Winter TV Preview: ‘True Detective,’ ‘Carmen Sandiego’ and 19 More Shows to Watch

The winter television season — will that combination of words ever stop sounding strange? — is upon us in all its abundance. And it’s more abundant than ever. Here are 21 new and returning shows to keep an eye out for over the next few months. Of course that’s more than anyone can watch. In most cases it’s too early to tell which shows will pan out, but if you nailed me to a tree, I’d tell you to definitely make time for “High Maintenance,” “Shrill,” parts of “Documentary Now!” (especially the episodes titled “Original Cast Album: Co-op” and “Waiting for the Artist”) and, if you have children, a co-view of “Carmen Sandiego.”

[Read about the best TV shows of 2018.]

‘When Heroes Fly’

Israeli TV series usually stick close to home, but this action thriller from Omri Givon (“Hostages”) ventures into the Colombian jungle, where four veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces conduct a rescue mission a decade after their service. It stars Tomer Kapon, who played a rebellious young counterterrorism agent in the first season of “Fauda.” (Jan. 10, Netflix)

‘Sex Education’

An awkward guy (Asa Butterfield) and an outcast girl (Emma Mackey) form an alliance in this teen-sex comedy set at a British secondary school. The boy’s anxieties are aggravated by the fact that his mother is a free-loving sex therapist; the show is most notable for the fact that the mother is played by Gillian Anderson. (Jan. 11, Netflix)


Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani, who met in a Columbia University screenwriting class, have built up a fair bit of buzz over the last five years without having any of their scripts actually produced. This series, about a British son of Pakistani immigrants (Nabhaan Rizwan) and the two cops who upend his life (Paddy Considine and Bel Powley), is their professional debut. (Jan. 11, Amazon)

‘True Detective’

After a nearly three-and-a-half-year hiatus, HBO has pulled together another interesting cast for the third season of Nic Pizzolatto’s crime-gothic anthology: Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff as detectives called in on the disappearance of a young sister and brother and Scoot McNairy as the children’s father, plus Carmen Ejogo and Jon Tenney. Multiple time tracks and a Southern setting (Arkansas) recall Season 1. (Jan. 13, HBO)

‘Roswell, New Mexico’

Fans of the original “Roswell” sent network executives bottles of Tabasco sauce to save their beloved emo-teen-alien series, but it lasted only three seasons (1999-2002) on WB and then UPN. Their pleas have been answered, finally, with this new series, which is also based on the “Roswell High” young-adult book series but adds what now seems obvious: an immigration theme. Jeanine Mason plays a daughter of undocumented immigrants who returns home to Roswell and discovers that the guy she liked in high school is from even farther away. (Jan. 15, CW)

‘Carmen Sandiego’

The fourth TV show (and first in 20 years) spawned by the Carmen Sandiego educational-video-game franchise is an animated “Mission Impossible”-style adventure that’s more adult than its predecessors but still abundantly lighthearted. After a few episodes that provide a new origin story (and moral compass) for the master thief Carmen (voiced by Gina Rodriguez), the series gets back to using crime capers as a vehicle for geographical and cultural lessons. (Jan. 18, Netflix)

‘High Maintenance’

In its third season, Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair’s anthropological comedy about the sale, delivery and consumption of marijuana in Brooklyn delves even deeper into the personal and romantic life of the poker-faced dealer played by Sinclair. (Jan. 19, HBO)

‘Black Monday’

David Caspe of “Happy Endings” is one of the creators of this Wall Street satire set during the run-up to the 1987 crash, with Don Cheadle as a maverick trader who lives large (he rides around Manhattan in a Lamborghini limo) and Andrew Rannells as a white-bread newbie with an algorithm no one takes seriously. (Jan. 20, Showtime)

‘Black Earth Rising’

The Rwandan genocide and its aftermath have mostly defeated attempts at dramatization (with the notable exception of Terry George’s “Hotel Rwanda,” animated by Don Cheadle’s performance as the hotelier Paul Rusesabagina). This series from the British writer and director Hugo Blick (“The Honorable Woman”) has brilliant performers of its own: Micaela Coel of “Chewing Gum,” going strictly serious as a Rwandan survivor investigating a war-crimes case, and John Goodman as the barrister who counsels her. (Jan. 25, Netflix)


Texas-based Rooster Teeth, producer of the popular animated Web series “Red vs. Blue” and “RWBY,” is behind this giant-robot anime depicting a future war. The real news, for a series that will initially be available only through Rooster Teeth’s app and website, is a voice cast led by legitimate stars like Michael B. Jordan, Dakota Fanning, Maisie Williams and David Tennant. (Jan. 26, Rooster Teeth)

‘Rent: Live’

If live musicals for television are your thing, you won’t want to miss this live musical for television. The cast includes Tinashe (as Mimi), Vanessa Hudgens, several “Hamilton” cast members and Valentina of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” as Angel; Michael Greif, director of the original stage production, is said to be overseeing this production. (Jan. 27, Fox)

‘I Am the Night’

The director and one of the stars of “Wonder Woman,” Patty Jenkins and Chris Pine, reunite for a very different project. Pine plays a down-on-his-luck journalist in a mini-series based on the life of Fauna Hodel, daughter of Dr. George Hodel, a suspect in the Black Dahlia murder; India Eisley and Jefferson Mays play the daughter and father. (Jan. 28, TNT)

‘Russian Doll’

Those of us in the know are honor-bound to keep the basic secrets of this half-hour series created by Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland (“Terriers”). Lyonne plays a Lower East Sider with issues who finds herself at a party she can’t escape. It’s all spoilers from there. (Feb. 1, Netflix)


The high-concept, slightly transgressive gag in this sendup of sentimental teen comedies is that 31-year-old Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle (who created this show with Sam Zvibleman) play seventh graders, while the classmates who bully and humiliate them — and on whom they have mad crushes — are actually middle-school-aged. (Feb. 8, Hulu)


In one of the less likely instances of rebooting, this half-hour series is based on the 1992 film of the same name, a workplace comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Robin Givens. It’s set at the same advertising firm, with Tequan Richmond as the son of Givens’s character and Tetona Jackson as the daughter of Murphy’s and Halle Berry’s characters; Berry and Lena Waithe are among the executive producers. (Feb. 12, BET)

‘Miracle Workers’

This new satirical sitcom from Simon Rich (“Man Seeking Woman”) imagines heaven as a bloated, industrial-era corporation — budget cuts lead to eliminating product lines, a.k.a. extinctions — which sounds a little like “The Good Place.” But “Miracle Workers” is based on Rich’s 2012 novel, “What in God’s Name,” and it feels more like a 1930s-vintage Hollywood comedy. Steve Buscemi plays God, who’s lost interest; Daniel Radcliffe plays a timid clerk in the Answered Prayers department; and Geraldine Viswanathan plays a new arrival there whose enthusiasm for earth has unintended consequences. (Feb. 12, TBS)

‘The Umbrella Academy’

If the heightened sensibility of this series about a fractious team of 30-something superheroes reminds you of FX’s “Legion,” you’re probably on to something: Steve Blackman, who adapted the Eisner Award-winning “Umbrella Academy” comics for TV, was an executive producer on “Legion” and also worked with that show’s creator, Noah Hawley, on “Fargo.” (Feb. 15, Netflix)

‘At Home With Amy Sedaris’

Amy Sedaris and her cast of eccentrics, half of them played by Sedaris, return for a second season of highly suspect how-to advice. (How to keep a teenager engaged? “I’ve always said, keep their hands busy and their genitals will follow.”) (Feb. 19, TruTV)

‘Documentary Now!’

In the exceedingly small niche of series that lovingly parody well-known nonfiction films, “Documentary Now!” reigns supreme. Season 3 begins with a two-part sendup of Netflix’s cult-noir “Wild, Wild Country” and memorably includes a tribute to D.A. Pennebaker’s “Original Cast Album: Company,” with John Mulaney as the Sondheimesque composer of songs like “(A Little) Cocaine Tonight.” (Feb. 20, IFC)


A new comedy from the Lorne Michaels factory stars Aidy Bryant as a young woman of a certain size whose life, as the show begins, is a cascade of indignities. Daniel Stern and Julia Sweeney, in her first regular TV role in a decade, play the parents, in a cast that includes John Cameron Mitchell, Lukas Jones of “People of Earth” and the ubiquitous Lolly Adefope, who’s also in “Miracle Workers.” (March 15, Hulu)

‘Game of Thrones’

Spoiler alert: In the last six episodes of the epic climate-change allegory, the steady rise in dragon fire warms the atmosphere, winter is averted and the White Walkers settle down peacefully in the now-temperate north. Overcome by their good fortune, many characters stop wearing clothes altogether. (April, HBO)

Source: Read Full Article