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The year ahead: The top TV shows of 2024

‘House of the Dragon’

Starring: Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy

The first season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel may not have received quite as rapturous a reception — nor garnered as many column inches — as its illustrious predecessor, but then again few shows ever have. What it did do was deliver a beautifully filmed, convincingly acted mix of political intrigue, gory action, swords, sorcery and skin (and dragons, obviously) that was both engrossing and entertaining. Following George R.R. Martin’s book that is set a few centuries before “GoT,” “House of the Dragon” is the story of the ruling Targaryen family and the fight for control of it (and, therefore, of Westeros). Expect further labyrinthine plotting, horrible deaths, and stylishly delivered euphemisms in season two when it airs in the summer.

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

Starring: Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, Susie Essman

The upcoming 12th season of Larry David’s often-toe-curling sitcom based on a fictional version of himself — due out Feb. 4 — will reportedly be the last, at least according to David (although we’ve heard that before, several times). It’s hard to imagine quite how he can top any of his previous storylines, both in terms of laughs earned and boundaries crossed, but it was equally hard to imagine how anyone could turn this narcissistic, egomaniacal, crass, cowardly character into someone that audiences would root for and keep coming back to watch. David managed to do the latter, so you’d be foolish to bet against the former.

‘True Detective: Night Country’

Starring: Jodie Foster, Kali Reis, John Hawkes, Christopher Ecclestone

The first season of the anthology series “True Detective” — the one with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as the leads — remains one of the finest crime shows of all time. Seasons two and three didn’t reach those same dizzy heights, unfortunately, but there’s plenty of justifiable excitement around season four, which begins this week on OSN+ in the region. “Night Country” stars two-time Oscar-winner Jodie Foster as detective Liz Danvers, investigating the simultaneous disappearance of eight scientists living at the Tsalal Arctic Research Station in the small town of Ennis, Alaska. It’s set during the winter period when the sun never rises, hence the title.

‘The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live’

Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Pollyanna McIntosh

There was a time — although it seems very long ago now — when “The Walking Dead” was a must-see show. Yes, the post-apocalyptic zombie show went out with a whimper, and yes, the several spinoff series have done little to reward fans’ interest, but… there’s still a glimmer of hope, perhaps, that “The Ones Who Live” can reclaim the glory days. For a start, it stars Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes — the focal point of those glory days — and Danai Gurira as sword-wieldig badass Michonne, always a fan favorite. Gurira is also a co-creator of the show, along with Scott M. Gimple, who joined the original in its second season.

‘3 Body Problem’

Starring: Saamer Usmani, Jess Hong, Rosalind Chao, Benedict Wong

The latest series from the co-creators of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, is also an adaptation of an acclaimed novel; this one an award-winning sci-fi epic by Chinese author Liu Cixin. Astrophysicist Ye Wenjie sees her father brutally murdered during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and is herself branded a traitor. She is later conscripted to the military and sent to a secret radar base to help with a scientific research program. One day, she takes a huge risk, and tells no one about it. Decades later, the ramifications of her decision become clear, and a group of modern-day scientists must face mankind’s greatest threat.

‘Masters of the Air’

Starring: Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle, Nate Mann

Executive producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks finally complete their trilogy of miniseries based on the events of World War II (from an American point of view). Having focused on the army in 2001’s “Band of Brothers” and the marines in 2010’s “The Pacific,” they turn their attention to the air force this time, specifically the Eighth Air Force, which was engaged in some of the war’s most-dangerous missions in Northern Europe. Acclaimed filmmaker Cary Fukunaga (“No Time To Die,” “True Detective”) helms the show — based on Donald L. Miller’s book — in which Hollywood hot property Austin Butler plays Major Gale Cleven, one of the leaders of the Eighth’s 100th Bombardment Group.

‘The Regime’

Starring: Kate Winslet, Martha Plimpton, Hugh Grant

In the satrical miniseries “The Regime,” due out March 3, Kate Winslet plays the head of a fictional Central European autocracy — one which domestic turmoil is threatening to bring down — turmoil that is only further stoked when the leader of the oppostion (Hugh Grant) is thrown in prison. Showrunner Will Tracy has some serious pedigree when it comes to black comedy and satire, having written for both “Succession” and “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.” And the last time Winslet headed an HBO show, we got the magnificent “Mare of Easttown,” so hopes are high for this one.

‘Mo’

Starring: Mo Amer, Teresa Ruiz, Farah Bsieso

The first series of Mo Amer’s comedy drama was a triumph — rising above inevitable comparisons to “Ramy” (in which Amer stars, and whose creator, Ramy Youssef, also helped create “Mo”) to offer an insightful and very funny take on themes including the Palestinian experience, religion, race, love, identity, and duty versus desire. Amer plays Mo Najjar, a flawed but ultimately lovable refugee hustler living in Houston, Texas, where Amer himself grew up. Season two is scheduled to shoot March through May, so we’re hoping it will be out before the end of the year.

Source: Arab News

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