Five things to watch this June – from the return of 'House of the Dragon' to a new period-drama adventure

house of the dragon series 02 first look
Your TV watchlist for June is hereHBO

Let’s face it. It may be June and the halcyon days of summer, but how much can we trust the British summertime to play ball? So, for those inevitably rainy days, we’ll need a healthy dose of TV to get us through. Thankfully, June is delivering enough enticing fare to make even the sunniest weekends a paltry reason to tear ourselves away from the small screen.

One of TV’s biggest success stories of recent years, The Bear, is back for a third helping, following its barnstorming success at every award ceremony going earlier this year. Jake Gyllenhaal’s pop-culture heist continues with his new Apple TV+ series, Presumed Innocent, a reboot of the cult 1990 movie, while Karl Lagerfeld becomes the latest fashion icon to receive a dramatic retelling of his life, in Disney+’s Becoming Karl. Additionally, My Lady Jane will give us camp, witty period-drama fare to fill the hole left after we inevitably binge the entirety of the second half of Bridgerton on 13 June, and then there is the month's biggest watercooler TV moment: House of the Dragon. It soars back for a second season on 17 June after its jaw-dropping first season cliff-hanger.

The Bear

the bear season 3
Chuck Hodes

Yes Chef! The angsty, gritty, kitchen dramedy has become somehow even more beloved since its critically acclaimed first season and now, its third outing arrives, with the show already renewed for a fourth. If possible, this is a show which is only getting better and better – ageing, one might say, like a fine wine in a Michelin-starred restaurant… Whereas the first season gave us tight, dizzying set pieces around the barely-controlled chaos of a professional kitchen, the second played with the possibilities of the form, offering long flashbacks centred on one devastating evening, lingering on one character for a single episode with tender and surprising results (like the best performance of Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ ever committed to celluloid). After its huge success at the most recent Emmys and Golden Globes, audiences are baited for a powerhouse third helping: will anything ever happen with Carmy and Sydney? Will the restaurant succeed? Will we see more of Jamie Lee Curtis’ thundering performance as Donna? Dinner is served from 27 June…

The Bear season 3 is streaming on Disney+ from 27 June.

Becoming Karl Lagerfeld

two men in suits

There have been a raft of designer biopics of late; the hedonistic allure of Netflix’s Halston, the quietly overlooked Spanish series Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Apple’s grand The New Look, depicting the earliest days of Christian Dior. Now Disney+ presents the French miniseries Becoming Karl Lagerfeld. Focused on the beginnings of the legendary designer’s rise to fame, the show zeroes in on 1972 and Lagerfeld’s friendly rivalry with fellow powerhouse Yves Saint Laurent. There’s much to entertain, from a great central performance from Daniel Brühl to simmering love affairs and the glamour of 1970s fashion. Oh, and a fair bit of disco, too.

Becoming Karl Lagerfeld is streaming on Disney+ from 7 June.

Presumed Innocent

a man in a suit sitting at a desk with a phone

It is this author’s humble opinion that no one is a tougher act to follow than Harrison Ford. But enter Jake Gyllenhaal, who is gamely stepping into the Hollywood legend’s shoes for an eight-episode adaptation of his cult 1990 film, Presumed Innocent. Apple TV+’s rendition promises a darker, knottier take on what is already a complicated premise. Prosecutor Rusty (Gyllenhaal) has the tables turned on him as he is accused of the rape and murder of his colleague, and former mistress, Carolyn. The show, like the film, looks set to play with the audience’s trust: why do we assume that our lead character is innocent? The cast is stacked with talent, with Ruth Negga playing Rusty’s wife Barbara and Renate Reinsve (who wowed audiences as the star of The Worst Person in the World) as Carolyn. It is also the latest production from the TV legend David E. Kelley, the brains behind Big Little Lies, Nine Perfect Strangers and The Undoing.

Presumed Innocent is streaming on Apple TV+ from 12 June.

My Lady Jane

emily bader as lady jane grey
Jonathan Prime

The revamped period drama’s renaissance shows no sign of abating. Just as the final strings of a reimagined pop tune fade into the final Bridgerton credits, Prime Video presents My Lady Jane for consideration. Though it follows on the taffeta trains of Netflix’s juggernaut, it actually has more in common with Hulu’s The Great and its witty and irreverent take on history. Here, Lady Jane Grey, England’s nine-day queen, avoids the executioner’s axe and has a riotous time in Tudor England. With a who’s who cast of national treasures, including Jim Broadbent, Rob Brydon and Anna Chancellor, it’s an incredibly jolly summer watch.

My Lady Jane is streaming on Prime Video from 27 June.

House of the Dragon

If we’re honest, no one really expected House of the Dragon to make as much of an impression as its megawatt predecessor, Game of Thrones, but in many ways, it surpassed it. The final season of Thrones was nothing if not divisive, and so much of the prequel’s success is the way in which it returns to the quality of the original show's earlier seasons. There is just as much nudity, violence and, yes, dragons, but there is also a tighter focus. Whereas Westeros was once balancing as many as nine different storylines, here we follow the infernal civil war of one torturous, murderous, conniving family. The first season was undeniably entertaining, made stars of its impressive cast – notably Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke – and introduced a surprising blonde pin-up in Matt Smith. With its tragic and punchy cliff hanger of a season one finale, season two looks set to be an even more explosive ride.

House of the Dragon season 2 is on Sky Atlantic and NowTV from 17 June.

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