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December 01, 2018

10 TV Series That Will Be Vying For Your Mind-Space In 2019

Text by Sadaf Shaikh

There’s another George R.R. Martin adaptation in the offing as Game of Thrones comes to an end and John Green’s premier book will finally make it to the small screen….

Good Omens

What we know: Neil Gaiman’s books have always made for the best movies — just think of how beautifully Stardust (2007), Coraline (2009) and How To Talk To Girls At Parties (2017) have been translated onto the silver screen over the years. Last year saw one of Gaiman’s best novels, American Gods make it to the small screen in the form of a TV series and it received rave reviews from critics. 2019 will see Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett’s collaborative novel Good Omens packaged into a six-episode series that fans of both authors have been looking forward to for some time now. The story goes thus: according to The Nice And Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter — the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies — the end of the world is nigh. Too close, in fact, as Armageddon has been scheduled for next Saturday. Everything is going according to plan except Aziraphale and Crowley — a lamenting angel and a cheeky demon — have grown a little too fond of Earth to see the planet being consumed in a hellish inferno, and join forces to prevent it. Somewhere in the middle of it all, the Anti-Christ, who is in charge of kickstarting the apocalypse, goes missing. If you’ve read Good Omens, you know you’re in for a ride.

Who’s in it: David Tennant as Crowley, Michael Sheen as Aziraphale, Frances McDormand as God, Derek Jacobi as Metatron, Anna Maxwell-Martin as Beelzebub and John Hamm as Gabriel along with a large supporting cast.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime

Nightflyers

What we know: Seeing how the entire planet is waiting with bated breath for the final instalment of the Game of Thrones franchise, the kind people at Syfy decided to give us our fix of George R.R. Martin by resurrecting his 1980 sci-fi/horror novella Nightflyers. The book’s plot revolves around the academics aboard the Nightflyer, a vessel headed for space that hopes to make contact with a mysterious alien race known as the volcryn. Considering Martin’s insatiable appetite for blood, a malevolent force unsurprisingly takes control of the aircraft and goes on a murdering spree. Their only hope of survival is Melantha Jhirl, a genetically enhanced outcast whose intelligence and stamina outranks that of her human crew members. Seems to us like a gory amalgamation of Interstellar and Arrival. We can’t help but wonder if Martin’s involvement in this project is the reason for the delayed release of Winds of Winter. If the show is even half as good as the book, we’ll pardon him for it.

Who’s in it: Jodie Turner-Smith as Melantha Jhirl, Gretchen Mol as Dr.Agatha Matheson, Eoin Macken as Karl D’Branin, David Ajala as Roy Eris, Sam Strike as Thale, Maya Eshet as Lommie, Angus Sampson as Rowan and Brían F. O’Byrne as Auggie.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Four More Shots Please!

What we know: A modern-day, Indian rendition of Sex and the City (1998-2004), Four More Shots Please! follows the lives of four young, urban Indian women and hopes to win favour with a generation that wants to live life on its own terms. In the first season, this 10-part comedy/drama/romance series explores the endearing ties between the four women protagonists and revolves around their relationships, work-life conflicts, ambitions and anxieties as they live, love and deal with being women in present-day India. We’re looking at this as an extension of Veere Di Wedding that came out earlier this year and to be honest, with the boys-only club perpetuated by much-loved shows and movies like Entourage (2004-2011) and Dil Chahta Hai (2001), we’ll welcome the change.

Who’s in it: Sayani Gupta, Kirti Kulhari, Bani J and Maanvi Gagroo as the main protagonists along with a stellar ensemble cast comprising Prateik Babbar, Neil Bhooplalam, Lisa Ray, Milind Soman, Amrita Puri and Sapna Pabbi.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime

Watchmen

What we know: When the Zack Snyder-directed Watchmen released in theatres almost a decade ago, nobody thought it would achieve the cult status it has come to be associated with. And while it would make sense to rehash a successful DC comic book into a series, the makers of the show are only adapting bits and parts from the original movie. In the Watchmen universe, costumed superheroes are part of everyday life and don’t have to hide in the shadows or suppress their powers. Set in the present day, the show will be influenced by contemporary politics and figures like Donald Trump, Theresa May and Vladimir Putin in the same way the original was very much a product of the Cold War. Employing a creative promotion technique, HBO has been teasing fans with posters that show policemen in bright yellow masks that conjure up images of Silk Spectre’s costume and Rorschach, one of the central protagonists, as seen on the graphic novel’s cover.

Who’s in it: Regina King as Angela Abar, Adelaide Clemens as Pirate Jenny, Jeremy Irons as Adrian Veidt, Tim Blake Nelson as Looking Glass, Andrew Howard as Red Scare and Louis Gossett Jr. as Old Man are the only names we know, as of now.

Where to watch it: HBO

Deadly Class

What we know: The trailer of this series gives off a strong Kingsman meets X-Men meets Hogwarts vibe. Deadly Class introduces us to Marcus Lopez, a teenage orphan in 1987 whose life has been turned upside down by the actions and abuse of those who were meant to protect him. After a chance encounter, Lopez ends up at a secret school that trains young miscreants to become deadly assassins. As the story goes on, we follow the students at King’s Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts (Defence against the Dark Arts anyone?) and watch them suffer through various mishaps and misadventures and the inevitable losses that go along with being an assassin. Lana Condor, who played Lara Jean in the wildly popular rom-com of the year To All The Boys I Loved Before, plays a katana-wielding badass in the series, and you’re definitely going to want to watch Deadly Class for that, if nothing else.

Who’s in it: Benjamin Wadsworth as Marcus Lopez, Benedict Wong as Master Lin, Lana Condor as Saya, Maria Gabriela de Faria as Maria, Luke Tennie as Willie, Liam James as Billy, Michel Duval as Chico along with a large supporting cast.

Where to watch it: Syfy

I am the Night

What we know: Remember the Black Dahlia murder case that took all of United States by storm in 1947? For the uninitiated, Black Dahlia was the posthumous name given to Elizabeth Short, an aspiring actor whose murder created nationwide waves because of its graphic nature — her corpse was mutilated and severed at the waist and left at a park in Los Angeles. In I Am The Night, Patty Jenkins and Chris Pine of Wonder Woman (2017) fame come together once again to expound the real-life story of Fauna Hodel, a young woman who goes in pursuit of her past when she discovers she was adopted at birth. She realises that some truths are better left unfound when she finds out that she shares a connection with the infamous Hollywood gynaecologist Dr.George Hodel who was known to have committed the murder of the Black Dahlia. Chris Pine plays Jay Singletary, a former Marine now working as a reporter who helps Fauna take stock of her revelations in hopes of reviving his own career with her story.

Who’s in it: Chris Pine as Jay Singletary, India Eisley as Fauna Hodel, Jefferson Mays as Dr.George Hodel and Connie Nielsen as Corinna Hodel.

Where to watch it: TNT

Roswell

What we know: Named after the eponymous city of New Mexico, this series looks to revive a 72-year-old conspiracy about a UFO crash that was hastily covered up by the government. Originally a show that aired in 1999 and concluded in 2002, a Roswell reboot was seemingly inevitable considering our generation’s penchant for conspiracy theories. The central characters Max and Liz — a police officer and a biomedical researcher — reconnect after years when the latter returns to her hometown to visit her parents, who are Mexican immigrants. She soon finds out that Max and his siblings are aliens who have kept their abilities secret their entire lives. As they grow closer, it becomes even more important to conceal the siblings’ true identities as a long-standing government conspiracy and the politics of fear and hatred threaten their lives.

Who’s in it: Jeanine Mason as Liz Ortecho, Nathan Parsons as Max Evans, Michael Treviano as Kyle Velanti, Tyler Blackburn as Sgt. Alex Manes, Lily Cowles as Isobel, Michael Vlamis as Michael and Heather Hemmens as Maria.

Where to watch it: The CW Television Network

City on a Hill

What we know: This series is set in the early 1990s Boston when the city was rife with violent criminals protected by local law enforcement agencies in which corruption and racism was the norm, until a sudden revolution changed everything. The drama, starring Kevin Bacon and produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, is a fictional account of what was called the Boston Miracle, a program specifically aimed at gun violence among the youth as a large-scale problem. Driving that change is assistant district attorney Decourcy Ward, who comes from Brooklyn and forms an unlikely alliance with a corrupt yet exalted FBI veteran, Jackie Rohr. Together, they take on a family of armoured car robbers from Charlestown in a case that subverts the entire criminal justice system of Boston.

Who’s in it: Kevin Bacon as Jackie Rhodes and Aldis Hodge as Decourcy Ward along with a large supporting cast.

Where to watch it: Showtime

Looking For Alaska

What we know: This one is for the John Green fans who found him at the very beginning. Initial attempts to convert Green’s premier novel into a screenplay were shelved in 2005 itself with the book getting a new lease of life when The Fault In Our Stars and Paper Planes tasted success as movies. Like the novel, the eight-episode limited series follows Miles “Pudge” Halter, a bored teen who is obsessed with last words said by famous people and fed up of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the ‘Great Perhaps’ and his life is forever changed when he meets his new neighbour and the girl of his dreams, Alaska Young. Boys will want to watch this one for Kristine Foseth who plays Alaska Young to the hilt in all her mercurial beauty; girls will also want to watch it for Foseth who exudes the wildness of youth with inspiring abandon.

Who’s in it: Charlie Plummer as Miles/Pudge and Kristine Froseth as Alaska Young.

Where to watch it: Hulu.

The Witcher

What we know: The creators of this book-cum-game-adapted-show are keeping all the details under wraps; all we know about Netflix’s The Witcher is from the short teaser starring Henry Cavill as a very Legolas-looking Geralt. Cavill plays a mutated monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often turn out to be more wicked than the beasts he hunts. When destiny catapults him in the direction of a powerful sorceress and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together. The show is slated to follow the novels more closely than the accompanying game series and fans of The Witcher seem to be satisfied with this creative decision. For now, we’ll just content ourselves with seeing Henry Cavill on the small screen.

Who’s in it: Henry Cavill as Geralt, Freya Allan as Ciri, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, Jodhi May as Queen Calanthe, Bjorn Hlynur Haraldsson as Eist, Adam Levy as Mousesack, MyAnna Buring as Tissaia, Millie Brady as Princess Renfri and Mimi Ndiweni and Therica Wilson-Read as novice sorcerers.

Where to watch it: Netflix

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