Spring 2015 TV preview
Charlie Cox stars in the Netflix Original Series “Marvel’s Daredevil.”
Photo: Barry Wetcher
© 2014 Netflix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
March 30, 2015 12:00 a.m.
With spring comes tax season, spring cleaning and allergies, but thankfully, each spring also brings an influx of TV premieres encompassing new shows and old favorites. The 2015 spring lineup, ranging from history-making reality series to superhero revivals, seems to have a genre that will fit nearly every viewer’s taste.
“New Girls on The Block”
The transgender community has been prominent in the world of television lately. Roles like Sophia Burset (Laverne Cox) in “Orange is the New Black” have given transgender women representation in the scripted world, yet these women do not have a voice in reality television. Cue “New Girls on the Block,” a new Discovery Life series that follows the day-to-day life of transgender women. The series focuses on the same issues that any reality show does – relationship issues, work, friendship and family – but also focuses on the specific prejudices the subjects face and their experiences transitioning genders. As the first reality TV series of its kind, “New Girls on the Block” is sure to be a notable representation of the transgender community.
In wake of the success of the Showtime series “Homeland,” several other networks have tried their hand at U.S. government conspiracy shows, such as FX’s “The Americans” and NBC’s “State of Affairs.” NBC will now premiere “American Odyssey,” an action-adventure drama that depicts fictional Sgt. Odelle Ballard’s (Anna Friel) perilous journey back home from her service overseas. After learning that a jihadist group is being funded by an American company – knowledge that gets the rest of her special forces unit killed – Ballard must escape her imprisonment and tell the truth about this governmental cover-up. While the show runs the risk of being a “Homeland” copy, its choice of a relatively lesser-known cast and a plot line that is not exactly patriotic could lead to the series having its own bold story.
Josh Gad, whose resume includes roles ranging from Steve Wozniak in the 2013 film “Jobs” to the voice of the lovably naive Olaf in the 2013 film “Frozen,” will finally play a leading role in “The Comedians.” In a show that is self-described as “an FX original comedy about an FX original comedy, “The Comedians” follows the fictional behind-the-scenes lives of two comedians, Gad and Billy Crystal, as they work together on a late-night sketch show. The show appears to follow in the same crass footsteps as other FX original comedies such as “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” or “Wilfred,” but choosing the underutilized Gad as its leading man may put the show, as well as him, on the map.
Superhero stories are typically reserved for the silver screen, but Netflix has decided the story of Daredevil will do well on their marathon-friendly streaming service. The first season, which will consist of 13 episodes released simultaneously, tells the story of Matt Murdoch (Charlie Cox), a blind lawyer in New York who fights crime as the masked Daredevil at night. The series will overlap with Netflix’s upcoming series “The Defenders,” an upcoming Marvel-based series. It is unclear how much the series will remain true to the comic book series or how much it will differentiate itself from the 2003 film “Daredevil,” starring Ben Affleck, which was a financial success but a critical failure. The trailer makes this Daredevil look much darker than its predecessor, which, if done tastefully, could lead to an enthralling series.
“Game of Thrones”
In what may be the most anticipated premiere of the spring season, “Game of Thrones” will return this April. If season five matches the styles of earlier seasons, there is no telling which major characters could be offed or which lesser ones will rise to power. While the details of what will unfold this season remain elusive, “Game of Thrones” is sure to enthrall and shock its devoted following. This season will also mark the end of a tradition, as it was recently announced that this will be the last year “Games of Thrones” author and creator George R.R. Martin will be writing his pivotal episode of each season.
– Rebecca Sarvady, A&E contributor