A number of excellent debuts and improving returns have made the first few months of 2017 memorable, before a series of exciting returns due in April…
It’s the new shows that have proved FX the champions of February and March – Noah Hawley’s stunning FX superhero show Legion is perhaps one of the weirdest things to ever grace television, while Ryan Murphy’s fascinating and compelling Feud will satisfy a whole other group of viewers. Expect full reviews of both shows when they conclude. I’ll put the link here when that happens.
The big disappointment of the moment seems to be Marvel’s Iron Fist which has been almost universally panned. I was a big fan of Luke Cage when that premiered late last year, so it’s a shame to see that the fourth and final series in the Netflix shows isn’t living up to expectations. Hopefully they will be able to pull it all together to make The Defenders an exciting event, although doubts are definitely justified.
The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight has been getting some very positive reviews, particularly surprising given that its parent show’s final season received middling attention. HBO’s miniseries Big Little Lies also seems to be receiving a fair amount of attention, although probably not as much as the network might have hoped given a past history of acclaimed miniseries.
In terms of returning shows, FX‘s exciting The Americans is back for its penultimate season, and is as ever showered in praise. Over on HBO, Girls is in the midst of its final season, marking another big hitter exiting the HBO line-up. These have both set big legacies to live up to, which only FX seems capable of delivering right now. They’ll be properly going head-to-head next month as all-time greats Fargo and The Leftovers return for their third seasons.
Homeland has improved since last checking in in January, but not enough to make it feel anywhere near as essential as it once was. In a similar vein, The Walking Dead continues to amble on, but has delivered some much improved storytelling in the back half of its seventh season. Eugene’s arc in particular provided an interesting turn. For shows past their peak, both still have an impressive ability to surprise.
Don’t let comedy gem Review slip under your radar – the show is back for a very very short three episode final season, and if it’s anywhere near as good as the hilarious tragic arc of the first two I can’t wait to see it. Baskets may also be worth a trip in the wake of Louie Anderson’s Emmy win, although I won’t vouch for it being to everyone’s taste.
That’s all for February and March! Expect an increased number of upcoming reviews, particularly on Legion later this week, and some extensive coverage preparing for the end of The Leftovers.
By Tom Besley