From returning greats to new ones, television in April 2017 is a force to be reckoned with.
I will be frank here, everyone — the beginning of 2017 has been pretty tough for me, and I doubt I’m alone in that assessment. Every day it seems the world (and, specifically, my country) is getting more and more crazy, more and more angry, and more and more unstable. I wake up every morning unsure what to expect, and I’m no longer certain in my belief that everything will end up “working itself out”…at least in a way that doesn’t leave the world shattered in some horrifying way.
All that is to say that things seem pretty dark right now, at least from my point of view. But if there’s any silver lining to any of this, it’s this: art so far in the year of 2017 has been pretty damn great. Movies are rocking it with hits like Split, John Wick: Chapter 2, Get Out, and Logan. Games are having a big resurgence with titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon: Zero Dawn. And TV? Well, TV…it’s downright nuts, to be honest.
And that fact is no more apparent to me than when I take a look at just how many shows are set to air within the month of April. It’s madness really, with so many great shows set to air within the next few weeks. While I was trying to compose my own personal list of all the TV shows I’m watching in the weeks ahead (yes, you pretty much need a planner to keep up with all of it now), I was honestly flabbergasted by just how much amazing TV is awaiting us in the next few weeks. Though I’ve never stopped to consider the concept before, I am legitimately starting to wonder if April 2017 is going to go down as the best month of television ever.
At the very least, the amount of series that will be stuffed within it puts the month in the running. Here’s a quick rundown of just what TV craziness is in store for the next few weeks:
- Last week was the premiere of the new season of Archer, and its noir-set reboot is the freshest the show has felt in years. Definitely worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks.
- Tonight is the Season 3 premiere of Angie Tribeca, TBS’s wonderful-but-overlooked crime show spoof.
- And airing just half an hour before is the Season 3 premiere of Better Call Saul, AMC’s actual crime series that has made its way on to my top 10 shows of the year list since it first began. I would be surprised if Season 3 bucked the trend.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 returns from the dead, with Netflix giving the show a new lease on life. New cast members Patton Oswalt, Felicia Day, Jonah Ray, and more will continue the show’s mockery of cinema’s worst for an entire set of 14 new episodes. It’s a Netflix show too, so…there’s one weekend out of the way.
- Unless you’re a fan of Doctor Who: in which case, the highlight of your weekend will probably be the show’s new season. It will be the final one for current doctor Peter Capaldi, so it will be exciting time for you Whovians, I’m sure.
- Especially paired right afterwards with the premiere of Doctor Who spin-off Class, which is being helmed by the writer of A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness. All in all, a big weekend for the Doctor Who Universe (Who-u-verse?)
- But as a non-Doctor Who fanatic, the highlight of my April 16 weekend will be the premiere of The Leftovers final season. Damon Lindelof’s post-apocalyptic drama was my favorite show of 2015, with its second season one of the best seasons of television I’ve ever seen. And even considering Lost’s final season, I’m really hopeful that Lindelof and his team are going to deliver something wonderful to end our time in this sad, sad universe.
- But if the show’s final season is as depressing as I imagine, then the after show of Veep should help cheer things up. Veep has been one of the best comedies on television for half a decade now and, at this point, I have little doubt the series can do no wrong. This cast and these writers are just too damn good for something like that.
- If April 16 premieres weren’t crazy enough, the new miniseries from John Ridley (12 Years A Slave, American Crime) entitled Guerrilla will be here to bum you out again. It will feature Idris Elba in a starring role though so, as all things, is worth watching just for that. And, with luck, its miniseries status will make it so that Showtime can’t run the series into the ground. Hopefully.
- Fargo is coming on April 19 and, after its marvelous second season, I couldn’t be more excited. And that’s coming from someone who really didn’t like Fargo Season 1! But Fargo Season 1 didn’t have Carrie Coon, and like Idris Elba above, Carrie Coon makes everything better. So I guess you could say Carrie Coon is the female Idris Elba…somehow.
- Bill Nye Saves The World hits Netflix on April 21 and, more so than ever, we could probably use Bill Nye’s wisdom and, more pressingly, scientific enthusiasm. The show’s title might not be so hyperbolic anymore, is all I’m saying.
- Girl Boss will also be released on Netflix April 21, from creator and showrunner Kay Cannon. Cannon was a longtime writer on both 30 Rock and New Girl, and wrote both of the surprisingly fun Pitch Perfect movies. She’s also a Second City and Saturday Night Live alum, which is to say her new series really should be garnering your attention, especially paired with a starring performance from actress Britt Robertson. Robertson showed a lot of charisma and charm in her lead role in Tomorrowland, even with the rest of the movie letting her down. What I’m saying is, Girl Boss is very much in line to be the surprise sleeper of April 2017 which, in this month, is saying something.
- But for all you Amazon users out there, Bosch Season 3 will be hitting the service for your viewing pleasure on the same day. I’ve heard good things about Bosch. Maybe one day I’ll be able to watch Bosch. But, until then…enjoy Bosch (I really like saying this title in my head, if you couldn’t tell.)
- Silicon Valley premieres a week after Veep for some reason, but it too is one of the funniest shows on television, and the Veep/Silicon Valley power-hour is always one of my most treasured TV pairings of the year.
- Genius is Nat Geo’s big foray into the world of scripted television, with heavyweights both behind the camera (Ron Howard in his TV directing debut) and in front of out (Geoffrey Rush as the titular genius, Albert Einstein.) The series will also be an anthology moving forward, because that’s what all the hip young networks are in to. In any case, it will premiere its first episode on April 25.
- Great News shouldn’t have much going for it on paper, but the NBC comedy is the newest series from 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt scribes Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, and is created by Tracey Wigfield, who is largely responsible for the former series’ triumphant final season. Nuff said — I’ll be watching this one on April 25.
- The Handmaiden’s Tale is getting a ton of buzz, both because it’s A) sadly relevant and B) pretty amazing looking. Could this be Hulu’s first real breakout? We shall see when the first episodes become available to watch on April 26.
- Catastrophe Season 3 will arrive two days later on Amazon and is pretty great, by all accounts. Except my own, of course. Because I still haven’t watched any of the series. Ugh, peak TV is just…the hardest.
- Dear White People hits the same day on Netflix because, if anything, all the streaming companies are having their own little arms race right now. Still, it benefits us with great content, and I hope Dear White People is just that. The movie its based on, though a tad sloppy, had some clever and smart satire up its sleeve, and I actually do think a move to television (streaming?) could help benefit the properties tone and help it really hone down on its core messages. Having original writer/director Justin Simien on board for all ten episodes makes me optimistic, at least.
- Showing just how jam packed April is, the last day of the month still features one hell of a heavy hitter: the premiere of Bryan Fuller’s new show, American Gods. Based on the critically acclaimed Neil Gaiman adaptation, American Gods is Fuller’s first project since Hannibal, and has him sitting comfortably back in the hands of a premium cable distributor in Starz. It’s a fantastic book, and Fuller is a TV genius. If it’s even half as good as Hannibal, we’ll all be in for a treat to take us out of April 2017.
So just to recap: Archer, Angie Tribeca, Better Call Saul, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Doctor Who, Class, The Leftovers, Guerrilla, Veep, Fargo, Bill Nye Saves The World, Girl Boss, Bosch, Silicon Valley, Genius, Great News, The Handmaiden’s Tale, Catastrophe, Dear White People, and American Gods. All those shows are premiering within the span of a month, and that’s not even including the shows that will still be airing new episodes throughout the rest of the weeks: The Americans, Samurai Jack, Feud, The Expanse, Girls, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bob’s Burgers, The Last Man on Earth, Into the Badlands, The Good Fight, Bates Motel, The Magicians — I’m not even sure it’s possible to list them all but, combined, they make for literally dozens (if not hundreds) of hours of great TV content.
But more than any other month in the history of the medium? It’s impossible to say, as I’m far from a TV historian. But just from a volume perspective, the possibility seems highly likely to me: April 2017 is going to be one for the TV history books, with many shows in the next month (mainly The Leftovers, Fargo, and American Gods) potentially bringing us all time great TV.
And, at the very least, it will keep us distracted from the world around us. And in 2017, is there anything else we could possibly want?