The television of 2023 has so far been defined mainly by recurring series, and especially by saying goodbye to several well-known shows, including the finales of ‘Succession’, ‘Barry’, ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and ‘Ted Lasso’ (at least, as we know it now).
The first half of the year has seen some memorable TV across a wide variety of genres, ranging from dramas and comedies to limited series, docuseries to the hard-to-categorize comedy-reality hybrid ‘Jury Duty’, a project that helped take it further little talked about Amazon channel Freevee on the map.
Taking stock through June, here are the other highlights, presented in order of when they premiered. Indicative of the time, a few of the entries are similar enough to be logically linked based on when the first one made its debut.
Overall, they’re not a bad bunch, but Hollywood needs to up its game if this is going to be remembered as a top-notch TV year for both newcomers and its graduating class, with this big starlet: should it hold on much longer, the writers’ The Strike the Guild of America against the studios could significantly tighten the pressure on scripted series in the second half of 2023:
“The Last of Us” (HBO)
The new show of the year so far, certainly in terms of media buzz, but also in its drama and pathos adapting the game into a series that brought unexpected depth to the concept of a zombie-infested world. Given the anticipation, the series impressively lived up to the hype, anchored by the central duo of Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey.
“Shrink” (Apple TV+)
The ‘Ted Lasso’ team delivered another winner with this comedy about a grief-stricken therapist (Jason Segel) and the extended circle around him, a top-notch ensemble with a stellar supporting cast for Harrison Ford as his grumpy colleague.
‘Bill Russell: Legend’ (Netflix) and ‘The Luckiest Man Alive’ (ESPN)
A pair of docuseries both provide insight into two of the greatest centers basketball has ever produced, about the late Celtics star’s combination of athletic prowess and activism, and Bill Walton’s injury-plagued journey (which also included a championship with the Celtics) from the court to the broadcast booth.
Another NBA legend, Wilt Chamberlain, is getting his own docuseries, “Goliath,” on Showtime starting July 14, while Apple is dedicating a documentary to current player Stephen Curry a week later. So for hoops fans, the hits keep coming.
‘Daisy Jones & the Six’ (Amazon’s Prime Video)
Basically just an old-fashioned soap opera set in and around the music world in the 1970s, the adaptation presents the rise and fall of a very Fleetwood Mac-esque band thrown into intramural chaos and heightened creativity in equal measure, thanks to the new vocalist. (Riley Keough, showing that Elvis Presley’s granddaughter can also sing).
‘Swarm’ (first video)
Produced by Donald Glover and Janine Nabers, fresh from the end of “Atlanta,” this limited series offered a flawed but fascinating exploration of outrageous fandom, as captured through Dominique Fishback’s portrayal of a character whose obsession with her favorite musical star gradually leads her down the drain. . very violent path.
‘‘The Night Agent’ (Netflix) and ‘Hijack’ (Apple TV+)
Two thrillers set in “24” mode, the first focusing on an FBI agent (Gabriel Basso) trying to unravel a massive terror threat reaching into the White House, and the latter a real-time drama starring Idris Elba as a veteran negotiator who happens to be the right man to have on board a hijacked flight bound for London.
The series, “The Last of Us” runner-up among the most memorable and addictive offerings of the year, features Ali Wong and Steven Yeun as a pair of strangers whose meeting on the road unleashes a slew of darkly funny and sometimes tragic unintended consequences. . .
“A Little Light” (NatGeo/Disney+)
An understated yet devastating limited series about Anne Frank’s family and the people who protected them from the Nazis, starring Bel Powley as Miep Gies, the unlikely hero who found courage she didn’t know she possessed; and Liev Schreiber as her boss, Otto Frank, who enlists her to help hide his family.
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