Samuel Brace with four TV shows to look forward to this August…
After a slight delay, at least in comparison to years past, TV in 2018 has finally come into its own. The first half of the year has been a mixed bag, to say the least, featuring some impressive offerings as well as frustrating disappointments. The last month or so has certainly galvanised proceedings somewhat, with the likes of the tremendous Yellowstone and promising Castle Rock both well underway. But what of the future? Will TV in 2018 continue on this upward trajectory or will we experience an agonising diminution in quality? Well, it seems to me that the former is far more likely. August at the very least is replete with exciting offerings, mixing both new and returning series that will likely range from the good to the bloody marvellous. What are these shows? Four leap out to me as being ones that will demand our attention, at least upon their premiere. So, with no further delay, here are four TV shows to look forward to in August 2018.
Better Call Saul – August 6th
Up first is one of two returning shows being highlighted here today and without question the most exciting entry on this list. Better Call Saul is a true marvel of the medium, not as popular as its predecessor Breaking Bad but nonetheless it has quickly become a classic in its own right, even going beyond its parent show’s legend in certain areas. Best of all, and much like Breaking Bad, the show gets better with each and every season, which, of course, bodes awfully well for the upcoming fourth season. Things are getting awfully hairy for Jimmy these days and it’s quite obvious things are only going to get worse from here. Season four promises to be the tensest and most dangerous offering yet as Jimmy continues his transmutation into the despicable figure of Saul Goodman. At this stage, when it comes to Better Call Saul, it’s simply a question of just how great it will be. No pressure.
Disenchantment – August 17th
Second, we have our first new entry on this list and the only animated prospect present. Disenchantment is Matt Groening (of The Simpsons and Futurama fame) debuting his first new series in quite some time, arriving to Netflix in middle of the month. Set in a high fantasy, medieval setting – quite the departure from present day Springfield and the far-flung environs of Futurama – Disenchantment appears to display the same visuals and style of those aforementioned classics, telling the tale of a rebellious princess and her misadventures with typically bizarre and humorous companions. Fans of Groening’s past work will surely have a lot to look forward to, and with the vocal talents of Billy West and John DiMaggio on hand as well, it should all feel very familiar but, hopefully, in the best possible way. How good will Disenchantment be? One wouldn’t like to hazard a guess. But it will certainly be worth checking out once August 17 rolls around.
Ozark – August 31st
On the last day of the month is the second and last returning series to make this list. Ozark, a dark crime drama starring Jason Bateman on Netflix, was an excellent addition to last year’s television line up. Bateman stars as a financial planner turned money launderer for the cartel, putting him and his family into all sorts of dire and compromising situations. Obvious comparisons to Breaking Bad aside, while it doesn’t hold a candle to that masterpiece (nothing does), Ozark is a tremendously entertaining series in its own right. Season one got things off to an excellent start, providing plenty of thrills along the way, as Marty and his family try to tussle with an increasingly dangerous series of events. Hopefully, season two will be able to take things up a notch, make further use of its fantastic setting, and put Marty in situations that seem all but impossible to escape from. If Ozark achieves all of this, it could be quite the ride.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan – August 31st
August 31 is going to be quite the day for us binge watchers, arriving on the same day as the aforementioned Ozark, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan will be debuting on Amazon Prime with a season of ten episodes. Now, I wasn’t particularly enthused by another recasting of the infamous CIA Analyst turned field agent, but upon seeing the trailer, Jack Ryan looks to be a series worth an initial investment at the very least. The very likeable John Krasinski is stepping into shoes previously worn by the likes of Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford, and whose casting will inevitably bring an affability to the role that it has not seen for some time. The show itself looks quite terrific, evoking memories of Homeland in its prime from what little we have seen so far, with the premise seeing the titular character uncover a terrorist plot against the US, pulling him from his cosy desk job into a globetrotting adventure.