T.V. Roundup: What to Watch in 2018

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=800596

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=800596

Jett Neeley, Features

TV dramas are the best that cable TV has to offer. There are many great dramas continuing this year, and it’s criminal not to give them a try.

The most anticipated release comes from HBO, the king of television drama. The second season of Westworld begins on April 22. Westworld depicts a theme park made up of life-like androids, where guests can do whatever they please, and the androids, known as “Hosts,” are at their mercy. Westworld the TV show is an adaptation of the 1973 film Westworld. Each episode will leave you scratching your head trying to piece together all the stories, wanting to see what happens next. Executive producer J.J Abrams has once again created a science fiction masterpiece. There is still time to catch up on Season One before the premiere of Season Two.

The next title comes from film juggernaut Netflix. Legendary director David Fincher brings us Mindhunter, which follows the true story of two FBI agents who worked with and studied serial killers. The first season aired last year and Season Two is likely to return in Fall 2018. Mindhunter is perfect for anyone who likes dialogue and great character development. And great dialogue requires great actors, which Mindhunter is not short on. Lead actors Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany both manage to put out master-class performances, despite very little previous work. There’s tension in every conversation. In one scene, Agent Ford (Groff) is speaking to Edmund (Britton), and there is a genuine fear that Ford could be killed. Nothing physical suggests this; It all comes from the dialogue. And to convey real fear like that takes serious acting chops, which is just one reason why giving this show a chance makes sense.

HBO”s True Detective Season Three isn’t slated to premiere until 2019 which gives you time to watch both of the previous seasons. True Detective is a mystery/crime drama which follows a new cast and story arch every season. It’s an incredibly unique show with twisted plots that make you think and then beg for the next episode. The characters’ choices feel real and make sense and don’t seem to be guided by Ex Machina. Creator Nic Pizzolatto has done for the crime genre what Christopher Nolan did for Batman. Before Nolan directed the Batman Trilogy, it was campy. But Nolan was able to bring Batman back to reality, make it real, make it gritty. Nic Pizzolatto took a well-known genre, made it feel real and emotional, dark and gritty. Some may say Law & Order is real and emotional; however, Dick Wolf created a crime procedural, where the characters were not important to the story. The opposite is true for True Detective: the characters are integral to the plot.

Altered Carbon takes place in a Blade Runner-like future, where death is no longer permanent. Follow Takeshi Kovacs, the sole survivor of a group of elite soldiers as he tries to solve the mystery of one man’s death. Altered Carbon features an unusual story adapted from the 2002 novel of the same name. Although it borrows from different science fiction stories, like the aforementioned Blade Runner, it still somehow manages to have its own identity with an original plot and characters in an arguably over-saturated genre.

The last show I recommend is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Season 13 is set to return in 2018. IASIP is a satirical comedy centered around five awful people and the things they do in their everyday lives. It’s a laugh riot and one of the most bingeable shows on TV. Always Sunny gives you something you can’t get from any other comedy on TV right now, which is writing that is dark as night, but they manage to do it in a way that keeps you laughing. IASIP is worth every penny of a Hulu subscription. Next time you’re looking for your next binge, make sure It’s Always Sunny.