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Seven Weeks of Summer

10 TV shows we’ll be watching over the summer

Idris Elba in the Apple TV+ miniseries "Hijack," which will unfold in real time over seven episodes. It premieres June 28.Apple TV+

THE IDOL This one arrives after some early publicity — I mean controversy. In March, Rolling Stone published an expose about the drama from “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson and The Weeknd, claiming creative issues, exploitative themes, and a tense work environment. Will it be an edgy beauty or a boring bust? We’ll see. It has Lily-Rose Depp’s rising pop star falling under the spell of a Svengali played by Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. The Weeknd. Dan Levy, Jane Adams, Hari Nef, and Troye Sivan costar. (HBO, June 4)

BASED ON A TRUE STORY A darkly comic thriller, this one takes on our obsession with true-crime stories. As Kaley Cuoco says in the trailer, “No one ever went broke betting on America’s obsession with murder.” Netflix, so crowded with true crime, has certainly seen the wisdom in her comment. Cuoco and Chris Messina star as a Los Angeles couple who, “Only Murders in the Building”-like, try to catch a killer while making a podcast about it. (Peacock, June 8)


THE CROWDED ROOM Far from the franchise world, Tom Holland stars in this 1979-set limited series as a man who may be connected to a shooting in New York City. As he is questioned by Amanda Seyfried’s detective, the strange psychological details of his life story unfold. Based on Daniel Keyes’s 1981 book “The Minds of Billy Milligan,” it costars Emmy Rossum, Laila Robins, Jason Isaacs, and Christopher Abbott. (Apple TV+, June 9)

THE FULL MONTY Cash grab or sincere return to a rousing tale of financial struggle? This eight-episode series is a sequel to the popular 1997 British film about working-class struggles and a group of improbable strippers. The original guys — including Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, and Tom Wilkinson — are back, dealing with new socioeconomic and family issues. There will be grandchildren. (Hulu and Disney+, June 14)


I’M A VIRGO In this absurdist series from Boots Riley, Jharrel Jerome — from “When They See Us” and “Moonlight” — stars as a 13-foot-tall Black teen named Cootie coming of age in Oakland. I said absurdist, now didn’t I? His aunt and uncle try to protect him from exploitation by keeping him in the house — but, yeah, he’s a teen, and soon he’s out in the world on an adventure. Walton Goggins and Olivia Washington also star. (Amazon, June 23)

Summer TV to watch
WATCH: TV critic Matthew Gilbert breaks down the best summer TV options, from ‘The Crowded Room’ to ‘Justified: City Primeval.’

HIJACK Idris Elba stars as a businessman who finds himself acting as a negotiator when the plane he’s on gets hijacked. The seven-episode miniseries will follow the nightmare in real time, with Archie Panjabi (Kalinda!) helping out at ground control. As the plane moves from Dubai to London, it travels through the airspace of several different countries and their differing approaches to the crisis. (Apple TV+, June 28)

THE HORROR OF DOLORES ROACH The premise sounds a tad like Tracy Morgan’s “The Last O.G.,” but with some disturbingly grotesque twists. Justina Machado stars in this adaptation of a play and podcast as an ex-con who returns to her now-gentrified New York neighborhood after 16 years. Her boyfriend and her family are gone, so she stays with an old friend and they come up with an offbeat money-making plan. With shades of “Sweeney Todd,” the official description says it all: “A macabre urban legend of love, betrayal, weed, gentrification, cannibalism, and survival of the fittest.” (Amazon, July 7)


JUSTIFIED: CITY PRIMEVAL Timothy Olyphant is back as Raylan Givens in this eight-episode revival of the great “Justified.” It’s based on Elmore Leonard’s 1980 novel “City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit,” which doesn’t feature Givens — but the deputy US marshal has been written into the story. The cast includes Vondie Curtis-Hall, Aunjanue Ellis, Boyd Holbrook, Adelaide Clemens, and Olyphant’s real-life daughter Vivian Olyphant as Raylan’s daughter. (FX, July 18)

PAINKILLER Following in the footsteps of Hulu’s “Dopesick,” this six-episode limited series takes on the early days of the opioid crisis in America, telling intertwining stories about the victims who were told the drugs were safe, Purdue Pharma and its aggressive sales reps, and the people trying to stop the madness. The cast features Uzo Aduba, Matthew Broderick, Taylor Kitsch, West Duchovny, and Clark Gregg. (Netflix, Aug. 10)

TWISTED METAL Another video game comes to TV. This time it’s the nearly 30-year-old PlayStation demolition derby franchise whose last new game came out in 2012. A half-hour comedy, the show is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where Anthony Mackie’s talkative milkman with amnesia — unforgettably named John Doe — is promised a better life if he can successfully deliver a mysterious package. Bring on the marauders. The show, from “Deadpool” writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, also stars Stephanie Beatriz and Thomas Haden Church. (Peacock, July 27)


RETURNING SHOWS: “Never Have I Ever,” Netflix, June 8; “What We Do in the Shadows,” FX, June 13; “Outlander,” Starz, June 16; “The Righteous Gemstones,” HBO, June 18; “The Bear,” Hulu, June 22; “The Witcher,” Netflix, June 29; “And Just Like That …,” Max, June 22; “Black Mirror,” Netflix, June (no date yet); “The Afterparty,” Apple TV+, July 14; “Minx,” Starz, July 21; “Good Omens,” Amazon, July 28; “Reservation Dogs,” FX, Aug. 2; “Heartstopper,” Netflix, Aug. 3.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him @MatthewGilbert.