Release radar: TV shows to watch out for this year

Media Credit: Photo Illustration by Arielle Bader | Assistant Photo Editor

A darker season of "Euphoria" awaits viewers this week on HBO Max.

Even with the promise of a vaccine, social distancing is expected to remain in place for some time. Lucky for you, streaming services are still churning out new content to help keep you relatively sane at home.

While Hollywood filming and production has been dramatically impacted by pandemic-imposed regulations, there are still a handful of great comedies, thrillers and dramas to be released this year. Here’s a rundown of TV show recommendations you should watch on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video now or in the near future.

“Euphoria” season two
Where to watch: HBO or HBO Max
Release date: Jan. 24

This drama, which revolves around high school drug use, sex and social scenes, was one of the most talked-about shows in 2019, with critics particularly obsessed with lead actress Zendaya’s award-winning performance. After two hourlong specials were released in the last couple of months, fans are now amped-up for the second season, which actress Sydney Sweeney has described as “darker” than the first. 

“Loki”
Where to watch: Disney+
Release date: May 2021

While “WandaVision,” a new Marvel mystery show, has made the headlines for the last few weeks, Marvel fans who want a more traditional superhero experience should put “Loki” on their list. The show features Owen Wilson and Gugu Mbatha-Raw alongside Tom Hiddleston, who stars as the mischievous Norse god who has been sucked into his own crime thriller. 

“Dad Stop Embarrassing Me”
Where to watch: Netflix
Release date: TBA for 2021

This heartwarming comedy starring Jamie Foxx is based on his own relationship with his daughter Corrine, who also serves as one of the show’s producers. One of the few multi-camera sitcoms to be produced by Netflix, the streaming service has kept back details about the show as it prepares to launch sometime this year. 

“The Underground Railroad”
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video
Release date: TBA for 2021

Directed by Barry Jenkins – the mastermind behind the Academy Award-winning film “Moonlight” – this thriller is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” and centers around an alternate timeline where the Underground Railroad was actually a subterranean steam engine system that transported enslaved Americans to freedom. Retracing the darkest times of American history, a solemn and dark trailer has already caught the attention of TV fans. 

“Impeachment: American Crime Story”
Where to watch: FX
Release date: TBA for 2021

The third installment of Ryan Murphy’s new anthology series, this season of “American Crime Story” is set to recreate the Monica Lewinsky scandal and subsequent political turmoil in former President Bill Clinton’s administration. As with any great Murphy production, actress Sarah Paulson will take the lead role as Linda Tripp, the civil servant who recorded phone conversations between Lewinsky and Clinton. 

“The Lord of the Rings”
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video
Release date: TBA for 2021

With contracts already guaranteeing at least two seasons, this high-fantasy series features an ensemble cast set thousands of years before the events of the “The Hobbit.”  While there was initial trepidation the show could be canceled altogether because of the pandemic, New Zealand’s successful COVID-19 containment allowed filming to wrap up last year. 

“Nine Perfect Strangers”
Where to watch: Hulu
Release date: TBA for 2021

If you were sucked into 2017’s “Big Little Lies” hysteria, then prepare yourself for this nail-biting thriller. Starring A-list celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy and Luke Evans, this miniseries recounts the tension-filled and disturbing experiences of different clients at a pricey Australian wellness retreat.  

“Dopesick”
Where to watch: Hulu
Release date: TBA for 2021

While fictionalized, “Dopesick” is a representation of countless Americans’ agony throughout the opioid epidemic. Academy Award nominee Michael Keaton stars as an “old-school doctor” who slowly falls to big pharma’s tactics and overprescribes painkillers to his patients.

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