- Film And TV
- 30 Jan 20
Television! There’s never been so much of it. But how to distinguish the good from the crud? Sit down, pour something crisp and cool, and let Hot Press bring you the list of must-see shows to come in the year(ish) ahead. Oh and bear and mind that transmission dates often aren’t announced until the last minute – hence our vagueness about when you can expect to see most of the series discussed below.
American Crime Story: Impeachment (FX)
FX have lucked out on the timing of the latest series of American Crime Story – as Donald Trump battles impeachment in the US, the new season will revisit Bill Clinton’s late ’90s travails. If it’s half as good as the previous seasons focusing on the OJ Simpson case and the murder of Giovanni Versace, we’re in for a serious treat.
Picard (Amazon Prime)
Patrick Stewart returns as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in this gritty Star Trek reboot from – yes, really – fancy pants novelist Michael Chabon. With Star Wars having self-destructed with The Rise Of Skywalker, there is an opportunity for Trek to gain the upper robot hand in the battle of the great space franchises. Can it succeed?
The Mandalorian (Disney Plus)
Disney Plus finally launches in Ireland on March 31, and the brightest star in its line-up will be this Western-derived adventure from Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. It stars Pedro Pascal as the eponymous intergalactic bounty-hunter and Baby Yoda as Baby Yoda, and has been acclaimed by Star Wars diehards as the future of the franchise.
A Suitable Boy (BBC One)
Vikram Seth’s metric-tonne novel about dynastic derring-do in post-Partition India gets the BBC costume drama treatment, courtesy of Andrew Davies, with Ishaan Khatter and Tanya Maniktala starring.
The Plot Against America (HBO)
HBO have adapted Philip Roth’s alternate history chronicling of the rise of fascism under a President Charles Lindbergh, with Winona Ryder and John Turturro as members of the Jewish community caught up in the wave of anti-semitism. Thank goodness a resurgent right-wing and the descent of politics into manipulation of the mob could only happen in fiction!
Lovecraft Country (HBO)
Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams are overseeing this HBO adaptation of Matt Ruff’s horror novel, about a black man in ’50s America running a gauntlet of institutionalised racism and cosmic horror. It’s Cthulhu-meets-Green Book and if it’s half as engaging as the source text, it will be a must-see.
Normal People (BBC Three)
Sally Rooney’s Dublin and Mayo-set coming of age novel is adapted by Lenny Abrahamson. A bit controversially the lead, Marianne, is played by a British actress Daisy Edgar-Jones, but her on/ off love interest is portrayed by former Kildare footballer Paul Mescal. As a one-time Lilywhite, widespread praise and media coverage will no doubt be a huge novelty to him. The series will be 12 episodes long – roughly the number of championship games Kildare have won in Sally Rooney’s lifetime. The coincidences just keep piling up.
Michael Sheen portrays 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' host Chris Tarrant in this Stephen Frears-chronicling of the true-life story of the couple who went on the prime time quiz and tried to cheat their way to a fortune.
Welcome back to expanded universe of, er, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s nest. Sarah Paulson plays the sadistic nurse from the Jack Nicholson classic in an unlikely origin story from Ryan Murphy.
Noughts And Crosses (BBC One)
Stormzy – yes Stormzy – heads the cast in this alt-history drama which imagines that Africa, not Europe, was the first to industrialise and establish dominion over the rest of humanity.
The Wheel Of Time (Amazon)
Who knows when HBO’s Targaryen-heavy Game Of Thrones prequel will arrive, and Amazon’s own Lord Of The Rings prequel has only just advanced past the casting stage. Never mind – prepare to be swept away by this adaptation of Robert Jordan’s bestselling Wheel Of Time saga, with Rosamund Pike as the sorceress Moiraine, and Michael “Roose Bolton” McElhatton as a fantasy dad (but a good one this time).