There are some big screen comic book movies due in 2016 but we’ll also have a sea of TV shows returning to our small screens after the holiday break and some new ones coming our way….
Arrow (The CW)
Season 4 returns 20th Jan
Arrow feels like it’s been a fairly up and down kind of show with highs and lows but the progress from one season to the next seems to bring improvements and Season 4 has been very much moving in that direction. Arrow (Stephen Amell) steers the ship well as the roster of heroes is beginning to build and other than the terrible outfit they’ve given Diggle (David Ramsey) this seems to be settling into a more consistent, darker stride than I was first expecting. There’s also the “Who’s dead?” question hanging over this season to give it a bit of an interesting edge and although the mid-season finale hinted at the possible casualty I’m going to assume that’s a curve ball to throw us off track. The crossovers with The Flash have worked well although I don’t think that has to happen as often as it does and bringing back Constantine got the show some extra fanboy points too. Looking forward to more of this.
The Flash (The CW)
Season 2 returns 19th Jan
After a strong opening season it’s been more of the same in The Flash as it sticks to what it always set out to be – it’s a fun, bold and human story of a guy trying to do good when he can run fast as hell. A lot of learning for Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) & the team around him and the introduction of the Multiverse and the good & bad it’s bringing into Central City with the Black Flash proving to be THE villain to match and better Barry’s attempts to save the day. Great cast throughout and it’s nods to the previous Flash show, the Flash comics and the wider DC world shows it’s got a solid idea of where it fits within that crazy mix.
Season 2 returns 29th Feb
Gotham took a while to settle for me but after around episode 13 of season one it doesn’t seem to have looked back. Bruce (David Mazouz) is tackling adolescence as he eases into the Batman direction while Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) tries his best to keep the city under control until the Dark Knight can help out…….but the real surprise for this show in both seasons is how much I’ve gravitated towards the villains. I’m sure that’s not intentional but I thought The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) stole the show in Season one and this season so far it seems to be Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith). As the rest of this season is set to bring more villains with it as well, I’m keen to see which ones work out and if the good guys while steal the limelight back.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (The CW)
Season 1 begins 21st Jan
A spin-off from Arrow & The Flash we will see a brand new team form of heroes & villains we will recognize from both those shows with a few new faces added for good measure. The trailers for this have been impressive enough to make this appear different enough from both those shows to be a worthy addition to the ever-growing list of shows to watch and catchup on.
Season 1 returns 4th jan
It’s been a fairly bumpy start to this series but then I think most shows need at least a season to find their feet. That being said, for all the ropey moments and cringe worthy costumes we’ve seen the cast hold things together well especially Melissa Benoist in the title role. The Kryptonian elements mix well with some of the newer heroes & villains being introduced and there’s been a couple of twists along the way that have helped elevate this show from another throwaway, almost cartoony attempt to appease the masses. If anything, it’s proven that a strong female-led show has just as much of a place in the TV schedules as any other….so hopefully those minor gripes will be ironed out as the series progresses. A good time to jump on board with this one if you haven’t already.
iZombie (The CW)
Season 2 returns 12th Jan
After a fairly stunning opening episode back in season one this seems to have had the type of consistency that other shows can only dream of. Steering clear of an all-out gore fest and focusing firmly on the weekly crime that needs solved by our brain-munching morgue attendant Olivia “Liv” Moore (Rose McIver). Liv’s ability to adopt the characteristics & glimpses of memories from the victim aides her in her quest to make a difference while keeping her murdering zombie ways at bay with a fresh supply of guilt-free brains. That plays out in the foreground while the relationships in her life creep in from the background. Each becoming more complex as she tries to hide the truth but ultimately ends up letting more people into her circle of trust. Funny, frantic & full of charm it’s one of those shows that seems to slip below most people’s radar but it’s well worth getting into…….and it probably has one of the catchiest opening songs/sequences of any other show too……it’s winning at so many things.
Season 1 begins 25th Jan
Loosely based on a Neil Gaiman creation and a comic series by Mike Carey it’s safe to say that this one has an impressive amount of source material to build from and a lot to live up to if it does……and while I may not have read the series (I’ll probably catchup on it soon) we see that Lucifer (Tom Ellis) has left hell after choosing to settle for a new life on Earth. I actually saw the pilot of this a few months back and while Tom manages to ooze charm with an undoubted power behind it……it’s not one that stood out in my head as one to watch. That being said there’s still a lot of potential for this to come good
The Walking Dead (AMC)
Season 6 returns 14th Feb
Amazingly enough we’ve hit Season 6 of The Walking Dead and with us already having a shock death become another curveball it’s now a countdown to seeing Negan make his appearance and really take things to a whole new level. There’s a lot of doubt on whether the character will be allowed to take things as far as he does in the comics but if he does…..then it’s open season on the whole cast. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) keeps the survivors out of harms way but even he may not be able to go toe to toe with Negan…..or at least that’s what I’m hoping.
Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)
The short 6 episode first season has done the groundwork for much more to come as it’s introduced a new set of characters and built the first instances of zombie attacks hitting the US. The scramble to find out what’s actually going on and the realization that killing may well be the only chance to survive from one day to the next has been key as Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) & Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) lead their family out of the city some of the first cases have hit. Casualties along the way for sure but it’s got a solid base to build on in the second season……whether we actually need another zombie series as long as the main Walking Dead series is running is a separate question entirely. Worth sticking with for now I think.
Having been in development hell for what seems like forever we should finally get to see Preacher hit the small screen and with the type of source material that could provide some of the TV highlights of 2016. It’s very early to tell but the initial glimpses of main characters Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) & Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) has had fans of the series in a frenzy about its conversion from comic book to TV show that surely will bring it more fans. AMC’s track record with The Walking Dead & the Fear The Walking Dead spin-off means that it’s in pretty safe hands for multiple seasons…..at least you’d hope so.
Patrick Fugit will play the Kyle Barnes lead role in the Cinemax conversion of Outcast from Robert Kirkman’s comic onto the small screen. Kyle’s struggle with being possession becomes a new skill he relies on and although haven’t read this one, the supernatural horror could be another winner from Kirkman. In fact, just a glimpse of that trailer shows you that it seems to be far more psychological than another reworking of gore he’s already helped create in The Walking Dead & it’s spinoff….could be another one that slips under people s radar but I’m keeping an eye out for this one hitting the schedules.
Agent Carter (ABC)
Season 2 begins 19th Jan
Agent Carter tells the story behind the early days of SHIELD with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) playing her part in the war against Hydra as they attempt to make their mark in the US and beyond. Spinning out of her appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger she’s one of the few characters from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe that I just can’t connect with in any way. It took me several attempts to get through season one and that was only 8 episodes but there was at least some positives to cling to. I may well be in the minority with that as it’s obviously got a lot of fans and it’s one that I may well stick with being a completisit but part of me always seems to think that there’s nothing here that couldn’t have been covered in a flashback episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Will never rule any series out and will give the next season a go too.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
Season 3 returns 8th March
The show got of to a very mixed start but as soon as it crossed over with the films in Captain America 2 it got a new lease of life and fed of the strength of the movie. The fallout lead to a whole new setup for the team which seemed to be holding strong but this season has seen the introduction of the Inhumans and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) has helped guide the group through a minefield of new dangers & double crosses. The introduction of a new dimension, the arrival of more Inhumans and a smart twist in the plot with Grant ward (Brett Dalton) has led us through to a mid-season cliffhanger that makes the wait for the next part agonizing…..even moreso given we have to wait until March. Vastly improved since the very early episodes and maintaining that well.
Season 2 begins 18th March
News of Marvel & Netflix brought with it a mixed response as memories of the 1993 film but the arrival of season one earlier this year proved to be a turning point for all comic tv shows going forward. The bar was pushed higher than it had before as a gritty, well-written show that happened to be about a comic book character took root and as all 10- episodes were released, a weekend of binge-watching would see fans disappear over those few days to soak in the entire series. Critically well received and bringing a new maturity to a Marvel release proved to be one of the success stories of 2015. The early news of Elektra & The Punisher has been too much to take in as the wait for the second series continues but I’m sure I’m not alone on getting prepped for another weekend binge watch as early as March…..if the latest rumours are to be believed!
Luke Cage (Netflix)
We’ve already been introduced to Luke Cage (Mike Colter) thanks to season one of Jessica Jones from Marvel/Netflix and given how well this series was received it’s fair to say that the long-term plan of building to a crossover series of The Defenders will be watched closely as each seasons hits the small screen. Info on this series is patchy just now but that’s sure to change as the year progresses and we’re sure to have another weekend disappear as we binge watch another great show. At least that’s the hope.
Powers (The Playstation Network)
I haven’t actually made it through the first season of the Playstation Networks foray into the world of Comic Book TV shows with an adaptation of the Powers comic by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming. Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley) drinks his way from day-to-day as an ex-super powered being turned Detective taking care of cases in a world where superheroes & supervillains are all too common. The good old days are well behind them though as betrayal & murder play out in all their gory, visceral glory. That being said, it hasn’t been enough to keep this from straying into the middle-of-the-road category for a TV show. However, the cast is beginning to grow for season 2 and I’m sure this has the potential to improve and gain some traction in this second outing. Full of potential.
The Strain (FX)
Season 3 begins 2016
After a major fightback against the monsters that The Master has sent out across NYC – the band of survivors led by Dr Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) & Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) seem to have worked together since the beginning. The true evil of The Master and the lengths to which his supporters will go to increase his hold on the city started to slowly become evident in this second season and with two consistent & improving seasons the hope would be that the third would continue that trend…..and hopefully let the survivors gain some ground. If it sticks close to the well-crafted comic it’s based on then that should help this get better & better.
Roll-on 2016…..and hopefully we’ll get enough extra hours in the day to watch them all!!!