Your summer watchlist: 15 shows you can watch to beat the heat

2 of 16

1. Pose

The rundown: Pose is about the intersection of several New York subculture in the 1980s, which mostly surround the ball-culture world. If you’ve never seen To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Love Julie Newbar, you might not be familiar with these dance-offs, called “balls.” They are are a mashup of extreme pageantry, drag contests, and dance competitions.

Competitors, grouped into “houses” and led by “mothers,” scramble to have the most creative, outrageous, and innovative routines. The show focuses on Blanca and her attempt to leave her previous house to start her own. Grappling with a positive HIV diagnosis, she is determined to leave a legacy in that world. She takes in several dancers and hopefuls and fosters them into the newly coined “House of Evangelista.”

Why it’s summer fun: It’s from the juggernaut team Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, so you know it’s posh and luxuriant (and probably pretty expensive). The music alone must have cost this series a fortune, but it lends to its authenticity.

Although it’s great fun, and you really just can’t look away from the costumes and choreography, it can get pretty heartbreaking. Watching the characters, who are mostly gay and transgender actors, work through their struggles plucks a chord in audiences. I teared up no less than six times watching the premiere. I watched the second episode, live — with commercials and all — so you know I was super into it.

How to watch: Of course, with Murphy and Falchuck at the helm, you know it’s an FX joint. Luckily, since it’s currently airing on Sunday nights, you can watch the episodes you missed on the network’s website.