The 2022 slate is enough to make any viewer giddy with excitement with several lauded big and small screen spin-offs, superhero adaptations as well as original offerings expected to release. Let’s not forget about those new seasons of hit offerings that had to be delayed due to Covid-19 yo-yoing between different waves.
With that said, below are five of the stand-outs that have viewers chomping at the bit to check out:
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON
This HBO prequel is a must-watch for fans of “Game of Thrones”. Even those who claim to have not watched a single episode of the fantasy drama, which centred on a raging war between nine noble families to ascend the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, will be intrigued.
Fans who found themselves rallying for their favourite characters to succeed in the plethora of battles, where political subterfuge, backstabbing and hostile takeovers reigned supreme, will find themselves taking sides once again.
“House of the Dragon” is set two hundred years ahead of the events that transpired in the original series, which is based on George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels.
This 10-part offering recounts the rise and fall of House Targaryen and stars Paddy Considine as King Viserys/ Targaryen, who is the fifth king of the Seven Kingdoms.
Other cast members include Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (King Viserys's first born child and a dragon rider destined to become the first ruling queen of the Seven Kingdoms), Olivia Cooke as Lady Alicent Hightower (the daughter of Ser Otto Hightower), Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen (the presumed heir to the Iron Throne), Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower (a detractor of Prince Daemon who serves King Visery) and David Horovitch as Grand Maester Mellos (trusted adviser of King Viserys) among several others.
The exact release date is yet to be confirmed.
The fact that this series bears the Shonda Rhimes stamp is enough to pique the interest of viewers. After all, the prolific show-runner has a phenomenal track record of hits.
This drama, which is created and produced by Rhimes is based on “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People, a New York article by Jessica Pressler.
And Julia Garner, who rose to fame as Ruth Langmore in the hit series “Ozark”, for which she has won two Primetime Emmy Awards, is cast as Anna Delvey.
The Netflix series is scheduled to release on February 11.
Created by Jessica Gao for Disney+, this series, which is styled as She/Hulk, is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. While Gao serves as the head writer, Kat Coiro helms the directing team.
Given the big budget, it’s little surprise that they’ve bagged a stellar cast with Tatiana Maslany anchoring the series as Jennifer Walters/ She-Hulk.
The other actors in the cast include Tim Roth (Emil Blonsky/ Abomination), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner), Ginger Gonzaga (Walter’s best friend), Renée Elise Goldsberry (Amelia) as well as Jameela Jamil (Titania, an adversary of She-Hulk’s).
Season one comprises 10 episodes and centres on Jennifer, a lawyer representing super-humans who also has the ability to become an imposing, green version of herself when angry, no different to cousin Bruce Banner.
A release date hasn’t been confirmed.
Another superhero offering on the cards, so keep those eyes on alert for a release date in South Africa.
This CW series was developed by award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay and is based on the comic book series of the same name by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker.
The series features Kaci Walfall as the eponymous heroine with Mary-Charles Jones as Annabelle, Cranston Johnson as Zumbado, who is the owner of a local car lot, Alexander Wraith as Dee, the owner of a local tattoo store, Daniel Puig as Nathan, Aidan Gemme as Jacob, Will Meyers as Anthony and Camila Moreno, who adds some comic relief as Lourdes, a young woman who works in a vintage collectables store.
Now that fans have gotten over their disappointment over Regé-Jean Page not returning as Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, for the second instalment, expectations have been managed.
The period romance, which is based on the novel series by Julia Quinn, centres on the lives and loves of the Bridgerton siblings.
While season one swept viewers off their feet as Daphne Bridgerton found herself falling for the dashing Duke of Hastings, the new season centres on Anthony Bridgerton who, in being the eldest son, shouldered much of the family responsibility at a great personal sacrifice.
This season, which is based on “The Viscount Who Loved M”, he is looking to settle down.
There’s just one snag – he’s engaged to Edwina Sharma, but sparks fly between him and her sister Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley). Ah, this forbidden love story will definitely give Lady Whistledown plenty to write about.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, creator and show runner Chris Van Dusen said: “It is a little different going (into it than) that first season now that it’s kind of a worldwide phenomenon.
“There are a lot more eyes and a lot more scrutiny, but I’ve always said this show comes with a healthy kind of pressure. Being inspired by these eight delicious romance novels, which already have a passionate fan following, the pressure is really baked in.”
Special mentions: The Lord of the Rings, The Sandman, A Discovery of Witches S3, The Righteous Gemstones S2, Superman & Lois S2, Peacemaker, The Orville: New Horizons, Atlanta S3, How I Met Your Father, Good Omens S2 and Ms. Marvel are among the forthcoming shows that should be on your binge-watch list.