At Fresh TV’s Fiction session this afternoon, Virginia Mouseler, CEO of TV observatory The WIT, broke down what’s hot in series this year. Themes revolved around mysteries, police thrillers, the supernatural, and the communities disrupted by them — as in The Refugees, where an enormous group of people from the future come to hide in our present.
Here we go!
The Refugees (BBC Worldwide)
In a drama that brings The Returned to mind, 3 billion people from an apocalyptic future travel to our present to seek shelter. Think of it as a thesis on immigration and how it affects human relations and urban planning, nicely wrapped up in a sci-fi bow.
100 Code (Red Arrow)
This is a Nordic thriller you’ve likely heard about already. Two detectives, one American and one Swedish, join forces to investigate a beautiful Stockholm woman’s murder, only to uncover a hive of killers driven by one mastermind.
In this Norwegian drama that somehow mixes both coming-of-age themes and the thriller genre, two young boys in love witness a drug trafficking crime and decide to keep it a secret.
The Witnesses (NeweN)
Set to air in Spring 2015, local police investigate the dead bodies discovered in the model homes of a real estate developer. On the crime scene, the photo of a former top cop is found. Hijinks ensue!
The Team (ZDF Enterprises)
In this multilingual buffet, viewers follow forensic, legal, IT experts and other crime professionals as they lead investigations through major European cities.
Wayward Pines (Fox Int’l Channels)
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Matt Dillon, this highly-anticipated drama follows a secret service agent as he arrives in the small town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, hoping to find two missing federal agents. The town’s bucolic charm quickly unravels to reveal creepy enigmas.
This drama, labeled “Teen Crime” by Mouseler, ensures even young people can enjoy a gripping mystery on the couch! In it, the drowned body of a teen traveler is found naked under a tractor in the calm English countryside. Glue is currently airing in the UK.
Gracepoint (Shine International)
This is a currently-airing adaptation of British crime drama Broadchurch. Expect more changes to the original than the accents; colours are vivid, and drama drips thick from each grave pronouncement.
Grantchester (Shine International)
In this quirky revision on the classic gumshoe tale, a young, charming clergyman engages in various investigations while battling temptation at every turn!
The Angel’s Crib (Avanti Ciné Video)
Set to air in Spring 2015, this compelling historical drama takes place in Montreal, 1954, when police investigated the alleged black market sales of illegitimate children.
Free Pass (Canal 13)
In this romantic comedy (a rarity in this lineup!), an attractive young married couple takes a break from their relationship and “explores” other people.
Sexpert (Lucky Road Productions)
If Free Pass left you with more questions than answers, this may be a logical follow-up. In this Spanish series, a sex expert helps clients overcome sex problems—in the trailer, one young woman is dumped for her “ugly vagina”. More conventionally, it also addresses issues like self-love, and women who can only orgasm when masturbating.
Salty Sea (SIC)
A heroine takes revenge on those who made her twin babies disappear mysteriously over 16 years ago.
Thief Promise (Fox International)
It’s the classic buddy-cop format—with a twist! This throbbingly serious drama features a criminal helping a prosecutor solve crimes.
Reaction (Global Agency)
Building on this year’s fetish for political reindeer games, two men with a shared hatred for one another set up a new top secret governmental organisation.
An FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem uncovers a 200-year-old conspiracy-in-progress that threatens to change the course of history. For anyone who ever watched The Da Vinci Code and wished fervently for more.
Family bonds make a messy but compelling mix in what Mouseler’s dubbed an “action telenovela”, which certainly has all the elements of both: inmates Julian and Esperanza meet, fall in love, and try escaping from prison, all while trying to prove their innocence. Will love save them?
For My Son (Kanal D Sales)
The name pragmatically says it all in this Turkish series, where a cop, wrongfully suspended from duty, loses custody of his son and goes undercover to get him back.
The Pinkertons (Zodiak Rights)
It’s cops—in the Wild West! In this stagecoach riot, two private investigators use science and spunk to solve mysteries while averting dusty danger.
Captain Alatriste (Betafilm)
Proving the next best thing to a gun-slinging duel is a stylish swordfight, this follows 17th-century master swordsman and king’s mercenary Diego Alatriste, or “the Captain”.
Gym Tony (Mediaset Espana)
Following the zany adventures of the clients and employees of a gym. Proffered at session’s end as comic relief for an otherwise very dark and police-ridden lineup, the best way to describe this situational comedy is that it’s like How I Met Your Mother, but with more sweat.