TV shows to binge this summer

Your binge viewing guide. Pictures: Netflix, Disney, CBS and HBO
Your binge viewing guide. Pictures: Netflix, Disney, CBS and HBO

Want to cut through some of your watchlist this summer break but not sure where to start?

Don't worry - we've got you covered with some of the best shows from 2021.

Julianne Nicholson and Kate Winslet in Mare of Easttown. Picture: HBO

Julianne Nicholson and Kate Winslet in Mare of Easttown. Picture: HBO

Mare of Easttown (Binge)

An engrossing mystery, small-town gossip and terrific acting are the holy trinity in the supremely excellent Mare of Easttown.

Kate Winslet - who delivers one of the best performances of her career - stars as Mare, a trusted local detective in Easttown.

Related to and close with most of the people in town, Mare's personal and professional lives become entwined as she seeks to solve the murder of a young mum.

It's quite possibly the best show of 2021 and at just seven episodes, the perfect summer binge.

WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye and Loki. Pictures: Disney

WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye and Loki. Pictures: Disney

Marvel shows (Disney+)

Disney+ graced us with four new Marvel shows this year, and they're a mixed bag.

WandaVision is slow to start but really kicks into gear by episode four and becomes completely addictive.

Falcon and Winter Soldier was next, and while it had some decent moments of action, overall it's the weakest thing the MCU had produced since Iron Man 2.

Then came Loki and it was a hilarious, utterly compelling trip following one of the MCU's best characters, played impeccably by Tom Hiddleston.

And we're currently enjoying Hawkeye, a fun, jubilant kind of series set at Christmas.

Diesel La Torraca, Brianne Howey and Antonia Gentry in Ginny and Georgia. Picture: Netflix

Diesel La Torraca, Brianne Howey and Antonia Gentry in Ginny and Georgia. Picture: Netflix

Ginny and Georgia (Netflix)

If you need something to fill the Gilmore Girls-shaped hole in your life, but you're also a fan of law-breaking and local politics, look no further than Ginny and Georgia.

The show follows the titular mother and daughter as they move to a new town and immediately make their mark.

There's a lot more to both mother and daughter than meets the eye. Equal parts coming-of-age and soapy mystery, it's a lot of fun - and two of the cast are Aussies (Felix Mallard and Diesel La Torraca).

Jessie Mei Li and Ben Barnes in Shadow and Bone. Picture: Netflix

Jessie Mei Li and Ben Barnes in Shadow and Bone. Picture: Netflix

Shadow and Bone (Netflix)

Fantasy series Shadow and Bone arrived earlier this year and was pretty intriguing, without creating Game of Thrones-level obsession.

The show follows Alina, who learns she has a magical power long sought after - a power that could reunite her divided world.

There's a love triangle, fun heists and plenty of fantastical mythology to whet any appetite.

Rebecca Breeds in Clarice. Picture: CBS

Rebecca Breeds in Clarice. Picture: CBS

Clarice (Stan)

If you're a fan of The Silence of the Lambs, you're a fan of Clarice.

The show is set in the 90s, after the events of the film and book. It follows the titular Agent Starling as she stubbornly refuses to face her PTSD but finds herself in the newly formed VICAP unit at the FBI, utilising her behavioural science training.

There's a mystery to be solved, and Starling and her colleagues are the ones best placed to solve it - if only the bureaucracy will let them.

Aussie Rebecca Breeds is excellent in the lead and really nails the iconic accent.

Don't wait up for Hannibal Lecter though - the cannibal is nowhere to be found.

Rosie Perez and Kaley Cuoco in The Flight Attendant. Picture: HBO

Rosie Perez and Kaley Cuoco in The Flight Attendant. Picture: HBO

Flight Attendant (Binge)

Forget Penny, Kaley Cuoco's Cassandra in The Flight Attendant is nothing like her previous Big Bang character.

She's a hard-drinking, bad-decision-making mess who wakes up after a flight in a Bangkok hotel room next to a dead man - and she has no idea what to do.

The show is just brilliant - it's funny, has plenty of mysteries going on and the dead guy, played by the always-great Michiel Huisman, hangs around to haunt Cassandra's waking dreams.

It's wholly unique and just a joy to watch.

Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short in Only Murders in the Building. Picture: Disney

Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short in Only Murders in the Building. Picture: Disney

Only Murders in the Building (Disney+)

Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez and a murder mystery.

Do we really need to say any more?

Only Murders in the Building is a hilarious comedy mystery that follows three true crime aficionados who live in the same apartment building. When one of their neighbours is found dead, they decide to conduct their own investigation on their own true crime podcast.

Filled with plenty of cameos from funny folks, the snappy show is gripping and will leave you hanging for season two.

Hamish Linklater in Midnight Mass. Picture: Netflix

Hamish Linklater in Midnight Mass. Picture: Netflix

Midnight Mass (Netflix)

Mike Flanagan, the mastermind behind The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor, was back with another horror show this year: Midnight Mass.

The short series - just seven episodes (though each but the first episode is more than an hour long) - is set on the tiny Crockett Island, where the moody Riley has just returned home after being in prison.

But he's not the only new-ish face in town - there's a new priest who's making his mark on the island.

The series is slow-burn but exceptionally well acted, though there are few actual scares to be found.

You'll either love it or hate it.

Phoebe Dynevor and Rege-Jean Page in Bridgerton. Picture: Netflix

Phoebe Dynevor and Rege-Jean Page in Bridgerton. Picture: Netflix

Bridgerton (Netflix)

Bridgerton landed with a bang last Christmas, and people are still obsessing over the revolutionary series.

From Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, the period piece follows the titular family as eldest daughter Daphne enters society for the first time in her attempt to secure a husband.

But with her elder brother's meddling lessening her prospects, she strikes up a deal with the dashing - and purposefully unavailable - Duke to strike up a pretend courtship.

It's steamy, sassy and sensationally addictive. Bring on season two.

Omar Sy in Lupin. Picture: Netflix

Omar Sy in Lupin. Picture: Netflix

Lupin (Netflix)

Moving away from English language fare brings us to the clever French series Lupin, led by the always charming Omar Sy.

Sy plays an enigmatic gentleman thief, who has modelled himself on the exploits of his literary hero, Arsene Lupin.

It's fun, brilliantly crafted and very compelling.

There are 10 episodes so far, split into two parts.

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