the best TV in early 2023: NPR


Clockwise from top left: Pedro Pascal from HBO’s The Last of Us, Robert Flack from PBS’s American Masters: Roberta Flack, Jane Lynch from Starz’s Party Down and Harrison Ford from Shrinking d ‘Apple TV+.

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the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Clockwise from top left: Pedro Pascal from HBO’s The Last of Us, Robert Flack from PBS’s American Masters: Roberta Flack, Jane Lynch from Starz’s Party Down and Harrison Ford from Shrinking d ‘Apple TV+.

HBO/PBS/Starz/Apple TV+

The best thing about the start of a new year, especially in media, is the excitement of new possibilities.

No negative reviews – at least not yet. No crazy stars or off-screen personal scandals. Nothing but captivating venues, cool artists and exhilarating creative swings.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a short list of my most anticipated TV and media projects for the New Year. Bearing in mind that when I wrote a similar list last year, the now closed and lackluster CNN+ Law and order revival were both on it – hey, I’m a media optimist – let’s take a rosy look at what’s to come in early 2023.

the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in HBO’s The Last of Us.

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the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in HBO’s The Last of Us.

HBO

The last of us (HBO) January 15 – Admittedly, the premise sounds like a mix of The Walking Dead and The road, centering on two people who develop a father-daughter bond while traveling through a post-apocalyptic America ravaged by zombies brought to life by a killer mushroom. (Yes. Fungus. Look for it.) But when one of these two characters is played by The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal and one of the storytellers is Craig Mazin, the creator of HBO’s Chernobyl miniseries, you get a spectacle that far transcends its genesis as a popular video game. Throw in heartbreaking performances from guest stars like Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett, Melanie Lynskey and Gabriel Luna – plus Bella Ramsey’s star turn as the girl who teams up with Pascal’s character – and you’ve got one of the best. Early 2023 TV shows at your fingertips.

The daily showThe Rotating Hosts of (Comedy Central) Jan. 17 – Following the surprise departure of host Trevor Noah, the late-night news satire will feature a long procession of guests in the big chair until Comedy Central can determine who should get the job permanently. People like Hasan Minhaj, Leslie Jones, Al Franken and DL Hughley have already been announced; frankly, I can’t wait to see the show’s current correspondents, like Roy Wood Jr., Desi Lydic, and Dulce Sloan get their chance to steer things a bit. It’s a pivotal time for late-night television; while some wonder if the genre is on its last legs, this experimentation/trial/stall tactic gives Daily show producers many opportunities to prove that the program has continued relevance.

the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Michael Chiklis in the season premiere episode of Accused.

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the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Michael Chiklis in the season premiere episode of Accused.

Shane Mahood / Fox

Accused (Fox) January 22 – In a new twist on the cops and crime TV procedural formula, executive producer Howard Gordon (Fatherland, 24) presents a 15-episode anthology series adapted from a BBC show, featuring a different person each week accused of a horrific crime. The story begins with the start of their trial, then travels back in time to show how they landed in such a terrible place – from a father accused of helping his son pull off a school shooting to a deaf woman accused of kidnapping a baby she was carrying to term as a surrogate. Performers include Michael Chiklis and Wendell Pierce; Marlee Matlin and Billy Porter each show up to direct an episode. While some of the crimes can be quite bizarre – and difficult to wrap up in an hour-long episode – some stories delve into topical and compelling issues.

the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Roberta Flack singing at a concert in 1971.

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American Masters: Roberta Flack (PBS) January 24 – At her height in the 1970s, music critics hipper than you criticized Flack for being too refined or reserved – an emotional singer whose classical roots and mastery of quiet moments never matched their vision of what it should be. a black singer. But with a string of soulful hits under his belt – from Killing Me Softly With His Song to The first time I saw your face and his iconic duets with Donny Hathaway, where is the love and The closer I get to you – Flack had a huge impact. Finally, she gets the American Masters treatment from PBS, with a documentary that explores how her prodigious talent was matched by her commitment to the fight for civil rights. It’s a particularly poignant time to post such a career retrospective, just months after Flack revealed she had a brain condition known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – popularly known as Lou’s disease. Gehrig – which made it impossible to sing and difficult to speak.

the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Jason Segel and Harrison Ford appear in the Apple TV series Shrinking.

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the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Jason Segel and Harrison Ford appear in the Apple TV series Shrinking.

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Contraction (Apple TV+) January 27 – Of all the roles I least expected 80-year-old Harrison Ford to tackle at this point in his career, a crusty therapist mentoring a young analyst going through a personal crisis might top the list. . But Ford is an exciting supporting actor in this dramedy, which features series co-creator Jason Segel as a therapist who breaks all the rules and starts talking with brutal honesty to his patients — engaging himself more directly. in their lives amid his own significant struggles. Since the show’s other creators include Ted Lasso co-star Brett Goldstein and Lasso co-creator Bill Lawrence, it’s a safe bet there’s some unpredictable, high-quality television to come.

the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Jonathan Frakes as Riker and Patrick Stewart as Picard.

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the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Jonathan Frakes as Riker and Patrick Stewart as Picard.

Trae Patton/Trae Patton/Paramount+

Star Trek: Picardseason three (Paramount+) February 16 – New hiking series on Paramount+ often stumble when they work too hard to avoid classic franchise landmarks, forgetting there’s a reason star trek and its fallout lasted nearly 60 years. That was a problem with the first two seasons of this show, which focused on Patrick Stewart’s Captain Jean Luc Picard as an aging, galactic legend. That’s why I was so excited to see the upcoming third season rediscover some old school. hiking mojo, bringing together Picard with characters from the 80s/90s The next generation series, including Will Riker by Jonathan Frakes, Worf by Michael Dorn and Beverly Crusher by Gates McFadden. Along the way, we learn new secrets about Picard’s life and get an invigorating, up-to-date view of how his crew entered their golden years. Finally, Paramount+ has delivered the Picard revival series that all fans have been waiting for.

the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Jane Lynch from the original Party Down series.

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the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Jane Lynch from the original Party Down series.

Jill Greenberg/Starz

To party (Starz) February 23 – For years, Starz’s 2009 comedy about a dysfunctional group of catering company employees was best known for the great careers of its stars and producers. next to a spectacle. From co-creator/executive producer Paul Rudd — yes, that one — to on-screen stars Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino, Megan Mullally, and Jennifer Coolidge, the series had a particularly foreboding pedigree. So it only makes sense that Starz would reunite the group again, with Scott, Marino, Rudd, Mullally and Lynch on board for a six-episode third season – catching up with the Party Down crew’s surprise reunion 10 years after the series ended. original.

the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Samantha Bee at a press event in 2018.

Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Turner


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the best TV in early 2023: NPR

Samantha Bee at a press event in 2018.

Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Turner

Samantha Bee: your favorite womanstage show, from April 7 – Never one to let a series cancellation bring her down, Samantha Bee bounced back after her TBS show ended prematurely last year. Full frontal with a stage tour currently planned in 15 cities, starting with the Victoria Theater in Newark, NJ Since her days as a correspondent on The daily showBee has always fought for her place in the world of comedy, and this tour is no exception – a bold reminder that Bee will continue to bring her invigorating vision to audiences in every forum she can manage.


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