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2019’s Best New Genre TV Shows

I still remember my childhood, when I wasn’t much interested in TV shows due to their being a pointed lack of sci-fi and fantasy adaptations. But these days not a week goes by when some new genre fiction gets adapted. Original material also keeps springing up left and right.

So, it is almost criminal not trying to make a list of the new genre works from last year.

This list only contains shows that started for their first season in 2019, no sequel seasons are listed, and this only reflects my taste in stuff. I strongly ask any reader to post their own favorites in the comments below.

In no particular order, here we go!

Russian Doll

Russian Doll (poster)A cynical young woman in New York City keeps dying and returning to the party that’s being thrown in her honor on that same evening. She tries to find a way out of this strange time loop.

Starring: Natasha Lyonne, Greta Lee, Yul Vazquez, Charlie Barnett, and Elizabeth Ashley

Created by: Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, and Amy Poehler

Russian Doll is a short, simplistic looking show, which may have excelled so much and gained so much critical acclaim mainly due to the brilliant performance by the actors and the hidden emotional bits. In a modern world where most people are too self-centered, a sci-fi show teaching us the need to help others and get involved is a thoughtful approach. And Nadia as a character is simply just amazing.

The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy (poster)A family of former child heroes, now grown apart, must reunite to continue to protect the world.

Starring: Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Mary J. Blige, Cameron Britton, John Magaro, Adam Godley, Colm Feore, and Justin H. Min

Based on the comic by: Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá

I went into this one having no idea about the source material, but immensely enjoyed the wackiness of the plot, the different characters and overall time jump shenanigans.

If you are a fan of superheroes in any form this is a must watch.

Love, Death and Robots

Love, Death and Robots (poster)A collection of animated short stories that span various genres including science fiction, fantasy, horror and comedy.

Based on stories by: Peter F. Hamilton, John Scalzi, Alberto Mielgo, Steven Lewis, Kirsten Cross, Alastair Reynolds, Ken Liu, Joe Lansdale, Marko Kloos, Claudine Griggs, Joe Lansdale, Vitaliy Shushko, Michael Swanwick, and David W. Amendola.

Despite the criticism regarding sex and violence, the adaptation of these short stories by some amazing authors and some truly enjoyable and memorable episodes, with wacky humor and thoughtful premises, makes this one a must watch for anyone having interest in cyberpunk and animation. All episodes are within 6-17 minutes, so there is just no excuse regarding making time.

The Boys

The Boys (poster)A group of vigilantes set out to take down corrupt superheroes who abuse their superpowers.

Starring: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Kapon, Karen Fukuhara, Nathan Mitchell, and Elisabeth Shue.

Based on the comic by: Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson

The Boys, in short, is just a truly thrilling ride. Superheroes gone bad has been done before, but this adaptation of a great comic by Garth Ennis takes the concept a little further, by making the whole superhero marketing industry corrupt and amoral. The cast was brilliant, the action scenes as visceral as possible and the plot progression is brilliantly paced.

Once again may not be for everyone due to the reliance on superheroes, but definitely binge worthy.

Doom Patrol

Doom Patrol (poster)The adventures of an idealistic mad scientist and his field team of superpowered outcasts.

Starring: Diane Guerrero, April Bowlby, Alan Tudyk, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, and Joivan Wade

Based on the comic by: Arnold Drake, Bob Haney, and Bruno Premiani

Doom Patrol is unlike any superhero related fiction out there. It is an odd little TV show that needs a bit getting used to. Don’t come expecting top notch action, over the top superpowers or even an element of the greater good. This is just a weirdly funny yet emotionally gripping tale of a group of individuals taking you for a ride that never settles down or even hints at where you might be going next. A special applaud for the amazing cast, they really did manage to jerk and twist my emotions quite a lot.

Watchmen

Watchmen (poster)Set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name, while attempting to break new ground of its own.

Starring: Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Andrew Howard, Jacob Ming-Trent, Tom Mison, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeremy Irons, Jean Smart, and Hong Chau

Based on the comic by: Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

I was rather skeptical about it, to me Watchmen is a gem, which is perfect as it is. None of the previous attempts at reviving the universe this brilliant comic depicted did anything but annoy me. But, after the recent TV shows, I have to admit this one did do the source material justice.

Present day in the world of Watchmen is detailed with enough originality and newer and bolder directions does pay off here, as we are left once again reeled by the implications on offer. The characters are interesting and the twisting of the presentation of one of the most, if not the most popular hero of the original is an unexpected yet thoughtful approach by the creators.

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian (poster)The travels of a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, Gina Carano, Werner Herzog, and Nick Nolte

It is really hard to find anything new to say about this show, which has already garnered more appreciation than some of the new films, and quite rightly so. Yup, Mandalorian is as good as you’ve heard or read. It has interesting characters, stunning visuals and is brilliantly nostalgic at bringing back the authentic Star Wars experience. Any fan of the franchise or sci-fi in general will definitely find things to enjoy in this show.

The Witcher

The Witcher (poster)Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts.

Starring: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Eamon Farren, Anya Chalotra, Joey Batey, MyAnna Buring, Royce Pierreson, Mimi Ndiweni, Wilson Radjou-Pujalte, Anna Shaffer, and Mahesh Jadu

Based on the books by: Andrzej Sapkowski

It is really impossible to impress everyone when it comes to adapting such a well-known fiction as The Witcher. The Witcher universe deserves more attention in my opinion, and this TV show is definitely a major positive influence in that direction. While some missteps are holding it back from achieving its massive potential so far, I as a fan, am clearly hopeful for the future. The Witcher does have a brilliant source material with engaging world and interesting characters which have a lot of room for maneuver.

Kingdom

Kingdom (poster)While strange rumors about their ill king grip a kingdom, the crown prince becomes their only hope against a mysterious plague overtaking the land.

Starring: Ju Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae Doo-na, and Kim Sung-kyu

Based on: The Land of the Gods by Kim Eun-hee and Yang Kyung-il

Kingdom is a show that came out of nowhere, slapped me hard in the face with its awesomeness and filled a hole in my fiction watcher’s soul I didn’t know was there. Zombie horror, as a genre, has reached a point when it is almost impossible to create something new and interesting. But this little Korean show manages to make this much used theme refreshing with the Korean medieval setting, vibrant with beautiful landscape and poignant while aiming at the injustice of social class systems. And, this gem is only six episodes, stop reading and binge the show, and believe me you will be thanking me later.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Undone
  2. Swamp Thing
  3. Osmosis
  4. For All Mankind
  5. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
  6. His Dark Materials
  7. Good Omens
  8. The Twilight Zone

Title image by Scheier.

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One Comment

  1. Avatar Amy Keeley says:

    Alan Tudyk and Brendan Fraser in the same series? I’m hooked. Thank you! *begins searching for episodes*

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