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Best TV Series of July

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Photo: Best TV Series of July, Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko
Photo: Best TV Series of July, Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko

As Europe suffers from abnormal heat and Russian terrorists in Ukraine continue to add to their already huge list of war crimes and crimes against humanity, a peaceful escape amidst the crazy reality is much needed. Watching TV series is one way to distract from global issues for a while, especially since summer premieres continue to delight viewers with new shows.

A socially poignant detective based on real events, a comedic thriller in a Japanese style about the friendship between a lonely woman and a robot, a historical costume epic, and a saga about fierce Vikings, a TV remake of a cult British fantasy, and an adaptation of a world literary classic – the choice, as always, depends on your mood and available free time.

Sunny, Apple TV+


A dark, suspenseful comedy with detective elements, based on Colin O'Sullivan's novel "The Dark Manual," tells the story of American Susie (Rashida Jones) living in Kyoto. After her husband (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and son mysteriously disappear following a plane crash, she receives an unexpected gift. It turns out Susie's husband didn't work for a refrigerator company but developed super-advanced domestic robots – and one of them, named Sunny, was sent to replace her missing family and help her cope with the grief. The problem is that Susie hates domestic robots and begins to suspect that her missing husband lived a life full of hidden secrets. Together with the hated robot, the heroine starts her own investigation into the circumstances of her family's disappearance.

Vikings: Valhalla, Netflix, Season 3


The historical action series, a spin-off of the popular show "Vikings," returns for its third and final season. This show is set a century after the events of the original series, depicting the decline of the Viking era and their brutal, intrigue-filled conflicts with the Anglo-Saxons, who, under the new king of England, initiate a bloody massacre in Scandinavian settlements, provoking the Vikings into harsh retaliatory actions. The series features many historical figures such as Harald II Hardrada, Erik the Red, and William the Conqueror. At the center of the plot is the story of the Scandinavian warrior, sailor, and explorer Leif Eriksson, who is considered the first European to set foot in North America five hundred years before Christopher Columbus.

Lady in the Lake, Apple TV+


A dramatic miniseries in the genre of a reporter thriller, based on the eponymous novel by Laura Lippman, starring Natalie Portman ("Leon," "Star Wars") and Moses Ingram ("The Queen's Gambit," "Obi-Wan Kenobi"). The series is set in 1960s Baltimore and tells the story of American housewife Maddie Schwartz, who leaves her loving husband and a large suburban home to pursue a career as a newspaper reporter. Natalie Portman's heroine is obsessed with investigating the murders of an 11-year-old Jewish girl, Tessie Fine, and a black bartender, Cleo Sherwood. During the investigation, Maddie clashes with an influential activist protecting the interests of the city's black community.

Those About to Die, Peacock


A historical epic for fans of the series "Rome" and those awaiting the release of "Gladiator 2," directed by Roland Emmerich ("Independence Day," "Stargate," "The Day After Tomorrow"). Ancient Rome in the 2nd century AD – the era of Titus Flavius Vespasian (Sir Anthony Hopkins), under whose rule the weakened empire stabilized and flourished. The action revolves around gladiatorial fights, the main and most expensive "sporting" show of Ancient Rome. Like any major sport, it involves huge money, intrigues, and corruption. Moreover, gladiatorial fights influence the political life of the empire, intertwining the interests of heroes from various strata of Roman society around the bloody and spectacular show.

Time Bandits, Apple TV+


A comedic adventure series based on the 1981 film of the same name by cult British director Terry Gilliam ("Monty Python," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"). It tells the story of an 11-year-old boy named Kevin who finds a time-travel portal in his bedroom. Soon, he meets six dwarf bandits who travel through different eras in search of treasures. A magical map helps them in this venture, indicating where to score the biggest haul. Kevin joins the team and embarks on incredible adventures. The main role is played by "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow, and one of the directors and screenwriters of the project is Taika Waititi ("Jojo Rabbit," "Thor").

The Decameron, Netflix


Another version of the eternal world classic about "feasting during a plague." This historical tragicomedy, based on the eponymous collection of novellas by Italian Giovanni Boccaccio, offers viewers a plan for an "ideal escape" from frustrating and uncomfortable reality, whether it be a global pandemic, wars, or social upheavals. The heroes of the series are a group of noble youths and ladies who, during the 1348 bubonic plague epidemic ravaging Europe, pack their things and leave Florence for a countryside villa. Hoping to ride out the epidemic, the "golden Italian youth" spend their time in feasts, flirting, and, in modern terms, storytelling exercises – telling each other various amazing stories and tales. The main roles in the show are played by Zosia Mamet (series "Mad Men," "Girls," "The Flight Attendant"), Tanya Reynolds (series "Sex Education"), and Jessica Plummer (series "EastEnders").

Women in Blue, Apple TV+


Based on real events, this dramatic series tells the story of Mexico's first female police unit. In 1971, four girls dare to challenge conservative societal norms and join the first female police unit. Soon enough, the heroines discover that their small unit's creation was merely a publicity stunt to divert media and public attention from an elusive serial killer operating in Mexico. The four heroines decide to prove to their male colleagues and themselves that they are worth something and start their own secret investigation, hoping to catch the ruthless maniac whose number of victims is steadily growing.

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