The new year brings high-profile series on traditional networks. Streaming platforms try to get their big shows out before the holidays. You can fit eight or ten episodes in with a November premiere, or just drop them all at once in December. Netflix and company know people will gladly curl up and binge a show over the break.
Traditional networks still mount series with larger episode orders and weekly delivery. They need to in order to make their format work. This means following the September/January model of debuting new shows. There are major entries across the board. With “Women of the Movement”, “The Cleaning Lady”, and “Good Sam”, ABC, Fox, and CBS each bring new series showrun by women.
I’ll also note Part 2 of “The Club” premiered this week. The Turkish show follows a Jewish woman released from prison and trying to reconnect with her orphaned daughter. It centers on a nightclub in 1955, and the cultural and religious conflicts that play out there. Creator, writer, and director Zeynep Gunay Tan realizes the time period in both a sweeping cinematic and deeply personal sense, and the ensemble is captivating. “The Club” made it to #8 in my Best Series of 2021. You’re looking at 10 hourlong episodes if you decide to check it out.
Women of the Movement (ABC)
showrunner Marissa Jo Cerar
Adrienne Warren plays Mamie Till-Mobley. She’s the mother of Emmett Till, a Black 14 year-old who was lynched in 1955 because he spoke to a white woman. His murderers were acquitted. The biographical drama follows his mother’s fight to make this country see the senseless, racist, systemic violence that resulted in her son’s murder.
(CW: Be aware that Timothy Hutton is cast in a leading role. Hutton has faced allegations of raping a 14 year-old girl in 1983.)
Showrunner Marissa Jo Cerar has produced on “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “13 Reasons Why”.
You can watch “Women of the Movement” on ABC on Thursdays.
The Cleaning Lady (Fox)
showrunner Melissa Carter
Elodie Yung stars as a Filipina doctor who comes to the U.S. She hopes to secure medical treatment that can save her son. Rather than finding help, she’s pushed into a situation that sees her cleaning up after a crime lord. The show is based on an Argentine series.
Showrunner Melissa Carter has written and produced on “Stargirl”, “Queen Sugar”, and “Mistresses”. Creator Miranda Kwok has written and produced on “The 100”.
You can watch “The Cleaning Lady” on Fox on Mondays.
Good Sam (CBS)
showrunner Katie Wech
Sophia Bush plays a surgeon who heads her department after her boss and father (played by Jason Isaacs) falls into a coma. He wakes up and wants to assume his old position, but has to adjust to working for his daughter.
Showrunner Katie Wech has produced on “Jane the Virgin” and “Rizzoli & Isles”.
I Carry You With Me (Starz)
directed by Heidi Ewing
A chef leaves his lover in Mexico to try to make it in New York. The story of ambition and regret spans decades.
Director and co-writer Heidi Ewing has mostly helmed documentaries, including “One of Us”, “Detropia”, and “Jesus Camp”. The last of these saw Ewing and co-director Rachel Grady nominated for an Oscar.
You can watch “I Carry You With Me” on Starz.
Algo Azul (HBO Max)
directed by Mariel Garcia Spooner
Ana steals a wedding dress from the hotel where she works. Her goal by the end of that day: to get married. To whom she’s married is a bit more complicated.
This is the first feature from Panamanian director Mariel Garcia Spooner.
You can watch “Algo Azul” on HBO Max.
Delicate State (VOD)
directed by Paula Rhodes
Shot during Paula Rhodes’s real pregnancy, “Delicate State” follows a couple who document their pregnancy oblivious to an oncoming civil war.
This is Paula Rhodes’s first feature film as writer and director. She’s also a voice actress who runs the gamut, with credits ranging from “Doc McStuffins” to “Resident Evil Village”.
See where to rent “Delicate State”.
directed by Amy Hesketh
A documentary filmmaker discovers her subject Rucker is murdering women who look like his ex-wife. She documents and increasingly joins the trucker in pursuit of his “masterpiece”.
Director and co-writer Amy Hesketh has helmed a number of indie horror movies.
See where to rent “Rucker”.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
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