Spin-off – is there any word more exciting to the human soul? With the elaborate, sprawling franchise common on the modern media landscape, three in one month probably isn’t even a record. But still, if you’re already a fan of The Walking Dead, John Wick, or The Boys – or fancy getting into any of those in an idiosyncratic way – then September is very much your month.
Here are the biggest new TV shows of September 2023.
New TV In September 2023
1. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon | September 10th, 2023
Norman Reedus’s beloved deuteragonist washes up on the shores of France with no memory of what happened or what he’s doing there. Though in all likelihood, I can answer that last one already: killing a shitload of zombies, probably with a crossbow.
The business of actually making the spin-off has already seen a declaration Melissa McBride would return as Carol, and then a climbdown from that, as well as a change in showrunner to David Zabel, mainly known for his work on middle-of-the-road medical drama ER. In spite of this, the show’s already been handed a second season. The fans aren’t going to stop now, and they’re not in it for the showrunner, they’re in it for – as alluded to earlier – zombies and crossbows.
2. Wilderness | September 15th, 2023
After a choice act of philandering on his part, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Jenna Coleman try to patch things up with a trip through the American Southwest which looks to be among the worst, most tense holidays you can possibly imagine. Taking in sights like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite’s various sharp drops, it has the irresistible combo of potential danger and her lust for revenge.
Wilderness has at its core simple Hitchcockian tension – we the audience know that Coleman’s actively looking for an opportunity for some cathartic naughtiness. This is the treat it will dangle in front of us throughout, and how much mileage that gets is down entirely to how deftly they handle it.
Wilderness has already pulled off something of a coup by prominently using a re-recorded Taylor Swift number in the soundtrack and trailer. This means that the serious Swift fans, and there’s a lot of them, will watch it. Compared to that, any Doctor Who fans who’ve followed Jenna Coleman to this point are a rounding error.
3. The Continental: From the World of John Wick | September 22nd, 2023
A prequel spin-off depicting – not the early life of Keanu Reeves’s unstoppable killing machine, but of the hotel where he and his assassin chums hang out. Still, words like ‘prequel’ and ‘spinoff’ seem overly fancy for what is at bottom a vehicle for all the same stylised ultraviolence as the films, but this time in the 1970s.
It’s got Colin Woodell and Ayomide Adegun as younger versions of Ian McShane and Lance Reddick’s characters from the films respectively, though more startling to see on the cast list is once-leading man Mel Gibson. The trailer doesn’t show him doing anything more anti-semitic than sitting down, but you must assume the crew were still nervous.
The advantage of taking the spin-off back to the ‘70s is that it can exist in its own bubble. It’s not tied too closely into the existing film franchise, so if it flops, it doesn’t need to drag Reeves down with it – and if it flies, great, another volume on the bookshelf.
4. Krapopolis | September 24th, 2023
The similarly toilety-sounding concept of the kakistocracy refers to a government or other organisation run by the least suitable, least competent people available. I’ll just leave that there as a forewarning. Guilt by association, perhaps, but they’re the ones who called their production ‘Krap-anything’ and now expect money for it.
With Rick & Morty already straining at the seams and suffering from/quite relieved to see an absence of Justin Roiland, throwing another animated show onto Dan Harmon’s slate seems like it’s just going to be to the detriment of both. This one’s set in an Ancient Greece full of gods and monsters, so, essentially the same anything-goes elastic reality as R&M – we’re basically inviting Harmon to burn out publicly and explosively, really.
The cast is led by Hannah Waddingham, Richard Ayoade, Matt Berry, Pam Murphy, and Duncan Trussell. Ayoade and Berry in particular present a sense of looming catastrophe – which isn’t their fault, both are fine performers and have worked together very effectively in the past, but when it comes to American animation their main outing has been in the utter stinker Disenchantment. Maybe this’ll be the spur they need? We can only hope.
5. Gen V | September 9th, 2023
A spin-off of gory, sweary superhero pastiche The Boys, Gen V is taking the X-Men approach of a secret, special school for people with superpowers. It’s the same irreverent, cartoony, splatter-heavy approach to the superhero genre, but with an unfortunate side helping of teen drama, which will hopefully be shunted aside when, per the trailer, dicks start exploding.
Is there something iffy going on at the school? Well, obviously, and I’m not just talking Professor X trying to date a student (again) either. The school’s funded by go-to evil corporation Vought, which is basically a readymade flashing neon sign which reads ‘something’s wrong here’. And if they’ve managed to convert tedious teen drama into a renewable source of energy? Perish the thought.
The cast includes Jaz Sinclair, Chance Persomo, Maddie Phillips, Lizze Broadway, and Derek Luh, and the press release promises multiple cameos from The Boys – though the only one mentioned by name, and featured in the trailer, is Jessie T. Usher. As an in-universe sports star, it does at least make sense to have him come down to a school and tell the kids they can achieve anything.
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