’s also got Rainn Wilson as what sounds like a particularly nasty man.)
The show is an adaptation of Tony Hillerman’s Leaphorn & Chee books, a franchise which has been going long enough that Hillerman’s daughter has now taken the reins. McClarnon plays the man the fans like to call ‘Lovely Leaphorn’, a tribal policeman investigating a double murder against the backdrop of the lawless time that was the 1970s. It’s pure American gothic, knocking about in the dark heart of the heartland.
4. The Old Man | June 8th
Jeff Bridges plays the old man of the title, one of those guys who lives off the grid, out in the woods, after a life of doing Very Important Things and is now practically waiting to be approached for one last job while out chopping wood for the winter. Instead, the call to action here is a failed assassination attempt, which can only mean he did something Very Important indeed.
Particularly promising is that the cast includes underappreciated bit-players Gbenga Akinnagbe and Alia Shawkat, best known from The Wire and Arrested Development respectively and who will hopefully be getting to stretch out a bit more here and show what they can do. Still, they’ll doubtless ultimately be in service to Bridges’s main man (the trailer shows he has a daughter, so we’ve probably landed on where Shawkat fits in).
5. Players | June 8th
From American Vandal creators Tony Yacenda and Dan Perrault comes another show about an ultimately puerile and pointless pursuit that’s somehow taken far more seriously than it should or ought to be – the cut-throat world of esports, specifically competitive League of Legends, a game which stands out among other online games for having an unpleasant community (for those not in the know, this is like standing out among other motocross racers for being loud).
It’s a familiar dynamic from any work about competitive anything – Creamcheese, the leader, has his cage rattled by the arrival of young up-and-comer Organizm. Although, in what’s probably a hangover from any sports-themed work with this plot, wunderkind Organizm is 17. Young by the standards of, say, baseball, but as League goes he’s a grizzled longtooth who’ll be too old for this shit any day now.
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