Caryn James selects the highlights, including the return of The Mandalorian and Succession, as well as rock drama Daisy Jones & The Six and a new Great Expectations starring Olivia Colman..

1. The Mandalorian

More than two years have passed since the conclusion of season two of this Star Wars spinoff, which starred Pedro Pascal as the bounty hunter Din Djarin. We’ve grown accustomed to seeing Pascal’s face on The Last of Us, but now he’s back in the helmet and reunited with Grogu, formerly known as The Child or Baby Yoda. Their new adventures take them back to Mandalore so Din can make amends for breaking the rules by showing Grogu his face. Along with Carl Weathers and Amy Sedaris, Giancarlo Esposito reprises his role as the villainous Moff Gideon. Will we get to see Pascal again? And, as Slash Film enquired, “How Does Grogu Keep Getting Better?”

2. Daisy Jones & the Six

The volatile ingredients in this fictional story of a 1970s rock group fronted by the talented Daisy Jones (Riley Keough) and charismatic Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin) and loosely inspired by Fleetwood Mac are music, personal crises, showbiz drama, and sexual tension. The frame of a contemporary documentary about the band’s spectacular success and sudden breakup allows the characters to rehash the past and the series to flash back to the early days, where there is a love triangle and lots of shaggy ’70s hair. The high-profile series, based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling novel, has original music written by Blake Mills, with contributions from Phoebe Bridgers, Marcus Mumford, and others, and has spawned a real-life album featuring the cast.

3. History of the World, Part II

Mel Brooks, now 96, returns as writer and narrator four decades after his film History of the World, Part I, with a series of short sketches that offer the same loopy, inaccurate depictions of historical high points. Along with a sprawling, generation-spanning cast that includes Jack Black, Danny DeVito, Zazie Beetz, and Quinta Brunson, Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, and Ike Barinholtz all double as actors and writers. Hulu has insisted on keeping some historical figures under wraps, but there’s plenty to see in the trailer, including Taika Waititi as Sigmund, who makes a Freudian slip, Seth Rogen as Noah, of Ark fame, and Sykes, whose character confronts Civil War soldiers who think they recognise her. “Here is Harriet Tubman. “Who invented the bathtub?” Brooks’ trademark  

4. Ted Lasso

Relax if you’ve heard that the Emmy-winning show’s third season will be its final. Bill Lawrence, one of the show’s creators, hasn’t ruled out more episodes about an endearing, often clueless American coach and his struggling Premier League football club. “For the first three seasons, the writing staff’s story had a beginning, middle, and end. “And then it may deviate from that,” he has said. A few questions from last season remain unanswered. Ted (Jason Sudeikis) will have to deal with his panic attacks and emotional health. What about Rebecca (Hannah Waddinghamlove )’s life now that she’s divorced from the charming Sam (Toheeb Jimoh)? (If you ask me, this was a big mistake.) However, some fans support her and Ted.) How will they all deal with Nate’s (Nick Mohammed) betrayal now that the abused assistant has angrily taken over as coach of a rival team?

5. Extrapolations

On screen, a climate change warning wrapped in entertainment has proven difficult to sell. One of the more notable examples is Adam McKay’s A-list-filled Don’t Look Up, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, and Cate Blanchett. Now, Scott Z Burns, writer and director of the tense and prescient plague-warning film Contagion, attempts to master the challenge, enlisting a slew of his own stars to move in and out of eight interconnected episodes. In a drama with multiple personal storylines, Meryl Streep, Kit Harington, Yara Shahidi, Edward Norton, Daveed Diggs, Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell, Marion Cotillard, and Judd Hirsch are just a few of the actors. set in a recognisable near future in which the air is toxic and today’s warnings about the effects of climate change have come true. Coming for the stars, staying for the worst-case scenario is not a bad strategy.  

6. Lucky Hank

Bob Odenkirk reprises his role as Hank, the chairman of an English department at a last-choice college in Pennsylvania, in his first show since Better Call Saul. He is going through a mid-life crisis and has a bad habit of putting his foot in his mouth. He tells a student who suggests he’s a failure, “The fact that you’re here means that you show very little promise,” and refers to college as “mediocrity capital,” which causes a stir. Straight Man, Richard Russo’s 1997 satirical campus novel, has been updated, and Hank is less likely to thrive in the viral age. Mireille Enos (The Killing) plays his dissatisfied wife. The blend of comedy and drama is reminiscent of Odenkirk’s previous, already-classic film.

7. Succession

Season four of the show continues to fascinate us with the exploits of media mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his greedy, scheming children, with King Lear echoes stronger than ever. When we last saw Logan, he was outwitting his would-be heirs yet again with plans to sell the company to Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgard returns), who is quite cunning himself. “This isn’t about getting back at Dad,” Shiv (Sarah Snook) says in the new trailer to her brothers Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin). “But it doesn’t bother me if it hurts him.” The Roys are all evil. That appears to be what we like about them. Jesse Armstrong, the show’s creator, has stated that this is the final season. He hasn’t said which, if any, of those serpent-toothed children will ascend to the media throne.

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