Look, I get it. It's tough finding time to do important things like syncing all 17 of your devices to the cloud (without accidentally deleting anything) never mind figuring out what new TV series to watch. That's the thing with a brand new show; if you don't start watching as soon as it starts, you're in a tough spot. Trying to catch up while the rest of the planet is fan-theorying their way through season 1? No thank you. Make life easier and watch the hot new thing as soon as it hits by scoping out our list of best new series you don’t want to miss. Below is a bunch of season 1 TV shows airing at the moment or coming soon that I think have potential, and I’ll be keeping this list up-to-date so make sure you check back to find your new TV obsession. Loving a new series I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Release date: Airing now
Remember the movie adaptation of Lemony Snicket's tales? Yeah, it sort of flopped. Netflix's take on the beloved series of kids' novels is earning rave reviews already thanks to Neil Patrick Harris turn as Count Olaf. He replaces Jim Carrey as the villainous ogre whose evil plots involve tormenting a couple of recently orphaned children. Not your typical family viewing, that's for certain, however it's not without warmth and it's really quite addictive. The costumes are spot-on, and there's no expense spared on the production. If the first eight episodes are any indication, we could be in for even more unfortunate events.
Release date: Airing now
Channel Zero premiered late last year, scoring terrific reviews for its eerie debut season, but you can still watch it on Amazon Prime so I'm counting it. It's based on creepypasta (Internet-generated horror legends), and the first season story penned by Kris Straub follows a child psychologist who believes the kids' TV show he watched as a child is linked to his brother's disappearance. The Twilight Zone sting in the tail? No-one else remembers the show. SyFy is steadily becoming a frontrunner in unique genre shows (i.e. The Expanse) and the likes of Channel Zero is proof that small screen horror is alive and well. Season 2 will adapt Brian Russell's yarn, No End House, about a haunted house so horrific that no-one has ever reached the end. Yeah, you knew where that was going.
Remember Return to Oz? The delightfully dark and flat-out weird Wizard of Oz sequel? This small screen trek to the, ahem, emerald city, appears to be more in line with that mindfuck follow-up than the 1939 original. This gritty reimagining has no singing and dancing (boo!), however you're more likely to see Dorothy embarking on a bit of vehicular manslaughter! Who cares about red ruby shoes when the grit's this... err... gritty. Think Game of Thrones crossed with Once Upon a Time and you're halfway there. Dorothy's journey to the mystical land begins when she crash lands in a cop car after taking shelter during a tornado, meeting her canine chum Toto - he's a police dog. Throw in a touch of modern geopolitics and one Vincent D'Onofrio as the Wizard (yes, Daredevil’s Wilson Fisk!) and prepare yourself for a thoroughly whacked-out fairytale.
Imagine The Revenant. Now, instead of Leonardo DiCaprio grunting his way to an Oscar, picture Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa getting feral and stabby. That's Frontier. Sorta. This Netflix Original kicks off its six-episode first season with fur trapper Declan Harp (Momoa) out to avenge the death of his family. It takes place in the late 1700s when ownership in the fur trade was akin to holding a shedload of Apple shares - it made you uber-wealthy. When Harp tries to take down England's biggest fur trading company, they fight back by sending spies to infiltrate Harp's camp. After a decent mixture of action, gore, and drama? Look no further.
Release date: Airing now
Archie comics are a wholesome slice of Americana. Small-town life, white picket fences... having two girls fawn over you. Y'know, good clean fun. That would make for an entertaining show, certainly, but this upcoming CW series takes an edgier angle. Greg Berlanti (Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash) is the creative genius behind this new show, which finds the town of Riverdale become host to a murder. It's up to the young lead Archie to don his trilby and figure out the truth, along with Jughead, Betty, and Veronica. Don't go in expecting them to be the same as their comic counterparts though; this is an altogether weirder take on the story. Bonus factoid: Stranger Things fans will be pleased to know that - in Riverdale, at least - Barb lives! Actress Shannon Purser is part of the main supporting cast as Ethel Muggs.
Release date: Airing now
Tom Hardy's got a knack for playing enraged, muscled antiheroes, and his next small screen role looks to be capitalising on that same skill set. In Taboo he plays James Delaney, a pissed-off adventurer who returns to England from Africa, pockets loaded with stolen diamonds, eager to avenge his father's death. He skulks, he broods, he tries to cop off with his half sister. Well, it is called Taboo. The series hails from Steven Knight, who worked with Hardy previously on Locke and Peaky Blinders, and is executive produced by Ridley Scott. Expect a lot of R-rated behaviour and clandestine meetings down back alleys.
Release date: February 2, 2017
Superhero TV is a big deal right now, but if you're up for something a little different, then you might be intrigued by Powerless. Set in DC's comic book world, this network comedy tackles the side of superheroism rarely seen onscreen. Namely, the insurance people who deal with the collateral damage of all those crime-fighters. Think The Office meets Supergirl. Vanessa Hudgens stars as an office worker who inadvertently becomes a hero of sorts to her colleagues when she stands up to a superhero whose antics royally screw with her day. Danny Pudi and Alan Tudyk co-star if you needed any more incentive to watch.
Santa Clarita Diet
Release date: February 3, 2017
Drew Barrymore riffs on her romcom image in this dark Netflix Original as a Californian real estate agent who enjoys the sweet succulent taste of human flesh. According to the series she's not a zombie, per se, but more of a cannibal. Whatever she is, her husband is an understanding sort who happily goes along with her newfound dietary requirements. Said spouse is played by Justified's Timothy Olyphant, who's got great chemistry with Barrymore as they try to find horrible people to eat guilt-free. Bit like Dexter without the maudlin edge. The trailer hints at a little silliness, which could be down to Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer, who directs the first two episodes.
Release date: February 8, 2017 (US) / February 9, 2017 (UK)
If the most recent big screen X-Men offering left you a bit cold, Legion might be just the thing to remind you of how exciting the X-Men brand really is. This new series from FX isn't your typical mutant adventure. First off, it hails from the mind of Noah Hawley, who cooked up the superb Fargo TV show. That alone tells us it won't be a cookie-cutter affair. Dan Stevens stars as David Haller, Professor X's institutionalised son who suffers from severe mental health issues. In the comics, his multiple personalities all control different powers, so it'll be intriguing to see how Hawley and co. tackle the topic. From what we've seen so far it looks to be a quirky, character-led series that's also packing in a bunch of unusual fight sequences.
Release date: March 5, 2017
Even if you've never seen a Bette Davis or Joan Crawford film - although c'mon, everyone's at least heard of Mommy Dearest - you only need to know one thing: the pair detested one another. Despite both actresses denying such claims, they sniped and clawed at one another behind-the-scenes throughout their careers. And now their legendary feud is the focus of a new TV series from American Horror Story and Scream Queens’ Ryan Murphy. If the pair of teasers are anything to go by, we can expect some major scenery chewing and over-the-top-theatrics from Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange as Davis and Crawford, respectively.