With Netflix's announcement of Sense8, its newest conception in creating original content, we here at Heavy thought it was time to see what else the future of streaming television has in store for us.
It looks like there is some pretty cool stuff brewing at Netflix "labs", along with the already wildly successful House of Cards season two and speculation for the much-anticipated Arrested Development season four.
10. Bad Samaritans
Bad Samaritans is a half-hour comedy series produced by Walt Becker, director of Van Wilder, Wild Hogs, and Old Dogs. The premise centers around a group of parolees and their parole officer. Wikipedia expands:
When Jake and Drew's anniversary picnic turns into a massive breakup that accidentally starts a raging wildfire, they are both sentenced to 2,000 hours of community service which they have to serve together. Each week, they join a ragtag group of degenerates that includes lifelong stoner Hagerty, aspiring socialite Trainy, former biker gang member Doug, and their Napoleonic parole officer Dax Wendell to complete degrading assignments. While performing menial tasks like assisting the elderly, picking up trash, and euthanizing dogs, Jake and Drew continue to deal with their breakup and the constant nightmare of doing the worst jobs in the world, for no money, with their ex.
Check out the season one trailer above, or check it out on Netflix because it premiered last week, March 31, 2013.
Ever wonder what would happen if a Soprano-type gangster traded it all in for witness protection and was then subsequently shipped to Scandinavia to be kept safe? Me neither. But somebody at Netflix did. Steven Van Zandt, of Sopranos and Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band fame, plays Frank Tagliano/Giovanni "Johnny" Henriksen, a New York gangster who is relocated to Lillehammer, Norway after providing testimony against a New York mob chief.
Lilyhammer premiered last in February 2012 to mostly positive reception. Season two began filming in January 2013
From the absurdist mind of Ricky Gervais comes a new British, single-camera mockumentary.
Derek tells the story of a high-functioning, developmentally disabled adult named Derek (Ricky Gervais). Wikipedia explains:
Gervais plays 49-year-old Derek Noakes, a care worker in a home for the elderly who has worked there for three years. He likes watching reality television shows and game shows and is interested in celebrities, fame and YouTube. He is kind, helpful, and selfless, with good intentions. He is vulnerable because of his childlike naiveté and lack of intelligence. He is ridiculed and ostracised, as well as being marginalised by mainstream society because of his social awkwardness, unattractiveness, and lack of inhibitions. Derek says it is more important to be kind than to be clever or good-looking. Many media sources describe him as autistic, although Gervais himself has always stated that Derek is not mentally disabled.
Being that Ricky Gervais is involved, expect some seriously funny TV to come. Derek premieres later in 2013.
7. Hemlock Grove
In case you're wondering, supernatural is still in.
Hemlock Grove spins the tale of werewolves and murder, emerging as a hybrid between AMC's The Killing and Twilight. Adapted from Brian McGreevy's novel of the same name, Huffington Post reports:
The 13-episode first season begins with a young girl having been murdered near the former Godfrey family steel mill. People of the town suspect an escapee from a biotech facility while others believe Peter, a 17-year-old kid from the wrong side of the tracks, is responsible.
Hemlock Groves premieres April 19, 2013.
The series will chronicle the life and death of Escobar, the ruthless boss of the Medellin Cartel and a known terrorist who was also a congressman, a family man and revered by the poor as a new Robin Hood. Padilha, on whose idea the project is based, is slated to oversee and direct the 13-episode first season, which is eying a 2014 debut on Netflix.
5. Orange Is The New Black
Look out, Weeds fans. Jenji Kohan, creator of said Showtime show, has a new project in her favorite genre: suburban woman breaking the law with drugs. Based off the book of the same name by Piper Kerman, Orange Is The New Black will follow seemingly innocuous suburban San Franciscan lesbian Piper Kerman (played by Taylor Schilling) as she launders money for her partner, who happens to deal heroin for a West African kingpin. The title comes from her time in jail for said crimes.
Intrigued? We are. There is no official trailer yet, but the above interview of Piper Kerman gives some background of her story. Orange Is The New Black premieres later in 2013.
Announced just last week, Netflix plans to branch into sci-fi now, too.
Not much has been released about Sense8, but TechCrunch has released information on the creative team and we are tres impressed. Read below:
The show is being developed under the guidance of the Wachowskis, who are responsible for smash hits like the Matrix series of films, V for Vendetta, Cloud Atlas and Speed Racer, as well as J. Michael Straczynski who is the creator behind Changeling, Thor, and Babylon 5.
The Matrix and Babylon 5? We're sold.
3. Turbo: F.A.S.T. (Fast Action Stunt Team)
"Turbo is an upcoming American 3D computer-animated sports comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation" with a release date of July 19, 2013, according to Wikipedia.
And Netflix apparently moves just as quickly as the movie's protagonist, a nitrogen boosted super fast snail, in securing the rights to an animated series based on the film.
Turbo: F.A.S.T. premieres in December 2013.
2. House of Cards
After becoming Netflix's first original original content home run, House of Cards junkies are already jonesing for season two, which began filming this past January.
House of Cards is a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey. Wikipedia elaborates:
Francis "Frank" Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is an ambitious Democratic congressman and the House Majority Whip. Following his assistance in ensuring the election of President Garrett Walker (Michael Gill), Underwood is informed by Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez (Sakina Jaffrey) that the existing agreement to appoint him Secretary of State will not be honored. Furious at Walker's betrayal, Underwood and his wife Claire (Robin Wright), a development activist, begin seeking out pawns in a protracted political war against Walker. Soon brought into the fray are troubled Congressman Peter Russo (Corey Stoll) and Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), a young political reporter for the Washington Herald newspaper.
One of the more interesting aspects in the creation of House of Cards is how its creative team was selected once Netflix decided to pick it up. Ted Sarandos, Netflix's Chief Content Officer, reviewed streaming habit data of Netflix user's and found that there was a viable market for political dramas, director David Fincher (Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), and actor Kevin Spacey.
Big brother knows what you like.
1. Arrested Development
Arrested Development season four is probably the most anticipated series Netflix has brewing.
Filming wrapped in November 2012, and joining the already formidably hilarious cast are a smorgasbord of other comedy stars. Huffington Post reports:
In addition to original cast members Bateman, Jessica Walter, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Cera, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, Alia Shawkat, Will Arnett and David Cross, Kristen Wiig, Liza Minnelli, Seth Rogen, Henry Winkler, Mae Whitman and John Slattery join the "Arrested Development" cast for the new season.
New episodes of Arrested Development will hopefully lead to a movie, although it hasn't been greenlit yet. The fourteen episodes will all be released at once in May, which means if you haven't yet signed up for Netflix - now's the time.