As the snowy doldrums begin to take hold in many parts of the world, many people have no choice but to hunker down in their homes and sift through the new TV shows on the winter 2018 schedule.
Equal parts enjoyable as they are a respite from the blustery conditions, the last part of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 promise to bring a necessary heat to warm the chill.
Whether it’s first-of-its-kind foreign shows, hilarious farces based on real people, or intense murder mysteries that will keep you guessing right until the very end, here are the eight new television shows you should be watching this winter.
When: December 1 on Netflix
Netflix currently boasts strong international programming like Narcos (Colombia), Fauda (Israel) and 3% (Brazil). Its newest push abroad comes by way of Germany – promising to up the thrills and intrigue with Dark – a mash-up of a crime drama and time travel odyssey.
Following the disappearance of two young girls (a quality set-up a la Prisoners), four families must navigate the pitfalls of a time bend in order to find a happy conclusion. Of course, part of the fun stems from bits when they are forced to interact with past and future versions of themselves.
Jean-Claude Van Johnson
When: December 15 on Amazon
1980s action star, Jean-Claude Van Damme, saw an uptick in his career in recent years after managing to poke fun at his macho persona in the 2008 film, JCVD.
Cut from a similar cloth, Jean-Claude Van Johnson finds the Muscles from Brussels taking both a comedic and dramatic turn as a washed-up action star – responsible for terrible fare like a martial arts version of Huckleberry Finn – who has actually used his C-list career as a means for hiding the truth; he’s actually a real-life undercover operative.
When: December 18 on HBO
Even though he has to bear the Jon Snow moniker for one more season on Game of Thrones, Kit Harrington is already beginning to explore what his career will look like in a post-Westeros context.
In Gunpowder, he portrays Robert Catesby, a persecuted Catholic, who hatched a plot to blow up the British House of Parliament during the 17th century.
The limited, three-part series also stars Liv Tyler (Lord of the Rings), Peter Mullan (Top of the Lake) and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock).
When: January 7 on Showtime
From show creator, Lena Waithe, who was responsible for co-writing the Emmy-winning episode of “Thanksgiving” on Master of None, The Chi is a coming-of-age exploration of life in the Windy City that doesn’t solely focus on personal tragedies often depicted on the news – or the public service branch involving firefighters, cops or doctors.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
When: January 17 on FX
Buoyed by the strength of the inaugural installment of American Crime Story, which focused on all the behind-the-scenes happenings involving the trial of O.J. Simpson, the newest iteration shifts to the brutal murder of fashion designer, Gianni Versace, who was shockingly gunned down outside of his home at Miami Beach.
If the latter’s success is any indication – boasting 22 Emmy nominations and nine wins – The Assassination of Gianni Versace should deliver both an informative exploration of the designer’s life and work, and the more sinister motivations of his killer, Andrew Cunanan.
When: January 22 on TNT
Created by Cary Fukunaga – the helmer responsible for all of the first season of True Detective – The Alienist channels a similar macabre vibe as it focuses on a series of male prostitute murders set against an 1896 New York City backdrop.
Whereas we began to see the roots of criminal psychology explored in Netflix’s Mindhunter (which was set in the the late 1970s), The Alienist takes it back much further during a time when police procedure was a mix of superstition, luck and rudimentary science.
For fans of Jack the Ripper-esque tales, The Alienist should certainly do the trick.
When: January 22 on HBO
In a world where all of the television providers are vying for a viewership whose attention span has rapidly declined thanks to smartphone usage, HBO and Steven Soderbergh may have provided the most prominent paradigm shift to date.
Mosaic is both a forthcoming murder mystery and an app which allows users to choose their path through the story – affording you things like through whose point of view you want to observe details, and “choice moments” which will ask you to choose a perspective from which to watch key scenes.
Additionally, it allows people to dig into supplemental materials dealing with the crime that might not be referenced directly in the show – something that has become popular for true crime stories like Making a Murderer which turned viewers into would-be detectives.
Airing six episodes over five nights, Soderbergh has said of the project, “It’s not a TV show, and it’s not a movie. It’s something else.”
For those wanting in on the action, the Mosaic app can be dowloaded here.
When: January 24 on Paramount Network
As part of its rebranding from Spike TV to the Paramount Network, the company is presenting a six-part television event focusing on the Waco, Texas, tragedy which claimed the lives of 76 people. It’s based on two biographies, A Place Called Waco, by Branch Davidian David Thibodeau, one of the nine survivors of the final fire on April 19, 1993, and Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator, written by the FBI’s Head of Crisis Negotiation Unit, Gary Noesner.
Featuring Taylor Kitsch in the role of David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidian cult which initiated the fateful standoff, it also stars two-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon in the role of Noesner.
See how James Franco went from McDonald’s worker to cult Hollywood star.