Our staff have sifted through a whole bunch of teasers, trailers and rumours to bring you their picks for the best upcoming TV shows of 2020.
The "hunting Nazis" subgenre is one that has never waned in terms of health, with there literally being thousands of films dedicated to fanciful revenge porn rewritings of history (not a dirty word, some of these like Inglorious Basterds and Overlord are very satisfying). Hunters, however, looks set to class shit up and not just because it stars Al Pacino in his first episodic television role in 20 years. He plays the leader of a diverse group of hunters living in 1970s New York who are tasked with tracking down hundreds of high-ranking Nazis hiding in the US and conspiring to create a Fourth Reich. Executive produced by Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) the slick series mixes genre elements and a period setting with a strangely poignant message for 2020, when far-right extremism is once again on the rise.
– Maria Lewis, Writer/Editor
Hunters will stream on Amazon Prime from 21 February 2020.
Star Trek: Picard
The announcement of a new Star Trek series with Patrick Stewart reprising his most iconic role was met with a mixture of joy and fingernail-chewing dread. The Next Generation (1987 – 1994) ended on a subtle and satisfying note with the captain joining his crew for a game of cards, so there’s a fear that in this new Star Trek era of explosions, lofty dialogue and lens flares we’d get a 79-year-old man hobbling around the galaxy punching aliens and spouting action one-liners (although, that would be hilarious). But according to Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman, Picard will be a more “contemplative show” with its own “rhythm” and more of a “real-world” feeling. From what we’ve seen from the trailer so far, it’ll most likely be a combination of bombast and pathos, with plenty of fan service sprinkled in (some of the old TNG crew are back). Either way, I really hope it will serve as a suitable swansong for one of television’s most beloved characters.
– Dilan Gunawardana, Website Coordinator
Star Trek: Picard will stream on Amazon Prime from 24 January 2020.
Awkwafina is Nora from Queens
It seems the rise of the female loser is a television trend that is here to stay. Starring Golden Globe winning actress and rapper Awkwafina, Awkwafina is Nora from Queens is set to be the hilarious and relatable comedy of 2020. Inspired by her own journey to adulthood while living in Flushing, Queens, Awkwafina’s Nora lives at home with her father and profanity-loving grandmother. Nora doesn’t have a job, fails miserably as an Uber driver and can’t remember her own social security number. The mid-twenties existential crisis is clear. In one scene Nora cries to her friend “I wish I had purpose like you, you dumb b****” while she cradles her bong. A directionless, twenty-something stoner protagonist is sure to hit a comedic chord with fellow millennials deep in their own quarter life crises.
– Summer Gooding, Experience & Engagement Coordinator
Release details TBA
Later this month, HBO will air a new comedy series from Veep and The Thick of It creator Armando Ianucci, starring Hugh Laurie as the omnipotent spaceship captain of space-tourism vessel. What could go wrong? In Avenue 5, set some 40 years into the future, the solar system has become the new frontier for the upper-class of Earth; a plethora of characters are looking to exploit it, namely billionaire-backer Hermann Judd (Josh Gad). However, when a minor mishap changes the travel time from 3 weeks to 3 years, panic ensues.
– Benjamin Haller, Membership and Engagement Officer
Avenue 5 will stream on Foxtel Now from 23 January 2020.
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels
Penny Dreadful was one of the greatest shows of the past decade and as far as elevator pitches go, an Avengers team of classic movie monsters from the people who made the recent James Bond films is pretty bloody ace. So, when it went out on top after its third season, folks were understandably crushed. There was so much more to do, so much left to explore … so much that will now get poured into Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. A spin-off series set within the same supernatural universe but with a whole new cast of characters and set in a different time period – 1930s Los Angeles – it mixes police procedural elements with South American mythology. Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer plays the shape-shifting villain of the piece, but all eyes should be on Daniel Zovatto who has had supporting roles in films like Lady Bird, It Follows and Don’t Breathe. A charismatic and intriguing performer set to be the breakout star.
– Maria Lewis
Release details TBA
The Boys: Season 2
The gory, hilarious and utterly fearless first season of The Boys stood tall in a sea of (mostly) bloodless, superhero franchise films, (see Arieh Offman’s piece for ACMI Recommends), and ended on a cliffhanger. Although the trailer for the second season is light on plot details, we do know that the crew of “Boys” and the villainous Seven will be back and bloodier than ever. Aya Cash (from You’re the Worst) joins the cast as the superhuman Nazi antagonist Stormfront, in a gender reversal from the character in Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s original comic series.
– Dilan Gunawardana
The Boys will stream on Amazon Prime in mid-2020 (date TBA)
The narrative details of upcoming UK series Hitmen are fairly scant: two hapless friends, Fran and Jamie, stumble into an unlikely career working as contract killers. It stars Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, best known for hosting The Great British Bake-Off until 2017. For all their bread-based puns and soggy-bottom innuendos on Bake Off, Mel and Sue haven’t acted together in the same series since the excellent mid-90s sketch show Fist of Fun, with Richard Herring and Stewart Lee. The Mel and Sue comedy partnership goes back 30 years, and I can’t wait to see them on screen together again.
– Jim Fishwick, Curator
Release details TBA
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Any enthusiasm I had to see more Marvel films deflated like a balloon after Avengers: Endgame, but I am curious about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. How is the Falcon going to fly around kicking ass while holding that big ol’ shield Captain America gave him? Will Bucky get his own shield? Will any other Marvel characters make an appearance? Are they all gonna drive around together in a van solving mysteries? Will there be a Baby Hulk? I don’t know. But I am looking forward to the buddy cop vibe of the Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan partnership. Both actors are charismatic as hell, so it’ll be great to see them in the spotlight.
– Dilan Gunawardana
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will stream on Disney+ (date TBA).
Everything's Gonna be Okay
He’s finicky, neurotic and awkward and yet Australia's comedy-brat Josh Thomas has won me over. His characters carefully straddle the line between likable and awful – making them supremely relatable. His debut series Please Like Me (2013) portrayed depression and queer romance with gentleness, authenticity and vulnerability. It was too real – and too good. In his TV return, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, Thomas plays Nicholas, a young Australian who visits his father in Los Angeles and, following his death, becomes the unwitting guardian to a young half-sister. I can’t wait to snuggle up to the tones of his rather odd voice, get to know his new dysfunctional television family as if they were my own, and burrow right into the warm, comforting notion that we’re all just trying our best. Everything’s Gonna Be Okay ... somehow Josh Thomas makes me believe that it will be.
– Hannah Miller, Social and Content Advisor
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay will stream on Stan from 17 January 2020.