With 2020 almost at an end, it’s worth taking a look ahead into 2021 and the TV series that could be the movers and shakers over the next year.
Now, given 2020, there’s a strong chance some of these could end up postponed until 2022 but let’s assume they will meet their 2021 airdates right now. These are the series that most excite me coming soon…
10 – THE THREE BODY PROBLEM
Although there has been a rather troubling news report about this recently that could cause issues, this appears to be the next big HBO production from Game of Thrones impresarios David Benioff & D. B. Weiss. It sounds a fascinating concoction of high concept science fiction and social history that could either take off or end up a bizarre curio.
I’m about to start reading the book source material by Cixin Liu so I’ll let you all know!
9 – SEX EDUCATION (Season 3)
This might be the first of these series to arrive, as it usually rocks up in January, and it breathes fresh summer air into a cold, dark, winter month every year.
The second season was hilarious and lovely, ending on the mother of all angsty cliffhangers, so I’m really keen to see where the love story of Otis & Maeve, amongst other things, goes. I do wonder if it should start to approach an endgame now before it gets too stale, but for now it’s become a yearly joy.
8 – THE PERIPHERAL
Much like Benioff & Weiss feel like underrated creatives producing prestige content these days, the same applies to Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy, now bringing their talents from HBO over to Amazon for The Peripheral.
Based on the novel by William Gibson, it focuses on multiple futures, partly post-apocalyptic, all involving technology. It sounds like you’ll be able to draw a clear line from their work on Person of Interest through Westworld to this, and hopefully it’ll be as deliberately enigmatic and thought provoking.
7 – RUSSIAN DOLL (Season 2)
Natasha Lyonne’s time-loop show through everyone for a loop two years ago when it came out of nowhere on Netflix and blew people away.
It didn’t really need a second series (a third is also planned) as the narrative tied up perfectly well at the end of its brisk and snappy, darkly comic first run, but Lyonne is a great screen presence, this was acerbic & fun, and as long as the concept isn’t strained, a return to these characters could be very entertaining indeed.
6 – THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT
It would be tempting to say The Mandalorian Season 3 given how strong the second season was, but we’re all excited for that – this spin-off is a different proposition.
Boba Fett, played here by Temuera Morrison after he appeared as Jango Fett in the Star Wars prequels, cropped up at the end of The Mandalorian, having somehow survived Return of the Jedi, and ended that series in an intriguing place. With Ming Na-Wen, freed up from Agents of SHIELD, along for the ride, this could be a nostalgic blast of Star Wars action spectacle. It has me exceedingly curious.
5 – WANDAVISION
There are two Marvel series of the sizeable amount to come that hold my interest more than the rest, and this is the first – set to arrive soon in mid-January.
WandaVision looks like a strange blend of Marvel’s traditional super-heroics, situation comedy and The Truman Show, an artificial construction of the perfect live Wanda ‘Scarlet Witch’ Maximoff perhaps hoped to live in a picture-perfect postcard America with the man she loved. This looks like it could be, in part, a proper goodbye to Vision after Avengers: Endgame while further advancing the MCU. Hoping for it to be as unique as it looks.
4 – JACK REACHER
This could go either way but I’m genuinely hopeful it will do justice to Lee Child’s modern, taciturn avenger.
To be fair, while Tom Cruise was miscast, the two Jack Reacher movie adaptations were pretty decent slices of action pulp–better than people suggested–but it feels like TV might better suit Child’s novelistic style, allowing Reacher to bed in more as a character. Alan Ritchson is largely unknown but he certainly has the look and could be anonymous enough to carry off the blank slate Reacher needs. Really hopeful for this.
3 – LOKI
Marvel is really working to set their stall out this year as they spiral out TV shows from the MCU and interconnect them in a way never before seen, but nothing has me more intrigued with what they’re doing than Loki.
Craftily skirting around his death in Infinity War, redeemed as an anti-hero, they’ve been able to get Tom Hiddleston back to his meddling best for a series that looks to combine fantasy, time travel and espionage into a truly bonkers brew. I hope it’s light, a bit twisted, and demonstrably odd.
2 – FOUNDATION
A reason to resubscribe to the largely sub-par, so far, Apple TV+, quite frankly.
Isaac Asimov’s crowning glory was the Foundation series, charting the rise and fall of a vast Galactic Empire over aeons, and the predictive social, economic and political theory that went behind those events thanks to the work of a scientist called Hari Seldon, played here by the great Jared Harris.
This looks astoundingly beautiful, Apple having pumped a ton of money into what could be the next great science-fiction obsession. Let’s hope. This could be amazing.
1 – SUCCESSION (Season 3)
Well, it’s the best thing on TV, isn’t it? Let’s face it.
Succession is a true gem of a series that doesn’t come along very often, with two previous seasons that combine family drama, corporate espionage and the blackest of humour into a concoction that thrills. Brian Cox, having massive fun being loathsome, leads a brilliant ensemble cast of wonderful characters. It’s just sublime and there is no reason to suggest a third season won’t be just as fantastic. Cannot wait.
What are you most looking forward to on TV in 2021?