There’s more to TV bingeing than Game of Thrones. Maybe not much, in some people’s eyes, but with TV channels and streaming services all battling against each other to try and get our attention, the brains behind our favorite entertainment options have been getting more imaginative and inventive as time goes on.
Whether you’re into comedy, reality, thrillers or action adventures, 2019 is proving to be a great year for new TV shows. Alongside new episodes of Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, Peaky Blinders and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, there are brand new creations coming that have never previously graced the small screen.
Get ready to tune in for the weird and the wonderful, from this pick of some of the best new series out now and coming out this year.
Russian Doll – Netflix
If you enjoyed films like Groundhog Day and Happy Death Day, you might want to set a reminder to watch the new time loop series Russian Doll, available now on Netflix.
It’s a dark ride, targeting morbid curiosities and using plenty of black humor in a story that centers on Natasha Lyonne’s character, Nadia. Throughout the series, Nadia finds herself trapped in a loop repeating the same death and series of events over and over, and over again, all in the name of trying to escape a party that’s being thrown just for her.
Created by Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler, alongside Bachelorette’s Leslye Headland and Natasha Lyonne herself – who you may remember from Orange is the New Black – Russian Doll keeps the laughs coming despite its grisly undertones.
The Umbrella Academy – Netflix
My Chemical Romance fans have been eagerly awaiting news on this one, a binge-worthy superhero story based on the comic book series by MCR’s former frontman Gerard Way that’s now available on Netflix worldwide.
The Umbrella Academy tells the tale of a super-powered family who join forces to investigate the mysterious death of their surrogate father, and stars big Hollywood names like Ellen Page and Robert Sheehan alongside a variety of rising stars.
For Sheehan, who has previously unleashed superpowers in the British TV series Misfits, and Page, who plays Kitty Pryde in the X-Men movies, this quirky action series is a comfortable territory. Think dysfunctional family dynamic meets Marvel action, and you’ve probably got a good feel for how entertaining this show is proving to be.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK – BBC Three
After 10 years of catwalk shows, photo shoots and lip sync battles over in the USA, 2019 is the year that RuPaul’s Drag Race makes it across the pond and launches in the UK, broadcasting exclusively on BBC Three.
Just like in the original show, Michelle Visage will be at RuPaul’s side doling out harsh critiques and deciding who gets crowned as the first ever (drag) Queen of Great Britain. Rumour has it that there’ll be a royal family-themed challenge at some point, but it remains to be seen which celebrities might be making appearances on the judging panel – formerly graced by the likes of Lady Gaga and Khloe Kardashian.
For the time being this is only available if you’re a UK viewer, but Brits abroad will be pleased to hear that they can access their BBC iPlayer accounts to watch by switching on a virtual private network (VPN), and simply connecting to a UK server to view online.
What We Do In The Shadows – FX
If you’ve seen the New Zealand comedy movie of the same name then you know just what to expect from this new series, but if you haven’t, now is the time to track it down and get watching.
What We Do In The Shadows is a tongue-in-cheek take on the usual vampire story, and imagines the life of three vampire bachelors just trying to live an ordinary life in Wellington, New Zealand. The original movie was laughter-packed from start to finish, playing on the tropes of the messy male flatmates and bachelors out on the town, but with an undead, bloodthirsty spin.
The TV mockumentary series seems set to be just as amusing, and teams our undead stars with an “energy vampire” – who is not actually a vampire himself, but who sucks the life out of people in his own way – primarily, through telling really, really boring stories. Taika Waititi who starred in and directed the original feature is back to direct the first episode, and with Matt Berry, in a leading role, it’s sure to be a laugh a minute.
The Mandalorian – Disney+
Die-hard Star Wars fans haven’t all been entirely enamored with Disney’s recent offerings, but a huge appetite for more stories from the Star Wars universe means Disney hasn’t been put off investing in further intergalactic entertainment.
Originally rumored to be a spin-off story for Boba Fett, The Mandalorian actually centers around a different bounty hunter we haven’t been introduced to before, but who is described as being “inspired by” Boba and Jango Fett. The scene is set three years after Return of the Jedi, but prior to the emergence of the First Order as seen in The Force Awakens.
With the series only available on Disney+, many fans will be frustrated to miss out on this one or end up spending extra on bonus TV packages just to tune in. However, if you’d like to get a Star Wars fix without signing up to another subscription, you won’t have long to wait as Episode IX in the movie franchise is due to hit cinemas around the world in December.
What do you think? Did we nail some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!
Visual journalist/Graduating student, University of Missouri-Columbia. Lover of everything in the gaming industry and an avid fan of all films!