New York — The US fall television season will usher in a host of new series. Drama, comedy, crime, romances - there's something for everyone.
Starring and created by Donald Glover, who's also one of its writers, this remarkably gritty yet heartwarming comedy focuses on two cousins as they try to break into the Atlanta rap scene with many a stumble in both their professional and personal lives.
See the trailer here:
Queen Sugar (OWN)
If it were only a robust melodrama, that would be enough. Its African-American ensemble and perspective make this family saga instantly appealing. But along with an intoxicating tale of the at-odds Bordelon clan and their at-risk cane farm in the Deep South, "Queen Sugar" does something any series should be proud to accomplish: It puts forth a varied group of individuals ranging from rich to poor and from reckless to righteous, minus the stereotyping. This series is executive-produced by Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay.
Fleabag (this gal's nickname) is a klutz, a kook and a self-perpetuating outcast. On the loose in London, she's a cringingly hilarious mess you can relate to, even while seized by an urge to look away. In the tradition of "Bridget Jones's Diary," ''Girls" and even TV-Larry-David's trouble-seeking compulsions, it's a virtuoso performance by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who not only stars but also created the series, which premiered on BBC Three in July.
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The Good Place (NBC)
Clerical errors can happen anywhere, even in the Hereafter. On this comedy, a paperwork glitch leads to a not-so-good young woman being mistakenly dispatched to the exclusive Good Place, where only the most virtuous are meant to gain entry. Kristen Bell plays the misappointed Eleanor, who, through wiles if not through personal improvement, means to hang onto her Good Place posting — and to keep the mistake hidden from her Good Place overseer (Ted Danson).
The Exorcist (Fox)
To judge from the pilot, at least, this is no pro-forma remake. No, it appears to truly be its own thing while recapturing the (evil) spirit of the chilling 1973 film. The less said beyond that, the better, other than to note that the impressive cast includes Ben Daniels and Geena Davis — and to promise a twist that, all by itself, will make the pilot episode worth checking out. Here's hoping the same creative spirit haunts this show in episodes to come.
This two-pronged odyssey is simultaneously set in an imagined sci-fi future and the reimagined Old West past in the form of an epic theme park where lifelike robots indulge every appetite of its paying guests. A huge ensemble includes Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton and Jeffrey Wright.
Sarah Jessica Parker has passed beyond Sex and the City to a next-stage comedy that takes her out of New York City and up to the 'burbs for a role that could prove as totemic as single-girl Carrie. This time, she plays a mother and a wife (to co-star Thomas Haden Church) who's having an affair and wants out of her marriage.
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What's it like to be a modern young black woman who can function in a mostly white world (and the totally white workplace of a social-service agency) but savours sisterhood with her favourite gal pal? This charming comedy was created by and stars Issa Rae (creator of the YouTube web series "Awkward Black Girl") as an insecure L.A. girl on the make and Yvonne Orji as her seemingly has-it-all-together chum.
Falling Water (USA)
This dreamy drama tells of three people who realise their dreams each compose part of a universal dream, with a powerful cumulative story to tell.
Billy Bob Thornton is irresistible as Billy McBride, a washed-up, gin-soaked former maestro of the courtroom who, now an ambulance chaser, has no way to go but up. Pulling him out of his funk is a wrongful death lawsuit he files against an all-important client of Cooperman & McBride, the titanic Los Angeles law firm he helped found. This deadly battle pits him against former partner Donald Cooperman, a fearsome adversary you might see as his Goliath.
Berlin Station (Epix)
Could any series be more timely? A whistleblower has gained fame and notoriety for leaking secrets from the CIA's Berlin office. CIA Officer Daniel Miller (Richard Armitage, Hannibal) arrives in Berlin on a clandestine mission to identify and stop this obscure scoundrel. The mood is tense and somber. The look is brooding. This thriller boasts an international collection of flawed or broken characters played by a global cast including Michelle Forbes and Richard Jenkins.
People of Earth (TBS)
As loopy as this comedy is, it comes from a real place: There really re support groups for (self-declared) alien abductees. The show centers on a journalist visiting a small town to write about such a support group and the alien encounters its members allege. Wyatt Cenac stars as the journalist going through a major head trip as he learns to be more tolerant of others, however alien they may seem.
See the trailer here
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