Film and TV

Ten 2021 Fall Shows — And a Bonus — That You Probably Want to Check Out

The Witcher returns after its pandemic hiatus.
The Witcher returns after its pandemic hiatus. Screenshot
As the fall season opens up with new shows, returning favorites and one comedy that has been running for 20 years, we decided to highlight some of the shows we think you'll want to be watching this year. From the much-anticipated to the lesser known, each represents something other than the same old, same old you might see elsewhere.

Hawkeye

The trailer for Disney+ next big Marvel TV show, Hawkeye, has big Die Hard vibes, being set during the holidays with a protagonist who just wants to get whatever plot the bad guys are up to done with to make it back home for the holidays. Jeremy Renner is back as Hawkeye in his first appearance since Avengers: Endgame and he is joined by Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect) who modeled her super hero identity after the man himself. Hawkeye looks like a buddy-action movie and hopefully will continue Marvel and Disney’s streak with interesting shows that seem to be finding what works and what doesn’t.

Hawkeye premieres on Disney+ November 24.


Foundation


Foundation is Apple’s adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s revolutionary Sci-Fi book series. Asimov’s books were always thought to be unadaptable due to the nature of the story: It takes place over thousands of years and heavily focuses on scientific concepts and mathematical theories over characters. The series follows a renowned mathematical theorist Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) who predicts the fall of the galactic empire and a resulting dark age that will follow its collapse. The series takes a macro approach to humanity and Foundation is trying to balance that grand view of everything while making the micro (The characters it introduces) compelling. It seems to be a passion project for everyone involved and has its sights down the road with several seasons mapped out, hopefully, it can strike a balance and does the book series justice.

Foundation is available to stream now on Apple TV+


The Wheel of Time

The Wheel Of Time is another gigantic attempt at an epic fantasy franchise that Amazon has put a lot of resources into. The series is based on the book series of the same name by Robert Jordan that is a high fantasy story with magic and everything that entails. Like Amazon’s Lord of The Rings series that is upcoming, The Wheel of Time is the result of the arms race for massive adaptable stories that had all the big studios looking for what the next big fantasy/sci-fi driven show could be. The series has an interesting cast centered around Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) and looks as expensive as you would imagine a show of this caliber being made by Amazon.

The Wheel of Time premieres on November 19 on Amazon Prime.
Mayor of Kingstown

Mayor of Kingston is a new crime thriller created by Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone, Hell, or High Water), starring Jeremy Renner and Hugh Dillon. The series follows a powerful family in Kingstown, who run the only real industry in town which happens to be incarceration. The series is positioned to explore systematic racism in the prison industrial complex and corruption, among other things. Taylor Sheridan has a distinct style and his sensibilities about masculinity and male introspection with some violence are his calling cards, and something some viewers may not respond to and others will watch avidly. It will be interesting to see how the subject matter of the show is handled as it seems to be a departure from his other works but seems to still have his signature all over it.

Mayor of Kingstown premieres on November 14 on Paramount+.
Cowboy Bebop


Cowboy Bebop is Netflix’s live-action adaption of one of the greatest anime series of all time. The series follows a group of bounty hunters and their adventures as they take jobs across the solar system. It’s kind of daunting to adapt one of the most influential and beloved Anime series ever, but the live-action series seems to have gone all-in on a stylized look and feel which judging from the trailer could indicate that it might be able to pull it off. Every episode of Cowboy Bebop is distinct with influences from neo-noir and science fiction, not to mention its iconic soundtrack so it will be interesting to see if the live-action series sticks to the episode to episode adventure archetype. Cowboy Bebop’s cast looks amazing and stars John Cho (Harold and Kumar) as Spike Spiegal, Mustafa Shakir (Luke Cage) as Jet Black, and Daniella Pineda (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) as Faye Valentine.

Cowboy Bebop premieres on Netflix, November 19.

Narcos Mexico

Narcos: Mexico’s third season will mark the end of its current saga and maybe the series as a whole. If they wanted to, Netflix could continue to pump out season after season of the drug trafficking show, following the history of the drug war up until the present day. Whether this is the end or not, Narcos has been one of the most binge-able shows on Netflix, oozing with quality from the direction to great performances especially from the likes of Diego Luna (Star Wars: Rogue One). The third season promises a war, and after the collapse of the order that was established by Diego Luna’s Miguel Angel, the pieces are in place for a dramatic and violent finish.

Narcos: Mexico season 3 premieres on November 5 on Netflix.
You

You is another Netflix series that is coming back after being delayed due to the pandemic. One of Netflix’s most popular shows, You has a dedicated fan base that will definitely be tuning in when it finally drops. The series is a psychological drama/thriller that follows Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl) as Joe Goldberg, a sociopathic individual who has a toxic and dangerous obsession with women over the series, stalking and intervening in their lives when there is a threat to his romantic prospects. The third season looks like it’s adding a new layer in the form of the main character having a child, which is interesting, but concerning, given what the show is about.

You season 3 releases October 15 on Netflix.

The Witcher

Netflix’s big fantasy show that clearly has hopes of being the streaming services Game of Thrones returns this December. While The Witcher is not Game of Thrones, it is a solid fantasy show that focuses on the talents of its lead, Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia and the band of characters around him. There is political intrigue, multiple different forces that make for a grand narrative but the show is much better when it’s focusing on Cavill as the professional monster hunter gouging town to town doing what he does best. The show has its fans and due to the popularity of the video game and book series the show is based on, it doesn’t look like the delay caused by the pandemic will deter them but it might be a surprise for fans that discovered the first season only to have to wait a very long time for its continuation.

The second season of The Witcher is set to release this December on Netflix.

Succession

Succession
is the ultra-wealthy familial power struggle that is as extravagant as it is messy. All indications are that Succession just keeps getting better in its third season exploring the Roy family’s dysfunction. In today’s climate, how could a show about the obscenely wealthy power brokers that shape our society be as popular and endearing as it is? Every character is pretty reprehensible on varying levels and you couldn’t describe one of the members of the Roy family as a completely good human being, but the humanity and the weight behind each character and the fantastic performances makes investing in these flawed people worthwhile. The series has a lot to say about American politics and corruption and current social issues and is still able to deliver some of the funniest insults you will see on television. Succession is by far the biggest show of the Fall.

Succession season 3 premieres on HBO and HBO Max October 17.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Curb Your Enthusiasm
has been on television for 20 years. It’s one of the funniest shows of all time, and through its 10 seasons, the sheer consistency of the series is remarkable, with every episode dripping with creator and star Larry David's comic sensibilities. Larry stars as himself and the show thrives on the conflict with his family, friends due to Larry’s, stubbornness and non-conformity to regular social cues. There isn’t much information about what the new season could be about, but the show recently has addressed social events in a specifically Larry David way so it wouldn’t be a surprise if there isn’t at least an episode revolving around the pandemic but it won’t linger on it too much.

Curb Your Enthusiasm premieres on HBO and HBO Max on October 24.

Insecure


Issa Rae’s Insecure will come to an end with its fifth season. The comedy explores the experiences of two black women, Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji), as they navigate their lives and relationships in Los Angeles. The series explores race and social issues but the awkward situations and performances from Issa Rae and the cast are where it shines and through four seasons has been consistently praised critically and the topic of conversation for HBO viewers every week. The Insecure and Curb Your Enthusiasm Sunday block will be one of the highlights of the fall.

Insecure's fifth season premieres on HBO and HBO Max on October 24.





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Contributor Jamil David is a native Houstonian and Texas Southern University alumnus. He is interested in TV, sports and pop culture. @JMLJMLD
Contact: Jamil David