We’re in that awkward stage between summer and spring, where some days have you reaching for your shorts and others for a leather jacket. But still, after a winter of subzero temperatures, bathing suits and barbecues are finally within our grasp. For those of you who can’t wait a few weeks for that perfect beach weather, just remember, there’s always TV.
So many television shows follow the arcs of the seasons, letting us see our favorite characters in winter coats and spring dresses. But then there are those rare shows that recognize the undeniable truth: summer is the best season around. Why bother with any others?
For your bingeworthy pleasure, here are three shows (and one book!) where summer is endless, and shorts and tank-tops never go out of fashion:
Ryan, Summer, Seth, Sandy—this teen show was one of the best around. Even the terrible Marissa couldn’t kill the enjoyment of watching bad boy Ryan and geeky Seth become best friends and brothers over the years. Adam Brody was a comic genius as Seth, and Benjamin McKenzie was appropriately broody (and shirtless) as Ryan. Plus Summer and Seth had one of those epic romances that will go down in teen show history, all set against the backdrop of the sparkling Pacific Ocean. These kids spent their days hanging at beach parties, rocking bathing suits, and never ever wearing a jacket. The only way this show could have been any better, IMO, was if Marissa had died in Season One.
OK, so no one really thinks about the scenery when Lost comes up. While everyone was running around dealing with Smoke Monsters and The Others, it’s easy to forget that they were marooned on a tropical island. And sure, it wasn’t exactly a vacation, but at least they didn’t need to worry about frostbite. It’s hard to talk about Lost without spoilers coming up (or that ending!), but rest assured that this show about survivors of a plane crash is filled with suspense, drama, danger and love. Start watching for the never-ending summer, stay for the mind-bending plots.
Trashy? Obviously. Entertaining? Undeniably. This iconic MTV reality show not only launched Snookie and her pals into stardom, but it was also a damn good time as well. As the characters became more famous, the show became increasingly ridiculous (Mike said Snookie did WHAT to him during break?!), but the first few seasons are still reality gold. This is a show that gave us phrases like DTF & Smoosh—what’s not to like? Plus, they spend most of their time on the beach or fist-pumping in the club. It’s a charmed life, to be sure.
Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie (St.Martin’s Griffin, 2010)
Fair warning: this story is not for the faint of heart. There are murders, affairs and love scenes that will make even the most experienced romance reader blush. It’s also one of the best summer-set romance novels I’ve ever read. Since it’s a true Crusie novel, expect lots of quips, movie quotes, adorable dogs, and some serious kissing. It tells the story of Sophie and her sister, who land in a town called Temptation to film a movie that may or may not end up being porn. Sophie falls hard for the preppy mayor, Phin, and together the two of them explore, well, her temptations.
The heat is on in this summery novel—in more ways than one.