Some of Scene’s most avid TV-viewers give us their top tips for TV in 2014…
We’re inching closer to six seasons and a movie as Community enters its fifth season in January. With creator Dan Harmon back in charge, hopes are high for a return to form or, at the very least, 13 episodes that don’t resemble the colossal wreck that we were forced to witness in season four, often with tears in our eyes and embarrassment in our hearts.
Meanwhile, Netflix is looking at another fantastic year of making traditional TV obsolete. Breaking Bad fans still in withdrawal and recovery will have Better Call Saul to look forward to. As with Season 5B of Breaking Bad, Netflix subscribers in Europe will be able to stream episodes of the spin-off shortly after they’ve aired in the US. The second season of House of Cards will also be premiering on Netflix and will make a perfect Valentine’s Day present.
And, of course, let’s not forget that 2014 marks yet another year when Firefly won’t be returning for a second season.
Although it currently seems to be a late-night More4 staple, the final series of the fantastic Peepshow will be airing at some point in 2014. Now heading into its ninth series, it is Channel 4’s longest running comedy show, and, in my opinion, for good reason. It will be really intriguing to see how they choose to end it, knowing that this will be the last ever series. Hopefully it will be understated and witty, with a slightly sarcastic voiceover from Mark, just like the show up until now. Having essentially grown up with Mark and Jeremy, it will be a sad day when I have to say goodbye to them.
On a slightly happier note, Community will also be returning to our screens (laptop screens here in the UK) in early January. Despite the absence of Chevy Chase, and Donald Glover only appearing in around half of the episodes in the series, the return of showrunner Dan Harmon is welcome news for those who – like me – felt season four was disjointed and decidedly lacking compared to the earlier seasons. It will be interesting to see if Harmon’s return will bring back the glory days of this once-great show.
Even though 30 Rock and The Office both finished in 2013 (sob), 2014 looks promising for actresses Tina Fey and Ellie Kemper. Fey is set to write and produce a new sitcom starring Kemper as a woman who escapes a doomsday cult and starts a new life in New York. Robert Carlock, who also worked on 30 Rock, will co-write and produce. The untitled show has been commissioned for a 13-episode season, which will air in Autumn.
2014 is also set to be another good year for Lena Dunham, with Girls returning for its third season in January. Dunham’s memoir, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned, is also set for release in September 2014. She is on a roll!
After a critically acclaimed first season, Orange Is The New Black has been renewed for a second. New episodes will be released on Netflix in 2014, and the show’s creator, Jenji Kohan, has revealed that the second season will focus more on the ensemble cast rather than just the main character.
I’m just going to throw it out there, but 2013 was the year when camp, shamelessly over the top and fabulous television rallied against the tidal wave of classy and graphic series cable networks. And that’s exactly what I’m looking forward to in 2014 – more of the same.
I don’t want to watch a brutal drug war in some dilapidated, post-industrial rundown mess of a city in America, or another dreary Scandinavian crime serial where you’re basically reading the TV screen for an hour. I want more of Emily Thorne running around the Hamptons and drawing up ever more goldbergian schemes on taking down the Grayson family in Revenge. I want more of Rayna Jaymes in Nashville, telling record executives to jog on because she’s above just selling her musical identity in the name of record sales, then getting divorced, revealing her daughter is actually her guitar player’s and not her husband’s, then getting in a traumatic car crash and nearly losing her voice to put the icing on the cake.
And you know what I’m most looking forward to? More of a teenage Mary Queen of Scots running around France in Reign, obliterating history that could have been used to form a narrative and instead basically living Gossip Girl: The 1558 Scandalous Edition, because it distracts you from the monotony of dreary university existence: it’s what television should be.
Based roughly on the second half of A Storm of Swords, there will be a whole host of new characters to love and love to hate in season four of Game of Thrones, out in Spring 2014. I am especially looking forward to the introduction of the dangerously charming Prince Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal). And as if the return of Game of Thrones couldn’t be any more exciting, it was announced that the Icelandic band Sigur Ros will appear in the show, following a tradition which started in season two of featuring indie bands. And let’s face it, the books are rubbish once you get onto A Feast For Crows.
As I will follow Billie Piper wherever this former teen popstar may go, I will be tuning into Penny Dreadful, an upcoming horror TV series, debuting in Spring 2014. Also starring Josh Hartnett, Eva Green and Timothy Dalton, Penny Dreadful will intertwine the origins of famous literary horror characters, such as Dorian Gray, Count Dracula and Victor Frankenstein. With Skyfall’s director Sam Mendes onboard as executive producer, this might prove to be a more spine-chilling, grittier version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.