We can all relate to the feeling of panicking our way through the smart TV menu, hopping from one app to the next, paralysed by the seemingly never-ending choice of what’s on offer. With so many streaming platforms, it can be hard to know which one to invest your time in. It’s a similar feeling to being on multiple dating apps, aimlessly swiping and scrolling through many a dud in search of ‘the one’.
The paradox of choice is very much part of 2022 life – and that applies to finding the perfect TV show. Maybe it’s time to look a bit closer to home. ITV Hub has a bloody brilliant, binge-worthy selection. And no, it’s not just Love Island (although obvs, yes, we’re all here for Love Island, always). The platform covers all bases.
From dating shows and escapist entertainment to gripping dramas and glossy, American lives far removed from your own, there’s enough to keep us entertained alllllll summer long. Feeling overwhelmed about choosing what to actually watch? Don’t worry, we’ve got you.
Without further ado, here are the shows we’re binge-watching this summer.
For when you’re home alone and looking to hang with some onscreen girlfriends…
This campus life comedy is created by Mindy Kaling (of The Mindy Project and the US version of The Office) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine writer Justin Noble and it’s a lot less webcam vibes than the title suggests. Okay so yes, the gals are having sex in various forms and exploring their sexuality but there’s a real sense of vulnerability, honesty and compassion at the heart of the series. Thrown together in their dorm at the prestigious Essex College, Vermont, the four main characters have nothing in common yet must make their way through the unknown territory of life on campus together. It’s genuinely funny, the characters are universally relatable in their desire to belong (FYI, down-to-earth Kimberly is played by Timothée Chalamet’s real-life sister) and the show skilfully tackles themes of class, race and sexuality. At just 30 minutes per episode, I’m not ashamed to say I binged the series in one sitting.
The latest season sees ex-Boyzone star Shane Lynch and his wife Sheena join the cast and brings a healthy dose of bitchiness, new babies, old feuds, boobs and book deals with it. There’s also no shortage of ‘riding’ jokes and swooning over Shane’s tattoos, of course. But these women are also successful, ambitious and aspirational in their own ways (although we’re mainly here for the drama and spectacle of their ostentatious lives, TBH). There is LOTS of bingeing potential here. Watching it is like hanging out with your most fun friends, as long as you’re alright with your friends being OTT and super high maintenance (and changing every few seasons). See also: The Real Housewives of Jersey and Atlanta.
For when you’re seeking escapism with a hint of a true story…
If you’re a fan of glossy teen dramas reminiscent of the golden years of noughties viewing, All American is one for you. Loosely based on the true story of American football player Spencer Paysinger, the series follows rising star Spencer James (slight name tweak there), played by Daniel Ezra, as he is headhunted from his home school to play for Beverly Hills High. From the less affluent Central LA, Spencer has to navigate life between these two very different worlds – and all the people, opportunities and problems that brings. The show gives us drama, beautiful people, heartbreak, crime and class divides. With four eventful series to binge, it’s one to get lost in this June.
If you’ve not had a chance to watch this British Cold War spy drama – an updated version of the 1965 film starring Michael Caine – now is the time. The six-part series stars Peaky Blinders actor Joe Cole, as well as Lucy Boynton and Tom Hollander. Set in 1963, the thriller follows Harry Palmer (Cole), a working-class intelligence agent who is something of an anti-James Bond. Unlike Eton-educated Bond, Palmer is relatable, has the odds stacked against him and has been coerced into working as a spy for the government. Palmer – and his signature thick-rimmed glasses – draws us into his intriguing world straightaway and we follow him as he navigates this new role. The muted colour palette is pleasing to the eye and the 1960s fashion – especially on Boynton’s character, undercover agent Jean Courtney – is utterly swoon-worthy.
For when you like the idea of a date or a night out but can’t be bothered actually going…
On paper, as someone who would rather do 100 burpees (and I have never successfully done a burpee in my life) than get involved in karaoke on any level, this show sounds like hell on Earth. Watching other people sing badly, out of choice, without even being in the pub? No thanks. HOWEVER, there is something hugely endearing about this show. Watching the celebs get drunk, put on their best performances (despite occasional nerves) and compete while also judging and rooting for each other is a fun and easy way to spend your time. It takes place in a ‘top secret bar’ where, this season, celebs like Selling Sunset’s Chrishell Stause, Drag Race legend A’Whora, Love Island’s Kaz Kamwi and Strictly star Karim Zeroual compete to become ‘Britain’s karaoke star’. To be clear: singing in tune will only get you so far. It’s all about the performance. Watching this is like being on a night out with your pals…or maybe more a weird work night out that ends up being surprisingly fun? Full series available to watch in June.
Like we said, who needs Love Island? Okay, we do. We need it. But The Cabins is also great. This format takes the first date to the extreme and sends potential couples to a cabin (ahh, we see what they did there) in the woods, where they spend the night together before deciding whether they want to stay on a bit longer. Cue lots of awkward decisions about where to sleep, how close to sit in the hot tub and who’s doing the washing up. As well as the friendly narration from comedian Maisie Adam, one of the brilliant things about this show is the diversity in terms of race, sexuality and body type. The cast is made up of everyday people, rather than Instagram models, which feels hugely refreshing.
It’s safe to say that, no matter what you’re in the mood for – be it face lifts and fancy parties or gripping dramas and American sports stars – ITV Hub has you covered.
Watch more epic series than ever before here.
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