There’s no getting around the glaring truth — this 4th of July is not like the others.
While many states are re-opening following COVID-19 lockdown, the fact of the matter is, the pandemic is still very real. If you’re trying to avoid catching that second-wave, you’re likely spending the long weekend cooped up inside on the couch where the AC is blasting and the mosquitoes aren’t bothering.
Others may be venturing out for the first time in months to hit up some pool parties, barbecues, and even a fireworks show (if it hasn’t been cancelled. If it has, you can check out our list of where to stream fireworks here1), but when all is said and done, you’ll likely still want to settle in and unwind with a good TV show to keep you company.
Don’t waste time looking for something to watch — we’ve rounded up a comprehensive list of recommendations that are perfect for the 4th.
Seriously, there’s something for everyone.
So, kick back your shoes, grab the popcorn, hot dogs, and drinks, and get ready to binge-watch your way through the patriotic long weekend!
For Superhero Fans
Black Lightning – 3 seasons
Truth, justice, and the American way is what this CW show is all about. A retired superhero is forced to leap into action and suit up once again when his daughter, a justice-seeker herself, is recruited by a street gang. The DC Comics series doesn’t reinvent the superhero wheel, but it infuses the genre with new life and invigorating plots while providing commentary timely social issues.
Doom Patrol – 2 seasons
Hailed as one of the best DC Comics shows, the series doesn’t frown upon oddities and differences but embraces them as superpowers. Doom Patrol is described as “part support group, part superhero team” as its made up of people who underwent horrible accidents that gave them superhuman abilities fighting for a world that would quickly turn its back on them. HBO Max dropped the second season on June 25!
For the Horror Fans
American Horror Story – 9 seasons
The anthology horror created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk is hailed as groundbreaking because, well, you haven’t seen anything quite like it. July isn’t synonymous with watching horror shows, but there’s something so American about willingly going out of your way to get scared. And as each season embraces a different period and theme that all draw, to some degree, from American roots. Some of the favorites being Hotel (a grimy LA hotel run by Lady Gaga’s countess), Cult (set in a Murderous Michigan town), Coven (a school of witches in New Orleans), and Asylum (the show’s version of an LGBTQ conversion therapy camp).
For History Buffs
Hamilton (debuting on Disney+ on July 3)
Hamilton isn’t a TV show, per se, but it deserves a spot on the list because it’s Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s successful Broadway musical detailing the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. The recorded version was set to debut in theaters later this year, but due to COVID, it opted for a streaming release right into our living rooms on a very fitting long weekend. If you watch anything this Independence Day, make it Hamilton. Miranda made sure it features a pre-show announcement, intermission, and post-show announcement, so you’ll feel like you truly shelled out upwards of $200 a ticket!
Timeless – 2 seasons
Did you ever wish you could hop into your time machine and experience some of the biggest moments in history? Well, Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus get to do just that, but it’s not all fun and games since they’re on a mission to stop Rittenhouse, a nefarious government organization, from changing the world as we know it. The series takes you on an adventure to meet some of the most prolific icons in history including Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Hemingway, and Harry Houdini. And, since you are traveling through a history book, you’ll have a few brush ins with the villains too.
For Those Looking for a Teen Thrill
Outer Banks – 1 Season
Netflix’s teen adventure drama finds four friends from the “wrong side of the road” going on a treasure hunt for $400 million dollars that leads them to answers about the mysterious death of John B’s father. While the series is a fun escape and embraces the carefree, surf culture, it tries to be too many things at once, so it’s easy to get lost in the muddled storytelling. John B may need a map to find the treasure, but you might need a map to keep up with all that’s happening.That being said, don’t give up — if you make it to episode 6, the action really picks up from there!
Stranger Things – 3 Seasons
You can never go wrong with binge-watching Netflix’s mainstay sci-fi thriller set in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. Maybe it’s because season 3 of Netflix premiered on July 4, 2019, but despite the spooky-factor, the series always gives me Fourth of July vibes. I’m convinced that if it wasn’t for the coronavirus pandemic, we would have gotten the 4th season sometime this summer, but until then, we can just keep rewatching the first 3 seasons.
For Sports Fans
All American – 2 seasons
If the CW series sounds like it might be based on a true story, that’s because it is. It navigates the journey of one promising African-American football player from an inner city high school who is recruited by a team in Beverly Hills. The message is ambitious, but the show does a good job of delivering it, and Daniel Ezra gives a performance worthy of a standing ovation. If you want to be an all American, you’ve got to watch this show now.
Glow – 3 seasons
Is there anything America loves more than professional wrestling? Especially nostalgic wrestling of the 80s. In the series, an out-of-work actress turns to the world of spandex to find her way. Honestly, the only thing more American than wrestling and sports is rooting for the underdog and finding a way to make something out of nothing.
For a Dose of Nostalgia
The Baby-Sitters Club – premieres July 3
If you remember going to the school library and renting these books out then this Netflix reboot is for you. The modern-day coming-of-age series is rooted in friendship with your colleagues while touching upon crushes, growing pains, and hustling at your start-up.
‘Riverdale’ Season 5: What Every Character Is Up to After the Seven-Year Time Jump
Riverdale will embrace a seven-year time jump a few episodes into Season 5!
The move is not only exciting for fans of The CW drama but also for the cast as it allows them to leave high school behind (and the Riverdale as we know it) and play with some more mature storylines for their characters.
Of course, fans have spent much of the hiatus wondering what this means for their favorite characters. Who will they be seven years from now? Where will their journeys take them?
A lot is still unknown, but the cast and crew have given some sneak peeks as to what we can expect!
Here’s what we know so far:
KJ Apa revealed the time jump gives the show a chance to “freshen up the characters,” according to TV Line.
In fact, he revealed a lot more than he probably should have about the jump forward, which is great for us!
Apa explained that after graduation, all of the characters went their separate ways. Archie enlisted in the Army and upon returning back home several years later, learned that Hiram Lodge has turned Riverdale into a bit of a ghost town. Leave it to Archie to leave town and return only to reignite his feud with Hiram.
Archie calls in reinforcements — aka he brings the gang back together — to essentially save Riverdale.
“They talk about how they can revive the town again. Archie very much takes the lead on this. He came back and saw Riverdale turning to s–t pretty much, and he’s like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to let this happen.’ So he wrangles the whole team in, and they figure out ways to revive the town, and the best way to do that is through Riverdale High,” he explained.
Does this mean Archie becomes principal? A teacher? A coach? The possibilities here are endless!
Not much is known about Betty’s future life. Based on Riverdale Season 4, we know Betty will likely attend Yale University. It’s unclear what transpires between Betty and Jughead in the two episodes prior to the time-jump, but there’s a chance they break-up after finding out about her brief rendezvous with Archie. But what does a post-college life for Betty look like? We’ll have to wait for the series return to find out!
Since Jughead’s escapades at Stonewall Prep, his chances of getting into Yale have been pretty much shot, so it’s unclear where he’s going to college, but word is he may attend the University of Iowa. This puts him on an entirely different path than Betty, which is fitting because if they do break up, I can see them going their separate ways anyway.
Maybe Jughead will focus on writing and be a published author by the time jump?
Veronica is a married woman in the time jump. Based on Riverdale Season 4, we know she was going to attend Barnard College in New York City, where she likely meets Chad Gekko, a Wall Street banker. But while that sounds super impressive and like the kind of guy Hiram Lodge would approve of, he’s not actually a great husband to Ronnie. He’s described as a “controlling and jealous alpha male.”
“Chad is threatened by Veronica’s life in Riverdale, especially her friendship with Archie,” the official description adds.
So, is it safe to say that Ronnie and Archie will get back together when she returns to Riverdale?
Cheryl Blossom and Toni Topaz
It’s not clear what happens between the Queen B’s of Riverdale High, but we do know that the writers have written in Vanessa Morgan’s real-life pregnancy into the storyline. Morgan made the reveal on her Instagram account shortly after wrapping up production and going on maternity leave. Is a #Choni baby on the way? Or did the duo go their separate ways and Toni is pregnant with someone else’s child? Both Cheryl and Toni were said to be attending Highsmith College in Riverdale, and since they are a fan-favorite ship, let’s hope they are one of the high school sweethearts that last!
We’ve actually seen Kevin five years in the future when he appeared on the short-lived spinoff, Katy Keene. When he visited Josie in New York on Katy Keene Season 1 Episode 10, we found out that Kevin was a drama teacher at Riverdale High, but he wasn’t entirely happy with his decision. There was definitely a ton of resentment towards the murderous town.
Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa also gave fans a glimpse at the filming of the upcoming season on Instagram and revealed that flash-forward Kevin got “hella swole.”
Are you excited about all the storytelling opportunities that follow a time-jump? What do you think everyone is up to?!
9 Political TV Shows & Documentaries to Watch Ahead of Inauguration Day
Inauguration day is upon us.
As the U.S. gets ready to swear in a new president, we suggest tapping into a political show to fully embrace the moment:
Here are some of our favorites:
Who could ever say no to the madness that ensues when Olivia Pope and her White Hat advise President Fitzgerald Grant?
It’s a comical yet punchy look at the White House, which finds Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the second-in-line to the Commander-in-Chief.
Kiefer Sutherland’s Tom Kirkman, a lower-level cabinet member, suddenly finds himself the President after an attack on the night of the State of the Union kills the president and nearly all of the Cabinet.
Knock Down the House
AOC, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortnerz, is among four Democratic hopefuls profiled in the documentary that highlights the race dubbed as one of the most “shocking political upsets in recent American history.”
The Final Year
The documentary filmed throughout 2016 follows Barack Obama and his team in his final term.
The West Wing
Aaron Sorkin delivered a series about the inner workings of the White House that has inspired many political shows that followed.
House of Cards
Prior to those Kevin Spacey allegations, the series was one of the most popular amongst households as it followed Congressman Frank Underwood. After he was fired, Robin Wright took the lead.
In this political drama, Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA operative and political science professor, runs the world as Secretary of State.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Critics have draw parallels between the series, a dystopian drama about a futuristic America where a society controls women, and Donald Trump’s America. The series has also inspired many protests around the world, most recently the women’s movement against the abortion ban in Poland.
5 Powerful Shows, Movies, and Documentaries to Watch to Learn About Racial Injustice
Guest post: Hiba Abdillahi
There’s a problem in our country. If you’ve been watching new news or checked in on social media, you have seen the murder of African American men at the hands of police (most recently, the tragic death of George Floyd while in police custody), racially-motivated encounters, and, as a result, protests, riots, and lootings that have spanned nationwide.
The conversation about racial injustice, racial inequality, and systematic racism has never been louder or more charged up, and for those of you who may not know much about it or have never experienced it first hand, it’s a time to get educated.
The list of shows and documentaries that cover what it’s like to be black in America and capture institutionalized racism continues to multiply quickly as streaming services.
But we’ve narrowed it down to a list of 5 shows, movies, and documentaries that can be a starting point for you and your family to help you understand how root of violence against black Americans and how it affects everyone.
1. When They See Us (Netflix)
The jarring Netflix mini-series by Ava Duvernay is based on the story of the Central Park Five, a group of five black Latino boys failed by the justice system after they were wrongfully convinced of raping and assaulting a woman in Central Park in 1989.
2. 13th (Netflix)
How much do you know about the U.S prison boom? Once again filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores issues of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States in the Academy Award-nominated documentary.
3. I Am Not Your Negro (Youtube or Amazon Prime)
Sometimes we need to look back, to see how we can move forward. This documentary is based on an unfinished manuscript by James Baldwin and covers the history of racism in America, focusing on the stories of Civil Rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
4. Dear White People (Netflix)
We could all use some comic relief these days while educating ourselves, of course. This comedy-drama series on Netflix follows a group of black college students at an Ivy League (predominately white) college. The series covers plenty of racial topics young African-Americans face including cultural bias, social injustice, misguided activism, and slippery politics.
5. If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu)
It’s the story we’ve seen play out in our society time and time again. Based on the novel by James Baldwin, the 2018 drama focuses on a young black man imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit and a young back couple fighting for justice and the American dream.
Bonus: Just Mercy
Michael B. Jordan’s film follows the real-life story of defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, who fought to clear Walter McMillian (played by Jamie Foxx), wrongfully convicted of murder and placed on death row.
Warner Bros. announced it will be free on all digital streaming platforms during the month of June to teach people about systemic racism.
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