Summer splashes and belly flops: What you missed…and what you didn’t

This summer, TV and film experienced a boom of content. But, alas, not all of this entertainment is worth the watch. Cadenza staff is here to sift through all the visual content and pick for you what to watch—and what to skip.


“Orange is the New Black,” Season 4

Arguably the show’s strongest season yet, “Orange is the New Black” (OINTB) steps up its game with a fantastic set of plot lines centered around the prison’s privatization and some of its fascinating characters. The first few episodes start slowly, but the season picks up speed as more problems arise for the women, and a chaotic resolution becomes unavoidable. The finale, by far the best episode of the season, leaves the audience desperate for more and makes you wonder how far our prison system will go to keep order. —Peter Dissinger

“Bachelor in Paradise 3”

This show combines the drinking and drama from “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” with the insanely hot and humid weather of a place called “Paradise” (aka Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) to create the ultimate summer show. It brings back everyone’s favorite crazies from its parent shows, most notably the “Chad-bear” from JoJo Fletcher’s season, “Kardashley” from Chris Soules’ season and Lace from Ben Higgins’ season, who indulges in the show’s favorite things: roses and rosé. With new “eligible bachelors and bachelorettes” (as host Chris Harrison dubs them) arriving every week, the delightfully addictive “Bachelor in Paradise 3” (BiP) left me glued to the television for a combined total of four hours of Monday and Tuesday night entertainment as I gasped and giggled at the contestants’ struggle to find love. —Kayla Steinberg


After the months of controversy over rebooting the 1984 cult classic with female leads, “Ghostbusters” became a must-see on my summer movie list. I went in with carefully managed expectations and came out in tears. In an industry where action and sci-fi fans often only get one female character per movie, “Ghostbusters” gave us four fully fleshed-out women who save the day from a ghost apocalypse. It was funny, it was sweet, it was inspiring and it wasn’t just for women. Not perfect, but truly a gift. —Kat Schultz

“Now You See Me 2”

“Now You See Me 2” took everything that made the first movie great and cranked it up to 11, with mixed results. While the twist in the original movie made for an incredible ending, in the sequel, there were almost too many twists and turns to keep track of. However, the magic is well-done, and the acting, and most of the writing, is solid. The movie introduces its new characters well, and, while useful, it is not required to see the original first. All in all, “Now You See Me 2” is a decent sequel to a great movie. —Josh Zucker

“Finding Dory”

Great family watch. If you haven’t not watched “Finding Nemo,” it may take some time to initially understand the characters. Otherwise, it is better than the original. With appropriate scene changes and new character introductions, the movie never gets boring! The movie is an antidepressant for sure. —Priyanshu Jain

“Game of Thrones,” Season Six

If you watch it regularly, then not much needs to be said. It’s simply a must-watch. The plot is slightly positive in some episodes. The season is greatly fan-motivated. As a result, many things happen that you always wanted to happen.—Priyanshu Jain

“Captain America: Civil War”

A gripping installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this film is more of an “Avengers 3” than a Captain America film, bringing back its ensemble cast from prior “Avenger” films and dealing with the future of the “Avengers” as a whole. “Civil War” takes the franchise into new territory, dealing with in-fighting and darker, more mature themes, a marked contrast from the camaraderie and less emotionally taxing previous installments. I found this to be a welcome change that shook up the formula of recent superhero blockbusters, leaving me with a very memorable experience, after the film’s most shocking reveal and an incredibly visceral fight that will be very hard to forget.­—Scott Lu


“X-Men: Apocalypse”

Despite the hype for new characters and big drama, this third installment of the “X-Men” prequel series was simply another film in which Professor X and his students had to save earth from Magneto, who is recruited by an age-old mutant set on world domination. Shocker. Not even Evan Peters’ quirky Quicksilver could save the movie from its tired plotline and mediocre visual effects. After his fifth “X-Men” film, director Bryan Singer needs a break. If the “X-Men” franchise is your favorite, by all means Redbox it immediately, but for everyone else: meh.—Kat Schultz

“Me Before You”

When I went to see “Me Before You,” I figured it would be a knock out of the park. After all, the leads are also featured in “Game of Thrones” and “The Hunger Games.” Little did I know that I would be walking into a long anthem against those who are disabled. The film had little of the “uplifting” moments and instead opted to spotlight the deep-seated depression of Will Traynor, a recently paralyzed man. And—more surprisingly—the characters around him seem to just accept that his emotions and life view aren’t susceptible to change. Sitting in the theater, I was cringing, hoping that the handicapped community could see the film as I did—as far-reaching fiction that did little to mirror the wonderful lives that many physically handicapped people still lead.—Lindsay Tracy

“Stranger Things”

Although the mother-searching-for-her-son narrative is always powerful, the plot fails to come alive in this genre-stretching Netflix show. Winona Ryder stars as the stricken mother, and she is beautiful to watch. The other characters, however, border on cliche, and the plot doesn’t give them too many new scenarios to have fun with. Without revealing too much, the show is another “big government against tiny town,” but what happens is mostly what we have seen before.—Eric Judson