If the recent spate of deaths of beloved celebrity entertainers has you down in the dumps in this final week of 2016, then here’s something to cheer you up: There are a lot of films and TV shows to look forward to in the new year.
It might seem like that’s always the case, but 2017 offers an incredible amount of promising entertainment, including an unusual number of films from distinguished directors, the return of several excellent shows after long hiatuses, and a diverse list of promising new series.
Game of Thrones will return for its seventh season in the summer. Three new Marvel shows will debut on Netflix. Hugely anticipated tentpole films will also come out at a theater near you, like Justice League, Beauty and the Beast, and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
But none of those shows or films appear on this list. Below, you’ll see some things you’ve heard of before, but hopefully a few you haven’t. These are the six returning shows, eight new shows, and 16 movies to start getting excited about.
The Americans, season five (March, FX): The penultimate season of one of television’s best shows, about married Soviet spies posing as Americans in the 1980s
The Leftovers, season three (April, HBO): HBO’s daring apocalyptic drama heads to Australia for its final season
Master of None, season two (April, Netflix): The long-awaited return of comedian Aziz Ansari’s hilarious semi-autobiographical Netflix series
Fargo, season three (Spring, FX): The third season of Noah Hawley’s black comedy drama stars Ewan McGregor (in dual roles) and The Leftovers‘s Carrie Coon
Stranger Things, season two (TBD, Netflix): Can Netflix continue the magic of its hit sci-fi series now that expectations are high?
Black Mirror, season four (TBD, Netflix): We go back to the future with another slate of unsettling episodes about our relationship with technology
Taboo (Jan. 10, FX): A miniseries starring Tom Hardy as a British adventurer in 1814 who returns home to conspiracy, betrayal, and murder
Legion (Feb. 8, FX): A show about the X-Men character Legion that looks weirder and more creative than any other superhero series to date
The Handmaid’s Tale (April 26, Hulu): Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss’s return to TV as a women held prisoner in sexual servitude by a dystopian society, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood
The Deuce (TBD, HBO): James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal star in this drama about the porn industry in 1970s New York, created by The Wire mastermind David Simon
Twin Peaks (TBD, Showtime): After 25 years of waiting, a huge, wacky cast comprises the follow-up to David Lynch’s cult mystery series
Mindhunter (TBD, Netflix): Renowned director David Fincher is producing this thriller about FBI agents who interview convicted serial killers to help solve similar cases
The Terror (TBD, AMC): An anthology series that tells the (fictionalized) tale of a Royal Navy expedition searching for the Northwest Passage attacked by a bizarre creature
American Gods (TBD, Starz): The ancient Gods of mythology live amongst us in this series from Hannibal‘s Bryan Fuller, based on Neil Gaiman’s modern fantasy epic
T2 Trainspotting (Feb. 10): The sequel to Danny Boyle’s 1996 film about a group of heroin addicts in 1980s Edinburgh
The Lost City of Z (April 21): Charlie Hunnam plays Colonel Percy Fawcett, the real-life explorer who vanished in the Amazon looking for a mythical city
Dunkirk (July 21): Christopher Nolan’s epic depicting the Dunkirk evacuation that saved hundreds of thousands of British soldiers during World War II
Baby Driver (Aug. 11): Shaun of the Dead director Edward Wright’s new action-comedy about a getaway driver for bank heists
Blade Runner 2049 (Oct. 6): One of the best filmmakers working today, Arrival director Denis Villeneuve, takes on the sequel to Ridley Scott’s celebrated 1982 sci-fi noir
The Snowman (Oct. 13): Tomas Alfredson’s first film since 2011’s Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy stars Michael Fassbender as a detective investigating the disappearance of a woman
Logan Lucky (Oct. 13): Steven Soderbergh returns to the director’s chair for this film about a heist planned during a NASCAR race, starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig
Darkest Hour (Nov. 24): Gary Oldman plays Winston Churchill in this biopic by Atonement director Joe Wright
Star Wars: Episode VIII (Dec. 15): No explanation necessary
Annihilation (TBD): Alex Garland’s follow-up to his acclaimed robot film Ex Machina is another strange sci-fi story, this time about a team of scientists exploring a mysterious, uninhabited area, based on Jeff VanderMeer’s brilliant 2014 novel
Untitled Kathryn Bigelow film (TBD): Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow portrays the 1967 Detroit race riots
Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson film (TBD): The last time Paul Thomas Anderson and actor Daniel Day-Lewis collaborated, it was astounding (There Will Be Blood)—now they’re back together for this film about the fashion world in the 1950s
War Machine (TBD): Animal Kingdom director David Michôd helms this war-comedy for Netflix starring Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, and Ben Kingsley
The Death of Stalin (TBD): Jeffrey Tambor and Steve Buscemi star in this film about the aftermath of Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953, directed by Veep and The Thick of It satirist Armando Iannucci
Molly’s Game (TBD): Illustrious screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut stars Jessica Chastain as the architect of a high-stakes, underground poker game
Suburbicon (TBD): George Clooney is as good (or better) a director as he is an actor, and his next film stars Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Josh Brolin, and Oscar Isaac, and is written by the Coen Brothers