Auteurs in TV, Summer 2019

The second of a column that shares upcoming television seasons either created or directed by the auteurs of cinema.

She’s Gotta Have It (Spike Lee; Season 2)- May 24th, Netflix

She's Gotta Have ItThe first season of She’s Gotta Have It was a success, and it’s no surprise why: Spike Lee directed all ten episodes of the season and contributed to the series’ vision through writing and executive producing credits. While we don’t know yet what degree of involvement Lee had in the second season of the show, we do know from a visually appealing trailer that the season looks to have a strong focus on Nola Darling’s (DeWanda Wise) artistic career as she grapples with authenticity in her art and success in the corporate environment. The second season of She’s Gotta Have It will consist of nine episodes.

When They See Us (Ava DuVernay)- May 31st, Netflix

When They See UsAva DuVernay continues exploring the theme of social justice in relation to African Americans in her upcoming miniseries When They See Us. In 1990, five men- four African Americans and one Hispanic- were convicted of attacking and raping a female jogger in Central Park. The five men are known as The Central Park Five and have been the subject of a number of books, songs, and films given that they were wrongly convicted of the crime and the racial undertones that contributed to media stories and public perception regarding their case. Their story has received an increased amount of attention in recent years, in particular because of the resurfacing of Donald Trump’s advertisement he ran in all four of New York City’s major newspapers in 1989 calling for the return of the death penalty, and the increase in overt racism since President Trump’s inauguration. When They See Us will consist of four episodes, all of which are set to be co-written and directed by DuVernay. The miniseries marks the third collaboration between DuVernay and cinematographer Bradford Young.

Big Little Lies (Andrea Arnold; Season 2)- June 9th, HBO

Big Little Lies 2We wrote about this series in our Spring edition of this column given its release date had not yet been announced. Since then, Big Little Lies has received both a teaser and an official trailer and we see the character that Meryl Streep will play in the season, Perry Wright’s mother, and part of a discussion that occurs between her and Nicole Kidman’s character, Perry’s husband. Big Little Lies also includes a number of scenes within the police department and courtroom, suggesting that its characters, dubbed the “Monterey Five”, may have to face justice for their actions at the end of the show’s first season. All seven episodes of the upcoming season of Big Little Lies will be written by David E. Kelley, the show’s creator, and directed by Andrea Arnold.

Too Old to Die Young (Nicolas Winding Refn)- June 14th, Amazon Prime Video

Too Old to Die YoungToo Old to Die Young is Danish provocateur Nicolas Winding Refn’s first television series and, overall, looks to be textbook Refn. Crime, color, and utter craziness are central to the series which focuses on a grieving police officer (Miles Teller) who investigates Los Angeles’ criminal underbelly and his confrontations with hit men, assassins, the mafia, and the Yakuza. In the making for a year and a half, Too Old to Die Young can’t come sooner. The series also stars John Hawkes, Augusto Aguilera, and Jena Malone, who collaborated with Refn in his film The Neon Demon. Too Old to Die Young consists of ten ninety-minute episodes with Refn expected to direct all episodes.

Yellowstone (Taylor Sheridan; Season 2)- June 19th, Paramount Network

Yellowstone2017 was a big year for Taylor Sheridan, the actor/screenwriter taking his turn at directing a film, Wind River. 2018 proved to be a similar advancement for Sheridan, writing and directing a television series Yellowstone. 2019 sees the return of the series in its second season and adds Neal McDonough to its cast. He plays a ruthless business mogul, furthering the drama faced by the Dutton family whose ranch is constantly under threat by local land developers, politicians, and others. Sheridan’s modern take on the western genre continues with ten more episodes of Yellowstone.

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