With 2015 all but in the books, and all the television-related Best Ofs and Top 10s published and tearing us apart, the time has officially come to stop looking back. Now, we must look ahead. To the future! Well, not all the way into the future. But to 2016, at least. That doesn’t seem unreasonable.
And so, with that in mind, we here at Uproxx put our heads together to come up with a rundown of things we’d like to see from television in the next year. We have serious requests, semi-serious requests, and three separate requests for shows about talking dogs. This last thing doesn’t seem all that unreasonable, either.
– New shows. Not new shows like “shows that are new,” because God in heaven knows we have enough shows. I mean new shows like “new shows becoming our shows.” There’s a big void with Mad Men and Justified and Parks and Recreation and Community gone now, and Fargo off until 2017. Gonna need a few of the recent promising contenders to step up to the big leagues here. Looking at you, Better Call Saul and Mr. Robot. No pressure.
– I want the first mostly post-book season of Game of Thrones to be interesting and somewhat less rape-y, and I hope it starts to answer some of the many questions still floating around. But mostly I hope it deeply upsets the type of obnoxious, smug book reader who lorded spoiler-laden information over everyone for the past few years. “Man, I hope Joffrey dies an ugly, painful death.” “Oh, just wait.” Ugh. You earned this, you jerks.
– I want Ryan Murphy’s new O.J. Simpson show to be either really good or really, really trashy and over-the-top. Anything in between will shatter my heart into one million tiny jagged pieces.
– All I want in 2016 is less TV. With more than 400 scripted television shows in 2015, there was too much television. It wasn’t a case where most of it was bad, either. There was so much good television that the average person who makes a living watching TV couldn’t keep up with it all. It makes it difficult to carry on a conversation about TV, because outside of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, everybody is watching different shows. Instead of talking about the shows we have in common, we end up in arguments about which shows we should be watching. “You have to watch You’re the Worst.” “No, you need to watch Catastrophe.” There’s more than 300 million people in America, and television shows can now survive — and thrive — with less than one million viewers, meaning in some cases less than .0033 percent of people in this nation are watching the same shows. No wonder we don’t get along anymore.
– An FX standalone service. The future of a la carte television has arrived for the average consumer of “prestige” television. Starz, Showtime, HBO, Netflix, and Amazon Prime all have stand-alone services, while the best network sitcoms are available on Hulu (along with some other great programming). AMC can be streamed on Sling TV (along with ESPN). For people who love good TV, that covers almost all the bases, except one: FX/FXX. They’re the reason a lot of people haven’t cut the cord yet, because while it’s easy to watch Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Leftovers and Orange is the New Black without cable television, we still can’t watch Fargo or The Americans live without hooking Time Warner or Comcast into our television IV. (Likewise, USA Network’s Mr. Robot is going to give some cord cutters fits in 2016.)
– The second season of The Leftovers was so good — as close as one can get to a perfect season of television — that I almost wished that HBO had canceled the series so Lindelof could go out on top. Another part of me, however, wanted very badly to see where Lindelof could take a third season. My hope is that, in 2016, Lindelof manages to stick the landing. Season two is going to be an almost impossible act to follow, but now that Lindelof has the Lost monkey off his back, I hope he doesn’t end up disappointing.
– That somebody finds Wesley Snipes the TV vehicle he so clearly deserves now that The Player is sadly kaput. Snipes was awesome in that show, which admittedly was built from the ground up to cater to his strengths (looking cool, underplaying dialogue, beating up stuntmen), and he deserves another shot.
– That Gotham finally pushes the gore envelope on TV so far they get an FCC fine. You’d think shooting some random dude in the nuts which accidentally turns him into a fine mist because it triggered the bomb he shoved down his pants at Criminal Costco would have gotten them in trouble. Or the scene last season where a major cast member carves her eye out for pretty much no reason, you’d think that would get letters. But apparently not, so let’s see how far we can push it!
– The release of Luke Cage, because Luke Cage is awesome even when he’s just being Jessica Jones’ boyfriend.
– I would like for Hulu to stop producing shows I enjoy watching, because I’m already also subscribed to Prime and Netflix and someone’s gotta go. The least they can do is make my decision a little easier.
– I have been praying to the Marvel gods every night for the past year that the Iron Fist TV show turns out un-boring. It has the potential to be so good.
– John Wick: The Early Years. A teenage John Wick (some Disney kid, probably) takes a part-time job at a pet shop to save up for his dream car, when one day a Yakuza/Russian mob street battle spills over into the store and results in a massive fire that kills all of the animals. From that point on, John vows to learn how to be indestructible so he can kill everyone who ever harms pets again.
– ESPN cancels all debate-themed shows and replaces all programming with Scott Van Pelt interviewing people. Also, a scripted series that explores the origins of the WKU Hilltopper.
– In the spirit of Fuller House, Small Wonder is revived with the same actress still playing Vicky the Robot. How is she suddenly in her 40s if she’s a child robot? Beats the sh*t out of me! Better get cracking, writers.
– Modern Family pretends this season never happened and is funny again.
– Dog with a Vlog.
– Mandy Patinkin in a singing role. This can happen in one of three ways: 1) Homeland can devise some insane reason for him to break out into song—call me, Homeland writers, let’s brainstorm. 2) Some genius network exec or Netflix exec can give Mandy some kind of hour-long variety show, a la A Very Murray Christmas. But better. 3) Some genius showrunner will write a guest role specifically for Patinkin that requires him to sing and dance for several minutes straight in a black turtleneck. I genuinely don’t care how this happens, it just must happen. Bonus points if he starts singing in Yiddish.
– Hourlong Inside Amy Schumer episodes. I think we can all agree that Schumer has outgrown Inside Amy Schumer‘s 30-minute sketch format at this point. Girl’s got sh*t to say, and we’re all listening. Give her at least an hour once a week to say it. I’m not saying stop the sketches—I’m just saying supplement them with more stand-up and more 12 Angry Men-esque short films. Honestly, I’d watch 12 hours a day of Amy Schumer, so an additional 30 minutes per week seems like a fair compromise, Comedy Central.
– Reboot My So-Called Life. It’s time to revisit the best TV show that basically never was. Cast Rowan Blanchard. Claire Danes can cameo every now and then as a cool older sister or something. Somebody make this happen. Amazon? Are you listening?
– More shows with dogs who talk and also solve crime. Because this divided nation needs something that will unite it.
– Remakes/resurrections of the following shows: Simon and Simon, Muscle, Herman’s Head, and Thicke of the Night.
– A Pete Campbell Mad Men spin-off where he plays a flustered substitute teacher/lacrosse coach in the mid-1970s Detroit Public School system.
– I’d like to see a Wings reunion in 2016. Bring back the gang from Sandpiper Air and give us that hilarious update we’ve been dying for.
– Another thing I’d love to see in 2016 is more TV shows featuring ape sidekicks. With computer technology where it is today, there’s really no reason why Thomas Haden Church’s Lowell couldn’t have an ape as his partner in some sort of spin-off to the Wings reunion special.
– The Simpsons isn’t going to end in 2016. It was renewed for two more seasons this year, which means season 28 won’t be here until 2017. But I would like an announcement that the greatest show of all-time will finally, for real, wrap up after season 30. It’s a nice, easy-to-remember number. I’m also going to need four years to emotionally prepare for a world without new episodes of The Simpsons in it.
– I’d love to see Tatiana Maslany play the wacky neighbor in a sitcom co-starring Mike Milligan from Fargo and a talking dog. That would be swell.