April TV Preview: Don’t Miss These 10 Premieres


The television gods rain many gifts upon us this month: The third season of the amazing British comedy Catastrophe, on Amazon April 28; AMC’s adaptation of Philipp Meyer’s novel The Son, a Pulitzer finalist, which lands April 8; and Louis C.K.’s new standup special, on Netflix April 4. Our patience pays off when The Get Down returns for the second half of its first season and another buzzy novel adaptation — Neil Gaiman’s American Gods — finally premieres on Starz. Plus, NBC premieres a promising new sitcom from 30 Rock scribe Tracey Wigfield and HBO and Hulu go heavy on the dystopia, if you’re not getting enough of that from the news. And not to bury the lede here but guys, we’ve almost made it through the first 100 days of this disaster of a presidency! April 29, baby!

4/5: Archer: Dreamland (FXX)

Moving to FX’s sister channel, FXX, Archer hits the reset button yet again in its eighth season, which takes place in a very noir-ish Los Angeles in 1947. It should be noted that it also takes place entirely inside Sterling Archer’s head (hence the subtitle), as he recovers from a gunshot wound he endured in the last season finale. FX has already renewed Archer through Season 10, which will be its last, so enjoy this relatively short season — it’s just eight episodes — while it lasts.

4/7: The Get Down (Netflix)

Netflix’s funkiest (and most expensive) original series returns this month — not for a second season but for part two of the first, which was split in half when it became clear that the production was not going to finish the whole season in time to release it all at once. Netflix, you knew what you were getting into when you hired Baz Luhrmann. In this new batch of episodes, nascent rapper Zeke (Justice Smith) breaks out on his own while his “butterscotch queen,” Mylene Cruz (Herizen Guardiola), becomes a bona fide disco star.

4/10: Better Call Saul (AMC)

You better believe Season 3 of this fantastic Breaking Bad prequel opens with another black-and-white Cinnabon montage. Better Call Saul is still moving at a fairly glacial pace; don’t expect any huge revelations in this month’s season premiere. But that slowness is a huge part of the show’s appeal (and let’s not forget that Breaking Bad also unfolded over a relatively short period of time), and we are starting to inch closer towards the events of the original series, with the legendary Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) set to appear this season.

4/16: Veep (HBO)

Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons) is a congressman; Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky) is running a gubernatorial campaign for her boyfriend; and Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is most definitely not the president of the United States. The world of Veep is almost as topsy-turvy as the real world (lol JK that’s impossible). For the first time since the series began, Selina is out of public office and, as she says in the trailer, reacquainting herself “with an old friend of mine by the name of Selina Meyer.” We’ll see how that goes.

4/16: The Leftovers (HBO)

The trailer alone for the third and final season of The Leftovers is among the more stressful things I’ve watched in the past few months, so buckle up. The second season of this drama about the end of the world moved the action from upstate New York to Texas; the third shifts things even further, to Australia, where Kevin (Justin Theroux) and Nora (Carrie Coon) are headed for reasons as yet unknown. The season will last for just eight episodes but Coon has promised viewers a satisfying, “organic” ending.

4/23: Silicon Valley (HBO)

After three seasons of herky-jerky development of his company, Season 4 of Silicon Valley sees tech genius Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) attempt a more ambitious venture: Building a new internet, and, apparently, trying to screw over his old boss in the process. “You are a bad guy,” Hooli CEO Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) tells Richard in the Season 4 trailer, which also features a heavily bearded Haley Joel Osment.

4/25: Great News (NBC)

Tracey Wigfield won a writing Emmy for her work on 30 Rock (she also wrote for The Mindy Project), and this month Great News — her first series as a creator — premieres on NBC. The sitcom stars the relatively unknown Briga Heelan as Katie Wendelson, a go-getter news producer eager to begin a new job when her overbearing mother, played by the always-fantastic Andrea Martin, comes to work as an intern at the very same station. The premise is a bit cute, but Great News has some serious 30 Rock vibes and the central mother-daughter conflict — Wigfield based the character on her own mother — anchors the show.

4/26: The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

The Leftovers and Veep, make room for The Handmaid’s Tale, another one to add to the pile of “shows that are suddenly terrifyingly relevant.” Hulu’s adaptation of the classic Margaret Atwood dystopia is seriously chilling at this particular moment: The show takes place in an America that has been taken over by a totalitarian, theocratic regime that forces healthy women to bear children for the leaders of society whose own wives cannot. Elisabeth Moss stars alongside Alexis Bledel, Samira Wiley, Joseph Fiennes, and Ann Dowd.

4/28: Dear White People (Netflix)

This new Netflix comedy is an adaptation of the 2014 film of the same name, written and directed by Justin Simien, who wrote all ten of the first season’s episodes and directed the first. The first trailer announcing the series, set on a fictional college campus, attracted some controversy when it was released in February, mostly for having the audacity to point out that white people are sometimes insensitive to people of color. Because in 2017, the worst thing you can call a person is racist. As Simien pointed out at the time, the hubbub only underscored the show’s point — and gave it some free publicity, too.

4/30: American Gods (Starz)

Along with Michael Green, Bryan Fuller — he of Hannibal, Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, and Wonderfalls — is behind this much-buzzed-about adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Hugo-winning novel, published in 2001. American Gods centers on Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), an inmate who’s released from prison early after his wife is killed and who’s hired by a man named Wednesday (Deadwood’s Iain McShane) to track down America’s “Old Gods” for an inevitable confrontation with the “New Gods” — among them Media and Technology. It sounds pretty wild (I haven’t read the book), and with Fuller involved, it’s bound to be stylish as hell.