The best shows to binge on Neon this summer

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Looking ahead to some summer viewing, Dominic Corry finds plenty to revisit or discover in Neon’s excellent selection of shows streaming now.

The Sopranos

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There’s a small but honourable list of shows that only get better every time you watch them, and The Sopranos is at the very top of it. Comprised of so many layers that I’m still discovering stuff after four complete run-throughs, this landmark series kicked off the Golden Age of Television, and nothing was ever as good again.

Some shows came close, but nothing has ever recaptured the genius of how The Sopranos mixed together propulsive gangster storytelling and nuanced character depictions with a scathing indictment of contemporary America. Plus Uncle Junior just gets funnier and funnier.


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Well that certainly escalated. Barry started off as a black comedy about a hitman attempting to become an actor in Los Angeles, and across four seasons, (with a little COVID break between 2019 and 2022) kept ramping things up to the point where, by this year’s fourth and final season, it had become perhaps the darkest show on television since Breaking Bad.

The humour element never completely went away, but star/co-creator/writer Bill Hader (who also directed many episodes, including the entire final season) clearly had some stuff on his mind that he wanted to explore. The final season also contained some pretty amazing action set-pieces. Watching the show’s progression in one big binge would be a hell of a rollercoaster ride.

The Office

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Another show famous for its rewatchability, and potentially the second-most re-watched American sitcom of the last several decades, The Office seems to get more precious with every passing year. We currently exist in a TV market that simply doesn’t allow for shows like this, which aren’t necessarily a smash hit out of the gate, to slowly build an audience and eventually finish with a couple of hundred episodes.

New sitcoms, even the ones people like, are lucky to get to a third season these days. Shows like The Office remind us how nice it is to spend this amount of time with characters whose familiarity becomes their greatest comedic strength.

How To Make It In America

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Although it only managed two seasons, this hugely-charming HBO comedy series crammed a lot into sixteen episodes. Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rasuk starred as two young New Yorkers haphazardly attempting to make it in New York’s fashion scene while navigating the various perils of being in your twenties and having a dream. The characters around them (played by the likes of Lake Bell, Kid Cudi and American Pie‘s Eddie Kaye Thomas) prove consistently interesting, and their struggles are of a kind not often depicted in modern TV shows…


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…or at least they weren’t until Lena Dunham’s Girls came along the year after How To Make It In America ended and doubled down on an honest portrayal of the travails of young (ish) people in New York. It’s easy to take Girls for granted now, six years after it ended, but it went to some pretty amazing places throughout those 62 episodes. Girls set a new standard in a willingness for a TV show to highlight the very human faults of its main characters, and few shows have lived up to that since, making Girls a highly relishable re-watch. Heaps of future stars show up, too.

True Detective

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Prepare yourself for the highly anticipated Jodie Foster-starring fourth season of this searing crime anthology series by diving back into the previous three, all of which provide extremely different experiences. The first season (starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) felt like a breath of fresh/rancid air in the field of gritty American crime stories. Audiences were a bit quick to dismiss the second season (starring Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams), but it remains a fascinating, if somewhat downbeat, watch.

After a four-year break, things got back on track with the Mahershala Ali-starring third season, and five years after that we are getting Foster in True Detective: Night Country, which is set in remote Alaska and was filmed in Iceland.


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With Kiwi actor Antony Starr breaking out as the gleefully sadistic Homelander in The Boys, audiences have been inspired to return to this, his previous show, a four-season crime drama that originally ran from 2013-2016. Starr plays a recently-released-from-jail drifter who adopts the idenity of a murdered sheriff in the titular town in Pennsylvania Amish country. Banshee is a down-and-dirty action thriller with plenty of the good stuff and more than a hint of the works of hard-boiled crime writer Jim Thompson.


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A perfect frivolous summer holiday binge, this sorta-musical drama originally ran for two seasons almost a decade ago, but it has gained steam since then as an underrated camp classic. Depicting the endless behind-the-scenes theatrics that go along with the production of a Broadway musical, the show is pure catnip for theatre nerds, and highly entertaining for those uninitiated to that drama-friendly space.

Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Katherine McPhee, Anjelica Huston and genuine Broadway star Megan Hilty (playing a Broadway star) lead the series, which positively overflows with bitchiness, blackmail, back-stabbing and more Broadway in-jokes than you can shake a Playbill at.

The Righteous Gemstones

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How does Danny McBride do it? Following the triumph of both Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals, the writer/director/producer/star managed to build on both of those remarkable shows with The Righteous Gemstones, which came out of the gate swinging and improbably seems to get crazier and more amazing with every new season.

The latest one, the third, took things to a whole other level again, bringing a host of hilarious guest stars to fill out the extended Gemstone family while continuing to flesh out the core characters. It’s weird that a show this mental can also be this touching.

The Curse

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We really don’t deserve Nathan Fielder. The Canadian talent practically invented a new comedy genre with his skewered “reality” series Nathan For You, then took his cringe-y concerns to the next level with last year’s The Rehearsal. But The Curse may be his greatest achievement yet. It improbably relocates his particular brand of excruciating awkwardness in the scripted realm, which really shouldn’t work. But it does. And it’s fantastic.

Fielder and Emma Stone play a couple filming a pilot for an ecologically-leaning home renovation series alongside a producer/director played by actor/director Benny Safdie, who co-created the series with Fielder. This set-up sees The Curse making observations about gentrification, short-sighted liberal do-gooder-ness, and reality TV itself, but it’s mainly a construct for its characters to get themselves into a variety of incredibly uncomfortable situations. It’s more fun than it sounds.

The first season of The Curse is still underway, with new episodes arriving weekly (until the whole season is available from Jan 16). That’s a good opportunity to catch up—and perhaps learn that a tiny bit of breathing room between episodes is actually ideal for you to dissect (and recover from) what you’ve just seen…