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The Ultimate Escapist TV for 2019



Photo by BagoGames / CC BY 2.0
Caption: Ned Stark never got to rule from the Iron Throne.

With the festive period well over, there’s been a collective effort to haul ourselves back into work mode, and for many of us, the January blues have set in. Well, the best way to banish that winter gloom is to snuggle up under a cozy blanket on the sofa and dive into a brand-new series or your favorite TV show. Plenty of networks have new series on offer in 2019, and some of the best come from long-running historical dramas.

I find that escaping into an imagined past is the best way to appreciate the present! It’s always fun to learn about how people used to live from the comfort of your warm living room while watching the drama unfold between your favorite characters. Programs like “Outlander” and “Game of Thrones” also offer visual treats with the beautiful landscapes they’re set in, whereas “The Crown” and “Peaky Blinders” portray the fabulous fashions of that period. So, let’s see what you should be putting on your “to watch” list this year.

Outlander

So, what was happening around the turn of the 18th century? America was working toward independence while casino games were all the rage among the aristocracy in Austen’s England and the music of Mozart continued to charm audiences across Europe. It is in this environment that we find the latter series of “Outlander.”

Technically, it began in November last year, but it continues until the end of January. Series three saw a cliff-hanger ending as protagonists Jamie and Claire found themselves washed up on the shores of the New World beaten and battered after a devastating shipwreck but still alive. Series four begins with them living in America, desperate to find a way back home to Scotland. Although you’ll have to tune in to find out what happens to our favorite time traveling nurse and her Highlander companion, it’s certain that their adventures will be full of the familiar blend of humor, action and romance for which “Outlander” is famous.


Photo by Christine Ring / CC BY 2.0
Caption: The cast of “Outlander.”

Peaky Blinders

Skipping forward to 1920s Birmingham and filming remains ongoing for series five of the smash hit Brummie drama. However, we’ve been assured that our first glimpse of what Tommy and the boys are up to will come later in 2019. The end of series four saw Tommy Shelby becoming an MP, with a new wife and another baby on the way, while Arthur rose from the dead, Italian-American gangster Luca Changretta was finally put to rest and the long-standing feud between Tommy and Alfie was brutally settled. Who knows what lies in store for the extended Shelby family, but if past series are anything to go by, it’ll have the best TV soundtrack you’ll hear this year.

Game of Thrones

The long-anticipated eighth series of this epic program is due for release some time in 2019, and there are legions of eager fans standing by to see how the story concludes. Although the show has now mostly departed from George R. R. Martin’s original narrative, it does so with the author’s blessing and with secret knowledge of how the novels will progress. What will happen now that the remaining Starks have reunited? Will the combined force of Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow be enough to hold back the White Walkers and rule the whole of Westeros? To watch this immersive and legendary show finish is a real treat for which we all look forward.

The Crown

We know that there will be a significant cast change in series three of Netflix’s show about the British monarchy, with Olivia Colman taking over as Queen Elizabeth II and Tobias Menzies succeeding as Prince Phillip. The action picks back up in 1964, right after the birth of Prince Edward and around the time of Prince Charles’ coronation as the Prince of Wales. Although we can look to British history to see which events are likely covered, it will be fascinating to see what the new cast members do with the material. The first two series met with praise the world over, earning Golden Globe nominations, among others, so we will have to see whether the show’s success can continue with all the new actors at the helm.

Whether you want to get stuck in straight away with “Outlander” or don’t mind the building anticipation of waiting for new episodes from the other series in this list, I hope you find something to spark your interest here.

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