Head for the Couch: Watch out for These New TV Shows in 2017
The proverbial golden age of TV is reaching new heights. At a time when nearly every show is a good show, we did the homework for you so you don’t have to churn the daunting wheel of options.
Literary adaptations seem to be the flavour of 2017 with two of Margaret Atwood’s works and Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects (starring Amy Adams) finding their way to the small screen. Then there is a series from David Fincher based on the book Mind Hunter: Inside FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit and a subversive millennial spin on the Archie comic book series, Riverdale. A limited series with Daniel Craig playing the lead role that earned two seasons from Showtime is based on Jonathan Franzen’s novel, Purity. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Paolo Sorrentino’s Young Pope are already streaming.
Which are the other promising new shows to watch out for? Find out.
"I'll see you again in 25 years," a character from the original 1990 series promised. With the genius David Lynch at the helm, it blazed a revolutionary trail in television and proved that TV could be just as cinematic. No wonder then that long-parched fans are smacking their lips at the idea of the revival of the third season of the strange, fictitious town. This Showtime crime drama with its surreal sequences and oddball characters is already giving us the feels.
The Handmaid’s Tale
The new Hulu series is the adaptation of the most dystopian novels of all time by Margaret Atwood. Set in a near-future New England (in what was formerly part of the US), where fertile women are property of the totalitarian state, it depicts the quest of survival of one of the ’handmaids’. With Mad Men and Top of the Lake actress, Elisabeth Moss playing the lead role, we are on board.
Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, it shoulders the mantle of being the first X-Men TV series. The FX production revolves around the mutant son of Professor Xavier. The creator, Noah Hawley is the maestro behind Fargo. There are high hopes for this one starring Dan Stevens (Downtown Abbey) and Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation).
Big Little Lies
This HBO adaptation of the book with the same name (Liane Moriarty) is narrated in flashback from the point of view of three mothers. In gorgeous Monterey, everybody is hiding something awful. And it involves a murder. The main lure of the dramedy mini-series is the all-star cast of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley.
The adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s glorified novel, American Gods marks Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller’s return to TV (besides the Star Trek revival). As the faith in a pantheon of gods declines, people invent new gods like Media and Technology. Expect a mythical feast with a bleak streak from the Starz show.
This eight-part British period mini-series is highly anticipated and equally NSFW. Insert Tom Hardy’s full-frontal nude scene and you will know what we mean. Developed by Hardy and his father and produced by Ridley Scott, Taboo follows Delaney’s adventure as he returns home from the ends of the earth and builds his own shipping empire.
Santa Clarita Diet
A genre seldom seen on television – comedy-horror. Starring Drew Barrymore (her first regular series role) as a suburban mom and a real estate agent with a secret, this is a Netflix original. Barrymore dies and returns with a craving for human flesh. Exciting or in bad taste? We’ll have to wait to find out.
Executive produced by Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan, the upcoming Netflix dramedy will follow the lives of a group of women who perform for a wrestling organisation in Los Angeles. Inspired by the true story of the 1980s female wrestling league, the fictionalised series will star Community alum Alison Brie.
NBC’s Powerless is a DC Comics superhero TV show with a difference. It is… WAIT FOR IT… a workplace sitcom. Set in one of America’s worst insurance companies, Wayne Security, it will revolve around the ‘power-less’ workers dealing with the collateral damage caused by superheroes wreaking havoc outside their windows.
The biggest draw of this FX series, slated to debut this year, is that the first season will delve into the fierce conflict between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford behind the scenes of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. It boasts of a stellar cast that includes Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci and Susan Sarandon among others.
Starring James Franco (playing twin brothers) and Maggie Gyllenhaal, this upcoming HBO show will trace the trajectory of the porn industry - from its legalisation to its ensuing rise in New York. David Simon (The Wire, Show Me a Hero) will serve as the showrunner.
This year Netflix continues to amp the superhero universe. Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Daredevil join forces. Need we say more about The Defenders? Fin Jones of Game of Thrones fame will star as the martial arts hero in Iron Fist. Marvel aficionados, brace yourselves for more - The Punisher with Steve Lightfoot, the scribe of Hannibal as the showrunner.
Since Togetherness was cancelled last year, the Duplass Brothers’ fans will be happy to sink their teeth into this anthology comedy series. The Indie juggernauts will tell the stories of multifarious characters occupying the same hotel room in each episode.
Still reeling from the spell of Westworld? Now we’re talking screenwriter Scott Frank (Get Shorty), Steven Soderbergh and a western trying to see the light of day since nearly a decade. Take my money already! In what is touted as the first in-house Netflix mini-series, an injured outlaw chances upon a mining town in New Mexico run entirely by women.
I Love Dick
Jill Soloway of Transparent adapts Chris Kraus’ psycho-sexual novel of the same name for TV (Amazon). We’re in. It is the story of a married couple who fall for the same professor. The pilot that aired much earlier produced a frisson of delight. A comedy, starring Kathryn Hahn and Kevin Bacon, it celebrates the feminine gaze.
(Dipti Kharude sources her philosophies through cinematic moments and loves all things travel, TV and elephant. She tweets at @kuhukuro.)