What are the biggest TV shows and web series in June 2023? HBO’s twisted romance satire about the exploitative entertainment industry, The Idol, leads the pack of new releases this month, alongside The Witcher season 3, marking the conclusion of Henry Cavill’s presence in the dark fantasy drama. The former is co-created by Sam Levinson (Euphoria) and Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye, highlighting a fallen pop star’s struggle to return to stardom, sprinkled with a dash of drugs and overtly sexual themes. The Idol is out June 5 on JioCinema. Meanwhile, the third chapter of The Witcher series has been divided into two parts, with the upcoming segment — out June 29 on Netflix — focusing on our monster hunter’s continued attempt to protect adopted daughter Ciri.
On the local end, we’ve got two major releases this month. First is Karishma Tanna-led Scoop, charting an ambitious crime journalist’s fight against the law when she gets charged with the murder of a fellow journalist. All six episodes of the show are now available to stream on Netflix. In School of Lies, Nimrat Kaur (The Lunchbox) plays a concerned student counsellor at a private boarding school, called into action when a 12-year-old boy goes missing, unspooling a web of deceit and child abuse. The eight-episode series is now up for streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
You can read more about all these TV shows and more below — and feel free to discover the complete list of upcoming web series at our entertainment hub. June also brings the next big chapter in the lives of Carmy’s chaotic Chicago eatery in The Bear season 2, and the fourth and final season of the tactical espionage Jack Ryan.
When: June 2
Jagruti Pathak (Karishma Tanna) is very good at her job — working her way to becoming the Deputy Bureau Chief in just a matter of seven years, thanks to her questionable ways (bribes) of getting tips and extracting information for her crime stories. All that comes crashing down one day when she’s charged with the murder of a fellow journalist, whom she’s previously had public disagreements with. Adding salt to the wounds is Chhota Rajan, the infamous Indian gangster, who claims that Jagruti had provoked him, which eventually led to him ordering the daylight murder.
Consequently, she’s locked up inside a prison cell, with the trial bringing several devils from her past — the criminals she reported on — including a notorious sharpshooter, a nefarious bookie, and Rajan himself. Hansal Mehta, best known for Scam 1992, directs Scoop, which is inspired by the autobiographical book from Jigna Vora, ‘Behind Bars In Byculla: My Days in Prison,’ which charts the power dynamics that govern the inmates of a prison and her struggle to survive behind bars among those who are still salty about her reporting. Prosenjit Chatterjee (Jubilee) plays the murder victim, senior crime journalist Jaideb Sen, while Harman Baweja (It’s My Life) is the impatient police officer in charge of the investigation.
All six episodes of Scoop are out now on Netflix.
School of Lies
When: June 2
Where: Disney+ Hotstar
On the face of it, the fictional River Issac School of Education looks like a prestigious boarding school surrounded by hills, housing top-of-the-line facilities for privileged kids. But beneath that glamour lies a team of authorities who run the establishment through deceit and secrets, which slowly come to light when 12-year-old Shakti Salgaonkar goes missing. As the investigation starts heating up, a guidance counsellor (Nimrat Kaur) is brought onto the scene to question the students without scaring them or making them feel as if they’re in trouble. Unfortunately, that appears to be the case, with every child giving a different account of Shakti’s disappearance and the type of kid he was.
He’s described as a liar, an egotistical and indisciplined child who would steal money from others. Clearly, the students are aware of his last whereabouts and it appears as though the warden is somehow caught up in all this — even trying to extract Rs. 2 lakh from one of the rich kids. An ageing teacher with a terrible secret, a mother in denial, and suspicions of child abuse, all converge in School of Lies, which tries to portray a child’s loneliness and repression. Popular cinematographer Avinash Arun Dhaware (Masaan) co-created the series with Ishani Banerjee (Despatch), which also stars Aamir Bashir (Sacred Games), Geetika Vidya Ohlyan (Unpaused), and Jitendra Joshi (Ved).
All eight episodes of School of Lies are now available on Disney+ Hotstar.
When: June 5
Where: JioCinema (HBO)
With Euphoria creator Sam Levinson at its helm, The Idol is billed as the ‘sleaziest love story in all of Hollywood’ — and in all fairness, it seems to have gotten that part right, raising concerns at the Cannes Film Festival with its overtly graphic scenes. Following a nervous breakdown that got her world tour cancelled, fallen idol Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp) wants to gain her rightful stardom back, wanting to establish herself as the ‘greatest and sexiest’ pop star in America. But the journey back up is treacherous, from the exploitative industry judging her every move, to a backup dancer (Jennie Ruby Jane) stealing all the attention.
Her saving grace comes in the form of Tedros (Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye), a mysterious nightclub owner, who’s also revealed to be the leader of a modern-day cult. Through pep talks, fashion tips, and business advice, Tedros slowly invades Jocelyn’s life, making her fall in love with him while gaining undue perks; the relationship is quite toxic, so to speak. In addition to starring as the lead, The Weeknd is also the co-creator of The Idol, and reportedly responsible for some on-set turmoil that led to the show being more sexually focused. It also brings an ensemble cast into play, namely Suzanna Son (Red Rocket), singer Troy Sivan, Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Rachel Sennott (Bodies Bodies Bodies), and Eli Roth (Inglourious Basterds).
The Idol premieres June 5 on JioCinema, with the remaining six episodes following a weekly schedule.
The Crowded Room
When: June 9
Where: Apple TV+
In the summer of 1979, a young man Danny Sullivan (Tom Holland), is arrested for a shocking New York City shooting, but he claims to have zero recollection of it. A kind of a loser at school and in social interactions, he is soon assigned a clinical psychologist Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried), who interviews Danny on several occasions, gradually unspooling the tragic events since childhood that led to the fateful incident. To make matters worse, he always carries around a sketchbook with portraits of missing people — ones the cops suspect were killed by him. There also seems to be the involvement of a mysterious, bulky stranger named Yitzak (Lior Raz), who came to Danny’s aid when he was being bullied by random kids.
All the clues point toward Danny being guilty, but Rya has different ideas — theories that prove he was technically innocent in all this. The Crowded Room is based on the 1981 non-fiction book ‘The Minds of Billy Milligan,’ documenting the first person in US history to be acquitted of a major crime by pleading dissociative identity disorder. Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman helms the 10-episode-long series, which stars Emmy Rossum as Danny’s mother, Christopher Abbott as Danny’s lawyer, Sasha Lane as Danny’s close friend Ariana, and Will Chase as presumably one of the victims.
The first three episodes of The Crowded Room are out June 9 on Apple TV+, after which it will follow a weekly schedule until July 28.
Black Mirror season 6
When: June 15
Black Mirror is back from its long hiatus, doubling its episode count to explore surreal concepts within its dystopian themes. Season 6 will follow an anthology format as well, albeit larger in terms of cinematic scope that is poised to treat each episode as a separate movie. In ‘Joan is Awful,’ an average woman (Annie Murphy) is amazed to discover that a Netflix-like streaming platform has launched a TV drama adaptation of her life, played by Hollywood star Salma Hayek. I’m expecting the former to be obsessed with her character’s quirks, often looking for flaws and creating a weak mental image of herself. Breaking Bad fame Aaron Paul undertakes a gruelling mission in space in an alternate version of 1969, while Zazie Beetz follows around and invades a starlet’s life with a camera.
‘Demon 79,’ starring Anjana Vasan also seems like an interesting affair, wherein she’s told to commit heinous acts in public to prevent a disaster. It’s quite reminiscent of S03E03 ‘Shut Up and Dance’ — my favourite Black Mirror episode— so I’m hoping there are some jaw-dropping revelations towards the end. The trailer also suggests that the memory grain device from the first season will be making a return in this one, turning the user’s eyes misty grey and enabling them to relive entire histories. Obviously, there’s more, but creator Charlie Brooker has always kept Black Mirror plot details close to heart and usually, it’s worth waiting!
All six episodes of Black Mirror season 6 are out June 15 on Netflix.
When: June 21
Where: Disney+ Hotstar
It’s about time Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) got to shine in his own Marvel project — one that would delve into his past that turned him into the bad-ass commanding figure that he is. Crushed by the death of his colleagues in Avengers: Endgame, the former S.H.I.E.L.D. director has been aimlessly living in deep space for years, before returning to Earth. Once back, he’s thrust into a mission to investigate the clandestine invasion of the planet by a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls — it’s pretty much an MCU espionage drama. Disguises seem to be the central theme of Secret Invasion, with every interaction serving as a guessing game. Is this an ally or a Skrull in disguise?
Several known faces from the franchise, including CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), friendly Skrull Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), and Fury’s right-hand Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) return to help him on this world-saving mission. Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) makes her MCU debut as G’iah, the punkish refugee daughter of Talos, who holds a level of bitterness toward Fury for not fulfilling his promise to the Skrulls on providing them a new home. Meanwhile, Oscar-winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite) plays Sonya Falsworth, a high-ranking MI6 agent and old ally to our now eye patch-less protagonist.
Secret Invasion premieres June 21 on Disney+ Hotstar, with the remaining five episodes dropping every Wednesday until July 26.
The Bear Season 2
When: June 22
Where: Disney+ Hotstar
After pulling the shutters on ‘The Beef’ family sandwich shop, Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) and crew want to reinvent the restaurant with a new ‘chaos menu,’ one that leans toward gourmet style but maintains the thoughtfulness of what the local eatery stood for. However, as one could only imagine, the only thing harder than running a restaurant is opening a new one. With six months left to re-open, renovations and new hirings are in full effect, as Carmy’s ragtag group of chefs slowly grow to welcome him. As part of the prep work, Tina (Liza Colón-Zayas) and Ebrahim (Edwin Lee Gibson) are sent to culinary school to perfect their art and keep up with the new, refined menu.
And if you thought Carmy was getting good at dealing with his troubled past — him seeking therapy and all in season one — you’re in for a treat, as a new unnamed character played by Molly Gordon (Shiva Baby) re-enters his life, presumably putting all his plans at an impasse. Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk is also confirmed to be appearing as a guest star in The Bear season 2. Helping Carmy realise his mission is Sugar (Abby Elliot) and Sydney (Ayo Edebiri), who take over the management and hiring processes respectively. Most of the previous cast returns, including the annoying Richard (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and Fak (Matty Matheson), whose arguments serve as the much-needed dose of laughter amidst the show’s otherwise white-knuckle pacing.
All 10 episodes of The Bear season 2 will be available for streaming June 22 on Disney+ Hotstar.
The Witcher Season 3: Vol. 1
When: June 29
The Witcher season 3 marks the last time Henry Cavill wields his sword and medallion as the silver-haired monster hunter Geralt of Rivia — opening the way for Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games movies) to take over, in the future. Drawing from the second instalment in Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher book series, ‘Time of Contempt,’ this new chapter takes Geralt into the fortress of Aretuza, as he continues escorting his adopted daughter Ciri (Freya Allan), who was revealed to have the Elder Blood coursing through her veins. Joining them on the crusade is the sorceress Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), hoping to uncover the untapped powers and learn how Ciri could use them to defend herself.
Upon reaching the grounds of Aretuza, however, the trio realise they’ve landed on a battlefield, brimming with political corruption, dark magic, and treachery. Emhyr Var Emreis, the Emperor of Nilfgaard, will pose big trouble for them, sending out the Wild Hunt following the shocking revelation that he was, in fact, Ciri’s father. A band of four directors are attached to direct The Witcher season 3, including Stephen Surjik (The Umbrella Academy), Gandja Monteiro (Brand New Cherry Flavor), Loni Peristere (American Horror Story), and Bola Ogun (Lucifer).
The eight-episode-long The Witcher season 3 has been divided into two parts, with the first volume containing five episodes dropping June 29 on Netflix. The remaining episodes will be out late next month.
Jack Ryan season 4
When: June 30
Where: Amazon Prime Video
John Krasinski is back for his final mission in Jack Ryan season 4 as the new CIA Acting Deputy Director, tasked with unearthing internal corruption, involving the assassination of President Udoh. In addition to his longtime teammates James Greer (Wendell Pierce) and Mike November (Michael Kelly), this time, Ryan needs some additional help — one touted as the ‘deadliest operator’ the CIA ever employed, Domingo Chavez (Michael Peña). Avid Tom Clancy novel readers might recognise him via the nickname “Ding,” specifically from 1998’s Rainbow Six. As described, he’s a bit of a loose cannon, willing to go to any lengths to extract intel from his captors, ranging from torture methods such as suffocation and physical force.
The investigation continues under the pretence that a suspicious group of black ops mercenaries are looking to expose the US’ vulnerability. However, digging deeper reveals something far more sinister — the convergence of a drug cartel with a terrorist organisation. Returning faces include Betty Gabriel as CIA Acting Director Elizabeth Wright and Abbie Cornish as Cathy Mueller.
Jack Ryan season 4 debuts June 30 on Amazon Prime Video. The final chapter comprises six episodes, with two episodes dropping each Friday, leading up to the series finale on July 14.