2016 was a great year on both the big and small screens, and there's already a lot to look forward to in 2017—especially if you're a sci-fi, horror, or mystery fan. Whether it's intentional or not, 2017 already has a dystopian heart that's sure to keep beating for the next four years. Air dates are listed if known, if you're the kind of person who writes premiere dates in their planner. (People other than me do that, right?) Here's just a taste of what's to come in 2017:
Alien: Covenant (May 19)
The next chapter in the Alien series is here!
We are ardent followers of Ellen Ripley, our Lady of Survival, at Bitch HQ, and I'll follow this sci-fi horror juggernaut until the end. In Alien: Covenant, the crew of the ship Covenant discover a dangerous world whose sole inhabitant is David, the robot survivor of the Prometheus ship. Or is there something else on this new planet? (Probably evil aliens.) Empire's Jussie Smollett co-stars!
The Americans (Season 5)
There is no valid reason why I haven't already consumed all of The Americans, but I'm embarrassed to say I haven't. Here are some of the compelling items in its favor: I am a self-prosessed lifelong diehard fan of Felicity, the classic teen series starring Keri Russell, who is the star of The Americans. I'm also a fan of Matthew Rhys, the other star of The Americans—he's in the great and scary 1999 Julie Taymor film Titus, and very charming in the former ABC series Brothers & Sisters. He co-starred with Brittany Murphy in the silly but cute Love and Other Disasters, in which he was also charming. On top of that, this series is about a sexy married spy couple in the '80s! And Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys fell in love IRL and got married! Catch up like I'll be doing before its penultimate season airs this year.
Dear White People
Based on the 2014 film of the same name (see it if you haven't!), Dear White People is about four Black students at an Ivy League college and what happens the year the host of the college's provocative radio show "Dear White People" is elected as the head of a traditionally black residence hall and a blackface party is thrown on campus.
Get Out (February 24)
Written and directed by Jordan Peele (of Key & Peele), Get Out is a horror film about what happens what a Black man visits his white girlfriend's family at a cursed estate. The Bitch crew is planning a special field trip to see Get Out because it looks SO GOOD.
The Handmaid's Tale
Prescient for its time when it was written in 1985, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is still scarily (very scarily) close to a dystopia we might recognize. Based on the novel, this Hulu series stars Elisabeth Moss as Offred, a woman who is forced to live as a "handmaid" (a woman kept purely for reproductive purposes) under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship in a dystopian (American) future.
The Leftovers (Season 3)
The third and final season of HBO's The Leftovers hits the small screen this year. Based loosely on the novel by Tom Perrotta, The Leftovers is set a few years after the global "Sudden Departure," an inexplicable and simultaneous worldwide event in which two percent of the world's population (or about 140 million people) suddently disappeared. Was it the Rapture? Or something else? In the wake of the Sudden Departure, people are looking for answers in old-time religion, new cults, and new families. There's a Lost-like quality to The Leftovers and a slow burn in the two previous seasons that tells me the best surprises are yet to come.
Scandal (Season 6)
Kerry Washington will still be gracing our screens in 2017 and thank goodness for that. This year on Scandal, Olivia Pope is running Mellie's presidential campaign (she's a former First Lady)—we'll see if the show borrows from 2016's election. There's sure to be White House corruption and scandal on the real news this year, but in a more just Olivia Pope world, she'll be there to take care of it.
The original 1977 Dario Argento-helmed Suspiria is set at a ballet academy in Germany and follows new student Suzy Bannion as she uncovers a secret coven of witches lurking within the school. 2017's Suspiria seems like a straight remake, with Dakota Johnson (of Fifty Shades fame) as Suzy, but here's hoping it finds a way to hold onto what made the original great: gorgeous sets and technicolors, a creepy soundtrack, and truly haunting imagery. Even if not, I'm there for opening weekend because Suspiria is a movie about witches at a ballet boarding school and that's the best premise I've ever heard.
Top of the Lake (Season 2)
Yes, another Elisabeth Moss project! Can you tell I'm missing Peggy Olson? There's been four years between the first and upcoming season of this BBC mystery series, but it might be worth the wait because have you seen these photos of Nicole Kidman in character as the leader of a feminist separatist commune? In the first season, Detective Robin Griffin was searching for answers after a pregnant 12-year-old tried to kill herself in a freezing New Zealand lake. This season? More small-town secrets, mysteries, and feminist separatism!
Twin Peaks (April 30)
It is not an exaggeration to say I've been waiting for this for much of my life. David Lynch's Pacific Northwest tale of murder, small-town secrets, cherry pie, and coffee is back, after a 26-year wait, for a third season. Special Agent Dale Cooper and the rest are back, along with a handful of new, surprising faces (Naomi Watts! Ashley Judd!), to answer the question: Who killed Laura Palmer?
The Young Pope (January 15)
I'm intrigued by this HBO series about the fictional Pius XIII, the first American Pope. He's young! He smokes! He's hot! He's played by Jude Law! "His religion is revolution," apparently! Plus, the show features Diane Keaton as Sister Mary, an American nun who raised him and is now his personal secretary.