Television shows

What movies and TV shows to watch this summer


Geoff Bennet: From Top Gun to the latest Thor and Minions films, summer blockbusters are making a comeback. Studios and theaters are vying for moviegoers to return given the reluctance of COVID and increasingly fierce competition from streaming services. And major studios and streaming giants battling it out means there’s no shortage of content for viewers and viewers,

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans joins us now to talk more about what we watch and how we watch it. It’s great to have you with us, Eric. And I think, you know, I love that a lot of people have four or five streaming apps but never find anything to watch. So help us. What are you looking at? You are the expert.

Eric Deggans, NPR TV critic: There are a bunch of great shows right now Better Call Saul on AMC is in the latest episodes of the show. It will disappear in a little while. And it’s the best TV show. So people should definitely check it out. There’s a show called Bear on FX that’s finished its first season, but it’s a really good show about a chef who comes back to his family’s run-down sandwich shop and tries to run it. There’s also a wonderful show called The Old Man on FX that Jeff Bridges stars in. So a lot of great stuff on TV and a lot of great stuff that you can catch up on pretty easily.

Geoff Bennet: You mentioned the old man, we have a clip of it. We’ll take a look.

Man: Apparently we can match the location of the transponders to the location of the phone moving with it and then reverse engineer the number. It would have surprised me. I didn’t know that was something we could do.

I tell you this park must remind you that you have no idea how different the game is from the last time you played it. And partly because you have about three minutes before they’re on you.

Geoff Bennett: So it’s hard to go wrong with Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow, what is this show about?

Eric Deggans: So Jeff Bridges plays a CIA agent who has lived under an assumed name for a long time. And suddenly he feels like someone from his past is trying to kill him. And he thinks the CIA may be trying to help them do it. So he tries to run away. He’s also – he’s got a daughter he’s trying to keep hidden like we talked about, and he ends up enlisting the help of a woman who’s somewhat innocent of it all played by Amy Brennaman.

It’s a really interesting series that’s as much about aging as it is about dealing with the legacy of all the decisions you made as an adult. There are points in this show that can make an acting exercise feel like a bit too much, you know, really kind of heartbreaking scenes between two people. But when the show really starts, it’s really wonderful.

Geoff Bennett: You mentioned the FX show The Bear, which is currently airing on Hulu. It’s my favorite show right now. I will say it’s stressful to watch, but it’s thrilling. And as you mentioned, it’s about the superstar chef who returns home to Chicago to take over the family business after the death by suicide of his brother.

Man: I didn’t know my brother used drugs. What does it say? As I got older, I realized that I knew nothing about him. Really. He stopped letting me into the restaurant a few years ago. He just cut me off. And it hurts, you know.

Geoff Bennett: So it’s actor Jeremy Allen White. Why does this show resonate with you, Eric?

Eric Deggans: What was wonderful to me about this show is that it depicts a very specific environment, the kitchen, in a struggling sandwich shop in Chicago. I grew up in Gary, Indiana, right next to Chicago, Chicago has a very special vibe, they do a great job of bringing up what those kind of sandwich shops are like and how people are yelling at each other behind the counter, even if the customers are right there can hear that.

On top of all that, and, you know, he’s a guy who’s been trained in some of the best kitchens in New York, and then he tries to bring some of those values ​​in there. And he’s having a pretty tough time about it. But you kind of learn how, you know, these kitchens work. It’s also a great character study. You end up discovering that a lot of the characters are hiding things. And it all comes unstuck, as you start to see them having friction with each other and trying to deal with this situation that they’re in. I really enjoyed the show.

Geoff Bennett: Let’s talk about Netflix because they are changing their business model. So either you will pay more for your subscription, or you will pay less but there will be advertisements. What do you think were the glory days of streaming?

Eric Deggans: I do not know. I think what’s happening is that Wall Street is being forced to have a more realistic view of what streaming can actually do. Netflix offered this promise to investors and Wall Street that they could continually and consistently increase their subscriber count. And they saw that after they increased their prices this year as a result of, you know, inflation issues and people watching, you know, their results a little closer.

And following a deluge of competition from other streaming services like Disney plus and Hulu, their subscriber numbers have shrunk by around 1.2 million people. So I think we’re going to see less spending on new projects. I think we’re going to see them try to crack down on the 100 million households that get Netflix for free by sharing passwords, and I think we’re going to see them try to offer a cheaper subscriber tier. So if they offer you a very low fee and you watch a few ads, it could be a win-win for everyone if you think about it.

Geoff Bennett: Yes. The way we look changes what we look at. Eric Deggans, NPR television critic, appreciates you as always.

Eric Deggans: Always a pleasure.

Backing canvas

Support our coverage of culture, arts and literature.