Happy new shows! 2023 has arrived, and with it comes a fresh set of addictions. These are the new and returning shows I am (currently) most thrilled about.
Shrinking (Apple TV+)
The creators of Ted Lasso are behind this show about “psychological vigilantes”—therapists who take action and actually tell patients what to do instead of sit back and listen. It’s a daft concept for a feel-good series (and could well be psychologically problematic) but then it stars Jason Segel along with—in his first-ever series role—a certain Mr Harrison Ford.
Break Point (Netflix)
Netflix’s Formula One: Drive To Survive took F1 mainstream. Audiences around the world who cared little about motorsport lapped up the high-octane drama and exceptional production values of this series that established storylines and characters. Now the same creative team is going after tennis. Serve’s up.
American Born Chinese (Disney+ Hotstar)
The acclaimed graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang was both satire and magic realism, a book as much about a high school crush as about a mythical Monkey King. The series will—thrillingly—bring Everything Everywhere All At Once stars Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu and Ke Huy Quan back together, and actor Lucy Liu will direct part of it.
The Idol (Disney+ Hotstar)
Pop megastar Abel Tesfaye—better known as The Weeknd—plays the leader of a cult in this series created and directed by Sam Levinson—best known for making one of TV’s weirdest hits, Euphoria (Disney+Hotstar). Lily-Rose Depp plays a burnt-out musician trying to re-establish herself as the sexiest pop star in America, while The Weeknd (who co-created the show) plays a self-help guru who may well lead her astray.
The Palace (Disney+ Hotstar)
I haven’t read much about this new HBO miniseries save that it’s set in a palace during the crumbling of a dictatorial regime, but the cast is led by Kate Winslet—her follow-up series after the much loved Mare Of Easttown—and Hugh Grant. You know you will watch this.
The Three-Body Problem (Netflix)
From David Benioff and D.B. Weiss—creators of a little show called Game Of Thrones—comes this ambitious adaptation of a highly revered science-fiction novel by Liu Cixin. The novel is about astrophysics, labour camps and a weirdly immersive Virtual Reality game—which may or may not involve thrones.
Extraordinary (Disney+ Hotstar)
A superhero comedy created by the producers of Killing Eve, Extraordinary is set in a world where basically everyone has a superpower—from levitation to shapeshifting—that gets triggered after they turn 18. Everyone, that is, except for the show’s protagonist, Jen, who is 25 and has no power. It sounds like Encanto but weirder: Demon dogs are involved.
X-Men ’97 (Disney+ Hotstar)
A whole bunch of fan-favourites from the Marvel Cinematic Universe have their own shows coming out: Kathryn Hahn’s WandaVision villain Agatha Harkness gets her own series, Agatha: Coven Of Chaos, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki returns for a second season of time-travelling self-love, and Dominique Thorn’s Riri Williams, whom we saw in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, will get her own show as Iron-Man successor Ironheart. All (or none) of those shows could prove solid but I am betting on the revival of X-Men: The Animated Series, the delightful 1990s show that Marvel is resurrecting, banking on that retro vibe. Just keep the theme tune as is.
Succession (Disney+ Hotstar)
Ah, that sensational season 3 finale. We saw the Roy media empire reeling from the impact of big betrayals, business skullduggery and—most memorably—a missent dick-pic. We have missed the sweary bastards.
True Detective: Night Country (Disney+ Hotstar)
The first season of True Detective was sublime, while the second and third were considerably less superlative, yet it’s hard not to be eager to watch the woman-led fourth season of the investigative anthology series returning to screen after three years. Set in Alaska, it stars the one and only Jodie Foster in her first onscreen role in almost half a century.
Barry (Disney+ Hotstar)
Barry, co-created by and starring Bill Hader as a crackshot assassin who simply wants to become an actor, is one of the most surprising dramedies on television. For its fourth and final season, Hader will direct every episode—potentially gifting us a genuinely startling and inventive director even while capping off the series.
Okay, so reunion shows are a sham—best exemplified by the utterly mediocre Sex And The City reboot And Just Like That (Disney+ Hotstar)—and yet, look up one clip of this absurdly great comedy about party waiters, witness that phenomenal cast riff off each other, and imagine them back in the kitchen, flinging insults and rulebooks. Ken Marino, Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Martin Starr, Megan Mullally and Ryan Hansen will all be around.
The new Frasier, on the other hand, will feature Kelsey Grammer as the pompous psychiatrist we know and love but no other stars from the beloved 1990s sitcom will be regulars now as the radio therapist lives in a different city. While we will miss the late John Mahoney, who played Frasier’s dad, and—perhaps most of all—David Hyde Pierce, who played his fastidious brother Niles, it must be remembered that Frasier is the one exemplary sitcom spinoff, one where a supporting character from the Boston bar of Cheers wrote a nine-season success story in his own name. Frasier has always been one of television's most verbose characters. I don't know what he could have left to say but... I'm listening.