By Brendan Lee
Game of Thrones (Season 8, HBO) – April 14
The fate of an entire realm of fictional people rests near the precipice of a soon-to-be-swinging balance, and in the next few months the hype and speculation will blanket the internet, your work, and even the friggin’ dog park with a chattering snow so furious it will mean the end of an entire television era. Two years since the enormous yet critically less-than-adored seventh season, it’s the Snows vs. Targaryens vs. Lannisters vs. Greyjoys vs. White Walkers for one last dragon-infested shabang. The season’s six episodes are rumoured to have cost around 15 million dollars a pop, and whether you’re behind by two or eight years, binge quickly, people – spoilers (and memes) are coming.
Ramy (Season 1, Hulu) – April 19
No matter how you look at it, Hulu took a gamble on Ramy Youssef. You probably haven’t heard of him (yet), but if the name rings a bell there’s a chance you might recall his appearance on the Colbert Show in 2017, when the Muslim comedian claimed (in a comedy routine) to expect “a Hogwarts Letter from ISIS” when he turns 30. That appearance was only the beginning of his tongue-in-cheek look at Muslim people, which culminates in April with the release of his new 10-part show based around similar sorts of funny – yet real – conversations. The show follows Ramy, a young Muslim living in the suburbs of modern-day New Jersey, as he skirts all sorts of ideological lines and boundaries. Youssef’s infectious smile and comedic timing makes Hulu’s bet on this dramatic comedy something close to a sure thing.
Black Summer (Season 1, Netflix) – April 11
At this point in history, it’s abundantly clear that stories about viral plagues sending humans into rage-stricken killing frenzies can be extremely successful. We’ve seen it so often – and enjoyed it so many times – that something about that struggle must evoke feelings all but written into our DNA. So, it’s about time that Netflix cashes in on the fun. The prequel (or companion piece) to the Syfy-produced “Z Nation” tells the story of the catastrophic low point of a zombie apocalypse, dubbed “the Black Summer.” Centering around a mother who is separated from her daughter, the show is a self-proclaimed throwback to old-school zombie thrillers, delving into the tragic lengths to which people might go to survive an apocalypse.
Trailer Park Boys – The Animated Series (Season 1, Netflix) – March 31
Ricky, Julien, Bubbles, and the whole dope-smokin’ park is back for a thirteenth season as the boys continue to find ways of staying fresh by dropping the cameras and going animated. If, somehow, you’ve managed to avoid the show for the last two decades, “Trailer Park Boys” is a mockumentary created in 2001 by Nova Scotian Mike Clattenburg that centers around three delinquent buddies as they try to live out their simple lives at Sunnyvale Trailer Park – while doing as little jail time as possible. Season 12 actually ended with the boys transforming into animated characters, and previews of season 13 make it clear they are self-aware of their new colourful forms. Knowing the show, there’s a good chance this season (and any subsequent animated ones) could end up being a convoluted mushroom trip – the possibilities know no bounds.