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Summer TV Preview 2018: Spies, Sinners, ‘Sharp Objects’ and Sex Magick

From dark crime procedurals to black-magic dramas, teen superheroes to Stephen King horror – your complete summer viewing guide

Summer TV Preview 2018

Your complete Summer TV viewing guide – from Stephen King to 'Sharp Objects,' returning Netflix hits to new teen superhero dramas and NSFW sitcoms.

Summer TV – it’s not just for losers anymore. Not so long ago, the months from May to August were TV’s reject pile, the Island of Misfit Toys, a wasteland full of reruns and fluff. The airwaves turned into a dumping ground for crap that wouldn’t cut it the rest of the year.

But that’s no longer the case, as the Peak TV boom keeps raging all year round and the hustle for ratings never sleeps. This summer is packed, from Stephen King’s nightmares to J.K. Rowling’s detectives, Eighties drag divas to Marvel teen superheroes. Michelle Wolf is bringing the political heat. John Krasinski is an ass-kicking super-spy. Cowboys. Occult sex rituals. And another shot for Arrested Development to get it right this time. These are the 24 summer shows worth getting excited about this season. Who needs fresh air and sunshine and swimming pools?

Summer TV Preview 2018

‘Castle Rock’ (July 25)

One of the summer’s most mysterious – and eagerly awaited – surprises: the dark secrets of a certain small town in Maine called Castle Rock. Stephen King and J. J. Abrams team up for this thriller, as Moonlight‘s Andre Holland receives a message from Shawshank Prison that brings him out to the rustic capital of King’s horror universe, where all his most frightening tales intersect. The cast is full of familiar faces: Scott Glenn as the local sherriff, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Lynskey, Bill Skarsgard and Terry O’Quinn. All anyone knows for sure about this anthology show is that with its haunted houses, shadowy woods, underwater cars and ominously barking dogs, it’ll tap deep into the the author’s deep-cut lore. RS

'The Sinner' Season 2 (August)

Lyndon French for Rolling Stone

‘The Sinner’ Season 2 (August 1)

The first season of this “whydunnit” about a woman accused of murder and the rumpled detective trying to unravel the mystery behind the act was impressive enough and proved that producer/star Jessica Biel has been a generally underused actor for most of her career. But the reason we’re incredibly excited for the USA show’s sophomore season? This new batch of episodes features the return of Leftovers/Fargo star Carrie Coon to TV, in a new storyline that finds dogged law-enforcement officer Bill Pullman investigating a different unexplained murder involving a kid who’s murdered his parents. We have no idea where the actress fits in, but Carrie Coon, people! DF

‘Insecure’ Season 3 (August 12)

Issa Rae’s misadventures of a teacher/would-be rapper/woman trying to figure out life in Los Angeles has been one of the most consistently solid new shows of the past few years – a perfect distillation of an artist’s voice into a premium-cable prestige-comedy format. Season Three promises more of the same, along with a new cohabitation set-up for our heroine, probably no Jay Ellis appearances and more Molly shenanigans. DF