As most people who travel in our collective circles are aware, the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones has just premiered. With one more episode to go before the end of the first season of GoT with no book to reference, everyone is waiting with bated breath to see how this season wraps. After the season finale, beyond the five stages of grieving one goes through, the question remains: What next?
While we all collectively wait for our next invitation to Westeros, there are some new shows that are coming to the networks that just might peak your individual interest.
Based on the Vertigo comic book by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Preacher tells the story of Jesse Custer (a small town preacher with supernatural powers), his friend Cassidy (an Irish Vampire) and his ex-girlfriend Tulip and their (literal) search for a missing God who has seemingly abandoned humanity. The show premiered May 22, 2016 and is available on AMC. The series stars Dominic Cooper (Agent Carter, Warcraft) as Jesse, Joseph Gilgun (Ripper Street, Misfits) as Cassidy and Ruth Negga (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Warcraft) as Tulip. As a reader of the comics, I’m interested in how far the network is willing to go with the themes that are introduced and some of the characters, especially Arseface.
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Created by Matt and Ross Duffer (Wayward Pines), the series is a drama set in the 1980’s in Indiana. It stars Winona Ryder (Edward Scissorhands, Black Swan) as a single mother whose son goes mysteriously missing. While she investigates the mystery with the hapless, yet honest town Sheriff played by David Harbour (The Newsroom, Suicide Squad), the town begins to uncover mysteries involving secret experiments, supernatural phenomenon and a strange little girl. The series begins July 15th. The trailer invokes a darker E.T. vibe to me with a hint of both Eerie Indiana and The X-Files for good measure.
Executive produced by J.J Abrams (Lost, Person of Interest, Star Wars) and Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight, Interstellar) from the original story by Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, ER), Westworld takes place in a futuristic adult oriented amusement park. Guests at the park are allowed to live out their fantasies in different worlds including a Western themed area that allows you to live out your gunslinger fantasies. All of the attractions are populated by humanoid androids who operate with a complicated artificial intelligence that allows them to believe that they are really the characters that they are inhabiting. When systems failures begin to affect many of the attractions, the staff and guests are forced the deal with the new reality of sentient androids who are trying to find out their place in the world. The series stars Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs, Thor), Ed Harris (Apollo 13, The Truman Show), Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler, True Blood) Thandie Newton (Beloved, Crash) and Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale, The Hunger Games). Westworld premieres in October.
The Exorcist (Fox)
This last entry intrigues me, but I am a little skeptical about the overall execution. I have been a fan of the original novel by William Peter Blatty and the film by William Friedkin since I was a little kid, so I am hesitant to dive back into that world without a solid story to follow (If you’re wondering why, watch Exorcist: The Beginning and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist which are the same movie, with the same actors by two different writers and directors and both equally bad). This series follows a new family and two new characters trying to help a family deal with demonic possession. The series stars Ben Lewis (Law & Order U.K., House of Cards), Geena Davis (The Fly, Thelma and Louise) and Alfonso Herrera (Sense8, Drunk History). The Exorcist premieres September 23, 2016.