John Boland charts the top five best TV shows airing this summer...
Netflix, July 4
The third season of a show that came out of nowhere and immediately found an international audience lands next week. Scary rather than violent, this tale of uncanny goings-on in small-town America is worthy of Spielberg in his ET phase, with winning teenage leads to ground the inventive storyline. If you somehow missed it, you can catch up by binge-watching the excellent first season before starting the new one.
Netflix, July 19
Now in its third season, this exuberantly twisty and often violent Spanish thriller concerns a major robbery where all may not be quite as it seems. Expect cliffhangers galore in a brilliantly shot show, though you may need to hark back to the start of the first season if you’re to make sense of it.
Sky Atlantic, date TBC
Based on an Israeli series, this saga of American high-school students searching for identity through sex, drugs and social media has already caused controversy in the US for its graphic frankness, though viewers on this side of the Atlantic may take it more in their stride.
Sky Atlantic, August
The second season of the acclaimed drama about a dysfunctional global media family sees ruthless patriarch Brian Cox stepping aside to make way for his equally unsavoury offspring. An awful lot better than BBC1’s recent clunky media-mogul drama, MotherFatherSon, starring Richard Gere.
This ratings winner returns this summer for its fifth and possibly final season, with sultry Dubliner Aidan Turner still rippling his muscles on the Cornish coast, and Eleanor Tomlinson no doubt remaining fiery as his flame-haired spouse. Comfort TV for lovers of period drama.
Theatre & Arts
The Irish arts festival season is now a sophisticated wonderland littered with big acts, big ideas and big communal spirit. Not a weekend goes by without a condensed dose of conviviality taking place somewhere on the island - it's just a matter of finding the right line-up and tempo for you.
Summer is usually a time for silliness in the cinema, where broad-strokes action films and family franchises traditionally dominate. But as the dust settles on ‘Rocketman’, ‘Toy Story 4’ and the twice-released ‘Avengers: Endgame’, 2019 has much to interest the more thoughtful cinemagoer. Of course, there are some big and noisy blockbusters on offer, like ‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’, Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ remake and a ‘Fast & Furious’ spin-off, but this summer it’s the quieter, smaller films that will be most worth watching. Here’s our pick of the best, together with some interesting festivals.
Live music: have we ever had it so good? There's such a huge number of acts to see in festivals and stand-alone shows in any given year, and this summer is no exception. Even with the likes of the Groove Festival and Castlepalooza taking a hiatus this year, there's an extraordinarily large number of events to tempt you to part with your cash. And, when it comes to festivals, there are several newbies entering the fray this year. Here's a small selection of the treats awaiting us in the coming months.