I feel like you should hear it from a friend that this month Discovery has a special entitled Dr. Pimple Popper Pops Shark Week and Netflix is premiering Sexy Beasts, a new reality dating show where potential suitors are transformed into animals and mythical creatures before they meet their bachelor or bachelorette. I swear I’m not making either of these things up. It’s almost Fourth of July, not April Fool’s Day!
So, yes, sometimes it does seem like there is no bottom to the barrel TV is willing to scrape. But, as always, we here at Paste TV want to help you find the quality television that might fall under your radar. Here are five new under-the-radar shows you can’t miss this month:
1. We the People
Executive Producers: Barack and Michelle Obama, Tonia Davis, Priya Swaminathan, Chris Nee, and Kenya Barris
Stars: H.E.R., Adam Lambert, Cordae, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Daveed Diggs, Brittany Howard, Robert Lopez, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Premiere Date: July 4 on Netflix
Many of us fondly remember the lessons learned from Schoolhouse Rock (sing it with me now “Conjunction, junction. What’s your function?”) Now Chris Nee, creator the beloved children series Doc McStuffins and Vampirina and the upcoming Netflix series Ridley Jones, is the force behind a series of 10, three-minute shorts designed to teach civics to children and teens (and let’s be honest a lot of adults could use a lesson or two as well). Nee has gathered an impressive group of people together including Barack and Michelle Obama, who serve as executive producers, and artists like Janelle Monae, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Daveed Diggs who bring their talents to write and perform songs about taxes, citizenship, and voting.
2.History of the Sitcom
Executive Producers: David Brady, Kate Harrison Karman, Bill Carter, John Ealer, Amy Entelis, Lyle Gamm
Stars: Norman Lear, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Alexander, Kelsey Grammer, Kim Fields, Tim Allen, Carl Reiner, and many, many more
Premiere Date: July 11 at 9 p.m. on CNN
Perhaps no TV genre is more enduring than the sitcom. This eight part CNN series unpacks some of TV’s most beloved, popular, and influential comedies with the help of its stars and creators as well as commentary from television critics. First up is “A Family Matter” which looks at how the way families were portrayed in sitcoms reflected the changing dynamics of the American family. “Sex & the Sitcom” explores how the sitcom went from couples sleeping in separate beds on TV to evolving explore sexuality from many different perspectives and orientations. TV went from not even being able to say the word “pregnant” to being able to declare someone had “funky spunk.” Future episodes, which will premiere every Sunday, include “Facing Race,” “Freaks, Geeks & Outsiders,” and “Just Friends.” The series is a delightful trip into television history.
3. Dr. Death
Executive Producers: Patrick Macmanus, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch and Taylor Latham
Stars: Joshua Jackson, Christian Slater, Alec Baldwin, Grace Gummer, AnnaSophia Robb
Premiere Date: July 15 on Peacock
Based on the Wondery podcast of the same name, this eight episode drama follows Dr. Christopher Duntsch (Joshua Jackson) who is a successful neurosurgeon with a big problem: his patients leave the operating room either dead or horribly maimed. That’s right, our beloved Pacey is a sociopath. Somehow Dr. Duntsch is able to escape any kind of censure or prosecution until Dr. Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) and Dr. Randall Kirby (Christian Slater) use all their influence and connections to try to stop him. The series features an all-female directing slate including Maggie Kiley, Jennifer Morrison, and So Yong.
4. Turner & Hooch
Executive Producers: Matt Nix, McG, Michael Horowitz, Robbie Duncan McNeill and Mary Viola
Stars: Josh Peck, Carra Patterson, Vanessa Lengies, Becca Tobin, Brandon Jay McLaren, Lyndsy Fonseca, Anthony Ruivivar, Jeremy Maguire and Reginald VelJohnson
Premiere Date: July 16 on Disney+
Fresh off the successful Mighty Ducks: Game Changers series, Disney+ mines another beloved movie from our childhood. Josh Peck stars as US Marshall Scott Turner, the son of the character Tom Hanks played in the 1989 film. In the pilot, Scott’s sister Laura (Lyndsy Fonseca) gives him a dog very reminiscent of his father’s beloved canine pal. This new Hooch, it turns out, will listen to everyone but Scott. Anthony Ruivivar co-stars as Scott’s boss Chief James Mendez and Reginald VelJohnson reprises his role as Mayor David Sutton.
5. Behind the Music
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, LL Cool J, Huey Lewis, Busta Rhymes, Duran Duran, New Kids On The Block, Bret Michaels and Fat Joe
Premiere Date: July 29 on Paramount+
Paramount+ continues to revisit the past with this reboot of Behind the Music. The VH-1 staple ran on and off from 1997 to 2014, giving viewers a peek into what went on behind the scenes with some of the most popular and successful recording artists of the day; the series began with Milli Vanilli finally being able to tell their side of the story. This iteration features brand new episodes as well as remastered versions of some of the original’s most popular installments. First up is Ricky Martin. Later episodes will explore Duran Duran, New Kids on the Block, and Jennifer Lopez.
Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer and a member of the Television Critics Association. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter (@AmyTVGal).
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