Filling the TV Void
It's the tail end of April, and suddenly you, like many others, might have hit a TV void. "The Walking Dead" wrapped up its season on April 2. "Game of Thrones," which always appeared around Easter, won't be back until July. The NFL is long over, too, so now you're just wondering what you're going to do to fill that cable-sized whole in your world. And after "Fate of the Furious," we have weeks until the Summer Movie Season begins.
Fear not, there are solutions. I'd like to modestly propose three very good cable shows that can help cure the Spring Doldrums.
Network: Streaming on Amazon Prime
When: Seasons 1 and 2, 10 episodes each, are now available. Season three drops on Friday, April 21
About: "Bosch" is a detective series, but it's not quite what you think. Based on the novels by Michael Connelly, the series follows Detective Hieronymus 'Harry' Bosch (Titus Welliver), a homicide detective in Los Angeles. Each season is a slow burn investigation, and it's incredibly well paced and acted. That's likely due in large part to creator and showrunner Eric Overmyer, who served as a writer and producer alongside David Simon on "Homicide: Life on the Street," "Treme" and "The Wire." Overmyer knows how to tell a compelling story, and he's got a great cast here. It starts with Welliver, a veteran character actor who's worked on tons of TV shows (including "LOST" where he was the Man in Black) and movies (including "The Town," "Gone Baby Gone" and "Argo"). He's great as Bosch and brings a lot to the series. The rest of the cast includes a couple "Wire" vets, Jamie Hector, who played Marlo, as Bosch's partner Jerry Edgar and Lance Reddick, who played Daniels, as Deputy Chief Irvin Irving. Amy Aquino also plays a supporting role as Bosch's captain, and Sarah Clarke ("24") has a recurring role as Bosch's ex-wife. Each season is based on a different novel, and has a contained crime story, so you can jump right in with season three. But it would be better if you watch the previous two seasons as well. And since this is an Amazon series, all the episodes for the new season will be available at midnight on April 21.
When: Seasons 1 and 2, 10 episodes each, available on Hulu. Season three debuts at 10 EST on Wednesday, April 19. A new episode airs each week.
About: Everyone has probably seen the 1996 Best Picture nominee "Fargo." Like the best of the Coen Brothers films, it is about a crime that goes very wrong and the police caught in the crossfire. Four years ago, FX announced they'd be airing a new TV series based on the films. It was fair to wonder how that was going to work. How would they capture the unique voice of the Coen Brothers? Enter Noah Hawley, who absolutely nailed that first season, and has been going strong ever since. "Fargo" is an anthology series, meaning the story, characters and cast changes each season. Think "True Detective," except this was done better and has been repeatable. The first season, which featured Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman was incredible. The second season, which featured Ted Danson and Jean Smart was just as good. Now we're on to season three. The cast this time includes the incredible Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ewan McGreggor playing a dual role. All we know about the story is that it is some kind of botched crime, set in the Midwest, and there will be snow. And I'm fine with that. This is the perfect series to jump right in as everyone will be starting fresh on April 19. But if you want to catch the past two seasons, you can do that on Hulu.
When: Seasons 1 and 2, 10 episodes each, are available on HBOGo. Season three debuted on Sunday, April 16. The final season, it runs eight episodes with new episodes Sundays at 9 EST.
About: And here is HBO's answer to what you can watch to fill the void, "The Leftovers." In 2014, Damon Lindelof, a co-creator and showrunner for "LOST," launched his new TV project based on the Tom Perrotta novel. It is set in upstate New York a year after a rapture-like event saw more than two million people disappear in an instant. Understandably, life has changed for everyone who was left behind. The book is a pensive meditation on grief, and the series lived up to that billing. It was sometimes a deeply taxing emotional slog in season one. But it was also beautiful, mysterious, and deeply layered, as fans of "LOST" would expect from Lindelof. The series returned for an equally compelling, albeit tonally different season two in 2015 then took more than a year off before its third and final season. The cast is excellent, led by Justin Theroux, Amy Brennaman, Christopher Eccleston and Carrie Coon, who is also starring in the new season of "Fargo" and is completely owning Spring 2017. I can't totally describe the plot to the show because that's the kind of show it is. I will just say to watch it is to love it, and based on Sunday's premier the third season will be straight fire. If you love mysterious and pensive shows that ask life's bigger questions then, frustratingly, don't really give you any answers, ala "LOST," this is the one for you. But, fair warning, this is an extremely serialized show, so you'll have to go back and catch up on seasons one and two. But trust me, you'll be glad you did.