The new year is here and there we go again: making lofty resolutions that mostly include going on a healthier diet and incorporating more exercise into our routines, a feat we consistently seem to be unable to deliver upon because we’d rather stay snuggled up with a cup of hot cocoa, enjoying the latest episode of “Game of Thrones“.
Well aware of our weak wills, I have a better suggestion this year. As opposed to pledging to do more exercise, we could, conversely, pledge to watch more television instead, a feat that I’m certain we would be able live up to triumphantly. To kick things off, here are 4 upcoming TV events for the month of January!
Pretty Little Liars: Season 6B (12 January)
Yes, it’s Pretty Little Liars. And before you start judging this show for the seemingly vapid and shallow name (I’ve seen the scorn on too many faces), I implore you to give it a chance, at the very least.
In my opinion, Pretty Little Liars is an absolute guilty pleasure, with the show being the right mix of everything. An utterly complex and perplexing mystery (WHO ON EARTH IS A + that unsatisfactory resolution), mixed with a thriller (locking the Liars up in a life-sized dollhouse), infused into a romance (Haleb, Spoby, Emison, and Ezria).
Pretty Little Liars boasts lovable protagonists, and even more entrancing antagonists – a feat which is exceptionally difficult for TV series to accomplish (apart from “Once Upon A Time“). Mona Vanderwaal, played by the impeccable Janel Parrish, is one of my absolute favourite characters on television. She’s an unapologetic badass supervillain, an absolute criminal mastermind, and a character you simply love.
Yes, complaints about the show being immensely draggy have been rampant, and I have definitely felt cheated many times over the faux reveals that the writers have promised on the identity of A. However, the ability of the writers to spark such intense debate over the possible identity of the antagonist (check the A theories online – they are luxuriously extensive) is a testament to just how fixated the fans are with the show.
Granted, the grand reveal of A at the end of season 6A was met with much disappointment, mainly because the fans simply could not accept that such minor character(s) played such a significant role in terrorising the Liars, along with our hearts. The remaining part of season 6B deals with the plot five years later, with a new villain (please tell me they’re not naming it B…) and the repercussions of A’s reveal, and how the Liars deal with it. It definitely makes for an interesting watch, provided the writers deliver on actually making the rationale and motivation behind this new masked villain to be much better than they did for A. Fingers crossed.
The 100: Season 3 (21 January)
“Hunger Games” and “Divergent” fans, look no further. This is the show for you. As a post-apocalyptic drama television series, the setting of “The 100” is mostly reminiscent of the two ubiquitous science-fiction book-to-movies of our generation.
At first glance, “The 100” may seem like a boring and recycled concept, being one of those shows which merely deal with survival in a post-apocalyptic earth (in this case by a generation of humans who relocated to Outer Space, otherwise termed as the Sky People). While the first few episodes of the 100 (Season 1) reinforced my notion of it being a typecast series, the following episodes revealed a depth which I did not expect.
Still based upon the concept of survival, “The 100” introduced new groups of characters (The Mountain Men and The Grounders) that were antagonistic to the Sky People. The interaction between these different groups and their common desperation to survive made for an exceptionally interesting narrative. Moreover, the consistent curveballs thrown around and unlikely alliances forged made the series to be an utterly unpredictable one.
Special credit has to go to Eliza Taylor for nailing her role as Clarke Griffin, the main protagonist of the 100, with apt nuance. Being a leader, she is forced to make several morally-difficult decisions to ensure their survival, albeit at the cost of what she is at heart, an innocent and petite child. As opposed to being a one-dimensional leader who merely barks out orders, her complex character consistently struggles with the morality of her decisions, all for the sake of her people. Through the series, she has had one of the strongest character developments I have ever witnessed.
“The 100” represents what is lacking in television these days. Good scriptwriting, coupled with terrific acting; delivering tenacious characters that are timeless and well-loved by audiences throughout. Moreover, the plot writers for “The 100” have spunk. They dare to take the plots and characters to great depths through grim scenes, and they are not afraid to shape out complex protagonists at the expense of killing off fan favourites. The fortitude of the writers, coupled with the niche material which “The 100” occupies for television, makes it an exceptionally compelling watch.
DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow: Season 1 (21 January)
“DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow” boasts an ensemble cast of characters, all of which hail from “Arrow” and “The Flash“. These two shows have long been fan favourites, mainly because they both boast a devilishly good-looking cast, action-packed fight scenes, and a realistic human touch to the “infallible” superheroes. The crossover scenes have also proven to be resolutely brilliant on every single frame that they have delivered, especially when the satirical nature of Stephen Amell’s character is so acutely juxtaposed with Grant Gustin’s cheery and charismatic demeanour.
One of the characters which I’m exceptionally excited for would be (without any doubt) the White Canary. Prior to her appearance in LOT, she was a protagonist in Arrow who got murdered through a treacherous plot by Malcolm Merlin. She was brought back by her sister through the Lazarus Pit which ignited a sense of bloodlust within her. This imperfection within her character will definitely be an interesting addition to the show when juxtaposed with her heroic attempts to save the world.
A possible problem LOT might face would be a lack of proper characterisation. Considering the huge ensemble of superheroes brought back to fight the main antagonist (Vandal Savage), and considering that we are only granted a measly hour each week, it is definitely a challenge to fully give each character the depth and growth which we have come to love from its sister series’ (Flash and the Arrow). However, with the penchant for the series to deliver flawless and exhilarating fight scenes, “Legends of Tomorrow” is definitely the show for you to mark on your radar.
Lucifer: Season 1 (25 January)
Lucifer, as the moniker so aptly suggests, deals with the devil himself. However, as opposed to being merely the devil which he is so aptly known for (though he still remains a devil in the series), Lucifer doubles as a vigilante, through employing rather unconventional torture methods and all to seek “justice”.
Granted, I had pretty low expectations for this series when I first heard about it. With the palpable success of “Arrow” and “The Flash” on The CW, as well as that of “Jessica Jones” and “Daredevil” on Netflix, and considering how Fox had botched “Gotham”, I was pretty sure that this would be one of the many television misses.
Yet, when I watched the pilot, I was immensely mesmerised by this series. Tom Ellis, who plays the role of Lucifer Morningstar, delivered his role with conviction and aplomb; in addition to a cheeky demeanour and slightly cocky arrogance, characterising his role flawlessly. Moreover, the show’s uncanny attempts to blend Lucifer’s vigilantism with humour (notably through Lucifer’s indifference and scorning of humans, to him working with an LAPD detective as a fellow vigilante to solve the murder of his friend), serves for a refreshing reprieve from the usual superhero flicks, where the protagonist magically gains an euphoric awakening, or somehow or rather, just gains a superpower and is expected to save the world.
Due to the oversaturation of superhero shows which have been plastered over TV networks around, it might be outright mendacious to conclude that Lucifer will definitely go on to be a success from just the pilot. However, if done right, and if Tom Ellis manages to deliver like he did in the pilot, Lucifer might be here to stay for the long run.