Last year was an unbelievable year for tv, with Normal People, I May Destroy You, The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit and Tiger King all providing a much-needed distraction from the relentless doom of the real world.
There’s no better antidote to cure those January blues than hordes of acclaimed series and hotly anticipated movies
If there’s one silver lining capable of reviving our frazzled spirits, it’s a new drop of water-cooler tv drama and film. There’s no better antidote to cure those January blues than hordes of acclaimed series and hotly anticipated movies, and with a bunch of shows that should have been released last year now rescheduled for 2021, we’re in for a big 12 months of entertainment.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights set to make 2021 a very watchable year indeed.
Dr Who’s Jenna Coleman stars in this eight-part BBC true crime drama about serial killer Charles Sobhrajm (nicknamed “The Serpent” and “The Bikini Killer”) who was eventually captured and put on trial in 1976. At the time of writing, the first episode would have already premiered in the UK on BBC One and on Netflix elsewhere. Get watching!
Anatomy of a Scandal
From the creator of HBO’s Big Little Lies, this new series roughly follows the same storyline as the best-selling novel of the same name. Westminster politician James Whitehouse’s marriage begins to unravel when he’s accused of raping his political aide. Starring Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery and Rupert Friend, it’s set to be a searing exploration of sexual consent and privilege. Exact release date tbc but 2021 is looking promising.
A cosy and nostalgic literary adaptation is just what we need to brighten up a glum Jan. Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes and Lily James star in The Dig, a film dramatization of the real excavation that took place in Suffolk’s Sutton Hoo and led to a ground-breaking historical discovery. Landing on Netflix January 29.
Pieces Of A Woman
New to Netflix, this gut-wrenching drama starring Vanessa Kirby tells the story of a homebirth gone terribly wrong and a couple grappling with the unimaginable grief that follows. Coming January 7, 2021.
Emma Stone plays the iconic Disney villain Cruella de Vil in this live-action prequel of The Hundred and One Dalmatians, set to be released May 28. Following in Maleficent’s footsteps, we’re going to find out what happened to Cruella before she turned to a life of puppy-skinning crime. Who doesn’t love a backstory?
The eagerly-anticipated film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical is here. Despite initial plans to hit theatres in 2020, production was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic but at the time of writing, the street party is back on and set for UK release on July 30. Dancing isn’t cancelled anymore, guys.
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer
Beneath the sunlit glamour of 1985 LA, lurks a relentlessly evil serial killer known as The Night Stalker. “He just stared at me like a killer clown”, something tells us we’ll need to watch this true crime drama through trembling fingers. Find it on Netflix, January 13.
The Witcher Season 2
The fantasy drama will return for its second series sometime this year. Bring back Henry Cavill and his magnificent white wig. Buzzing! Exact release date tbc.
The Pembrokeshire Murders
The three-part drama follows Welsh detective Steve Wilkins, played by Beauty and the Beast’s Luke Evans, as he races to find evidence to convict cold-blooded serial killer John Cooper (Keith Allen) of two unsolved double murders. Catch the first episode on ITV on January 11, 9pm.
Line of Duty
The BBC police drama returns this March for a sixth series after filming was unavoidably impacted by You Know What. Welcome back AC-12.
Despite the gloomy season five finale, the highly anticipated series is back for round six. Although we might not see it until the very, very end of 2021, we have hope. Hold onto your hats.
Based on Frank Herbert’s iconic fantasy epic and directed by sci-fi maestro Denis Villeneuve, the first of two Dune movies is set to hit cinemas in October 2021 (fingers crossed). Featuring an all-star cast led by Timothee Chalamet, we can’t wait to see what Villeneuve has up his sleeve with this one.
Space Jam: A New Legacy
The legendary cartoon characters will once again be hitting the court for a high stakes basketball game in this Looney Tunes’ sequel, now joined by NBA champ LeBron James. Coming to cinemas July 16 – save the date!
Tom & Jerry
Everyone’s favourite cartoon frenemies are back on screen for another game of cat and mouse. The movie, expected in March 2021, tells the story of how their famous rivalry began. Bring on the high jinks.
You Season 3
A third helping of the serial killer trash we can’t get enough of. Although the popular Netflix stalker series is yet to confirm a release date, it should be this year (touch wood). Here’s your friendly reminder to shut your curtains.