It’s the thick of summer but trailers for Fall TV are already hitting the internet. Some of it it downright exciting. Some of it, not so much. For my money, here are the 5 Must Watch T.V. Shows of 2016/17.
1.Taboo stars Tom Hardy as James Keziah Delaney who, after disappearing for 10 years in Africa, returns home to 1814 London to deal with the deadly legacy left by his deceased father. Hardy is focused on vengeance against the infamous East India Company, which is an opportunity to explore some of the ways this early corrupt and powerful corporation has shaped the world we live in today. Hardy and executive producer Steven Knight previously collaborated on the film Locke and the BBC’s Peaky Blinders, which streams on Netflix. In this new series, legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott joins this talented duo which should make Taboo must-watch television in the coming year.
2. Luke Cage is the third Marvel character on Netflix and will be a departure from Daredevil and Jessica Jones as the first to take place outside of the already-crowded Hell’s Kitchen. Executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker takes the action to Harlem, establishing a new locale in the Marvel cinematic universe. Simone Missick co-stars as comic book character Misty Knight along with the talented TV veteran Mahershala Ali as Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes. Music Producers Adrian Younge and Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad are scoring the series, combining hard drama and superhero action with a hip hop influenced soundtrack. Mike Colter did a great job owning Luke Cage in the Jessica Jones series, so I think this could be one of Marvel’s best new shows in the coming year. A teaser trailer released during Comic Con also gave us a glimpse of Cage’s soon to be partner in crime, Iron Fist.
3. Shots Fired jumps into the hot-button subject of police shooting unarmed black men. The roles are completely reversed; the cops investigating a racially charged shooting are black and the senselessly slaughtered victim is a young white boy with a single mom crying for justice. The trigger-happy officer in question is also black, with a history of extreme racial prejudice against white people. Filled with an all-star cast that includes Sanaa Lathan and Stephan James as an Investigators, Helen Hunt as the Governor of North Carolina, and Richard Dreyfus as the owner of a privatized prison who is somehow involved in the shooting. Stephan James, Aisha Hinds, Tristan Wilds also co-star. Writers and executive producers Gina and Reggie Bythewood have created a fertile playground to explore race relations between the Police and young black men in today’s America.
4. Westworld, created by Jonathan Nolan (renowned screenwriter and the younger brother of filmmaker Christopher Nolan) is a television remake of the 1973 film written and directed by best-selling American author Michael Crichton. Blockbuster director JJ Abrams (Star Wars, Star Trek) is among the producers bringing the adult amusement park Delos to life. In Delos you have three options; Medieval Europe, the Roman Empire, and the Wild West, aka Westworld. Anthony Hopkins, Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, and Ed Harris fill out a impressive cast that will experience one of three worlds filled with androids run by artificial intelligence that is certain to malfunction, turning their virtual dreams into actual nightmares.
5. American Gods – Showrunners Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Heroes) have adapted Neil Gaiman‘s award-winning fantasy novel American Gods for Starz in 2017. Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), is released from prison days before his sentence ends to attend his wife’s funeral. He meets con-man Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) who recruits him as a personal bodyguard. Here’s where it gets complicated; Wednesday is actually the Norse god Odin who is traveling across America recruiting old forgotten gods to join forces in an upcoming war against the new American Gods. These new American gods are represented via the nation’s main obsessions of celebrity, technology, and consumerism. This examination of modern society’s morals and passions has a lot of buzz, so it’s safe to assume Starz will have a hit on it’s hands.