TV's Golden Era continues this year...and we pick our favorites.
2019 is up un. and if you've read our TV Premiere Date article you know, we're tracking every release this year. Well, some of the writers put our heads together and picked our favorite shows coming this year. We talk about anticipating laughs, thrills, and probably a ton of character deaths.
The Iron Throne takes no prisoners.
So without further ado, here are some of our most anticipated TV show premieres of 2019.
Let's jump into it.
Last Week Tonight
When I was a kid, TV news was the absolute worst thing to watch. It was boring, frustrating, and annoying. And now? I love the news. And everything John Oliver has done to make an entire generation care more. Regardless of what side of the aisle you identify with, Oliver's reporting is must-see TV. He takes on important issues but does it in a fun and engaging way. Now entering his sixth season, I hope the show lasts forever. It's challenging to watch, interesting to talk about, and always shareable the next day.
AP Bio was one of the breakout hits of last year. It takes Glen Howerton to high school, where he teaches a bunch of gifted kids after failing to secure a prestigious teaching position. The highlight of this show was the insane hijinks Howerton pushed the kids into doing to enact revenge on his nemesis. While there were cute moments, the show pulled no punches when it came time to go dark with their humor. And I loved that. I hope it stays weird in season two.
A breakout hit on TV and at the Emmy's, this thriller constantly kept me on the edge of my seat. There were twists, turns, murders, and intrigue. One thing that blew me away about the show is that it had no problem killing off main characters. Each week you had no idea who would survive. But one thing you know was that the weird connection between cop and killer would take you deeper into the psyche of each person. And the superb acting of Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer makes each hour worthwhile.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkSw5ZJYEsY
Big Little Lies Season 2
I put off watching Season 1 of this show for the longest time, unfairly disregarding it as some Lifetime murder mystery. I should get more into Lifetime because Big Little Lies is some damn good TV. For those who don’t know, the show follows the seemingly idyllic lives of three mothers in Monterey, California who get caught up in some shady business at their children’s elite elementary school. It’s suspense storytelling at its finest with great performances from its leading women and excellent direction from Jean-Marc Vallee.
How could Season 2 get any better you may wonder? Well, for one thing, it marks the television debut of Andrea Arnold who will be directing not one, not two, but every single episode. Number two. The addition of Meryl Streep to the catsup pretty much makes this the most badass female ensemble of all time. No word on when it will be out or how it will continue the story of the murder of [redacted] at the hands of [redacted] but it's safe to say that this is gonna be entertaining as hell.
What We Do in the Shadows
The original What We Do in the Shadows is hands down my favorite New Zealand Vampire Spoof of all time. Now, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi are taking their film to FX in half-hour comedy form. They’ll also be changing the setting to appeal to a more American based audience and explore the lives of a group of vampires living in New York City who has been roommates for hundreds and hundreds of years. If this season does well, I hope they decide to expand the universe and show us how vampires live in other areas of the world. Clement and Waititiwon’t be acting in the series, but the always hilarious Matt Berry will have a starring role.
Dark Season 2
Forget Stranger Things; Dark is where it’s at. The first season of this German, mind and time bending, sci-fi series provides a far more compelling storyline as it warps its way in and out of the past and present. It’s a family drama with a supernatural twist, as several children get lost somewhere in the space-time continuum only to wreak havoc on the order of the universe. The end of Season 1 left us on one of the best cliffhangers in recent memory, as, after examining the past, we quite literally get a glimpse into the future, and what could be in store for the time travelers of Winden (German for twists - and there are plenty in this show).
Game of Thrones
I know I’m alone here, but I’m curious to see how this show wraps up. Granted it’s a niche series based on some lesser known fantasy novels, but it sure is interesting if you give it a try!
It’s been a long time since we first had our eyes opened to the wild world of Westeros. It’s hard to believe that it’s finally coming to some sort of conclusion. Endings in television tend to be a messy business. Series are conceived to go on and continue to manufacture new stories. Along the way, tough creative choices are made to maintain the stakes. Sharks are jumped. And so it goes.
Our beloved GoT is based on a series of novels so one would think a satisfying ending was in the cards. But George R.R. Martin hasn't finished (and I think never will finish) the books. So the show started having to freelance a bit and call some audibles in recent seasons. And it shows.
How will it end? More interestingly, will it be satisfying? I cannot wait for the hot takes.
Groundhog Day is a near perfect movie, a masterwork on many layers, so please don’t @ me. Russian Doll looks like a take on that Groundhog Day principle of working through a repeating incident to solve something else, and I’m into it. I want to see what direction they go in, and having struggled pitching, writing, and rewriting something along these lines once myself (with nothing to show for it in the end- that’s another story) I’m fascinated to see how they do it.
And yes, I also enjoyed Edge of Tomorrow’s take immensely. That’s another solid, interesting use of the magic plot device.
True Detective Season 3
The first season of True Detective felt like a triumph of the format to me. The second… well…
Yeah. The second…
Which brings us to the third season of True Detective starring Mahershala Ali. This time around Writer/Executive Producer Nic Pizzolatto is splitting director duties and had legendary TV writer David Milch collaborating on the scripts. These are likely good signs since some of the drop off between Seasons 1 and two were attributed to the loss of director and collaborator Cary Fukunaga. With new voices added into the mix, and a return to the multiple time frames covering one case, can the magic return?
I’ll certainly tune in to see, but if I'm honest, they’ll need to win me over in the early episodes because I actually made it all the way through Season 2 and I’ll never get those hours back.
I Am the Night
There might not be a more lethal duo on the television landscape for 2019 than the Chris Pine Patty Jenkins team up for I Am the Night. The six-part TNT drama looks like a sexy-as-hell crime drama that could rival True Detective season 3 for the best show of the year.
Barry (Season 2)
Probably my favorite new show from 2018, Barry’s first season brilliantly walked the tight, tight rope between comedy and action that gave Bill Hader perhaps the biggest breakout opportunity of his career so far. With only eight 30-minute episodes, the first season felt short with a lot more to explore, so very hopeful for more episodes and greater narrative arcs for season 2.
Documentary Now (Season 3)
When Documentary Now first premiered, I had the odd feeling that it was a television show conceived, created and promoted just for me to view and enjoy. Once that paranoia passed, I was very pleased to see that plenty of other people felt the same way and equally enjoyed Bill Hader and Fred Armisen’s documentary parodies. Season 3 promises to be just as fun lampooning docs like Wild, Wild Country, Let's Get Lost and Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present.
Summing Up Our Most Anticipated TV Show 2019
So there you have it, our most anticipated TV shows of 2019. It's going to be a helluva year.
Are you interested in writing your own TV drama? Check out our free drama pilot writing seminar.
What are your most anticipated shows of 2019?
Let us know in the comments!