In the last decade or so, the most successful TV series were either procedurals or soaps – no wonder, restaurants also sell more rice than caviar, after all. But, as TV is a genre where creators dare to be more expressive and bold (think series like American Horror Story, American Gods, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones), there are some pearls among the many that’s worthy of a watcher’s attention. This year, we’ve had a few newcomers that hit the benchmark – the above-mentioned “American Gods” is one of them. Hopefully, we’ll have more than a few in the future, too.
Valor (The CW)
I was lounging on the couch playing my favorite slots at Platinum Play casino online and letting YouTube play movie and TV trailers for background noise when I heard something that made me forget about Platinum Play and instantly look at the TV screen: “feminist military thriller.” This is not something you hear every day, right?
Set to debut on October 9th, “Valor” takes us to a military base that houses elite helicopter pilots trained to perform “clandestine missions” both inside and out of the US. There’s not much to be known about the story except that it involves a mission that’s gone terribly wrong, another mission to be performed, drug use, love, and cheating, action, covert missions – in short, lots of goodies to be excited about, told from the point of view of a female helicopter pilot. An interesting premise with a lot of potential.
If the premise of “Mindhunter” feels a bit familiar, it’s not just “deja vu.” Although the two have no connection whatsoever, Netflix’s upcoming series is, at its core, a bit similar to Renny Harlin’s 2004 thriller “Mindhunters.” But the similarity is skin deep only – even though both involve serial killers and the FBI.
Based on the book “Mind Hunter: Inside FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit” by nonfiction author Mark Olshaker and former Special Agent John E. Douglas, Mindhunter, set in 1979, focuses on two FBI agents, played by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany, who interview imprisoned serial killers in order to understand how such criminals think, and apply it to solving ongoing cases. The series will also feature Anna Torv (of Fringe fame).
It truly sounds intriguing, especially since it’s been already renewed for a second season despite only debuting on October 13.
Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access)
Set to debut on the 24th of September, Star Trek: Discovery is the first TV show to return to the franchise’s small screen roots since the successful J.J. Abrams reboot of the universe. As such, it is seen by fans as both a potential source of a lot of joy and an instrument of the downfall of the series. First of all, because it will be different from anything we’ve seen so far – first of all, because it tells its stories, not from the captain’s, but the first officer’s point of view (Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green – you know her from The Walking Dead and Once Upon a Time), second, because it is set in a timeframe that precedes the original series by about a decade.
It is promising that there are quite a few Star Trek regulars involved with the show – like Alex Kurtzman who co-wrote the rebooted Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness, Bryan Fuller, who worked on Star Trek: Voyager and Deep Space Nine, and Kirsten Beyer, well-known Star Trek: Voyager novelist, and Joe Menosky, who has co-wrote such well-known episodes of the previous Star Trek series as “Darmok” and “Masks” (TNG), “Dramatis Personae” (DS9) and several Voyager episodes as well – as well as talent from outside of it, like Akiva Goldsman, known for his work on Fringe, I Am Legend, and The 5th Wave or Aron Eli Coleite, who worked as a producer on the first series of Heroes.