Summer is coming to a close, and with it comes the end of one of the most brain-bleedingly bad movie seasons in recent memory. The 2019 summer film season has been a depressing slog of duds and terrible franchise flops, save for the occasional Toy Story sequel or Tarantino movie about Brad Pitt taking his shirt off on a roof or whatever.
But while the theaters have been a depressing hellscape, the TV landscape this year has never been better. Fleabag was absolutely brilliant. The new season of Succession is somehow better than the first. Chernobyl was easily one of the best miniseries HBO has ever produced. And even that final season of Game of Thrones had a few pretty high highs, as weak as it might have been as a whole.
And the new fall slate looks even more stacked. It's Always Sunny will be back for more, The Good Place and The Deuce will both be wrapping up their final seasons, and even Rick and Morty is set to return, hopefully without that Kanye episode. As good as the returning shows are, though, there are some even more excellent new series on the horizon.
So in honor of the upcoming TV season, we here at VICE have put together a list of the most anticipated new TV shows set to premiere before the end of 2019, from HBO's Golden Compass adaptation, to the Disney+ Star Wars show with the weird name, and more. Let's get started!
Watchmen (October 2019)
The last project from Lost and Leftovers mastermind Damon Lindelof may have run into some, uh, bad luck, but his upcoming Watchmen series seems destined to be a hit. The show will be something of a sequel to the original graphic novel (hopefully not following with that other Watchman sequel featuring Batman and Superman), set in an alternate present where, uh, Robert Redford is president. Lindelof told Comic-Con earlier this year that he wanted the show to investigate "what would happen if a well-intentioned liberal white man was a president for too long."
According to the trailer, he thinks what would happen is that a bunch of white supremacists dressed like Rorschach start a vigilante war against the cops. And no one would invent the internet. And there are still a bunch of superheroes. This one is going to be good.
Wu-Tang: An American Saga (September 4)
It's been a great year for Wu-Tang. Their Showtime docuseries Of Mics and Men is up for an Emmy, RZA and Ghostface have a horror movie in the works, and now Hulu is bringing us an entire scripted series based on the early days of the Wu-Tang Clan starring Moonlight's Ashton Sanders as a young RZA. "Wu-Tang, through our music, has always strove to inspire as we entertain," RZA said in a statement when the show was announced. "This opportunity to continue the Wu saga in a ten-episode series will exponentially increase our inspirational style of entertainment. In the immortal words of ODB, 'Wu-Tang is for the Children.'"
The Spy (September 6)
Sacha Baron Cohen is heading to Netflix, but he won't be pranking Dick Cheney this time. Cohen's new series, The Spy, was created by the Gideon Raff, the man behind Prisoner of War—the Israeli show that was later adapted into Homeland—and it looks like Raff is bringing us another dense, labyrinthian thriller in the same mold. Cohen plays Eli Cohen, a real-life ex-Mossad agent who was, yes, a spy who successfully infiltrated the Syrian government in the 1960s. There isn't even a trailer out for The Spy yet, but as far as the talent is concerned, this one is shaping up to be Netflix's next Bodyguard.
The Mandalorian (November 12)
What more needs to be said about this one? It's the first live-action Star Wars show. It's helmed by Jon Favreau. It stars Pedro Pascal as the titular Mandalorian, who looks a lot like Boba Fett but, seriously, isn't Boba Fett, quit getting confused. This is one of the most anticipated shows of 2019, and it's going to be the tentpole series for Disney+ when it launches this November. Just don't try to share your buddy's login information to watch it, everybody—Disney is onto you.
His Dark Materials (2019)
His Dark Materials is based on Phillip Pullman's brilliant YA book The Golden Compass and its subsequent sequels, and HBO is really hoping that it will fill that Game of Thrones-sized hole in your heart this fall.
According to the network, the first season "follows Lyra, a seemingly ordinary but brave young woman from another world. Her search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children, and becomes a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust." It'll feed all your epic fantasy needs, but don't expect GoT levels of sibling sex. The second season will star the Hot Priest from Fleabag, though, so take what you can get, alright?
Undone (September 13)
For all Bezos's proclamations about how he wants to make his own Game of Thrones, Amazon has spent the last few years cranking out some of the strangest and most singular TV out there. What other network or streamer would take the chance on something like Forever or let Nicholas Winding Refn go bananas with Too Old to Die Young?
Undone is Amazon's latest experiment with giving a visionary creator free rein and seeing what happens, and it looks absolutely incredible. The series is a rotoscoped dream co-created by BoJack Horseman's Raphael Bob-Waksberg about, well, it's hard to tell, exactly. But the trailer paints a compelling case for why we should all watch it anyway.
The Morning Show (November 2019)
What even is this show? Is it funny? Is it dramatic? Who cares! Apple has poured untold millions into this series set behind the scenes at a morning news show and it is bound to be worth a watch, good or bad. Jennifer Aniston! Steve Carrell! Reese Witherspoon! The Duplass brother from Creep! The Morning Show doesn't have an official release date yet, but it will presumably drop when Apple TV+ debuts in November, since it seems like the company is hoping this one will prove that it can actually make real, serious, prestige TV.