Follow The Leader: The Best New TV Shows

There’s nothing better than when the TV gods decide to create a whole range of TV shows to choose from, and this year there is more than enough to look forward to already. From spy dramas to creepy cult shows there is plenty to keep an eye out for and also one or two to perhaps stay away from.

The Carrie Diaries
When Sex and the City hit our screens in 1998 it was a phenomenon. Following Carrie Bradshaw and her friends tackling issues such as sexuality, STIs and femininity, it received critical acclaim for its stark portrayal of previously untouched issues. So to see it return in the form of a slightly soppier and cheesier teen show is slightly disappointing. The show lacks any real strength, straying from attempting anything too controversial, instead toeing the line and sticking to the usual clichéd scenarios found in any relatively good teen drama. With a cast headed by the fresh-faced AnnaSophia Robb, her performance is next to none, playing a bubbly and irresistibly likeable mini- Carrie. Although not quite as ground breaking as its mother show, The Carrie Diaries makes up for its shortcomings with a great cast and fantastic costume and set design. Overall, it is a nice show with plenty of cute storylines and good characters, but it is definitely not how most of us would have imagined a young Carrie Bradshaw.

The Following
The following is definitely one of the best dramas to hit TV screens in recent years. Sound like an over exaggeration? Watch the first episode and try to disagree. As the episodes are aired the plot goes from strength to strength making sure the viewer is constantly shocked and surprised at each unexpected twist. The cast is phenomenal – Kevin Bacon plays an emotionally damaged alcoholic ex-cop responsible for putting the sadistic serial killer Joe Cole (James Purefoy) behind bars. Bacon and Purefoy are both astounding in their leading roles and play their contrasting good-guy/bad-guy personas to perfection. The plot thickens when it is revealed Cole has a cult following willing to do anything Purefoy’s character requests. The character development is fantastic and at times you will even find yourself sympathising with and liking some of the cult members…despite the fact they’re all murderous sociopaths.

The Americans
In this new thriller, we are taken back to the Cold War period. The Americans follows the lives of two Russian KGB spies, who are posing under the guise of an idyllic American family living in the suburbs with their two kids. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are superb in their roles as Elizabeth and Philip, the Russian spies. Their on screen relationship is what really carries the show as the series develops and we experience them slowly breaking through the confines of their arranged marriage and developing true feelings for each other. The plot is filled with unexpected twists and turns and the character development is done to perfection. The Americans has a real Homeland feel to it, and is definitely going in the right direction to achieve similar success.

Caoimhe Lynch

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