1. Difficult People
“I swear to God, if I go to synagogue and I don’t make a show business connection, I’m going to f—g kill myself with a chainsaw,” Julie Klausner, playing a character loosely inspired by herself, says in the opening moments of Difficult People‘s season 2 trailer. Billy Eichner, her costar on the Hulu show, quickly responds: “Oh, please, then you’d have to go to Home Depot.”
Such is the comedic tone expertly set by the actors on the sophomore season of their hit streaming series, one that carried Difficult People to critical success across its wickedly funny 8-episode debut last year. Eichner and Klausner return funnier than ever for 10 more episodes featuring a plethora of comedic guest stars including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Nathan Lane, Gabourey Sidibe, and returning actors Jackie Hoffman, Rachel Dratch, Fred Armisen, and Andrea Martin.
Difficult People season 2 premieres July 12 exclusively on Hulu.
2. ‘Sledgehammer’ by Rihanna
Rihanna dropped a soaring contribution to the Star Trek Beyond soundtrack in June, and the track’s gorgeous music video is delectable icing on a sweet sonic cake. The Sia-penned earworm marks a welcome return to down-tempo balladry for the Barbadian singer (“Diamonds,” anyone?), who’s spent the last several months turning up the bass with bangers like “Work” and “Needed Me” from her eighth full-length LP, ANTI.
“Sledgehammer” is now available on iTunes and streaming services.
3. Microbe & Gasoline
Michel Gondry, director of films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Mood Indigo, has earned a reputation as a master of the fantastical. With his latest project, a coming-of-age comedy about two boys who drift across France in a makeshift mobile home made from bits of discarded Parisian trash, the filmmaker explores a subtler side of humanity, crafting an honest, touching, nostalgic love letter to the beautiful, often confusing struggle that comes with being a teenager searching for your place in the world.
Microbe & Gasoline is now playing in select theaters.
4. Mr. Robot
Continuing the “Christianaissance” of everyone’s favorite Slater, the USA Network’s Mr. Robot is pulling out all the stops for its second season. Starring Rami Malek as a cybersecurity engineer and ace hacker recruited by the titular character (Slater) to join an elite group of hacktivists, the thriller earned USA solid ratings across its 10-episode first season and garnered a Golden Globe award for Best Television Series in the dramatic category.
Mr. Robot‘s second season, featuring new cast member Grace Gummer, premieres July 13 at 10 p.m. ET on the USA Network.
5. The Night Of
From the gore on Game of Thrones to the inflammatory dialogue on Veep, HBO has a track record of making us squirm. The Night Of, while featuring its fair share of disturbing material, works on a deeper level, unnerving viewers with a looming sense of dread surrounding a brutal murder and the search for the responsible party.
Starring Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) and John Turturro (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) as the prime suspect and a lawyer who takes an interest in him, as well as The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams, The Night Of will leave you with burning questions as it slowly unravels a smoldering mystery.
The Night Of premieres Sunday, July 10 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. The first episode is currently available on HBO GO, HBO On Demand, and HBO NOW.