When you find yourself all farmers-marketed out and ready to trade the heat for some chill, enjoy our picks of easy summer reads, movies and TV shows.
Tuca & Bertie, Netflix
Tiffany Haddish costars in this show as the voice of the hilariously blunt toucan, Tuca – but that isn’t why Tuca and Bertie makes our list. Fans of adult cartoons like Bojack Horseman will appreciate the program’s raw comedic perspective on millennial life and womanhood.
Fleabag, Amazon Prime
Hold on to your crown jewels, this isn’t Downton Abbey. Phoebe Waller-Bridge makes being a terrible person look fun in this raunchy British comedy about coming of age in London. Oh, and apparently there’s a hot priest involved.
Pearson, USA Network(series premiere July 17)
Are you a Suitsfan (I prefer Law & Order, personally), but wish there was just a little less rich white-guy drama involved? Then, have we got the show for you. Gina Torres reprises her character of Jessica in Pearson, a Suitsspinoff starring the title character as she forges a new career in the Windy City.
Pride Month may be over, but keep the party going by catching up on the latest season of Pose. Season 2 aired on June 9 and jumps forward a year in the show’s timeline. It continues to examine the struggles of the underground black and Latino LGTBQ ball scene amidst the stress of going “mainstream” and the worsening AIDS crisis.
The Butterfly Garden
Dot Hutchinson’s Butterfly Garden, a twisted crime thriller, follows the journey of two detectives assigned to analyze a case in which a man kidnaps, tattoos and holds beautiful women hostage in a garden for reasons only he understands and only one of his victims, Maya, can explain.
Pride, Prejudice and other Flavors
This romance novel from award-winning author Sonali Dev proves that life is hard. Even harder when you’re the genius, black sheep daughter from an immigrant family descended from Indian royalty, struggling to redeem yourself in their eyes and trying desperately not to fall in love.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf
If you love all things sword and shield, then this fantasy novel Black Leopard, Red Wolffrom Marlon James offers a colorful escape this summer. James blends African history and mythology with lush descriptions that give J.R.R. Tolkien a run for his cash.
Is’nana the Were-Spider
We’ve been shouting for years that comics need more color. Greg Anderson-Elysée has answered those prayers with this graphic novel series. Trust the words of a comic book freak – it’s amazing. West African religion and mythology gets brought to life with modern twists and a gritty, relatable storyline about the half-human son of the trickster god Anansi.
Been So Long, Netflix
Helpless romantics who want a story with a bit of spice should check out Chewing Gum’s Michaela Coel and Arinze Kene in Been So Long, a musical love story set in Camden, England. In it, a single mother falls in love with a stranger from a chance meeting – a stranger with a big secret.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople,Hulu
Thor: Ragnarokdirector Taika Waititi tells the story of a juvenile delinquent who makes the obvious choice to avoid foster care when his mother dies. He runs into the woods to live as a hermit, sparking a manhunt that makes the whole situation that much more hilarious.
Native Son, HBO
Based on the 1940 novel by the same name, Rashid Johnson reimagines the story of black teen Bigger Thomas in a startlingly real present-day setting. Much like the book, Thomas is hired as a chauffeur for a rich white businessman and things quickly spiral out of control, with a few extra twists.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, theaters (releases Aug. 9)
Raise your hand if you remember these creepy books from author Alvin Schwartz! This August, Guillermo Del Toro and André Øvredal will bring the spine-chilling stories that terrified little kids in elementary school to the big screen. Go watch the trailer if you dare, and be jolted back to adolescence.
I Am Mother, Netflix
Skynet from Terminatoris way scarier when it’s your mom. A teenage girl is raised by a motherly AI after Earth is destroyed, only to find out that not everything is on the up-and-up when she meets another human being.