We continue to repeat ourselves, but it’s because it’s true —there’s a terrific amount of television coming out on a month-to-month basis currently, and so much of it looks so good it arguably borders on eating cinema’s lunch. While based on the prestige that follows it, we’re able to tell the absolute must-watches such as the return of fan and critic favorite series “Russian Doll,” “Barry,” and “Better Call Saul,” there are plenty more that are premiering in April that will also require time and energy. No matter the streaming service or network the show is premiering on, the newest series brings a level of talent or star power that is impossible to ignore, with new shows led by everyone from Viola Davis to Gary Oldman, Nicole Kidman to Elizabeth Moss. It’s an excellent time to be a TV fan as there are plenty of returning favorites and new shows to choose from throughout the entire month, as well as some bittersweet endings, such as “Ozark,” which will premiere its final episodes at the end of April.
Gary Oldman leads the ensemble cast for Apple TV+’s latest series, “Slow Horses.” Oldman plays Jackson Lamb, who heads up a team of British Intelligence agents who serve in the dumping ground department of MI5 due to their career-ending mistakes. Based on the novel of the same name by Mick Herron, the spy thriller cast also includes Kristin Scott Thomas, Jack Lowden, and Olivia Cooke. Our critic wrote, “… “Slow Horses” pulsates with dynamic energy and gritty tension to match the fast-paced wit and jocularity of its sharp-minded characters.”
Release Date: Season one premieres April 1 on Apple TV+.
Based on the novel by American journalist Jake Adelstein it’s been adapted for television by J. T. Rogers. Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe, Rachel Keller, and Rinko Kikuchi star in this crime thriller which follows Elgort as Adelstein in the mid-90s after he relocates to Tokyo to join the staff of a major Japanese newspaper. While there, he is set to cover and report on the dark and dangerous world of the Japanese yakuza. “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton executive produced.
Release Date: Season one premieres April 7 on HBO Max.
Apple TV+ is diving into the anthology series format with “Roar,” which is based on the short story collection by Cecelia Ahern. Spanning eight half-hour episodes, the show will delve into women’s lives and how they and those around them navigate others’ perceptions of femininity along with their own internal beliefs. Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive (“GLOW”) are accredited as showrunners and creators with an all-star and eclectic cast, including Nicole Kidman, Cynthia Erivo, Merritt Weaver, Issa Rae, Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Meera Syal, Fivel Stewart, and Kara Hayward.
Release Date: All eight episodes will premiere on April 15 on Apple TV+.
“The First Lady”
As one might suspect from the title of the latest Showtime series, “The First Lady” turns its focus to what the synopsis describes as the “women at the heart of the White House.” Created by Aaron Cooley, the anthology series will take place over multiple decades. The spotlight is shone on Viola Davis as Michelle Obama, Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford, and Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt. The entire cast is superb, with actors such as Eliza Scanlan, Judy Greer, and Lily Rabe in supporting roles. Davis also acts as executive producer.
Release Date: The series premieres April 17 on Showtime.
“Better Call Saul”
Described by many — fan and critic alike — to be superior to its predecessor, “Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul,” also created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, returns for its sixth and final season this month. Bob Odenkirk stars as the titular Saul Goodman along with the incredible cast, including Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks, and Michael Mando. We ranked season five as the best show of 2020, with our critic writing in the roundup, “The writing was never stronger; the performances were never better. Without a single false note in its entire season and such unexpected turns in this nuanced narrative, this was the best television program of 2020.”
Release Date: Season six premieres April 18 on AMC.