You already know about American Gods, Legion, Altered Carbon, Glare, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Deuce, Snowpiercer, Killing Eve, and Santa Clarita Diet, but I’m willing to bet you haven’t heard about these beauties. Buckle up your DVR, because more great new series — with unbelievable casts — are about to set your 2017 afire in the best possible way.
Directed (all episodes) by Todd Field (Little Children, In the Bedroom), written by Todd Field, David Hare (The Hours, The Reader, Plenty, The Blue Room) and Jonathan Franzen, starring Daniel Craig. Based on Franzen’s novel about Purity “Pip” Tyler (TBA), a young woman recruited by “a charismatic German provocateur” Andreas Wolf (Craig), who runs an organization called The Sunlight Project, which exposes secrets á la WikiLeaks. Pip’s mother has fed her only lies and misinformation about her father (whom Pip has never met), so wants Wolf to use his hacking skills to track him down and find out the truth. Showtime locked down this incredible group of talent for 20 episodes, split across two seasons/years; I can’t wait to see who’ll play Pip. Premiere TBA.
Directed and written by Scott Frank, starring Jeff Daniels, Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Merritt Wever, Rob Morgan, Sam Waterston. Set in New Mexico circa 1800, Daniels plays outlaw, Frank Griffin who after a betrayal, is out to kill his former partner and pseudo-son, O’Connell’s Roy Goode. The chase leads Goode to Alice Fletcher’s (Dockery) ranch hideaway, and Griffin to a town populated only by women; all the men died in a mining accident, leaving Wever’s Mary Agnes in charge. This old school Western thriller airs as a limited series (6 episodes) on Netflix, date TBA.
Netflix’s Dear White People
Directed by Barry Jenkins (pilot), created and written by Justin Simien , starring Brandon P. Bell, Logan Browning, Antoinette Robertson, DeRon Horton, John Patrick Amedori, Ashley Blaine Featherson, Nia Long and Brant Daugherty. Based on Justin Simien’s 2014 comedy film, the director returns for Race Relations 102, with Bell reprising his role as Troy Fairbanks and Browning taking over Tessa Thompson’s Samantha White role. The diverse group of students navigate life at a mostly white Ivy League school on Netflix — 10 thirty minute episodes — premiere date TBA.
Netflix’s Alias Grace
Directed by Mary Harron, written by Sarah Polley, starring: Anna Paquin, Sarah Gadon, Edward Holcroft, Zachary Levi, Kerr Logan, Michael Therriault. Another Margaret Atwell novel hits the small screen; this one based on real life events. A fictionalized accounting follows the controversial conviction of Canadian, Grace Marks (Gadon), who may have murdered her employer and his housekeeper (Paquin). Told from the perspective of researcher, Dr. Simon Jordan (Holcroft), the series will also feature a cool cameo by director David Cronenberg, and air simultaneously on Canada’s CBC Televsion and Netflix in 6 parts, date TBA.
HBO’s Room 104
Created and written by Mark and Jay Duplass, stars TBA. On the heels of their too-quickly canceled Togetherness, the Duplass brothers head right back to HBO for a comedy set in a single hotel room, located in “the most boring place, the most boring location … a corporate, $100 hotel outside of the [Cleveland] airport”. Each episode will explore the mundane with Room 104’s temporary guests, who’re presumably much funnier than the American Horror Story: Hotel crowd. The anthology series will feature a rotating cast (so far, Spencer Garrett, Dendrie Taylor, Matthew Bellows, J. Claude Deering, Davie-Blue) and air sometime this year.
ABC’s When We Rise
Directed by Gus Van Sant, Dustin Lance Black, Thomas Schlamme, Dee Rees, written by Dustin Lance Black, starring Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, Rachel Griffiths, Carrie Preston, Michael K. Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Denis O’Hare, David Hyde Pierce, Rob Reiner, TR Knight, Richard Schiff, Phylicia Rashad, Mary McCormack. Partially based on Cleve Jones’ When We Rise: My Life in the Movement, Milk‘s Van Sant and Black reteam to delve deeper into the gay rights movement, chronicling everything from Stonewall to current events. With the incredible cast and group of writers and directors, and this choke-sob inducing trailer …
set your recording devices to ready. When We Rise airs on ABC in seven parts, with Van Sant’s 2-hour opening episode, beginning in February.