10 new shows are coming to TV this spring including “The Act” on Hulu and “Turn Up Charlie” on Netflix.
It doesn’t matter how cold it is. On TV, spring has sprung.
The season has become one of the hottest to debut television series, thanks to the end of the Emmy eligibility period on May 31. That means no shortage of acclaimed returning favorites due this spring, from the final seasons of HBO’s “Veep” (March 31), CW’s “Jane the Virgin” (March 27) and HBO’s little fantasy show, “Game of Thrones” (April 14) to second rounds of BBC America’s “Killing Eve” (April 7), HBO’s “Barry” (March 31) and Freeform’s Marvel series, “Cloak and Dagger” (April 4).
But if you have any time left after trying to rewatch all 67 episodes of “Thrones” before the new season, it’s worth taking a look at these 10 new series fighting for your attention. They bring stars including Idris Elba, George Clooney and Jordan Peele to TV, entertaining you with comedic vampires, a “manny,” Broadway dancers, sex and even a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.
FX (Sundays, 9 EST/PST)
Starz’s bodice-busting “Outlander” is practically a nun next to “Now Apocalypse,” the cable network’s queer new sci-fi comedy that features three explicit sex scenes in its first six minutes. But the quirky characters who inhabit Gregg Araki and Karley Sciortino’s neon-colored version of Los Angeles have more on their minds than just carnal desires (though that’s still a top priority). With the unflagging support of his screenwriter roommate and cam-girl bestie, aimless hero Ulysses (Avan Jogia) searches for meaningful connection with men on dating apps – while trying to understand his recurring nightmares of lizard-like creatures attacking the planet. The show’s lack of clear answers may frustrate some viewers, but for the rest of us, it’s a wholly unusual and fun world to get lost in. – Patrick Ryan
‘Turn Up Charlie’
It’s never been so wonderful to see Idris Elba as a loser. The normally suave actor shows his comedic and less put-together side in this British sitcom, which he also co-created. Charlie (Elba) is a struggling DJ who had a one-hit-wonder hip-hop single. To make ends meet, he takes a gig as a “manny” for his best friend’s bratty 11-year-old daughter. “Charlie” mixes warmth with cynicism, examining what success and friendship really mean. Elba is hilarious and magnetic, and he’s surrounded by a solid supporting cast including Piper Perabo and JJ Feild. The series also wisely avoids making its pint-sized star (Frankie Hervey) too cute, too annoying and she is just smart enough to be interesting. – Kelly Lawler
Hulu (March 20, Wednesdays)
Patricia Arquette and Joey King star in this true-crime miniseries based on the story of Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard, a mother and daughter whose lives are built on lies and abuse (one’s ends in murder). To the outside world, Gypsy (King) appears a severely sick and disabled girl; her mother subjects her to painful and unnecessary medical treatments, and reaps charity donations. Eventually, the abuse becomes too much. The story has already been given the documentary treatment in HBO 2017 film “Mommy Dead and Dearest,” but in allowing Arquette, King and Chloe Sevigny – who plays a nosy neighbor – to sink their teeth into the jaw-dropping tale gives “Act” an edge and a lurid watchability. – Lawler
‘What We Do in the Shadows’
FX (March 27, Wednesdays, 10 EDT/PDT)
“Shadows” will likely be the funniest TV series to debut in 2019. Adapted from the 2013 cult film from “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi and Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement, it follows three gothic vampires living in modern-day Staten Island, New York, bringing their capes and high collars to the drug store and county board meetings. Shot mockumentary style, it’s filthy and goofy all at once, with a trio of vampires (Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry and Natasia Demetriou) trying to take over the world, drink the blood of virgins and avoid being driven insane by their roommate, Colin (Mark Proksch), an “energy vampire” who feasts on humans by telling boring stories and aggressively sharpening pencils. – Lawler
Amazon Prime (March 29)
Nobody was clamoring for a TV remake of “Hanna,” the sleek 2011 Nordic thriller starring Saoirse Ronan as a ruthless teen assassin raised in the wilderness by her ex-CIA dad. The new version, also written by David Farr (“The Night Manager”), stretches the movie into an eight-episode series, whose plodding start doesn’t immediately make a case. But stick around for the second episode, and the show begins to live up to its bloody, pulpy potential with plenty of adrenaline-pumping fight sequences. As played by newcomer Esme Creed-Miles, Hanna also becomes a curious and calculating fish out of water, learning to live in the real world while running from government agents who want her dead. – Ryan
‘The Twilight Zone’
CBS All Access (April 1)
Who better to assume the mantle from original “Twilight Zone” host Rod Serling than Jordan Peele, the comedian-turned-horror maestro behind 2016’s creepy and culturally relevant “Get Out” and the upcoming “Us.” Peele hosts the anthology sci-fi remake, which like the classic ‘50s series, tackles different genres and socially conscious themes. And although specific episodes and storylines have been kept under wraps, the star-studded cast, including Kumail Nanjiani, John Cho, Jessica Williams and Seth Rogen, gives us plenty of reasons to be excited. – Ryan
FX (April 9, Tuesdays, 9 EDT/PDT)
FX brings a theatrical flair to its latest miniseries, a chronicle of the lives and careers of Broadway power couple Bob Fosse (Sam Rockwell) and Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams). The series attempts to rewrite the narrative around the couple, which had long held up Fosse – the celebrated choreographer and director of “Cabaret” – as a creative genius and Verdon, a Tony-winning actress and dancer, as simply his muse. Gorgeous costumes, a Liza Minnelli look-alike, dancing and all that jazz add color, but the highlight is Williams’ achingly beautiful performance. – Lawler
Netflix (April 12)
ABC broke ground in 2016 with family sitcom “Speechless,” which centers on a teen with cerebral palsy and stars disabled actor Micah Fowler. Now, Netflix is moving into similar terrain with the charming and sincere “Special,” an eight-part comedy executive produced by Jim Parsons and based on “Will and Grace” writer Ryan O’Connell’s 2015 memoir “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.” O’Connell plays a loose version of himself in the show, which follows Ryan as he navigates uncertain dating waters as a gay man with a mild form of the disease who still lives with his mom, while trying to keep his disability secret at his new writing internship. Although too on-the-nose at times with its “different is better” message, “Special” sparkles with self-deprecating humor (“It’s hard out here for a gimp,” Ryan sighs after an accident) and an unexpected lesson in body positivity, courtesy of Ryan’s supportive co-worker Kim (Punam Patel). – Ryan
Hulu (April 19)
“I’m not going to flirt with girls at the mosque. … Like, what am I supposed to say, ‘Hey, can I get your father’s number?’” That’s part of the hilarious exchange Ramy (Ramy Youssef) shares with his mother in the opening scene of the actor-comedian’s sharply written new series, produced by Jerrod Carmichael (“The Carmichael Show”) and based on Youssef’s unique perspective as a contemporary Egyptian-American Muslim. Perceptive and poignant early episodes cover dating, racism and religion, topics he has covered prior in his stand-up routines. – Ryan
Hulu (May 17)
Hulu’s six-part adaptation of Joseph Heller’s seminal wartime novel is produced and partially directed by George Clooney, who also has a scene-stealing small role. It offers a stylistic and somber take on World War II not often seen in films and TV shows about the era. The series follows Yossarian (Christopher Abbott) caught by the military’s Catch-22 rule, which says that men rational enough to be concerned for their safety are sane enough to fly increasingly dangerous missions. The series has a unique period look and a wealth of acting talent, including a tremendous turn from Kyle Chandler. – Lawler
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