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50 TV Shows You’d Be Crazy to Miss in 2019

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Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Season 8

Game of Thrones Season 8


Release: April 14th via HBO

Why We’re Excited: Without leaning too hard into hyperbole, the final season of Game of Thrones will be the television event of the year. Think about it! One of the biggest shows of all time — the first of its kind, when you really break it down — is coming to a full-on cinematic conclusion. What’s more, the series is reaching an end before its source material, which also seems unprecedented. To top it all off, each of the six episodes are reportedly 90 minutes each, making this final run more of a movie marathon. Whether this shatters expectations or ends in disappointment, the series will certainly dominate the television medium for a good month and some change. Be prepared for a long, long Winter. –Michael Roffman

Trailer:

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NOS4A2

NOS4A2 Zachary Quinto first look amc

Zachary Quinto in NOS4A2, photo by Zach Dilgard/AMC via Entertainment Weekly

Release: April 30th via AMC

Why We’re Excited: Joe Hill’s 2013 riff on vampire myths is a must-read among horror circles today, and naturally, we’re intrigued to see how it translates to the screen. The story follows a young working-class artist who discovers she has a supernatural ability to keep track of a creepy, seemingly immortal child predator named Charles Manx. It gets crazier! Manx feeds off the souls of children and deposits them into this wintry imaginationland, where every day is Christmas and happiness is the law. C’mon, you won’t find a more original premise than that all year, and with Zachary Quinto as Manx (see above), we probably won’t get a more memorable villain, either. Maybe we’re bias, seeing how it’s Stephen King’s son, but we’ve got a thirst for this one. –Michael Roffman

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Veep

Veep (HBO)

Veep (HBO)

Release: Spring via HBO

Why We’re Excited: One of the smartest and sharpest comedies to ever grace HBO is coming to an end. Even worse, the final season will be its shortest, with only eight episodes. Still, there’s nothing wrong with something that’s short and sweet, and judging from all the teary photos the cast and crew have been sharing on Instagram, this last outing looks to be just that. In hindsight, we should be so lucky. Given everything this series has gone through — from showrunners departing to harrowing medical scares with its leading star — this last run is a gift. A gift that’s been boxed up in cynicism and wrapped up in vitriol, the likes of which have made Veep the most essential political farce of the 21st century. Rest assured, the Emmys will be watching. –Michael Roffman

Trailer:

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The Good Fight

the good fight christine baranski cbs all access series

The Good Fight (CBS All Access)

Release: Spring via CBS All Access

Why We’re Excited: What do I have to do to get you people to watch The Good Fight? Perhaps you’re of the belief that to watch it, you must have seen The Good Wife, Michelle and Robert King’s lauded CBS legal procedural. Rest assured, you do not: While you may occasionally want to dash off to Google a character to find out if they appeared on the mothership, you won’t have any trouble following the action. Maybe you’re unaware that this series, which centers on Fight standout Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), has done a better job of addressing the surreality of life in the Trump era than any series or film out there? Well, it has, and that’s even more true of the exemplary second season than it was of the first. Or is it simply that you, like many others, are tired of sexy lawyer programs? I feel you, I do — but this is no ordinary sexy lawyer program. The ferociously smart, often funny, always gripping, and surprisingly surprising series contains multitudes, and as a bonus, these lawyers and investigators curse like motherfuckers. So sure, it’s lawyers, and yes, they’re sexy, but trust me on this one: This is one CBS spinoff sexy layer procedural that is absolutely worth your time. —Allison Shoemaker
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The Twilight Zone

the twilight zone cbs all access jordan peele

The Twilight Zone (CBS All Access)

Release: Spring via CBS All Access

Why We’re Excited: In the months since Jordan Peele’s Get Out conquered box offices, awards shows, and top 10 lists alike, Peele has trotted out one in-development project after another, in the realms of both film and television. His TV dance card is particularly full: TBS’s underrated The Last O.G. returns April 2, his documentary series Lorena bows next month, and there are a handful of others as well. But with the possible exception of that little movie he’s got coming out, the most hotly anticipated has to be his revival of groundbreaking classic The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access. That anticipation spiked when it was announced that Peele would serve, Rod Serling-style, as host and narrator; the gradual cast announcements have done nothing to dampen that enthusiasm. Adam Scott? Sanaa Lathan? Kumail Nanjiani, Steven Yeun, Alison Tolman, Jessica Williams, DeWanda Wise, Jacob Tremblay, Greg Kinnear? Come on. That’s just unfair. And as a bonus, the CBS All Access subscription for which you’ll be shelling out also grants you access to The Good Fight (directly above on this list). Us who?

Trailer:

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Big Little Lies

big little lies hbo season 2

Big Little Lies (HBO)

Release: Spring via HBO

Why We’re Excited: After conquering the Emmys, the Golden Globes, and the SAG Awards, HBO was basically like, “We’d be fucking stupid to walk away from this and keep it a limited series.” Alas, the once-limited series now returns, and what was already a star-powered extravaganza now gets even more A-list fuel in the one and only Meryl Streep. Creator David E. Kelley returned to write the next chapter with American Honey director Andrea Arnold stepping in for Jean-Marc Vallée, who will stick around as executive producer. So, there’s a lot of new parts to this well-oiled machine, which gives us enough confidence to believe there’s more story beyond what was essentially a perfect ending. If anything, it’ll be a beautiful watch. –Michael Roffman

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Stranger Things

Stranger Things Season 3

Stranger Things Season 3

Release: July 4th via Netflix

Why We’re Excited: Are you kidding? The second season of Stranger Things was a bonafide event — Halloween party everyone was invited to — and the third season looks to be doing just the same thing for the Fourth of July. The fact that the Duffer brothers have been so tight-lipped about what’s to come also helps in keeping us upside down in excitement. After all, we’ve really only seen a trailer for a new mall, featuring everyone’s go-to hunk Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) doing his best Judge Reinhold impression, which will reportedly factor heavily into the new story. Couple that information with this season’s laundry list of influences from the Duffers, ranging from George A. Romero to Cronenberg to John Carpenter’s The Thing, and we’re 100% convinced this chopping mall will have all the right fireworks to keep us inside come Fourth of July weekend. –Michael Roffman

Trailer:

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Mr. Robot

mr robot usa network season 4 final season

Mr. Robot (USA)

Release: Summer via USA

Why We’re Excited: Despite being one of cable TV’s lowest-rated programs through most of its third season in 2017, Sam Esmail’s breakout series is getting a proper ending. The upcoming fourth season will be the show’s last, which is hardly surprising, but it at least gives Esmail the opportunity to tie together the stories of E-Corp, mentally unstable hacker Eliot (Rami Malek), his dead father/nefarious alternate personality Mr. Robot (Christian Slater), and the fates of the dangerous figures hovering around him at all times. There’s quite a bit for Esmail to wrap up in just one more season, especially when the show has implied everything from early-series enemies to a Large Hadron Collider being involved in whatever the show’s endgame might be. It’ll sure be something to talk about, one way or another. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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Orange is the New Black

orange is the new black netflix season 7

Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Release: Summer via Netflix

Why We’re Excited: In advance of its seventh season’s premiere, Netflix announced that this will be the final run for one of its original flagship series. Orange is the New Black inspired a wealth of conversations about social and political activism during its run, and even if a bit of the luster has worn off the series by now, it’s not for lack of effort on the part of its broad, uniformly excellent cast. At its best, the show has demonstrated its ability to open up far broader conversations about the kind of necessary social change that tends to disappear among so much political muckraking. Litchfield may be far gone by now, and some of its inmates have been released, but the sixth season ended with a devastating new directional shift that the seventh season will surely pick up. The prisons are always full; the only question is who’s getting thrown into them next. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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Succession

succession hbo series season 2

Succession (HBO)

Release: Summer via HBO

Why We’re Excited: You could be forgiven for reading a Succession synopsis — mega-rich family of assholes do battle for control over a media monolith — and nope-ing the fuck out of there. We’ve got quite enough of that at the moment, thanks. But Succession is considerably more sharp-toothed than its somber opening titles and “wait, really? Now?” premise would suggest. A biting, blackly comic farce-meets-soap-meets-character-study, HBO’s sleeper hit from Jesse Armstrong (The Thick of It) was, in its first season, home to some of the smartest performances on TV, from Kieran Culkin’s sentient smirk emoji Roman to Sarah Snook’s aptly-named Shiv. But it’s telling that the two who most captivated us were the outsiders, humble middle-class strivers simultaneously buying into and bewildered by the batshit crazy world in which they’ve dug out a place: Matthew Macfadyen’s Tom, a bullied fiancé who bullies in turn, and the hapless Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun), two dipshits who, like the rest of this family, somehow earn our empathy from time to time. What happens to them — to any of them — in this upcoming second season, we’ve got no clue. But we’ll be gawking at them, laughing, hoping we’re never like that, and suspecting that money or not, we probably are. —Allison Shoemaker

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