My Picks for July’s Best TV, Book, Movie, Theater and More


Where is the summer going??

As another warm weather month winds down, I have selected, as I did last month, my favorite pop culture experiences from the last 30 days. (See my picks for June here.) Here we go…

I’m enjoying Showtime’s Ray Donovan, but I’ve got to give this one to the new Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Like, it seems, most of the internet, I have completely fallen under the spell of this funny, strange, dark, disturbing and brilliant dramedy from the creator of Weeds. I refuse to binge watch it because I don’t want it to ever end.

READ: Lock Me Up: I Love Orange is the New Black
READ: Will Pilots From HBO, Showtime, AMC and FX Get Picked Up?

I am embarrassingly behind on So You Think You Can Dance, and have been watching Big Brother through my hands because of the disgusting racism on display, so I’ve got to say (gulp) The Challenge on MTV has been my favorite reality show this month. Yes, yes, it takes trashy tactlessness to a whole new level, but it’s so damn fun to watch!

READ: The Devil is Blonde — Big Brother‘s Aaryn is Pure Evil
READ: Hollywood Game Night is Charming Fun

Summer movie season is never really my cup of tea, but I’m so glad I hit BAM Rose Cinema to see The Way, Way Back, a charming, hysterical, heart-warming coming of age comedy. 

READ: The Way, Way Back is Way, Way Awesome
READ: Before Midnight is Everything I Hoped it Would Be…And More
READ: Catching Up With Old Friends in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset

As always, I spent a lot of time in the theater this month, but the best straight play I saw was actually on the very first day of July. A Kid Like Jake, produced by Lincoln Center Theater as part of its LCT3 program, was thought-provoking, moving and incredibly well-acted, particularly by a searing Carla Gugino. I loved it.

READ: A Kid Like Jake is an Excellent, Thought-Provoking Drama

Not only was Encore’s one-night concert production of Jeanine Tesori’s Violet the best musical I saw this month, it was also one of the Top 10 theatrical experiences I’ve had since living in New York. Sutton Foster and company were absolutely thrilling in this layered, soulful musical about a young woman seeking spiritual and physical salvation. Brilliant.

READ: Sutton Foster and Violet Are Transcendent
READ: Game, Set and Match: Volleygirls is a Charming Victory for NYMF

After years of staring at it sitting on my bookshelf, I finally picked up Richard Russo’s Pulitzer Prize-winner Empire Falls, and boy am I glad I did. A warm, funny, sad, far-reaching tale of a beaten up small town, I soaked up every single beautifully written word.

READ: My Complicated Relationship with Book Clubs
READ: Summertime, and the Reading is Easy — Or Is It?

What were your favorite TV show, movie, book and play in the month of July? Let me know!

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READ: The Strange, Wonderful Career of Linda Cardellini

About allinsparetime

Thoughts on TV, movies, theater, books and more from an opinionated pop culture addict
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2 Responses to My Picks for July’s Best TV, Book, Movie, Theater and More

  1. Kristin says:

    Yessss The Challenge!! I haven’t watched in years but am totally hooked this summer. We need to catch up and chat about it!

  2. chwomp says:

    Orange is the New Black is stupendous! I’m so sad I went through the 13 episodes so quickly, quality programming by Netflix once again.

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