There's something magical and amazing about summer television. For some reason, it's much more fun to watch TV in the summertime than in any other season. Sure, you may love curling up on a cold winter's evening, watching the latest Netflix drama, but in the summer months, you can watch total and utter guilty pleasures... without the guilt. It's like there's some kind of law that says fun TV is totally allowed in June, July and August, and you don't have to answer to anybody about it. Of course, you've got your reality shows, the latest season of Orange Is The New Black and countless others. But the show that you really need to all to your Summer 2016 list? That would be Dead Of Summer. It's fun, it's mysterious, and it's going to be your new tv addiction. Here are 15 reasons to check it out.
15 It's Nostalgic
First of all, you definitely need to know that Dead Of Summer is set at a summer camp named Camp Stillwater (which is the creepiest name ever, of course). It's about a group of teenagers who used to go to this one camp back in 1985. Now it's 1989 and they're coming back... but this time, they're running the show and they're working there. This show will get you totally and completely nostalgic for your own summer camp days. You'll remember the stolen looks, the crushes, the secret make-out sessions... or, if your camp days weren't quite that exciting, at least you'll recall some pranks and the overall feeling of freedom since you were away from your parents. Who doesn't want a does of nostalgic along with their summer TV? Make sure your camp besties are watching this one too so you can be part of the nostalgia together.
14 It's Romantic
What would summer camp be without love interests? And what would a summer TV show be without a little romance, either? Dead Of Summer has some real tension and romantic moments and it totally deserves to be in your summer TV rotation. Some of the former campers have totally unrequited crushes, others have awkward romantic pasts, and the resistant hottie is totally in love with the new girl. Just think about all your favorite shows: they definitely do a great job in the romance department. From The Good Wife to Nashville to older ones like Beverly Hills 90210 and Friday Night Lights, you love shows that have tons of kissing scenes, adorable flirting and the general sense that two people are absolutely without a doubt meant to be together. Dead Of Summer definitely delivers on this front.
13 It's Mysterious
At its core, Dead Of Summer is basically about what the name suggests: dead people. The teen counsellors have no idea that they're about to spend the worst/scariest summer of their lives at their old favorite camp, because guess what? The place is totally and completely haunted. We're talking things that go bump in the night, skeletons buried under the seemingly innocent ground, and a super creepy lake that hides tons of secrets (and maybe some bodies, too!). Plus there's a whole plot line about the people that used to live on the camp ground. So yeah, you definitely want to dive headfirst into this amazing and fun mystery, and you should do it now... before your friends spoil it all for you. There's nothing worse than spoilers. Nothing.
12 It's Dark
Okay, so how scary you think this show is definitely depends, and if you're a horror movie super fan, you might not be jumping whenever something crazy happens. But it is still pretty creepy and dark, you have to give it that. It might not be completely terrifying, but the fact that the scares are so low-key might make it the best show ever. You really never know what to expect, and that can be more frightening than guys in masks with knives jumping out of the darkness.
11 It's Got Classic Characters
The hot but tough guy that you have to get to know before he admits his vulnerability. The tough girl who pretends to hate everything and everyone but is really a sweetheart underneath all that scowling and frowning. The new girl who is also the girl next door... but is hiding a secret. Yup, this show's got all these classic characters and more, but that's exactly what makes it so fun and comforting to watch. You may think you've seen these teen characters before but you really haven't, because although they're pretty classic, they're brought to life here in a totally new and unique way. The character development on this show is really awesome and much better than you might think judging on the fact that it's a sometimes cheesy and fun summer TV show. But it's totally worth diving into.
10 It's Got Flashbacks
Remember the amazing flashbacks on LOST? Flashbacks can be such a tricky narrative device but when done right and properly, they can really show you who the characters are, and this show definitely does that. Each character gets a series of flashbacks in every episode, so you can really focus on their backstory, emotions, why they do the things that they do, and their motivations. The episodes go back and forth between the present day (which is really the past because it's set in 1989... trippy!) and the character's backstory. It's going to make you wish that more shows would employ flashbacks. But maybe not. Because a bad flashback is worse than anything else on a TV show. So you should definitely be glad that certain shows do such an amazing job that this narrative form can seem so special and amazing.
9 It's Set In The 80s
1989 is still technically the 80s, but it's also so close to the 90s, so this is basically the best show ever, since the 90s is definitely the greatest decade ever. There's no argument about that, it's just a fact of life. But since the show is set in the last year of the 80s, there are no laptops or iPhones, or talk about social media, or any of the crazy things that we deal with today on a daily basis. So it's super old-school, and that makes for really interesting television. It's great when you can really take in the storytelling and see characters talking to each other, instead of having to watch them texting each other or, worse, talking about texting. Don't you do enough of that in your regular life?! The next time you want a real escape from your crazy technology-addicted world, go ahead and give this show a try.
8 It's Smart
It's rare that smart and summer fun go in the same sentence but we're declaring this show super smart. It's all about the storytelling. Instead of relying on cheap thrills like creatures jumping out of the background or people running around screaming or being chased by some mysterious thing, the show sprinkles scares here and there. Just when you think it's all good and things are totally safe, and you're drawn into a flashback or two, there's something that creeps up on you and makes you wonder what you really thought you knew about these people, this setting and the scary, supernatural stuff going on in the background. It's great to see an intelligent show that's also fun, because while you might think those things are mutually exclusive, especially in the summer, they don't have to be.
7 It's Got Secrets
Every look on every character's face seems to convey so much thought and emotion and every conversation has a lot of subtext, since each character is hiding some kind of secret. Even the mysterious camp director played by Elizabeth Mitchell. Yup, you know her from LOST. There's something about a summer TV show that just needs to have secrets. There's really no doubt about it, you need secrets to keep invested in a show. Secrets draw you in, make you care deeply about each character, and make you wonder what's going to happen next. That's a pretty big deal in such a predictable TV environment where there seem to be no new ideas anymore and tons of sequel shows everywhere you turn. But this show is totally unique and refreshing, and the secrets are pretty awesome.
6 It's Funny
Sure, it's definitely enough to have a smart teen drama that's also got some supernatural stuff going on. That would be super entertaining on its own. But Dead Of Summer also has a pretty unexpected feature: it's absolutely hilarious. The characters may be more snarky and sarcastic than they really should be, but that also is pretty charming in its own way, since that's a staple of pretty much every teenage-starring show that there is. In the series premiere alone, there are a bunch of great jokes about how the new girl is dressed like she's literally going hiking and camping in the woods, instead of just showing up for her first day of work as a counsellor at a summer camp. The other kids joke about Yogi Bear, one of them does an amazing impression of the funny bear character, and the new girl has got some pretty awesome comebacks.
5 It's A Great Teen Show
All hail the teen show. This genre can be so much fun and so satisfying to watch. You can take a trip down high school memory lane and remember your best moments. Or your worst ones. Maybe your memories are both awesome and horrible, because that's usually what high school is like for most people... and you probably had some cringe-worthy times mixed in there, too. Totally relatable. Dead Of Summer is definitely a great teen show and deserves some respect for being part of this glorious genre. It's got the snarky comments, the character development, the romantic tension, the making a mountain out of a molehill... Yup, it's got all the tropes of a classic teenage drama, and it delivers some scares, too, making this one even more entertaining.
4 It's Historical
Since the show is set in the late 80s and involves a bunch of flashbacks to several years prior, it's no wonder that the series deals with some pretty important historical moments and cultural/social issues. For one thing, one of the characters moved to the U.S. from the Soviet Union, and the second episode involves his flashbacks explaining how he came to the country, his family story, and some other fascinating stuff. Sure, it's not like you turn to your TV for a history lesson, and definitely not your summer TV, but there's no reason why you can't be educated along with being entertained. After all, Mad Men started as a summer show, and it was definitely super educational and historical. So there's really nothing wrong with that. In fact, it makes a show much more interesting and worth watching.
3 It's Innocent
There's just something so pleasantly innocent about this TV series. That's probably from the fact that it's set both in the 1980s and at a summer camp, but that's definitely not something that we're complaining about. Think about all the other teen shows set in more modern times -- like Gossip Girl, for example. They're amazing shows, of course, and we can't get enough of them, but they're kind of stressful to watch between all the texting, backstabbing, and generally technological hijinks. But a show like this one is super innocent and old-school, and that makes it beautiful and charming. Watching this show is like going for a long swim in the lake near a cottage on an August afternoon, or curling up on the couch with a juicy novel because you have nowhere else to be. You can really escape, turn your mind off, and just chill out.
2 It's Got Adorable Boys
Let's just admit it, we like watching TV shows with cute boys in them, and we aseptically like watching summer TV shows with cute boys in them. Summer is honestly the best season for entertainment eye candy. Well, Dead Of Summer totally gives us what we want on that front. All the male characters are cute, adorable, and charming. Each one has their own look, style, sense of humor, personality and whole deal, and that's why they're so great. After all, to each their own when it comes to who we find attractive and cool. We don't all dig the same guys, so the perfect summer show is going to offer us a whole bunch of guys to choose from, and we've definitely got that here. So you might not agree with your BFF about your fave male character... but that's okay.
1 It's Campy
Okay. Don't hate us. We just had to go there. But yes, the show really is campy... in more ways that just the fact that it's set at a summer camp. Dead Of Summer is cheesy and is one of those dramas where you're never really sure when it's poking fun at itself -- it could be never or it could be in every single scene. We think it's basically in every single scene. But that's exactly what makes this show so much fun and so entertaining. So go ahead and give it a shot. You are probably going to end up loving it... and you're probably going to be so obsessed that you won't stop bugging your friends to watch it every time you see them in person or are chatting via text. Oh well. You're such a TV addict, they're definitely used to your pop culture ramblings by now. At least you'll be spreading the word about such a delightful summer show.