Coolest Shows to Watch This Summer

Beat the heat by catching up on modern classics and binging on breakthrough hits. Here are the best shows you’ll find streaming in the coming months.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty
Photograph by Warrick Page/HBO

12. ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty’

HBO Max

In this new sports drama, Jerry Buss (John C. Reilly) says, “There are two things in this world that make me believe in God: sex and basketball.”

He says so as he’s waking up at the Playboy Mansion, tangled between models, on the premiere episode of this sensational series. It’s 1979, and the real estate mogul is planning to buy the Los Angeles Lakers, who despite, or perhaps because of, their outrageous off-court antics, invigorate the then-failing NBA with their razzle-dazzle style of play. (Winning Time is based on journalist Jeff Pearlman’s engrossing book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Dynasty of the 1980s).

Executive producer Adam McKay’s ball-busting series is far from a documentary. Many of the real-life people depicted on the series are crying foul. Former coach Jerry West is threatening a lawsuit over his tempestuous portrayal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar swatted the series as “deliberately dishonest” in his Substack column. Nonetheless, the show is winning over viewers thanks to its deep talent roster: Adrien Brody as Pat Riley and Michael Chiklis as Red Auerbach, respectfully. Fittingly, it’s Quinton Isiah as Earvin “Magic” Johnson who emerges as the breakout star, channeling Magic’s smile and swagger. Season One ends with the Lakers’ 1979-80 championship win—so there’s plenty more story to tell. And you’ll get courtside seats on your couch.

Watch it

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