The geeks have inherited the Earth. Or at least television.
Once we were the red-haired stepchildren of American audiences, subsisting on a thin gruel of giant-insect movies, Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines and “Star Trek” reruns. But now sci-fi, fantasy, superheroes, magic and comic books rule the small screen.
In 2019, the number of genre TV shows airing or streaming will be in triple figures. My list — which is certainly not comprehensive — has 36 new shows that appeal to those who prefer Red Weddings to romance, sci-fi to sitcoms and talking dogs to talk shows. Three of them debut this month:
“Deadly Class” (Jan. 16, Syfy): A street kid is inducted into a private high school, and finds he is still at the bottom of the social order. Worse, it’s a high school for assassins, where the knife in your back isn’t metaphorical.
“Kingdom” (Jan. 25, Netflix): Set in the royal court of medieval Korea, “Kingdom” is blessed with gorgeous costumes, exotic sets and sumptuous production values. Also, there are zombies.
“The Passage” (Jan. 14, Fox): Based on the Justin Cronin novel, this series features an entirely different vampire apocalypse than the ones seen on “Van Helsing” and “The Strain.”
Meanwhile, other popular and cult favorites return in 2019, from “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (revived from cancellation) to “Westworld.” But what really makes our Spider-sense tingle are all the new shows in 2019. Here’s a look:
“Doom Patrol” (Feb. 15, DC Universe): Robotman, Elasti-Girl, Negative Man and the Chief were introduced on “Titans,” so we have a pretty good idea just how disturbing (and funny) Cliff, Rita, Larry and Niles can be. And wait till you meet Crazy Jane!
“Good Omens” (TBA, Prime): Adapted from the Neil Gaiman novel, this series stars David Tennant as the demon Crowley and Michael Sheen as the angel Aziraphale, who team up to prevent the end times prophesied in the Book of Revelations. Don’t give them too much credit — they’re only doing so to protect their comfortable lives. And since they immediately lose track of the Antichrist, don’t expect competence.
“The Mandalorian” (TBA, Disney+): This live-action “Star Wars” series, co-created by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man” director/actor), is set between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens.” Since Boba Fett wears Mandalorian armor, I think we can assume a connection.
“Swamp Thing” (May 10, DC Universe): This show looks to have a much bigger budget than USA’s cheesy version years ago. But it’s still not a direct adaptation of the wildly popular Alan Moore run of the comic book series, which seems like a missed bet to me.
“Watchmen” (TBA, HBO): If you’re expecting the characters from the classic graphic novel or the Zach Snyder movie adaptation, you’ll be disappointed — this series is set after those events, and (spoiler) not many of those characters are left in a position to continue adventuring.