The beach is usually a hot destination for any summer vacation, but, even if you can’t physically be there yourself, you can always live vicariously through your favorite fictional characters. The shows listed below all take place on or around a beach, from beautiful Hawaii to a strange island in the middle of who-knows-where to California’s much-loved sunny coast.
After their plane crashes, a sizable group of survivors are forced to live together on a mysterious island (in the middle of nowhere on the show, but filming took place in Hawaii) full of strange happenings like bloodthirsty smoke monsters, polar bears, and a shady group of island inhabitants nicknamed the “Others.”
Off the air for several years now, J.J. Abrams’s (Alias, Star Trek) and Damon Lindelof’s (Star Trek, Prometheus) brainchild (later joined by Bates Motel‘s Carlton Cuse) was adored by critics and audience members alike, though the show’s arguably polarizing series finale is still hotly debated today. You’ll be hooked by the show’s ongoing mysteries, but it’s the fascinatingly complex characters in the large and diverse ensemble cast that’ll keep you interested.
All six seasons of the show are available for viewing on DVD and Netflix instant streaming.
Currently airing Thursday night’s at 10PM on USA, Graceland‘s not your average summer crime drama. The show, starring Aaron Tveit (Les Misérables) as newbie FBI agent Mike Warren and Daniel Sunjata (Rescue Me) as Mike’s enigmatic training officer Paul Briggs, takes place on a sunny Californian coastline, but don’t let the beach shots fool you–this show is just as gritty and well-written as its primetime fall brethren.
The first two episodes have already aired (the third airs tonight) and are available for viewing via USA’s website, on demand, and/or Hulu. Also, I’ll be covering Graceland‘s first season here for Sound on Sight if you’d like to read weekly episode reviews.
3. The O.C.
If you’ve never seen Josh Schwartz’s (Chuck, Gossip Girl) smart and soapy Californian teen drama, then you have been seriously missing out. Don’t dismiss the show as lighthearted, shallow teen TV–The O.C. is full of well-rounded and complex teen AND adult characters with intelligent, relatable storylines and plenty of heavy emotional resonance. Though the show’s fourth season was a bit of a miss, the first three definitely don’t disappoint. And how can you resist the show’s stellar cast, made up of Ben McKenzie, Adam Brody, Rachel Bilson, Mischa Barton, Melinda Clarke, and Alan Dale, among many others? Even if the show’s premise doesn’t sound like your thing, give the show a shot–chances are, you’ll like what you see.
Though The O.C.‘s been off-air for several years now, all four seasons are available on DVD, and select episodes are available for streaming on The WB’s website.
Bonus Suggestion: Hawaii Five-0
If you have any other show suggestions, let me know in the comments!