The Golden Age of Television is definitely upon us. The number of TV shows – good TV shows – available to everyone at any time is as amazing as it is overwhelming.
So if you don’t want to be banished from the water cooler because you missed the new Breaking Bad, check out our list of some of the most anticipated new and returning shows of 2016. Then feel free to make Judy in HR jog on when she starts moaning about spoiler alerts.
Vinyl (HBO) – February 14
Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll from two men who know them best: Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese.
The 1970s music biz drama focuses on a fledgling record label during the dawn of punk, disco and hip-hop. The best part of Vinyl might just end up being its soundtrack – the Rolling Stones, New York Dolls and Lou Reed are just some of the acts who’ll set the tone for the show.
Recommended for… those who miss VH1’s Behind the Music, liked Almost Famous, and enjoy watching lots and lots of simulated drug use.
11.23.63. (Hulu) – February 15
Based on master of horror Stephen King’s bestselling novel; produced by sci-fi god J.J. Abrams; and starring oft/self-proclaimed renaissance man, James Franco; 11.23.63. should be nothing if not interesting.
This 10-part miniseries centres on a mild-mannered school teacher who is sent back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination. You can’t say it’s lacking in creativity.
Recommended for… those who liked The Man in the High Castle, history buffs, and big James Franco fans (there have to be some, other than James Franco himself).
Love (Netflix) – February 19
Judd Apatow’s first TV show since his one-season wonders Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, Love is being marked as a “down-to-earth look at dating”, told from the viewpoint of both sexes.
The male perspective is provided by Gus (Paul Rust), a nerdy, nice guy, and the female by Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), a Manic Pixie Dream Girl type. Hopefully, Apatow’s unique voice should elevate the show’s clichéd plot.
Recommended for… those who binged Master of None and You’re the Worst and have tried (and failed) to get through Infinite Jest.
The Path (Hulu) – March 30
Though not much is known about this new show other than the central plot – the series focuses on a Scientology-like cult and its members – the fact it stars a post-Breaking Bad Aaron Paul (as a cult member rethinking his involvement) and a post-Hannibal Hugh Dancy (as the cult’s charismatic leader) makes it a must-catch.
If the show is anything like real Scientology, it will be equal parts fascinating and frightening – let’s just hope no one in the cast pulls a Shelly Miscavige.
Recommended for… those who liked Going Clear and reading about the strangest cults on Wikipedia. Not Tom Cruise.
Marvel’s Luke Cage (Netflix) – April
After his supporting role in last year’s outstanding Jessica Jones, Luke Cage is back for his own series in the Defenders universe.
If it’s is anything like its predecessor, Luke Cage will tend towards the grit-and-gore end of the comic book spectrum; more Watchmen than Captain America. The plot of his series isn’t known yet, but hopefully it will explore Cage’s time in prison and the experiment that rendered him indestructible.
Recommended for… those who can’t stop talking about how good Jessica Jones and Daredevil are. Definitely not recommended for children.
House of Cards (Netflix) – March 4
After a pretty lackluster third season, we’re hoping Frank’s presidential campaign will be as entertaining as Donald Trump’s (but significantly less xenophobic).
Daredevil (Netflix) – March 18
The first member of the Defenders universe is back in Hell’s Kitchen for another season that should be as dark, violent and engaging as its first.
Game of Thrones (HBO) – April 24
Is Jon Snow alive? Probably. But there’s still plenty of reasons to tune into the HBO epic’s sixth season. Especially now that the book readers have lost their sense of superiority.
Silicon Valley (HBO) – April 24
Break out the Tres Commas tequila because one of the best comedies on TV is returning for its third season. Just make sure you don’t get stuck in a shipping container before you rebillionize.