This year has taken a great many things from us, but at least we still have our favorite shows. Here are 10 TV series and films (with published premiere dates) giving me something to look forward to in the new year.
“The Bachelor” (Season 25)
There’s nothing quite like “The Bachelor” for giving your tired mind a break. In this year’s season, Matt James, 29, will make history as “The Bachelor’s” first Black lead. After striking out during Clare Crawley’s “Bachelorette” season, James will re-enter the “Bachelor” mansion for his own chance at happiness with one of the 32 women joining him this season. COVID-19 might be restricting some of the series’ customary international excursions this year, but with host Chris Harrison at the helm, the show must go on. Available on ABC at 8 p.m. on Jan. 4.
“A Discovery of Witches” (Season 2)
Based on Deborah Harkness’s “All Souls” trilogy, “A Discovery of Witches” follows Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer), an Oxford historian with a secret. Bishop denies her magical abilities, but when her research brings her to a bewitched manuscript in the Bodleian Library, she finds herself suddenly thrown back into a world of witches, demons and vampires from which she’s tried so long to run. Available on Sundance Now and Amazon Prime Video on Jan. 9.
“WandaVision” (Season 1)
Following the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” “WandaVision” finds Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) living a picture-perfect life attempting to hide their godlike powers from their suburban neighbors. But their deception might not be the only lie surrounding them. Available on Disney+ on Jan. 15.
“Clarice” (Season 1)
Set in 1993, this “Silence of the Lambs” spinoff follows Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds) as she begins bringing her experience with the infamous Dr. Hannibal Lecter back into the field. The series follows Starling through Washington, D.C., as she hunts down serial murderers and sexual predators. Available on CBS at 10 p.m. on Feb. 11.
“The Falcon & the Winter Soldier” (Season 1)
Adding to Disney’s growing list of Marvel spinoffs, “The Falcon & the Winter Soldier” follows Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), aka the Falcon, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), aka the Winter Soldier, as they team up to take down the Flag-smashers, a dangerous anarchist group. Available on Disney+ on March 19.
Centuries into the future, desert planet Arrakis is the only known source of “the spice,” an extremely rare and valuable drug with the power to extend human life, increase intelligence and allow for faster-than-light travel. “Dune” tells the story of Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) after his appointment as steward of Arrakis and the bitter fate that awaits him and his family there. Available on HBO Max on Oct. 1.
“The Mandalorian” (Season 3)
Set five years after the original trilogy, this “Star Wars” spinoff chronicles the adventures of bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) as he tracks down a child named Grogu, nicknamed “Baby Yoda” by the show’s fans. Instead of delivering Grogu to his employers, Djarin decides to return him to his home. Available on Disney+ on Dec. 25.
Dates to be announced
As you might’ve already guessed, the master list of upcoming shows with firm release dates thins rapidly as the year unfolds. But that hasn’t stopped me from looking forward to these last three:
“What We Do in the Shadows” (Season 3)
If you enjoyed the 2015 film, you’ll enjoy the follow-up series even more. Created by Jemaine Clement, this mockumentary series follows the ridiculous misadventures of a group of vampire roommates living in Staten Island, New York. Seasons 1-2 are available now on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
“The Orville” (Season 3)
This space adventure series follows Captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) and his crew of misfits as they explore the galaxy and overcome the perils of interplanetary travel. A “Star Trek” parody through and through, “The Orville” embodies most integral values of “The Original Series” and “Next Generation” – perhaps even better than recent “Star Trek” spinoff series – all the while never sacrificing a good laugh. Seasons 1-2 are available now on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
“Lord of the Rings” (Season 1)
As a diehard, Elvish-speaking, trivia champion kind of fan, I have all of the time in the world for anything related to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” Did I love Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy? No. Did I still buy a ticket for all three films? Of course I did. God willing, Season 1 of this latest journey through Middle Earth will be available on Amazon Prime Video in late 2021.
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