By Joe Strange
So far this week we’ve had Sara talking about her most anticipated films of this coming year and James talking about the pitfalls of 2014’s year in gaming so today, to round things off, I’m going to be turning our gaze to 2015’s television schedule because this year looks to be a super exciting one for the small screen.
Superheroes All Up In Here
Man, there’s no escaping comics nowadays is there? Superheroes are just as busy on the small screen as they are in our cinemas, not that we mind here at Axby because, let’s face it, more superheroes are the only thing keeping us from going out to fight crime and failing spectacularly.
Last year saw the premier of The Flash, the next show in the now inclusive universe created by Arrow, and it didn’t disappoint. The fun, bright, exciting atmosphere of the Speedster’s adventures (with a great leading man in Grant Gustin and with plenty to love about the supporting cast) really complimented Arrow’s more brooding, dark and tense feel. With an amazing two part cross over event and two excellently delicious mid season finales, the Flash and Arrow proved that while Marvel might have the big screen’s tied down for the minute, DC will make themselves very much at home in our living rooms.
With more revelations than ever on their way in the next halves of the two seasons, and with the inevitable 4th and 2nd seasons of Arrow and the Flash on their way in the fall, 2015 will more than satiate our DC need before Dawn of Justice arrives in 2016. On top of all that we’re getting more and more news of the Supergirl show that’s on its way, with casting announcements on the horizon and talk of it being included in the WB’s Flash and Arrow universe, that world is only going to get bigger and more super as time goes on.
Gotham, meanwhile, proved that you don’t have to be part of a big, interconnected world to be thrilling, entertaining and addictive. With its… alternative, take on the origins of many of Batman’s villains, friends and his city, Gotham is a comic book show that doesn’t care if you’re a comic book fan at all. With Robin Lord Taylor absolutely killing it as Oswald Cobblepot I find myself wondering if we really need a Joker anyway. The Penguin is much better suited to deal with Jim Gordon, and the Joker has always been the Yin to Batman’s Batayang.
On the Marvel front, after a shaky first season (but an awesome second half) Agents of SHIELD continues on its new path in the second season, focussing on the Inhumans and introducing some really exciting characters in the mid-season finale and dealing with some very touching story lines (Fitz and Simmons make my heart hurt) the second season of the show looks to be a step up from the first. All the while there’s rumours of the second half connecting in some way with the Avengers Age of Ultron. The first season’s tie in to Captain America 2 saved the show, so hopefully the connection to Marvel’s next big team up will be just as healthy for the show.
While we wait for SHIELD to pick up again, we’ve also got Agent Carter, which is showing promise as a well written piece as well as connecting more of the dots in the bigger universe. Something we might be grateful of come April and beyond.
We’ve also got the first in the Defenders series when Daredevil hits Netflix in April. Opening up a whole new world in Hells Kitchen with more street level crime fighters, including Jessica Jones, Power Man and Iron Fist.
With Heroes Reborn set to hit our screens for 6 episodes this year, with some recurring characters, and not forgetting the Powers series that will air on the Playstation network later this year, a show that’s based on the graphic novels of the same name, which looks to be a more mature take on super heroes and powers, even if you’re not into the traditional comic book tales, you won’t be short of a super powered fix.
Not So Super Powered, but Still Super Shows.
It’s not just the spandex suits that are having all the fun, there are plenty of other great shows that should shine this year.
One of the most consistently brilliant sit-coms on television, Parks and Recreation, will see its final season early this year. Set two years in the future, the show will not only see the return of the beloved main cast (yes, including Jerry, unfortunately) but a host of other side characters that we’ve come to love over the years, including Ant-man star Paul Rudd, who’s coming back for a few episodes. It’ll be sad to see it go, but Parks and Recreation was never going to outlive its welcome, and will definitely be going out with a bang.
Speaking of going out with a bang, the Breaking Bad spin off that no one really asked for but no one is going to complain about, Better Call Saul, will be gracing our screens on February 8th. Apparently working as a Prequel/Sequel and everything in between, the show will follow the lawyer Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) on his journey to the main events of Breaking Bad.
Last year saw a rollercoaster ride for fans of the apparently unkillable Community. First it was cancelled, then it was un-cancelled, then it was canned again, then it was picked up by Yahoo video, and now we’re onto the sixth season part of ‘Six Seasons and a movie’. Community hasn’t been without its bad seasons, (the Gas Leak shall forever haunt our memories) and the show has lost a fair few cast members, with Chevy Chase and Donald Glover leaving last season and Nicole Yvette Brown not returning for the online season, this is a show that many fans wished had gone out on a high, but we can still wish for a good farewell before they, most probably, make a movie.
The opinions were mixed when it was announced that The Thick of It star Peter Capaldi would be taking up the mantle of the Doctor in season 8 of Doctor Who, but after a rocky start the newest Doctor brought a new kind of charm and a refreshing new feel to a show that had too long laboured under the interwoven, contrived plot lines of the Pond saga. With Jenna Louise Coleman’s Clara Oswald finally starting to earn her place and become more than just another companion, and confirmed to be returning for a whole season in season 9, hopefully the BBC team can build on a solid foundation this year.
Finally, we’ve got the HBO epic Game of Thrones coming to us in April. We’re in for ten episodes of drama, intrigue and violence as the story of Westeros and the Free Cities unfolds in the fifth season. Spoiler blinkers will be on, book readers will be shunned and fan favourites will most definitely die as the series gets perilously close to the end of the source material.
So that’s a selection of the big television events of the upcoming year, did I miss out one of your favourite shows? Leave a comment below.