By Martijn Steenbergen

Review of TV-shows of summer 2016

Summer is a fun time. A lot of TV-shows to watch and for me to review. I did this last year and it would be awesome if I did it every year. These shows are in no particular order. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Sense8 (Season 1)

Sense8 is not a season released this summer, as it was released June 2015, but I only got time to watch it now. Sense8 is a series focused around 8 ordinary people, who by a weird circumstances get mentally linked and get the ability to see what the others are seeing and use their abilities like fighting, driving and talking Chinese. While the payoff at the end is great, the introduction of the characters takes the entire season, which is quite logical, if you realize that you are introduced to 8 completely separate worlds, who all have a seperate storyline. This means that once you are comfortable with all characters, the season is already over, which is a shame, because that’s when it gets interesting. Sense8 has only one season, so you don’t have to catch up on much.

Marco Polo (Season 2)

The great khan is back for a second season of Marco Polo. It is a great look into a culture that has been relatively unseen by popular media, the Mongols. Combine the freaking Mongols with the great stories that we have come to expect from Netflix and you have Marco Polo. It does take a while to get into it, but it is worth it.

Steven Universe (Season 4)

Steven Universe is a great show. When I first started, it was fun. The great visuals, the happy stories and the incredible enthusiasm of the main character, Steven Universe. It is like Dora, the explorer, but then more fun. You keep watching. And then you feel like something wrong. Without you knowing, the story has become way more complex with more story than Dora could ever be and heavier than even most ‘normal’ shows. Just watch it.

The Last Ship (Season 3)

The last ship is quite a series. It is filled with cliffhangers and cheap tension. But is executed in such a way, that your easily tricked brain will want to keep watching it. And it definitely rewards you for doing it. You will sometimes be on the edge of your seat to wait what will happen next. They also have a ship. With guns. Which they sometimes fire. That is always a nice moment.

Rick and Morty (Season 1-3)

Rick and Morty is a weird combination of one of the weirdest people and some of the best screenwriting I have ever seen. Sometimes the lines are so good, you have to read them. Twice. The story focuses on a genius alcoholic grandfather, Rick and his grandson Morty. Together they use the use the universe to tackle some pretty big ideas, like the multiverse, time travel and murder. It’s not for everyone, but if it is, you will have the time of your life.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell (Season 1)

This new series by the BBC, is in the upcoming format of one giant story in one season, which I first noticed in Torchwood. This format enables the writers to create a lot of depth, because they don’t have to setup as much for the viewer (a murder, a new villain, etc.). The show follows two magicians, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell. The style you would expect, outlandish CGI and sparkles everywhere is nowhere to be found, which makes sure the focus is not on the performing the spells, but on the story and the actors, which do a great job. The show is a bit slow at times, but makes it great, if you just need a break.

Killjoys (Season 2)

As always in the summertime, Killjoys and its twin, Dark Matter (see below) are back for another season. Last year Killjoys was a close first compared to Dark Matter, but this season it increases its lead by increasing the stakes, both for the antagonist and the universe. Combined with their beautiful set design, it is great to watch.

Dark Matter (Season 2)

That Killjoys is better does not mean Dark Matter has become terrible, it has also seen a better season with some great stories. Now that they all know who they are, they have more time to explore their previous lives. Which enemies and friends they had (because they are criminals, they don’t seem to have a lot of friends…). A problem I still have with the show is that the only information of their universe is shown through the eyes of our protagonists. Because they spend little time on space stations and planets makes the places they do visit sometimes feel more like sets, than places in a universum. Nonetheless this is a series, you should definitely check out if you love sci-fi.

Parks and Recreation (Season 1–7)

Parks and Recreation is one of the most hilarious TV series I have ever seen. Unlike New Girl and Community and others, where I stopped watching because I just stopped laughing, Parks and Recs keeps hitting every possible joke they can make out of the park. Now don’t get me wrong, the jokes in the show are sometimes terrible, but that doesn’t seem to matter. The cast is just so amazing. Never will you see Chris Pratt (Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy) in the same way, because he portrays his character so well. Combine that with the amazing characters and you will have a wonderful 7 seasons.

Black Sails (Season 2 out of 3)

It’s about realistic pirates (as far as pirates can be realistic). That’s it. If a story about that seems interesting you should start watching it. It’s great. Otherwise not. It also has the most bad-ass intro ever:

Halt and Catch fire (Season 1 out of 3)

This show makes the impossible possible. They make it thrilling to watch the process of designing a computer. It focuses on a super smart electronic engineer and a marketeer, who end up bullying a company to build a new laptop. Just like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell, it is a great watch if you just need something else on your mind.

Quantico (Season 1)

Quantico isn’t necessarily bad, but as you may have seen, I find it really hard to dislike any series. Quantico is kind of nice, but just does not seem to have anything new for it. It’s whodunnit is the best part here, but its use has already been used in many series before it. Even though its parts succeed, overall it does not. Sorry Quantico

Suits (Season 6)

Suits is another series that, like Halt and Catch fire, should fall under the category of series that should not be so interesting to watch. It’s about lawyers, which normally should be the most boring job in the world. But with some nice twists they made it one of the greatest drama series on tv right now. The fact that it is so great is displayed by the fact that it has already been running for 6 seasons and keeps having great storylines. Not to mention the fact that it has the greatest soundtrack of a series that has and will ever exist.

Thunderbirds are Go! (Season 1)

Although this is not a show that airs in summer, nor did I watch it in the summer, I want to talk about Thunderbirds are Go. (This is my article) Many will know of the old Thunderbirds, which was made with puppets and small sets. The new show changes the puppets for CGI. That’s it. It is way more awesome than it has any right to be. It is predictable, doesn’t have any really good jokes, no deep messages. It just has an awesome liftoff.

C’mon tell me that wasn’t awesome

Arrow Back

View all posts

Hi! I'm Martijn Steenbergen. I am a Software Engineer at, helping you find what you need. I got my M.Sc. at the wonderful Technical University of Delft. I love automating my life (music, lights, calendar and more). I'm fascinated with design, how the world works and everything else