By Sammi Brennan
For those who are reluctant to start a new television series, the following shows, which premiered this summer, may change your mind. USA, AMC, Syfy and Lifetime each premiered shows with a high potential for binge-watching. From vigilante computer hackers and space bounty hunters to producers of reality television, these summer shows included everything but the kitchen sink.
Title: Mr. Robot
Storyline: To the public eye, Elliott Alderson (Rami Malek) is a simple computer programmer who avoids human contact whenever possible. He buries himself in his work as much as he does in his black hoodie. Outside of the office, however, Elliott is a vigilante computer hacker, cleaning the streets of lawbreakers with a few taps of his keyboard. When Elliott is recruited to join an organization known as FSociety by a mysterious individual referred to as “Mr. Robot” (Christian Slater), Elliott must decide whether he wants to impact the world on a small or global scale.
Why it’s Worth Watching: Malek’s portrayal of Elliott is heartbreaking and, at times, gut-wrenching. As Elliott cradles himself in the corner of his apartment alone, half-naked, and high off morphine, it strikes the viewer that Elliott is a broken person trying to fix a broken world. Although narrated by Elliott’s monotone voice, each episode is a pure adrenaline rush.
Storyline: UnREAL revolves around the madness and disorder that occurs behind the scenes of reality television. After a mental breakdown, Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Appleby) returns to facilitating the inner workings behind the set of Everlasting, a very Bachelor-esque dating show where various women compete for the love of a rich British playboy.
Why it’s Worth Watching: The first episode of UnREAL instantly throws the viewer into the pandemonium that is reality television. Within the first half-hour, a group of bachelorettes are peeing in the grass and the main star of the show has gone missing. The set director, Quinn King (Constance Zimmer), is a master manipulator and ruthless to her core. Before filming a scene, Quinn reminds the crew, “Cash bonuses for nudity, 911 calls, and fights!”
Storyline: Distressed by the constant absence of his wife, father and husband Joe Hawkins (Tom Goodman-Hill) decides to purchase a “Synth,” or synthetic human, to help him care for his suburban family. Soon, members of the family grow suspicious that something is rather off about their Synth, Anita (Gemma Chan), and as they try to figure out what Anita actually is, Anita’s past is searching for her.
Why it’s Worth Watching: Humans provides an intriguing concept and an engrossing setting. In one scene, the radiant glowing green eyes of the Synths portray an innocence and longing about them, while in the next scene, their gaze is ominous and disturbing. The show plays with sympathy as the viewer wonders just how humanely these machines deserve to be treated. In one of the many sub-plots of the story, three Synths are on the run, and what they are capable of is artificial intelligence at its finest.
Storyline: Set in a futuristic galaxy referred to as “The Quad,” Killjoys centers on three space bounty hunters working for The RAC (Reclamation Agents for the Company). As they bag and tag their bounties (metaphorically speaking, since two of the members are against assassination), an interplanetary war is slowly ensuing.
Why it’s Worth Watching: One word: Dutch. Played brilliantly by Hannah John-Kamen, Dutch is dangerous, sharp, and witty. In the first episode, Dutch is undercover on another planet wearing a striking maroon dress paired with a black pearl necklace. During a fight encounter, she rips off her necklace and tosses it into the air. Her black pearls turn into menacing robotic bugs that proceed to crawl up to her enemies and explode, one by one. Her witty banter, delivered in her light British accent, is intelligent and humorous. Dutch is just as addicting as the show itself.