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Official guide to summer binge-watching

By Devon Shuman, Senior Staff Writer

With classes coming to a close, it's time to start thinking about how to spend your summer break. While going to the beach is fun, summer is also a great time to get caught up on all your favorite TV shows.

What better time to power through three seasons of "The Office" than when you don't have a five-page paper due the next day? With that in mind, here's your guide to a summer of binge-watching:

"Bloodline" - Netflix

Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard headline this story of a family that runs an inn in the Florida Keys. When their black sheep of a brother returns home, tensions rise and skeletons find their way out of the closet, suggesting that something sinister lies behind the sunny beauty of the Keys. Feeling "True Detective"-esque at times in the way it tackles dark, psychological themes, "Bloodline" is one of Netflix's best new shows.

"Daredevil" - Netflix

Netflix has taken the superhero genre to another level. "Daredevil" follows the story of Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who fights crime using his other superhumanly enhanced senses. Where it differs from other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in its dark and violent tone. It is wonderfully gritty and, at times, feels reminiscent of Christopher Nolan's psychologically thrilling "Dark Knight" trilogy. Vincent D'Onofrio is especially impressive as Wilson Fisk, a crime boss who goes by the name, 'Kingpin.' If "Avengers" just doesn't do it for you this summer, then check out "Daredevil."

"Orange is the New Black" - Netflix (June 12)

Loosely based on the experiences of Piper Kerman, "Orange" tells the story of a woman who is sentenced to 15 months in prison for carrying drug money at one time in her life. While Piper's story is interesting, she is often overshadowed by all the other characters at Litchfield - Red, Taystee, Nicky. There are so many intriguing character arcs and relationship dynamics that it's a wonder how showrunner Jenji Kohan keeps track of them all. She has crafted an intelligent comedy that also isn't afraid to tackle some heavy emotional themes. Hopefully season three will continue that tradition.

"Wet Hot American Summer" - Netflix (July 17)

If you haven't seen David Wain's 2001 cult comedy, "Wet Hot American Summer," then drop your finals study guides and go watch it right now. The absurdly hilarious parody of '80s summer camp movies featured many major actors (Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, etc.) at the beginning of their careers. Now, Netflix is rebooting the film into a TV series that will bring back the majority of the original cast. While the movie took place on the last day of summer, this season will act as a prequel, focusing on the first day of that same summer. If all goes smoothly, this zany comedy could be back for more seasons.

"Wayward Pines" - FOX (May 14)

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With the success of shows like "True Detective" and "Fargo," miniseries are becoming a popular choice for television producers. They give writers the ability to write a complete story without worrying about introducing new storylines to sustain future seasons. FOX seems to be jumping onboard with "Wayward Pines," - a miniseries starring Matt Dillon as a Secret Service agent who is sent to a mysterious town to search for two missing federal agents. As he investigates, he finds it harder and harder to leave the strange community. Directed by the master of surprise endings, M. Night Shyamalan (Sixth Sense, Signs), the show is bound to be filled with chilling twists. Although you won't be able to binge this series, it could be exciting enough to keep you tuning in each week.

"True Detective" -- HBO (June 21)

Before you get too excited, keep in mind that "True Detective" is, in fact, a miniseries, so you won't get to see Matthew McConaughey philosophize about the fate of the universe as the eccentric Russ Cohle anymore. The second season introduces an entirely different set of characters and will take place in Los Angeles. Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn are set to star as a detective and criminal respectively, with Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch also joining the cast as minor characters. With its unparalleled character development, stunning cinematography, and intelligent and thought-provoking exploration into the dark nature of humanity, the first season of "True Detective" was arguably one of the best productions in recent television history. Hopefully, season two will live up to its name.

If those aren't enough to keep you satisfied this summer, then try the hit HBO series, "Game of Thrones," or "Silicon Valley," which have already premiered and will continue airing new episodes into the summer. Or you can check out the new Netflix original series, "Grace and Frankie," which will be released on May 8.

Happy bingeing!

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