Christmas is over, a new year has begun, work starts again tomorrow and there’s still a whole thirty days to go until pay day. But still there’s plenty to look forward to this year (and I’m not just talking about pay day) and thankfully the television gods are shining down on us with a whole host of great shows to get us through whatever 2019 brings us. Here are the top five shows I’m excited to watch this year.
Luther, BBC1, 1 January
The New Year starts with a bang with the return of Luther to our small screens after a four-year wait, with the last series leaving us – well, me – scared to open the fridge. Starring the one and only Idris Elba as the troubled DCI John Luther, the fifth season of this gritty psychological drama sees Luther teaming up with new recruit DS Catherine Halliday (played by Wunmi Mosaku) to hunt down an elusive killer and, in the words of show creator Neil Cross, promises to deal with “unfinished business”, eek! Broadcast over consecutive nights, this four-part series also boasts the return of the brilliant Ruth Wilson as Alice Morgan and is sure to be as dark and gripping as previous series. Looks like we’ll (I’ll) be sleeping with the lights on over the next week or so.
Sex Education, Netflix, 11 January
January is often a depressing time of the year, but thankfully Netflix is releasing a new comedy to beat those post-Christmas blues. Created by Laurie Nunn, Sex Education focuses on awkward teen and high school virgin Otis (Asa Butterfield) who lives with his sex therapist mother Jean (Gillian Anderson). Over the course of the eight episodes Otis teams up with his rebel classmate Maeve (Emma Mackey) to set up an underground school sex therapy clinic. This coming of age drama focuses on growing up, love and relationships and sounds hilariously rude, truthful and delightfully awkward, and the young cast are already being billed as stars of the future. Plus Gillian Anderson as a sex therapist. Put it in my eyeballs now please.
Line of Duty, BBC1, Spring 2019
After four seasons of action, corruption and heart-stopping moments that make you scream out loud (or maybe that’s just me), one of the BBC’s best-loved police dramas returns for a fifth series in 2019. Written by Jed Mercurio, Line of Duty follows unit AC-12 which sniffs out corruption within the police left, right and centre and is led by Ted Hastings (like the battle, remember?) along with his trusty DCs Kate Fleming and Steve Arnott (played by Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston respectively). Judging by the recently released trailer, series five promises yet more of the unexpected twists and turns we’ve grown to expect, and with the reputation of Hastings being called into question, it’s sure to be packed full of suspense and high drama. Can’t wait!
The Crown, Netflix, Not Soon Enough
I’ve been saying for years that Olivia Colman is the actual Queen and finally it seems that the casting director behind The Crown finally agree with me. The popular royal drama returns for a third series on Netflix in 2019 and boasts an entirely new bunch of actors – every single role has been recast, including the corgis*. Joining Queen Colman is Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip and the fabulously cast Helena Bonham Carter as everyone’s favourite rebellious princess, Margaret. As if that wasn’t enough, the new series features Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, Erin Doherty as Princess Anne and Jason Watkins as Prime Minister Harold Wilson. With plot lines set to feature the breakdown of Margaret’s marriage to Lord Snowden and the relationship between Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, it’s sure to be full of drama and superbly written angst courtesy of Peter Morgan’s trusted scripts.
*this may or may not be true
Good Omens, Amazon Prime/BBC2, TBC
Not content to just take over our bookshelves, Neil Gaiman looks set to have a bumper year with two of his bestselling novels hitting our screens in 2019. The second season of American Gods returns in March with Lovejoy himself (minus the leather jacket) Ian McShane leading a number of powerful old gods in a war against the newbies. With new showrunners the second series looks set to follow the book more closely, which is music to my ears. As if that wasn’t enough, Good Omens, based on the hit novel by Gaiman and the late, great Terry Pratchett, arrives in the first half of the year on Amazon Prime and the BBC shortly after, and looks set to be a corker. Good meets evil as angel Michael Sheen and demon David Tennant join forces to try and prevent the apocalypse, and if the TV series is remotely like the book – which if the trailer is anything to go by it certainly is – it’s bound to be a fast-paced, witty and downright hilarious show featuring a wealth of acting and comedy talent. It can’t come quick enough.