Movies

From ‘Mrs. America’ to ‘High Fidelity’: 10 television shows to look forward to in 2020

Sci-fi, pop-culture, superheroes and a talking horse: you want more from 2020?

Sci-fi, pop-culture, superheroes and a talking horse: you want more from 2020?  

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A heady year awaits fans of television, as the streaming war gets bigger than ever: here’s a guide on some must-watches to keep track of, and possibly, your future favourite show

We have been living in the golden age of television for so long now that it feels like a reiteration to say so, but still 2020 comes our way with a dazzling array of riches that it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. Last year brought about the end of some long-running TV staples such as Game of Thrones (The House of Dragon spin-off is in the works they say, but let’s wait and see), The Big Bang Theory, Fleabag and Transparent to mention some. But fear not, as the new year is packed with new offerings as well as old favourites returning in style: some for final hurrahs and others looking to knock the pretenders off their rightful perch.

With Apple TV+ and Disney+ also in the fray now (HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock are incoming soon), 2020 is only going to get more crowded — and confusing — for viewers struggling to keep up with the Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar offerings already available in the first place, not to mention casting an envious eye on Hulu shows overseas.

Picking 10 must-watch shows might not be a comprehensive enough guide to get through 2020, but atleast it gives you an insight into what to definitely not miss and renew/ sign up for subscriptions. Here’s a handy guide:

1) The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Disney+)

Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie in ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’

Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie in ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’  

Easily the most anticipated super-hero show ever to grace television, thanks to the spectacular success of the Avengers movies that shot both these relatively in-the-background characters (and actors) to worldwide fame. MCU mainstays Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) will return in this inaugural Marvel series for Disney+, and if their bromance in the earlier movies is anything to go by, fans will have a lot to cheer for. Not to mention, this could be the long-awaited transition for The Falcon to become the next Captain America.

Nothing much is known about the series as of now, but a Captain America: Civil War re-watch should get you excited enough, along with YouTube videos of Mackie and Stan’s cameraderie. What’s not to love?

2) High Fidelity (Hulu)

Zoë Kravitz in the ‘High Fidelity’ TV series

Zoë Kravitz in the ‘High Fidelity’ TV series  

This alternative take on the hit 2000 John Cusack comedy (which in itself was based on the popular Nick Hornby book) stars Zoë Kravitz as a record shop owner, who narrates her past/ present romantic relationships, and the failures and lessons she has learnt from them. Kravitz, who was excellent in HBO’s Big Little Lies, looks to be a perfect choice to play the music snob who ranks the men she’s been with just like her favourite albums, with a background of modern-day pop culture, musical references and a killer soundtrack to boot.

Releasing on Valentine’s Day, the gender-flipped reboot also stars the brilliant Da'Vine Joy Randolph (who reprises Jack Black’s role from the original movie) and Jake Lacy from the final season of The Office.

3) Better Call Saul (AMC/ Netflix)

Bob Odenkirk returns as Saul Goodman in ‘Better Call Saul’

Bob Odenkirk returns as Saul Goodman in ‘Better Call Saul’  

What more can be written to rave about this Breaking Bad spin-off which nobody thought would work, but miraculously also matched Vince Gilligan’s most famous creation in terms of writing and critical acclaim? Season five of the BB prequel sees the return of the criminally-underrated Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill/ Saul Goodman along with one of the best supporting casts in present day-television: Kim (Rhea Seahorn), Mike (Jonathan Banks) and Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) to mention a few.

Our favourite Albuquerque attorney has finally ‘broken bad’ in the previous season, and if Odenkirk’s comments that an “explosive” new season will be in store is anything to go by, is it too much to hope that fans could get a glimpse of — whisper it — Walter White?

4) Lizzie McGuire (Disney+)

Hilary Duff in the ‘Lizzie McGuire’ reboot

Hilary Duff in the ‘Lizzie McGuire’ reboot  

Disney+ has started the revolution to convince many former child stars to reprise roles that made them coveted in the first place, and brings families rushing to the new platform. No wonder then, that the Lizzie McGuire reboot has hustled up so much nostalgia from fans, and given Hilary Duff an update as a now-30-year-old millennial living in New York, and working as an interior designer.

Original series creator Terri Minsky will hope to replicate the success of the original that ran from 2001 to 2004 (along with a 2003 movie) which narrated the teenage life of 13-year-old Lizzie (Hillary Duff) and her best friends Miranda (Lalaine) and Gordo (Adam Lamberg).

5) Homeland (Showtime)

Claire Danes in the final season of ‘Homeland’

Claire Danes in the final season of ‘Homeland’  

The eighth and final season of Homeland comes in February, starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin for their swansong as two of the most outstanding TV characters from the last decade. The espionage drama picks up after Carrie (Danes) has been imprisoned in a Russian gulag and is suffering from a loss of memory. The series was delayed due to the makers wanting to ensure they go out on a high. Indeed, Homeland, after being pretty much the best drama on TV in its first two seasons, lost steam, but has picked up heady momentum in recent outings to pave the way for a fond goodbye.

6) Bojack Horseman (Netflix)

‘Bojack Horseman’ will bid adieu to fans with its final episodes this year

‘Bojack Horseman’ will bid adieu to fans with its final episodes this year  

Oh dear, the talking horse is back.

There’s a good case to be made for Bojack Horseman being the most important show of the 2010s. Did you ever imagine that an animated horse could get you in touch with your inner demons and confront them? With six seasons of outstanding writing that’s set a precedent for many years to come, show creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg faces the daunting challenge of ending Bojack’s journey, as a plethora of fans across the globe wait with bated breath to see if the series final will send them spinning into an existential crisis, yet again.

The new season sees BoJack out of rehab, and on his path to redemption, working as an acting professor and teaching students. On January 31, the crew of Diane, Todd, Princess Caroline and Mr. Peanutbutter all are back for the final eight episodes of season six that was split into two parts. Are you ready to be broken... one last time?

7) Avenue 5 (HBO)

Hugh Laurie in ‘Avenue 5’

Hugh Laurie in ‘Avenue 5’  

A planet-hopping cruise spaceship led by Captain Ryan Clark, played by the indomitable Hugh Laurie: doesn’t that get you psyched already? The brainchild of the creator of the much-beloved Veep, Armando Iannucci, the show also stars Zach Woods, Josh Gad and Himesh Patel. With a stellar star cast known for their acting chops and comedic prowess, this comedy is sure to elicit many laughs.

This sci-fi comedy is set 40 years in the future, as a spaceship is on an eight-week cruise around Saturn. The show hints at sudden pandemonium on the ship, inciting the captain and his motley crew to deal with the mysterious threat and allay fears of the many passengers on-board.

8) Impeachment: American Crime Story (FX)

The third segment of the anthology ‘American Crime Story’ will chronicle the presidential scandal in the USA involving Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky

The third segment of the anthology ‘American Crime Story’ will chronicle the presidential scandal in the USA involving Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky   | Photo Credit: AP

It doesn’t get more controversial than this. Ryan Murphy has cemented a stellar reputation for crafting complex narratives through Crime Story. The third segment of the anthology will chronicle the presidential scandal in the USA involving Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky. Clive Owen will essay the former POTUS, and Beanie Feldstein (after a wonderful 2019 with Booksmart) will play Lewinsky. Critics’ darling Sarah Paulson will be seen as whistle-blower Linda Tripp and Annaleigh Ashford stars as Paula Jones.

The script for the show is based on the book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President by Jeffrey Toobin. The time is ripe for the show what with an impeachment trial underway in the US and the upcoming presidential elections.

9) Mrs. America (FX on Hulu)

Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly in ‘Mrs. America’

Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly in ‘Mrs. America’  

Mrs. America is set in the 1970s, but promises to be as relevant as ever as women exercise their right to vote in a pivotal US presidential election coming up in the year. The nine-episode series follows the civil movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment — and the opposition faced by it. The ERA seeks to end distinction on the basis of sex and guarantees equal rights to all in terms of employment, property, divorce and other issues.

A stellar cast including Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm and Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug take on Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly.

10) Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access)

A still from ‘Star Trek: Picard’

A still from ‘Star Trek: Picard’  

Star Trek: Picard is set 20 years after Star Trek: Nemesis, and Jean-Luc Picard is reeling from the death of Data and Romulan home planet, Romulus being totally destoryed. What hardcore Trekkers can get excited about however is Sir Patrick Stewart back in the captain’s chair. With the likes of Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis and Brent Spiner back in the mix, as several characters from The Next Generation also return.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 10:13:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/from-mrs-america-to-high-fidelity-10-television-shows-to-look-forward-to-in-2020/article30544343.ece

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