Game of Thrones (Season 4)
Where: Showtime on Foxtel
What: As its legions of fans will attest, television just doesn’t get better than GoT. Whether it’s the historical references (the Starks and Lannisters reference the Yorks and Lancasters from the Wars of the Roses), its stomach-churning exposition of the dark side of human nature, its beautifully-detailed costumes and sets, or its edge-of-your-seat, can’t-look-away storyline – the HBO series, quite simply, has something for everyone. Season four, due to air in April, 2014, will be based on the second half of A Storm of Swords, the third instalment in George R. R. Martin’s fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire. The series will also introduce a number of newcomers, such as Prince Oberyn Martell, or the ‘Red Viper’, who will be played by Chilean actor Pedro Pascal. In addition, Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros will make an appearance. Will season four manage to top the infamous Red Wedding of season three? We can only hope. Look out everyone, Winter is Coming …
Hype factor: 5/5
INXS: Never Tear Us Apart
What: This ‘Untold Story of INXS’ has the backing of band members and is said to have brought guitarist Tim Farriss to tears with its spot-on casting. The two-part mini-series stars Luke Arnold as the late Michael Hutchence and X-Factor winner Samantha Jade as Kylie Minogue. Judging from past Aussie mini-series this could be more miss than hit but we’re game to find out if it’s a ‘New Sensation’.
Hype factor: 3.5/5
When: January 20
What: Director Andrew Haigh struck a chord with his piercing gay love story Weekend in 2011, and he’s back producing this hip ensemble comedy for HBO. Like a 2014 reboot of Queer as Folk crossed with hit series Girls (for boys), Looking follows a group of friends traversing the San Francisco gay scene. Keep an eye out for Aussie actor Murray Bartlett.
Hype factor: 3/5
When: February 9, 8.30pm
What: Season three of Rake, starring Richard Roxburgh as the dissembling, chaotic but brilliant barrister Cleaver Greene. When we left Cleaver at the end of season two, he’d been sentenced to 14 years of jail with a minimum of eight, and his shambolic life seemed to have caught up with. Ominously, some of his enemies who also ended up in jail arrived at his cell door seeking revenge. But as the press release announcing the new series said, “If Cleaver knew the avalanche of disasters set to fall on his nearest and dearest, he would probably prefer to stay inside. Guest stars include Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby), Magda Szubanski, Dan Wyllie, Bruce Spence, Aden Young, and Genevieve Lemon, with a cameo expected from Cate Blanchett.
Hype factor: 4/5
Friends with Better Lives
Where: Channel: 10
When: Yet to be announced
What: Like New Girl meets How I Met Your Mother, Friends with Better Lives is a new sitcom following six people at different life stages who appear content but secretly wonder if their buddies are better off. It stars some familiar faces like Kevin Connolly from Entourage, James Van Der Beek from Dawson’s Creek, Australian actor Rick Donald from Home and Away and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, Brooklyn Decker.
Hype factor: 0.5/5 (American audiences are decidedly more excited as the show is relatively unknown in Australia).
What TV are you hanging out for in 2014? Tell us below.