Who needs to go to the movies when we are experiencing a new Golden Age of television? Here are 10 must-see shows to watch in 2019.
True Detective Season 3 (HBO – January 13)
Probably the only real crime with this series is how bad season 2 was compared to season 1. But this time-jumping crime drama starring Mahershala Ali as a detective investigating a colder-than-zero missing persons case looks like it might have found its footing again. Although the bulk of the story relies on the unreliability of the main character’s memories for narration, we viewers are relying on creator Nic Pizzolatto to return us to the riveting drama he gave us in the beginning.
Carmen Sandiego (Netflix – January 18)
The only person in the world harder to find than Waldo, Carmen Sandiego taught a whole generation history and geography while she stole it out from under our noses. This prequel series has a younger Carmen (voiced by “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez) learning the ropes of being a master thief while simultaneously preventing even worse crimes from being committed… and of course there’s history and geography because it’s a kid’s show. The new Carmen Sandiego may be worth tracking down.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Final Season (Netflix – January 25)
Technically this isn’t a full season but the second half of the previous one. Surviving the jump from regular television (NBC) to streaming (Netflix again!), this show about a young woman (played by Ellie Kemper) rescued from an apocalyptic cult who is determined to live a normal life is surprisingly hilarious and thought-provoking at the same time, thanks to creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. Look for at least one “It’s a Wonderful Life”-inspired episode that shows what Kimmy’s life would have been had she not been trapped in a bunker.
What We Do In The Shadows, The Series (FX – March TBD)
The original 2014 film by Flight of the Conchords‘ Jemaine Clement and Thor: Ragnarok‘s Taika Waititi was a Spinal Tap-kind of mockumentary about a coven of eccentric vampires. Now it’s coming to television with a new cast and a new set of vampires, this time set in New York, where as night-dwelling iconoclasts they should fit right in, instead of Wellington, New Zealand. But more importantly than living in the real world, can they live with each other? Or are they too undead to make it work? Signs point to yes.
Game Of Thrones Season 8 (HBO – April 14)
Not unlike Kimmy Schmidt, technically this is the second half of season seven, the last six episodes, covering completely new territory even for the book readers. Security has been ultra tight on the project so no major spoilers have surfaced as yet. It’s Stark versus Lannister versus Targaryen versus Baratheon (yes, there’s still a few of them left) and it’s winner take all — or winner take whatever is left after the final battle with the White Walkers.
Stranger Things Season 3 (Netflix – July 4)
This goofy scary series hearkens back to the halcyon 1980s that brought us E.T. and The Goonies. After taking a year off after the second season, the kids are back and up to all kinds of weirdness, courtesy of Hawkins, Indiana’s newest shopping mall. The Upside Down was never quite as scary as what’s about to go down in the food court. Look for “The Princess Bride” star Cary Elwes to join the adult cast opposite fellow ’80s icon Winona Ryder, and get ready to feel really, really old while watching it.
The Twilight Zone (CBS All Access – TBD)
The classic Sci-Fi/Horror anthology series is coming back for a new run, helmed and hosted this time by Jordan Peele, whose movie Get Out would have been right at home as an extended episode of the original cult television show. Little is known about the series so far, other than that it’s projected to be a 10-episode series released some time in 2019. While the stories will be new, at least one is an homage to the classic “there’s a man on the wing of the plane” episode starring William Shatner. Keep an eye out for this one later this year, or two eyes, or even better, three!
Watchmen, The Series (HBO – TBD)
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic comic miniseries was supposed to be unfilmable. When Zack Snyder rolled out 2009’s nearly frame by frame rendering it seemed that while it looked all right, it felt wrong somehow. Now Damon Lindelof (Lost) will make another attempt, but as an ongoing series set in the same universe, and hopefully its theme and tone will be more true to the intent (although Alan Moore will probably hate this version too).
The Crown Season 3 (Netflix – TBD)
The world’s biggest soap opera continues the story of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip and their literal ongoing family drama. Claire Foy played the title character in the first two seasons, but a time jump to the 1960s and ’70s allowed for a replacement, Olivia Colman (fresh off a Golden Globe win for The Favourite), to take the role. Matt Smith’s Prince Phillip will now be played by Tobias Menzies, with special guest Helena Bonham Carter playing the queen’s rebellious sister Margaret. We can also look forward to the beginning of the current royals’ relationship, as a young Prince Charles first meets not Diana Spencer, but Camilla Parker.
Good Omens (Amazon Prime Video – TBD)
Neil Gaiman’s latest television offering is Good Omens, based on a book he co-penned with science fiction humorist Terry Pratchett. The plot turns on a demon and his unconventional rivalry/friendship with an angel, played by David Tennant and Michael Sheen respectively. When it looks like the end of the world is coming, they’re having none of it, and of course hilarity ensues.