All the TV shows we’re excited to see before the end of 2021
This weekend sees the premiere of the first 3 episodes of Arcane, an nine-episode animated series on Netflix taking place in the world of League of Legends. The series takes place in the city of Piltover and its underworld companion Zaun, and will be telling the origin story of several popular LoL characters including Caitlyn, Jayce, and the sisters Vi and Jinx. Riot has been expanding the lore of their flagship franchise for several years now, but this is the first effort to reach a general audience — and with an MMO in the future, the stakes are high. There’s every indication that all stops have been pulled out for Arcane, so expectations are strong.
Arcane isn’t the only TV show coming this year that we’re eagerly anticipating; here are some others we’ve been looking forward to all year.
When you try to mimic the success of Game of Thrones, you either win or are cancelled
Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series is a seminal work in modern fantasy. The core series spanned 14 books and outlived its author, with the final three books completed with the assistance of prolific author Brandon Sanderson. It’s been a dream for decades now to translate the story to screen, but it took many attempts — including one that actually aired in 2015 in an attempt to hold onto the rights — before Sony and Amazon Studios were able to get the ball rolling. Amazon Prime has faith in the production, with a second season already ordered, which is a very good sign. Moiraine and Rand meet to save (or destroy) the world on November 19th.
Wheel of Time isn’t the only series on tap for fans of fantasy, as season 2 of The Witcher arrives on Netflix on December 17th. The jumbled sequence of events comprising season 1 ended with Ciri and Geralt finally together, so it’s expected that this season will focus on their early days together, with familiar characters like Vesemir joining the cast. The story will still come from the books, although there is the potential for flash forwards to events from the game trilogy.
The latest entries from Marvel and Star Wars are coming to Disney+
It’s been a strong year for television in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with WandaVision, the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki all earning plaudits. The final entry this year is Hawkeye starring the titular hero played by Jeremy Renner as well as Hailee Steinfield cast as Kate Bishop, the successor to the moniker in the comics. As a lot of the focus in the MCU since Avengers: Endgame has been moving on to a new generation of Avengers, it appears that it is now Clint Barton’s turn to step aside.
While never the most popular character, Hawkeye has always had a strong sense of humor in the comics that appears to finally be given its due on screen, as the advertising has portrayed it as a holiday-themed “buddy cop” series. With the surprise twists and turns of Loki and WandaVision, however, it seems unlikely to be that straightforward — and of course, what we all really want is the full portrayal of Rogers: The Musical. Hawkeye has a two episode premiere on November 24th.
When we last saw the insanely popular Baby Yoda (real name: Grogu), he was saying goodbye to the Mandalorian. While we have to wait until 2022 to see if the two will be reunited, the first spinoff arrives on December 29th with The Book of Boba Fett. Boba Fett is played by Temuera Morrison — who was Jango Fett in the prequel Attack of the Clones (the title is a hint as to why it’s the same actor) — and also returning alongside Fett is Ming-Na Wen as fan favorite Fennec Shand. The focus on the show appears to be attempts by Boba and Fennec to usurp the role previously held by the late Jabba the Hutt, but little else has been revealed in the teasers so far.
Back to the future to the past
Over on Paramount+, the Star Trek spinoffs continue to reign, with Picard‘s second season coming in 2022, a third season for the animated Lower Decks ordered for the future, and the recent premiere of the youth-targeted Star Trek: Prodigy featuring Kate Mulgrew’s return as Captain Janeway. The first of the recent Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery, continues its adventures in the 32nd Century with Michael Burnham (played by Sonequa Martin-Green) recently promoted to captain. The fourth season, premiering on November 18th, will have the Discovery’s crew contending with an anomaly that threatens the entire universe, forcing Federation and non-Federation worlds to work together to deal with the catastrophe and its consequences.
Probably the most controversial of the entries in this article is Cowboy Bebop, airing on Netflix starting November 19th. Based on the insanely popular late-90s anime — its popularity is the main factor behind the scrutiny — Cowboy Bebop is a space Western focusing on three bounty hunters trying to outrun the past. The new live action series is not a straight remake, but has instead been described as an “expansion to the canon”. Its success (or lack thereof) will go a long way in determining the viability converting beloved anime into live action, something the creators of the live action Avatar: the Last Airbender will be keeping a close eye on, especially after the failure of the film adaptation of that property.
Our final main entrant lands on the last day of the year, as the Emmy-nominated Cobra Kai season 4 debuts on December 31st on Netflix. A show getting a fourth (and potentially a fifth) season on Netflix is news in its own right, but Cobra Kai continues to be successful by tapping into Karate Kid nostalgia while also expanding the conflict between Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso in new ways. The fourth season has the two finally uniting against the villainous Kreese as the All Valley Championships loom. While probably the least “genre” of the shows featured in this article, there’s something to be said for a series that makes you want to start singing You’re the Best! Around! whenever you see a trailer for it.
Get back to being zany to the max
There’s so many shows coming out the next few weeks it’s impossible to dedicate a paragraph to each, but here’s a few others we’re watching:
- The Beatles: Get Back — Peter Jackson crafts a documentary from the footage of the Let It Be sessions, including the rooftop concert. November 23rd on Disney+.
- Animaniacs season 2 — the Warner Brothers and their sister Dot will make you laugh til you collapse on Hulu starting November 5th.
- Olaf Presents — for those whose favorite part of Frozen 2 was Olaf summarizing the events of the first film, Disney+ has a new series of shorts for their other animated films. Premieres on November 12th.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!
Join the Discussion
Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our commenting and community guidelines.