15 movies and TV shows to kick off your summer

Two women in bikinis standing in a backyard area
Contestants on “Love Island.”

Welcome to Screen Gab, the newsletter for everyone who’s celebrating the official start of summer by … staying in.

This week’s edition is full of impassioned pleas and enticing stories, from a YA romance on the North Carolina shore to an idyll with lesbian entomologists. (At least some of us have already fired up the new season of U.K. sensation “Love Island” after reading Meredith Blake’s frighteningly thorough guide to the series.) Whatever floats your sailing yacht, the first Screen Gab of summer has something for you.

As always, we’re looking for reader picks too: Send your TV or streaming movie recommendations to with your name and location. Submissions should be no longer than 200 words and are subject to editing for length and clarity.



Must-read stories you might have missed

Maury Povich smiles for a photo
Television personality Maury Povich in Beverly Hills earlier this month.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

‘I have no desire to be on TV again’: Maury Povich, king of daytime, takes a bow: Having outlasted Jerry Springer, Oprah Winfrey and many others, the talk show host calls it quits.

How Disney’s ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ changes Princess Leia’s legacy forever: ‘Star Wars’ has long been a franchise fixated on the Skywalker men. The latest entry in the canon finds hope, and emotional resonance, in Leia Organa.

The real ‘miracle’ of the Jan. 6 hearings? Republicans and Democrats working together: In a hyperpartisan political environment, the faint glimmers of bipartisanship on display have been one of the hearings’ biggest revelations of all.


The breakout star of Bravo’s next reality TV juggernaut is ready to settle down. Almost: ‘Below Deck Sailing Yacht’ first mate Gary King on being a reality heartthrob, his ‘cringe’ moments and how Daisy hurt him.

Turn on

Recommendations from the film and TV experts at The Times

A teenage girl standing by a car smiling
Lola Tung in “The Summer I Turned Pretty.”
(Dana Hawley/Prime Video)

Have you ever known nostalgic pangs for a summer you never actually lived? Can a few notes from a perfect song transport you to a longing glance, an Earth-shaking kiss, the first time your heart skipped a beat or the worst it was ever broken? That’s what it’s like watching (and rewatching) Amazon Prime’s addictive, absorbing and absolutely lovely YA charmer “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” the latest adaptation from bestselling author Jenny Han.

After executive producing her hit “To All the Boys” trilogy and its upcoming Netflix spinoff, “XO, Kitty,” co-showrunner Han reaffirms her mantle as Gen Z’s Nancy Myers, guiding teenage heroine Isabel “Belly” Conklin to the screen for a bingeworthy seven-episode debut (don’t worry, a second season has already been ordered). On the cusp of 16, Belly (newcomer Lola Tung) is blossoming into a young woman as she arrives with her mom and brother to their annual stay with family friends in fictional Cousins Beach, for the summer that will change everything — most of all her friendships with the flirty Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) and his older brother Conrad (Christopher Briney), whom she’s loved her whole life.

Filmed in coastal Wilmington, N.C. (hence those dreamy “Dawson’s Creek” vibes), the series expands and updates the world of the book trilogy, weaving intoxicating strands of adolescent longing, joy and first love within an intergenerational story that packs its own emotional gut punches. Tung is a total discovery, luminous and headstrong as Belly comes of age and navigates her own wants, desires and the knotty complications of young adulthood. Briney, meanwhile, arrives armed with the floppy hair and torrid powers of a young Leo.

It doesn’t hurt that “Summer” boasts one of the best-curated soundtracks of 2022 — Olivia Rodrigo, Hayley Kiyoko, Tyler, the Creator, Phoebe Bridgers and a veritable treasure chest of Taylor Swift songs intertwine with the emotional rollercoasters of Belly’s inner life. One morning the sounds of nearby construction morphed into “The Way I Loved You (Taylor’s Version)” in my mind, bringing a scene I won’t spoil here flooding back into my brain. So sigh along with me and hit play on “TSITP.” No summer will be complete without it. —Jen Yamato

Of all the many enjoyable things about “Loot,” created by Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard (“Forever”) and premiering Friday on Apple TV+, nothing is more appealing than the soulful face of star Maya Rudolph, who has a gift for embodying complicated feelings while also seeming to refrain from showing them. A multibillionaire after a divorce from tech mogul husband (Adam Scott), Rudolph’s Molly recovers from 20 pampered years of meaningless self-indulgence by getting involved with a charitable foundation that bears her name — much to the annoyance of the perhaps too intensely focused Sofia (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez,) who runs it. What evolves is a workplace comedy of an unusually sweet and emotional nature, as trust is gained, friendships are formed and better ways to live are learned. With Ron Funches (whose own unusually sweet and emotional nature has never been better used) as the group’s IT guy, who also happens to be Rudolph’s cousin; Nat Faxon as its straight-arrow accountant, described by one character as “the living embodiment of an Olive Garden breadstick” and who, it is soon clear, has a thing for Molly; and Joel Kim Booster, as Molly’s caustic assistant, who finds himself seduced by human kindness. —Robert Lloyd

Catch up

Everything you need to know about the film or TV series everyone’s talking about

Gwendoline Christie and Asa Butterfield in “Flux Gourmet.”
Gwendoline Christie and Asa Butterfield in Peter Strickland’s “Flux Gourmet.”
(IFC Midnight)

“Flux Gourmet,” the exquisitely deranged new horror-comedy from the English writer-director Peter Strickland, tracks the various crises that befall a trio of “alimentary and culinary” performance artists. In other words, they make music from the sounds of food preparation: a sizzling pan here, a bubbling pot there, all recorded and amplified with presumably splatter-proof equipment. The movie, which opens this week in select U.S. theaters, is hardly the first in which Strickland has emphasized the primacy of sound. Three of his four earlier features are available for streaming (the exception is his 2009 debut, “Katalin Varga”), and with all of them you are strongly advised to crank up the volume.

Sound is most thoroughly foregrounded in Strickland’s 2012 sophomore effort, “Berberian Sound Studio” (multiple platforms), which follows a diffident British engineer (Toby Jones) as he mixes audio effects for a 1970s Italian slasher picture. As the boundaries between reality and cinema begin to fissure and blur, the movie pays loving tribute to the lurid, low-budget giallo horror tradition, rich in suspense and teasing ambiguity. (It also winks at Brian De Palma’s 1981 classic, “Blow Out.”)

A still richer brand of exploitation-cinema homage can be found in Strickland’s 2015 triumph, “The Duke of Burgundy” (multiple platforms). Starring Sidse Babett Knudsen and Chiara D’Anna as lesbian entomologists carrying on a sadomasochistic love affair, the movie basically does for 1960s and ’70s Euro softcore what Todd Haynes’ “Far From Heaven” did for ’50s Douglas Sirk melodramas: It reproduces their expressive conventions to such an obsessive, fetishistic degree as to unlock entirely new depths of romantic feeling. Sound factors heavily too, in a story that positively teems with aural sex, full of private acts that are more often heard and suggested than seen.

Strickland returned to horror — and plunged into daffy new realms of retail-industry satire — with “In Fabric” (multiple platforms), his 2018 freakout about a demonic red dress that goes on a silent killing spree. An uneven but deliriously witchy brew, the movie features standout performances from Marianne-Jean Baptiste and Fatma Mohamed, plus a soundtrack that is a veritable symphony of terrified screams, demonic rumbles and one terrifyingly out-of-control washing machine. —Justin Chang

Guest spot

A weekly chat with actors, writers, directors and more about what they’re working on — and what they’re watching

A man in a white sweater with his hand over his mouth
Director Gaz Alazraki.
(German Najera and Ivan Flores)

Even Gaz Alazraki, the creative mind behind “Club de Cuervos” — Netflix’s first original series produced in Mexico — might have been intimidated by directing “Father of the Bride.” We’re talking, after all, about a nearly 75-year-old film property that has featured the likes of Spencer Tracy and Steve Martin. If he was, though, he needn’t have been: HBO Max announced this week that the Latino-led remake, starring Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan, is the platform’s most-watched streaming-only movie to date. Screen Gab caught up with Alazraki to talk about the film’s deep pedigree, what he’s watching and more. —Matt Brennan

What have you watched recently that you are recommending to everyone you know?

I saw “The Northman (Peacock) twice and the reversals were even stronger the second time! I loved how the prophecy worked itself into the climax, giving the character salvation and damnation at the same time, making it into one of my favorite films of the year.

My wife sat through “Euphoria” (HBO Max) Season 1 a second time so that we could enjoy Season 2 together, and we were glued to the screen as Zendaya painfully mourned her father’s death in a world where every character has a twisted relationship with drugs and Big Pharma. The style, music and visuals just paint such a sad portrait of today’s America.

I cannot stop recommending “Scenes from a Marriage” (HBO Max). Oscar Isaac’s arc is so raw as he starts smug and self-congratulatory, and suddenly spins into a world of heartbreak and helplessness. Plus, their last encounter has such a nostalgic dream quality to it, that keeps making my heart break.

And finally, “Pam & Tommy.” It makes you realize that they were ground zero for a new technology that would eventually annihilate privacy at the speed of light! The couple was so ill-equipped to handle the PR crisis and the disparity in gender politics that it became their undoing, and I ended up feeling deep compassion for these people who lived as the punchlines of so many jokes when in the end, all they really wanted were simple things like love, fun and family.

There are five prior installments in the “Father of the Bride” “franchise” — for lack of a better term — dating back to the 1950 original. What do you think gives the concept such staying power?

I think that what gives “Father of the Bride” such a staying power is the fact that a daughter’s wedding is a universal milestone that inevitably reminds us of our mortality. We are officially starting the path into becoming the next generation as our daughters get married and have their own children, and it marks the end of an era, certainly triggering another midlife crisis — which I think is great fun.

This version is distinctive from its forebears for being focused around a Cuban American family. What moment or detail would you say best captures what’s distinctive about Cuban/Cuban American weddings?

The opportunity of centering this version on a Cuban American family is that it we get to exaggerate for comedic effect what “The Patriarchy” looks like for the new generations who want to challenge it, and that opened up a chance for us to ask, “What does being ‘The Father of the Bride’ mean in the 21st century?”

So I think the scene that best captures what a Cuban American wedding looks like is the one where Billy pitches his vision for a wedding at the Biltmore Hotel: He pretty much describes an updated version of his own wedding at the opening of the movie, and it serves as a bridge to the final wedding, where you really get to see how much dancing and partying you have in Mexican and Cuban weddings.

Mail bag

Recommendations from Screen Gab readers

A woman scrubs outdoor furniture
Margaret Qualley in “Maid.”
(Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix)

We will never forget Bill Pullman’s brilliant and courageous performance as Det. Ambrose in “The Sinner” (USA, Netflix)

Despite a change of actor in the lead role, “Young Wallander” (Netflix) was an extraordinary and unique series.

The performances, the script and the production of “Maid” (Netflix) were top-rate as well as a clear-eyed look at domestic abuse and class distinctions.

Shelley Butler

What’s next

Listings coordinator Matt Cooper highlights the TV shows and streaming movies to keep an eye on

Fri., June 24

“Chloe” (Prime Video): A young Brit (“The Crown’s” Erin Doherty) stalks her former BFF in this BBC drama.

“Loot” (Apple TV+): A billionaire’s ex (“SNL’s” Maya Rudolph) walks away with a big chunk of change in this new comedy.

“The Man From Toronto” (Netflix): Kevin Hart is mistaken for Woody Harrelson — sounds plausible — in this 2022 action comedy.

“Man vs. Bee” (Netflix): “Mr. Bean’s” Rowan Atkinson battles an apian adversary in this new comedy series.

“Mormon No More” (Hulu): People who left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over its stance against same-sex marriages share their stories in this new series.

“The One That Got Away” (Prime Video): They’re getting a second chance at romance in this new dating series.

“Rise” (Disney+): This new series dramatizes Giannis Antetokounmpo and his siblings’ journey from Athens to the NBA.

“Trevor: The Musical” (Disney+): A middle-schooler suffers the slings and arrows of adolescence in this LGBTQ-themed off-Broadway show.

“Wildhood” (Hulu): An Indigenous teen goes on a journey of self-discovery in this LGBTQ-themed 2022 drama.

“49th Daytime Emmy Awards” (CBS, 9 p.m.): “The Young and the Restless” leads the soaps category with 18 nominations.

“The Great American Recipe” (KOCE, 9 p.m.): Home cooks from diverse backgrounds add to the melting pot in this new competition.

“American Anthems” (KOCE, 10 p.m.) Country music stars sing the praises of local do-gooders in this new series.

Sat., June 25

“Two Tickets to Paradise” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): A woman left standing at the altar meets her match in this new TV movie.

“He’s Not Worth Dying For” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): Two teens engage in a social media war over the titular two-timer in this new TV movie.

“Nickelodeon Slime Cup” (Nickelodeon, 8 p.m.): The network’s young stars team up with pro golfers and other celebs.

Sun., June 26

“Citizen Ashe” (CNN, 6 p.m.): The tennis legend and civil rights activist is profiled in this 2021 documentary.

“Disney’s Summer Magic Quest” (Disney, 7 p.m.): It’s all fun and games as the seasonal competition returns.

“BET Awards 2022” (BET, other networks, 8 p.m.): Taraji P. Henson hosts, Lizzo performs and Sean “Diddy” Combs collects a career achievement award.

“Ice Road Killer” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): A mother and daughter try to outrun a madman in this new TV movie.

“Westworld” (HBO, 9 p.m.): The sci-fi drama is back, and at this point, we’re rooting for the androids. With Evan Rachel Wood and Thandiwe Newton.

“The Chi” (Showtime, 9 p.m.): This compelling drama set on the South Side of Chicago begins its fifth season.

“Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?” (Starz, 9 p.m.): Deceased financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s partner in crime is profiled in this new docuseries.

“College Hill: Celebrity Edition” (BET, 11:30 p.m.): Nene Leakes and Lamar Odom are some the famous faces taking part in a new edition of this reality series.

Mon., June 27

“American Dynasty” (Fox Nation): The Bushes, Kennedys, Vanderbilts and Gettys are among the rich and powerful families featured in this new docuseries.

“Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific” (Acorn TV): The star of “Doc Martin” takes a tropical vacay in his latest travel series.

Wimbledon 2022 (ESPN, ESPN+, 3 a.m.; through July 10): Live coverage of the storied tennis tournament gets underway from London.

“Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness” (KOCE, 9 p.m.; also Tue.): A critical issue is given the attention it deserves in this two-night documentary from producer Ken Burns.

Tue., June 28

“Cristela Alonzo: Middle Classy” (Netflix): The comic and former sitcom star is movin’ on up in this new stand-up special

“Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu): Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez are back on the case for a second season of this mystery comedy.

“Endangered” (HBO, 9 p.m.): Journalists talk about how freedom of the press is under fire at home and abroad in this new documentary.

Wed., June 29

“All Star Shore” (Paramount+): Cast members from “Jersey Shore,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” etc., cohabitate in this new series.

“Baymax!” (Disney+): The inflatable robot from Disney’s 2014 animated tale “Big Hero 6” gets his own show.

“Beauty” (Netflix): A young, gifted and Black singer finds herself on the fast track to fame in this star-studded 2022 drama.

“The Upshaws” (Netflix): This Black family sitcom is back for Season 2. With Mike Epps, Kim Fields and Wanda Sykes.

“Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution” (A&E, 9 p.m.; also Thu.): Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish and others salute the likes of Richard Pryor and Moms Mabley in this two-night special.

“Planet California” (KOCE, 10 p.m.): The two-part nature documentary about the Golden State concludes.

“More Power” (History, 10 and 10:30 p.m.): “Home Improvement’s” Tim Allen and Richard Karn reunite for a bit more tool time in this new series.

Thu., June 30

“Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy” (Netflix): The title says it all in this new anime series based on a Japanese manga.

“The Long Night” (Shudder): A yuppie couple learn the limits of Southern hospitality in this 2022 supernatural thriller.

“Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience” (HBO Max): The titular rodent gets gussied up in this animated musical based on the children’s book.

“Me or the Menu” (Food Network, 10 p.m.): Can their relationships survive opening a restaurant together? Find out in this new unscripted series.