With pieces like The Handmaid’s Tale, Big Little Lies, One Day at a Time, GLOW, Dear White People and many others premiering in the range of 365 days, shows in 2017 were as good as they were diverse, unique and empowering. Now, as the industry is going as strong as ever, studios are preparing to release more new creations in order to allow viewers to further comment and connect.
Here is a list of a few promising series set to debut this year that should definitely earn your attention:
‘Black Lightning,’ Jan. 16
Following the success of superheroes stories seen all over the media, The CW is ready to release its fifth production of the kind. Black Lightning follows the story of Jefferson Pierce, the retired superhero who is forced to come back to the business, along with the rest of his family, after the rise of a local gang becomes dangerous.
The series is DC and The CW’s first to feature a live-action lead black superhero, and the creators have confirmed that racial issues such as police brutality will be tackled, as they will be part of the family’s daily life. Also, Jefferson’s daughter Anissa (also known as Thunder) is set to be one of the first lesbian superheroes of color on TV. In the comics, she is in a relationship with Grace Choi, her half-Amazonian, Asian-American teammate, and it has been confirmed that this relationship will be seen on the show. This will be absolutely groundbreaking for TV, so fans are hoping these storylines are told with respect and accuracy.
‘Grown-ish,’ Jan. 3
Although this one has already premiered, it is definitely about to make waves in 2018. The long-awaited spin-off from ABC’s hit show Black-ish centers around Zoey Johnson’s new life as a college student. To those who are familiar with the main character, she has always been portrayed as the cool, popular girl who can handle almost everything that is thrown at her.
In Grown-ish, she takes this attitude to college only to realize that adult life is not so easy, and there are unexpected challenges for her to face. Staying up late to study, experimenting with drugs and house parties are only some of the factors introduced in the story to make it realistic and relatable to the American college experience. Even though it has been criticized for not including more dark-skinned female characters, the bisexual, Muslim and Latino characters who have been introduced so far are fulfilling the promise of a diverse production.
‘American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace,’ Jan. 17
When it comes to pleasing the audience, Ryan Murphy is always the one. Despite the fact that this show is not new — this will be its second season — I have decided to include it in this list, because it features a brand new story with a brand new crew that will definitely appeal to a brand new public after the success of The People v. O.J. Simpson back in 2016.
This new installment of FX’s anthology series is surely going to be one of the highlights of 2018. It will follow the story of the murder of Gianni Versace, the designer and face behind the famous and luxurious fashion company of the same name. The all-star cast consists of Édgar Ramírez as Versace himself; Penélope Cruz as Donatella; Ricky Martin as Gianni’s boyfriend Antonio D’Amico; and Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan, the killer. Secrets, sex, homosexuality, fashion, money and power will be some of the topics that the show will be based on, and it could not sound more exciting.
Yet another creation of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk for FX, Pose is one of the most ambitious projects of the year. Its plot is set to be an honor to the culture from the past and is suggested to be a look into the “juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in 1980s New York: the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball-culture world.”
This show will feature more than 50 LGBTQ+ characters, the most any American scripted television show has ever had, and will put its focus on trans people’s storylines, though gender identity will not be the only factor playing a role in the characters’ lives. The series will begin in 1987 and finish with the release of Madonna’s song “Vogue,” which caused the ball community to go mainstream. Pose is set to debut in the summer, although the release date is yet to be announced. This series will definitely be a fresh piece which will tell stories like never before and really push boundaries.
The year has just begun, and we can already be certain that pop culture will keep evolving in 2018. This list contains only a few names of the shows that will be in everyone’s mouths, but all four of them promise to innovate, reinvent and reach new individuals, which is what this industry is constantly in need of.