by Matthew Thompson
As I did with games, I want to peer into 2015 and see what there is to look forward to on TV. I’m not going to talk about any returning shows like I did in the Fall as it is for the most part the shows I touched on in my year-end awards. Instead I’ll just be focusing on new shows. Specifically those set to air some time in the first half of the year (things like Westworld I will discuss when there is some more info later on). Here are the five I’m most excited to see plus a few more.
5. The Last Man on Earth (FOX, March 1st)
This simply looks hilarious. It is just such a fascinating and unique idea for a show. Being the only person around. The kind of freedom that gives you, but also all the obvious drawbacks. I liked the footage I have seen so far a lot and there definitely seems to be some great comedic material to mine here. I’m curious to see how they will write enough scenarios to keep this interesting. I think it is pretty obvious he will find other people (I’m guessing he’ll meet a woman by the end of the pilot). Maybe they will use some flashbacks. But that still means a very small cast and the trailers indicate plenty of time spent alone. Will Forte is usually funny, so that should help. The Last Man on Earth definitely feels like a comedy to watch.
4. Better Call Saul (AMC, February 8th)
I’m not sure I needed Better Call Saul. I’m not even sure I wanted Better Call Saul. But now that it is a very real thing, I’m definitely looking forward to checking it out. Just like everyone else on Earth I loved Breaking Bad, so seeing more of Bob Odenkirk’s character before he became Saul Goodman and met Walter White sounds like a fun time. It certainly helps that Jonathan Banks will be reprising his role as fixer Mike Ehrmentraut in this prequel series. He was such a badass on Breaking Bad and I enjoyed him even more than Saul. I think it is also good that Better Call Saul has a decidedly different tone than its parent show too. It should help it stand on its own and steer clear of the giant shadow cast by one of television’s best dramas.
3. Bloodline (Netflix, March 20th)
It is often hard to tell how a new show will be based on its premise. I can often dislike a show that seems right in my wheelhouse or fall for one whose premise had me writing it off initially. This is why at times it’s easier to guess based on the talent involved whether a new series is worth a shot. Following that logic, Bloodline from the creators of Damages and starring one of my favorite actors, the always wonderful Kyle Chandler, certainly seems like a show worth getting excited about. That isn’t to say the premise sounds bad though. Bloodline hones in on the Rayburns, a Florida family shaken up by the return of their black sheep son. Getting away from the corporate world of Damages to focus on family in this new show seems like nice way for the creators to explore new ideas with their brand of dramatic thriller. I’ll definitely be tuning in when it hits Netflix this March.
2. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix, March 6th)
30 Rock was amazing, so when I heard the brains behind it, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, were working on something new, I was in. The result is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It focuses on the titular Schmidt, played by Ellie Kemper, who is starting over in New York City after escaping a doomsday cult. Kimmy’s past could make for a wild setup and it certainly seems like something both Fey and Carlock as well as Kemper could work some magic with. It was recently sold over from NBC to Netflix which should be good for the show’s longevity. They’ve already picked it up for a second season and given the state of NBC’s comedy lineup at the moment, I didn’t really like its chances for survival there.
1. iZombie (The CW, March 17th)
I love Rob Thomas for his work on Veronica Mars and Party Down. I have really enjoyed what I’ve read of the iZombie comic books. And the two seem like such a good fit together that I just couldn’t be much more excited for this new series debuting on The CW in March. The TV show will have Liv, a functioning zombie, working at the coroner’s office in order to acquire what she needs to sustain herself. It turns out when she partakes in someone’s brains, she also takes in their memories which she uses to help solve the crimes that landed them in front of her to begin with. The female lead, narration, and offbeat detective cases certainly seem right in the creator of Veronica Mars‘ wheelhouse. But the more outlandish premise should help to separate it from both Thomas’ earlier work as well as other zombie shows in the TV landscape. I do kind of wish the show was including some of the other monsters the comic book did (I love the books’ logic for how they all exist), but a looser adaptation of the source material like this show is going for might help it to better stand on its own. I’m also happy to see The CW schedule this one behind its biggest hit, The Flash. For someone hoping iZombie is a success, I could not ask for a better place for it.
Battle Creek (CBS, March 1st): I’m not against a good police procedural, but am having a hard time getting excited about this one. But Vince Gilligan’s hand in its creation (and yes I realize his involvement will be minimal going forward) and my love of Dean Winters in everything from 30 Rock to the Mayhem commercials, means I’ll give Battle Creek a shot. Hopefully it will surprise me.
Dig (USA, March 5th): I kind of… erm… dug the trailer for this. There is a sense of adventure here that I liked. The settings look good. The cast seems really solid. But at the same time these ancient conspiracy plots have a tendency to turn super silly, so there’s a good chance it might stink. Still seems worth a look to me.
The Returned (A&E, March 9th): Well I’d much rather be watching a new season of Les Revenants, the brilliant French drama this is based on. But with that still a ways off, I’ll see how this American remake turns out in the meantime. The cast looks really good at least. I hope they can do a solid job remaking this.
So those are some shows to keep an eye on in 2015. I’ll surely be back with my take on these after they premiere. Let me know in the comments what new shows you are looking forward to or what I missed in this post. Thanks for reading!