Hello, my name is Hayley and I am a television junkie. The first step is admitting that I have a problem, right?
My one saving grace is that I am not a casual television watcher; I don’t have time for that. There are far too many excellent shows to watch for me to be idly scrolling down the TV guide whilst I grumble to myself that there is nothing good on. That sort of evening never ends well, and I always relegate myself to watching some horrible reality show (Real Housewives, anyone?).
No, I approach television with a plan of attack. I know what I want to watch, and how/where/when I am going to watch it. None of this channel surfing nonsense for me. Now, this way of life does take a bit of work on the front end. It takes research, my friends: a little lark onto good old Google to see which new series I must squeeze into my busy viewing schedule.
So, in the spirit of sharing (and just because I like you guys so much), I thought I would pass on the proverbial fruits of my research labour. In no particular order (you couldn’t possibly expect me to rate my excitement for these fab new shows), here are five new television series I am eagerly anticipating:
That’s right, the Coen brothers have set their sights on the small screen. If that’s not enough to sell you straight away (are you not down with the Dude?), the cast is sure to impress. The relatively unknown Allison Tolman leads a brilliant ensemble including Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Bob Odenkirk, Kate Walsh, and Oliver Platt. I also think you will be pleased to hear that Fargo will not be a carbon copy of the Coen Brothers’ 1996 film of the same name. Instead, the series sounds like a spiritual successor of the beloved midwestern murder movie. Fargo sees Joel and Ethan Coen take on the role of executive producers, while Noah Hawley takes the reigns as screenwriter. Yah. Okay. Real good then.
Stateside, Fargo is set to premiere on FX in April.
Whilst lovers of Breaking Bad slowly navigate their way through the grieving process, AMC is already cooking up something to fill that massive void. Starring Jamie Bell, Turn is a historical drama based on Alexander Rose’s novel, Washington Spies. The series will tell the tale of the Culper Ring, the United States’ first spy organization formed during American’s fight for independence. I’ll be watching because I love a historical drama—even if a show sacrifices a bit of the historical for the sake of drama (I did like The Tudors). Though, this relatively untold story sounds interesting enough that it may not have to stray too far from the truth.
And if Turn doesn’t fill that Breaking Bad sized hole in your heart, there is always the series spin-off, Better Call Saul to look forward to.
Turn premieres stateside on AMC in April.
From Turn to Babylon, we fast-forward a couple hundred of years and jump across the Atlantic. Babylon is Channel 4’s new comedy-drama about London’s Metropolitan Police. And what’s the kicker? Babylon has Danny Boyle (you know, that Slumdog Millionaire and 2012 Olympics guy…), so it must be a pretty great TV dramedy. The creative team and cast are quite impressive, with the immensely talented Brit Marling in the lead role. Marling plays an American PR whiz who is hired by the Met to give the force’s image a much needed overhaul. The pilot aired on February 9th and garnered pretty favorable reviews.
For those of us in the UK, the pilot is available to watch here.
Babylon returns to Channel 4 with five further episodes later this year.
Tooken represents the latest creative effort from comedy genius Tina Fey, who can basically do no wrong in my eyes. When it came to choosing a comedy for this list, Tooken was the obvious go-to. If you need further impetus to watch the show, the premise is also ridiculously intriguing. Still in the days of pre-production, the series will follow a young woman (played by Ellie Kemper) starting her life over in New York after escaping from a doomsday cult. Though it may sound like tricky material for the likes of a comedy, I have faith that Fey and her fellow 30 Rock writer Robert Carlock will deliver something special.
Tooken will premiere stateside on NBC in the autumn.
Finally, we have HBO’s new hit drama True Detective. Though already underway in the States, I’m still dying with anticipation as True Detective doesn’t premiere in the UK until February 22nd. As HBO has aired a fair few of my favorite television shows (three words: Six Feet Under), I always eagerly anticipate their new original series, and True Detective is no exception. The series follows two cops (played by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) as they spend decades hunting down a serial killer in Louisiana. McConaughey and Harrelson sound like a dream team, and both actors are on a bit of a career high at the moment. Seriously, I don’t know when McConaughey went from Ghosts of Girlfriends Past to the likes of Mud and Dallas Buyers Club, but I clearly had written him off too early. Good on you, McConaughey.
The series has already been highly praised in the United States where the fourth episode aired this past Sunday.
True Detective airs in the UK on Sky Atlantic on February 22nd.
So Take Heart, My Friends
Look at all of that brilliant TV coming your way in 2014! Yes, we may have bid adieu to Breaking Bad in 2013, and Mad Men imminently begins its final refrain, but take heart, my fellow TV junkies. The future looks pretty bright.
While I’m on the subject of television, may I ask if there are any aspiring TV writers out there? If so, you simply must check out Raindance’s TV Writers Summit. It will be an amazing opportunity to learn about the art, craft, and business of writing for TV from four of the most respected veterans in the industry!
I would also love to know what television you’ve been watching (or can’t wait to watch) as of late. Come on, be the enabler to my television junkie. Let me know in the comments below!