School’s out, birds are singing and the sun hangs high in a cloudless sky — time for the streaming junkie to retreat to the safe confines of the great indoors, safe from harmful non cathode rays of light. Those who think of summer as a season of sand and surf may feel a slight twinge of guilt while hunkering down for that eighth consecutive episode or triple feature. But as a wise man once said, you’re not hardcore unless you live hardcore — so get going on Episode Nine, people. And with a mix of cinematic classics and buzzy new TV premieres hitting the inter-tubes in June, indoor kids have never had it easier. Pour yourself another Arnold Palmer and pore over our picks of the 10 best movies and TV shows to stream over the coming month.
Carrie (Hulu, Amazon Prime, 6/1)
It’ll take more than a lackluster remake to kill the most lethal teen to emerge from Seventies horror cinema. Brian De Palma’s iconic nightmare of humiliation, social anxiety and violent pubescence has not lost one iota of its fearsome power, thanks to a performance from Sissy Spacek that resonates with audiences whether they know the embarrassment of an unanticipated period or not. Plenty of other scary movies organized themselves around the time-honored lament of “kids can be so cruel,” and while this adaptation of Stephen King’s novel didn’t do it first, it certainly did do it best.
Casual Season 2 (Hulu, 6/7)
Among America’s most precious renewable resources, big-dysfunctional-family stories have kept TV morbidly entertaining for decades. A somewhat lighter-hearted descendant of Six Feet Under, Zander Lehmann’s seriocomic entry in this subgenre shifts focus from sexual hang-ups to platonic relationships for its second season, as the Meyers/Cole clan (proud mama Michaela Watkins, eternal bachelor Tommy Dewey, and ne’er-do-well teen Tara Lynne Barr) struggles with forming healthy friendships while they enter new phases of their hectic lives.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Hulu, 6/1)
Before he transitioned into the professional coot/politically conservative chair-talker phase of his career, Clint Eastwood embodied the ideal of the strong, silent gunslinger — the John Wayne of violent, cynical Euro-horse operas. With director Sergio Leone and his star operating in perfect synchronicity for nearly three pulse-racing hours, this is the Spaghetti Western, codifying the genre’s stylistic markers and pumping them into one massive, steroidal epic. That ice-cold whistle alone immediately transports an acquainted viewer to the Italy’s sun-baked hills, and then once more to the lawless expanses of the unsettled West.
Jurassic Park (Netflix, 6/1)
The lucrative lameness of Jurassic World couldn’t fully purge the fond memories of the original from its bajillion-strong fanbase’s nostalgic minds. The quivering glass of water, those raptors in the kitchen, Da-da daah daah daah. (Enjoy the next nine hours of mentally replaying that melody whether you like it or not) — we all know the drill, Yet this is that rare example of a blockbuster film whose unfading ubiquity makes it more lovable, not less. It’s like reconnecting with an old grade-school friend … so go, see what your pal Dr. Ian Malcolm has been up to.
Love & Mercy (Amazon Prime, 6/4)
A tortured-genius biopic that cleaves its subject’s life in two, Bill Pohlad’s sleeper hit does right by former Beach Boys visionary Brian Wilson. Paul Dano imbues the musician with fragile wonderment while he composes the epochal Pet Sounds in his youth; John Cusack holds onto that threadbare tatters of his ego as the adult living under the thumb of domineering therapist Eugene Landy (a typically great Paul Giamatti). And Elizabeth Banks provides the crucial fourth vocal part as Wilson’s dedicated, caring wife, completing a perfectly harmonized quartet.
Mr. Robot Season 1 (Amazon Prime, 6/13)
Viewers willing to look past the goofier aspects of Sam Esmail’s paranoid technothriller – a sinister organization referred to as EvilCorp, hacking as a scriptwriter’s cure-all, the title Mr. Robot – enjoyed a suspenseful future-shock yarn with a real sense of visual identity and Rami Malek’s compellingly bugged-out performance. The twist that concluded the season alienated some viewers, but before Esmail attempts to earn back their love, it’ll be good to bone up on the first season. Remember, they’re watching.
Orange Is the New Black Season 4 (Netflix, 6/17)
Jenji Kohan’s epic of life behind bars did for Netflix what The Sopranos did for HBO, singlehandedly establishing the creative and commercial legitimacy of an unproven disruptor in the TV landscape. Season Three ended with busloads of new inmates getting carted into the already-crowded Litchfield Penitentiary, as the privatized institution further stripped its component parts in the tireless quest to turn a profit. The show’s history suggests that this will incite even more brutality and righteous fury, but hey, maybe Kohan will throw us all for a loop and lighten things up a little for Season Four? (Fat chance.)
Rick and Morty Season 2 (Hulu, 6/26)
Halfway between the better episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants and that acid trip 20 years ago you still haven’t been able to stop thinking about, Dan Harmon’s animated triumph biochemically melds chipper absurdity with harrowing, too-real-for-comfort meditations on existential loneliness. The second season saw the show hit its stride, as the dimension-hopping granddad-grandson pair crossed paths with a starry roster of vocal talent including everyone from Werner Herzog to SpongeBob himself, Tom Kenny. Wubba-lubba-dub-dub!
Spotlight (Netflix, 6/22)
It didn’t win the most recent Best Picture Oscar for nothin’. Tom McCarthy’s critical smash doesn’t try anything fancy, laying out the painstaking procedure through which the intrepid reporters of the Boston Globe uncovered the sweeping scandal of pedophilia in the Catholic church. But with nothing apart from simple good acting and sound writing, it respectfully evinces the quiet nobility of investigative journalism and the survivors’ emotional wounds that may never heal.
(T)error (Netflix, 6/30)
This infuriating documentary tracks an FBI sting operation as it slowly, agonizingly crosses the line from “morally cloudy” into “reprehensible.” Stool pigeon Saeed Torres stayed out of prison by tattling on suspected terrorists to the FBI, but his treatment of one mark veers right into entrapment territory. At once an indictment of shady counterterrorism tactics and a profile of a strange man with far too much power at his disposal, this under-seen doc should be shown in schools. But of course, the Man would never let that happen.