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Friday, July 30, 2021

If You’re Sick Of Bad Summer TV, Try These 5 Series

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If you’ve watched a lot less TV lately, join the club. A new analysis reveals the hours people spent streaming television in April were down 40 percent from the same time last year, when lockdown orders kept millions worldwide away from indoor gyms, theme parks, movie theaters, and vacation spots.

But you may still want to beat the heat and wind down after long summer days, and finding binge-worthy TV options can be a challenge. Here are five new TV series you may want to try. (While most are suitable for pre-teens and up, note the content ratings.)

1. Ted Lasso, Season Two (Apple TV Plus, TV-MA)

It may seem a comedy cliché at first glance: an American football coach who knows nothing of English football takes over a Premier League soccer team. But imagine if the wild antics of lovable characters from “The Office” and “Scrubs” played out on an athletic field, fronted by a charismatic comic (Jason Sudeikis) who pushes ridiculous optimism to new heights. From there, “Ted Lasso” morphs into a surprisingly multi-layered story of ambition, regrets, teamwork, and moving past disappointment.

Enthusiastic word-of-mouth gave this comedy massive buzz last year — renewed by the Peabody Award it just won last week. But the uninitiated always find themselves asking: “Where do you watch it again?”

It’s the only wide-appeal hit for Apple TV Plus, although millions got a free year trial by buying an Apple device. If anyone can turn around that nascent platform, count on the coach who bakes special biscuits and dances his heart out.

2. Race to the Center of the Earth (Disney Plus, TV-PG)

With global travel back on the agenda, adventurers seeking inspiration may enjoy competition-reality series “Race to the Center of the Earth,” with its seven-episode first season now streaming. In collaboration with National Geographic, producers of “The Amazing Race” present a contest that shows how well teams of three can beat harsh natural environments.

Each team runs a different continent-wide course, all converging at one central location in the finale. On one hand, it’s

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