The heat won’t stop in August, and luckily for all of us, our TVs will be almost as full of steam at the end of the month. The greatest July offerings shall be followed by Dragons. Lots of them. And Targaryen wigs aplenty. That means that the first Game of Thrones spinoff is upon us, but there’s so much more if you’re feeling wary of diving into another epic series. There’s a returning black comedy and a new psychological thriller and sports documentaries (one of them starring Ryan Reynolds and Rob Rob McElhenny) and the return of some Indigenous mayhem with those Reservation Dogs.
In addition, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman springs to life on the small screen, and lemme tell ya, the high anticipation factor for that show might turn out to be both a blessing and a curse. Another 1990s creation (and a very different one at that), Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head, promises to rustle up the best type of mindless nostalgia, and if that’s not enough, a few new Marvel Cinematic Universe shows and much more are coming your way. Here are the must-see shows for August.
Industry: Season 2 (HBO and HBO Max series streaming 8/1)
Think about a mix of Euphoria and Succession, and you’ve at least nailed the vibe of this finance drama. It’s not as commanding as those two HBO shows, but the group of ambitious, young (London version of) Wall Street types is nonetheless compelling; watch this ensemble get truly cutthroat at a breakneck market pace. Expect some sexual tension and drug use and returning stars Sarah Parish, Ken Leung, David Jonsson, Nicholas Bishop, Mark Dexter, Sagar Radia, and Caoilfhionni Dunne. Finance never looked so sensual.
Reservation Dogs: Season 2 (FX series 8/2)
This show’s a favorite around here, and not only for the frybread recipe. It’s a show that you would probably like, and it’s a rip-roaring ride through Indigenous rural life in America. And the show’s also Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi’s love letter of a rambling portrait of rascals who live a comically low-stakes life of troublemaking. It’s a tremendous display of not only representation but also the beauty in the stories that these characters come together to tell. Rez Dogs also has a fantastic time taking back ownership of how Indigenous characters have traditionally been portrayed in pop culture projects since the dawn of Hollywood.
Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount+ series streaming 8/4)
Decades after the fact, it’s still a grand pleasure to revisit these two buttmunches who have gone nowhere at all, and ain’t that a shame and a treat at the same time. Hopefully, we’ll get plenty of inane commentary on music videos because there’s a lot of catching up to do, and we’d better get some episodes with Cornholio right off the bat. Mike Judge’s original brainchild simply won’t stop, even though it’s still one of the silliest things that you’ve ever seen. Please let them tell us where the “olio” is, too.
The Sandman (Netflix series streaming 8/5)
Neil Gaiman’s seminal comic book series finally lands on the small screen (while the successful Audible epic keeps lugubriously pushing forth). The story picks up with Morpheus (the King of Dreams) angry as hell and for good reason. He takes vengeance against those who have imprisoned him, and he moves through space and time and dimension on an often mind-bending cosmic trip. In the end, the story weaves a miraculous tapestry of fiction and drama, infused with mythology for the ages. Let’s hope this show is worth the extensively long wait. Peachy keen!
I Am Groot (Disney+ series streaming 8/10)
Well, if Hawkeye got his own show, then you gotta give one to the most adorable twig who’s ever graced the MCU. He won’t have many words for us, but hopefully, he’ll do some dancing. This shall be a series of five shorts, rather than full-length episodes, and you know what? That’s alright, and the short runtime will make up for some of those times when you desperately needed to pee at the theater but didn’t want to miss Captain America whooping Thanos’ ass.
Resident Alien: Season 2 (SYFY series streaming 8/10)
This offbeat sci-fi show (and adaptation of the Dark Horse comic) returns Alan Tudyk to us in freaking alien form. He’s still hell bent by his true desire (to murder mankind) while masquerading as a small-town doctor, but at some point, he decided to help solve a murder. Very little about this show makes sense, and that’s part of the beauty of it all.
Locke & Key: Season 3 (Netflix series streaming 8/10)
Joe Hill’s best-selling Locke and Key horror comic will bring its TV adaptation home with one final season. That spirit called Dodge is still a total pain in the ass, and yes, there are still literal keys, and maybe, just maybe, that ancestral house will actually start to feel like home. There’s love and loss and spooks and a devoted fanbase who will drink up the last drops of the story.
Tales Of The Walking Dead (AMC and AMC+ series streaming 8/10)
Even though the principal series has nearly come to an end, the spinoffs and sequels (and maybe Rick Grimes movies) shall continue. This anthology season presents six different new individual stories from the same universe. Expect to see Samantha Mathis’ Alpha as she used to be, along with apparently returning characters still portrayed by the original actors (Steven Yeun, Jon Bernthal, and Michael Rooker) plus more all-star editions including Terry Crews and Olivia Munn. Let the backstories and assorted stand-alone episodes flow.
Never Have I Ever: Season 3 (Netflix series streaming 8/12)
Mindy Kaling’s brainchild (one of many, that is) returns for more coming-of-age shenanigans, and this season, Devi ends up achieving one of her goals (romance), but relationships end up being a lot more work than expected. And more drama, too, when it comes to family, friendships and romance. The story still feels absolutely fresh, and this show’s a reminder that inclusion and representation often yields some of the most original and celebrated new shows out there.
Untold: Volume 2 (Netflix series streaming 8/16)
The streaming service brings back this critically acclaimed docuseries with four new weekly epic stories. Expect to explore the expected (football and basketball) as well as the more offbeat (streetball) while the narrative takes you far beyond the media portrayal of each case. There’s grit and comedy and pathos and a “Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist,” which delivers one heck of a lesson about public relations, especially where it involves Hawaii native Manti Te’o, who deals with a great tragedy after entering college as a star player.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law: Season (Disney+ series streaming 8/17)
Allison Brie didn’t get to portray the “Allison Brie type” role, but hey, we’re getting Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, who appears to tackle the CGI-accentuated (and very green, 6’7″) MCU lawyer part by storm. Mark Ruffalo will be on hand as Bruce Banner, and hopefully, we’ll get to see him be cute with tacos again. Or show the Hulk Butt like he did in Thor: Ragnarok. Admit it, that’s on your wishlist, too.
House Of The Dragon: Season (HBO and HBO Max series on 8/21)
If you’ve ever wanted to see Matt Smith, Paddy Considine, and Emma D’arcy in Targaryen wigs, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. This prequel takes place hundreds of years before Game of Thrones, and George R.R. Martin wants everyone to know that he’s not here for the “toxic f*cking internet” opinion regarding the eighth season of the franchise’s flagship series. Martin is onboard as co-creator but also co-showrunner, so we might not ever see Winds of Winter, but at least we’re getting this show and a Jon Snow “Knows Nothing” standalone series. And dragons! Let’s face it, that’s what’s really important here, along with the story of this house before it fell, and Martin previously let it slip that Daenerys was unique, and the rest of the Targaryen clan isn’t impervious to fire.
Kevin Can F**K Himself: Season 2 (AMC and AMC+ series on 8/22)
This show’s as dark and bleak as one can expect, but all of those Kevin James-starring shows had it coming. This season, Annie Murphy’s long-suffering wife will (maybe?) finally do the deed of taking Kevin out. Murphy is fantastic as always, and Mary Hollis Inboden doesn’t get enough credit for playing the sidekick that every fed-up, possibly homicidal (yet still sympathetic) sitcom wife has needed, throughout all of TV history.
Welcome to Wrexham: Season (FX series streaming 8/23)
As recent legend has it Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenny just kind-of decided to buy a soccer team, and then they decided to make a documentary series about the endeavor because why not. Expect some Ted Lasso feels to shine through, intended or not, and perhaps Reynolds will be able to keep a straight face for a few onscreen moments.
The Patient (Hulu limited series streaming 8/30)
The Americans producers bring the world Domhnall Gleeson like you’ve never seen him before: as a serial killer (Sam) who’s terrorizing Steve Carell’s therapist character (Alan). Sam ends up taking Alan prisoner, and in the course of trying to help a killer stop killing, Alan’s own repressed memories rise to the surface, and clearly, both men have a lot of work to do. Expect plenty of twists and turns, of course, and maybe some topsy turvy behavior from the producers, since surely, you’ve seen their work already.