April’s new TV shows have already screwed up – not in terms of plotting, or performance, or sound design, but simply by coming out in the same month as the last run of possibly-even-better Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul. This really is a careless choice on their part and to be honest I don’t really understand what they were thinking.
Here are the biggest new TV shows of April 2022.
What’s New On TV In April 2022
1. Slow Horses | April 1st
Working in any organisation of sufficient size, you’ll become aware of its own in-house purgatory, the out-of-the-way Siberia you get shuffled off to when you really screw up (my rough equivalent was having to sit through Disenchantment). Ironically when it comes to Western intelligence services, this is probably the department least likely to be sending you to Siberia.
In MI5 terms Slough House is the booby prize, the wooden spoon, the exact field people mean when they talk about being put out to pasture. So, inevitably, they want to come back in from the cold. For James Bond stopping an evil megalomaniac is just another Tuesday, but for these guys it really means something.
Slow Horses is adapted from the Mick Herron novels by Will Smith, winner of the international prize for saying ‘not that one’ and best known as a writer on Veep, another show which took perverse joy in demonstrating how the sausage of the state is made. Leading the cast is Gary Oldman, alongside Kristin Scott Thomas, Jonathan Pryce, Olivia Cooke, and Jack Lowden.
2. Anatomy of a Scandal | April 15th
The recurring issue with Americans writing about Britain – or, indeed, people from any country writing about any other country – is the little differences, the stuff they get wrong without any malice simply because it wouldn’t even occur to them that there would be a difference. It is thus that this show, and the Sarah Vaughan novel it is based upon, has somehow got it into its head that a prominent British politician being credibly accused of rape would be a great big scandal rather than being hushed up, the victim smeared, and the accused quietly resigning their position then returning about three months later.
Still, in fiction, at least, we can pretend for a moment that justice is meted out in any way equally, and that the powerful are subject to laws and consequences in anything like the same way as us. Just sit back and imagine the face of your least favourite public figure superimposed on the screen as the main character sweats through another excruciating press conference.
3. Roar | April 15th
GLOW creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch would, on balance, have also been my choice for a ‘darkly comedic anthology’ which is ‘about how women deal with the world today’. This isn’t just a wimmin thing, it’s a storytelling thing. GLOW was about wrestling and all the high camp that inevitably entails, and what’s more was an ensemble show, so had to juggle more plotlines than the average TV show.
The trailer gives a cross-section of the stories in here, only some of which appear to boil down to everything wrong with him indoors. The cast includes Nicole Kidman, Cynthia Erivo, Merritt Wever, and Issa Rae – as well as GLOW frontwomen Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin, who, while it wasn’t Flahive and Mensch’s fault, are sort of owed one after GLOW was cancelled before its time.
4. The Baby | April 24th
If birth wasn’t an outright miracle, it would be played for unalloyed horror even more than it already is. Horrific physical distension, fluids coming out of places you don’t want them coming out of, and the ever-present risk of actually dying, it basically all makes Freddy Krueger look a bit sissy.
Stripping off yet more of the miraculous gloss is the fact that our protagonist, Michelle De Swarte’s Natasha, didn’t even want a baby in the first place. Having a kid is a big step even for those who rigorously planned it, and to be abruptly lumbered with an entirely dependent human life by surprise is a really singular indignity.
At that point, the discovery that the baby’s some kind of malevolent changeling must come as something of a relief, a bit of a consolation prize or silver lining. Maybe it’s evil, sure, but if it’s jacked up on strange hellish powers it can probably manage to change its own nappies and warm its own milk.
5. We Own This City | April 25th
Off the back of best-TV-show-ever candidate The Wire, nobody ever accused David Simon of not being sufficiently cynical about the Baltimore police service. The Wire cast the footsoldiers as frequently corrupt and violent, and the upper management as doing their best to give local politicians a run for their money in terms of sleaze. And yet We Own This City looks set to go even darker simply by adapting the true events around the Baltimore police’s Gun Trace Task Force (all of whom are now in prison).
What’s particularly promising is the fact in We Own This City, Simon is once again operating on home turf. With shows like The Deuce and The Treme, very much shows ‘about’ New York and New Orleans in the same way that The Wire was about Baltimore, Simon couldn’t help but feel a bit of a tourist – slightly too taken in by all that metropolitan glamour, not familiar enough to land any real killing blows. This time he has no such handicap.
Returning to Simon’s fold from the cast of The Wire are Jamie Hector, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Domenick Lombardozzi, and Anwan Glover. Lombardozzi’s character in The Wire was a particularly nasty cop, so he’s in fine fettle here, and I personally am hoping that – as it was in The Wire and The Deuce – Glover will once again play a man who shoots people who obviously deserve it.
READ MORE: 6 Biggest New PS5 Games of April 2022
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