With the New Year, TV box set addicts are now wondering what will happen next in their favourite shows and what new stories they have to look forward to.
Fantasy epic Game of Thrones will continue to dazzle with its action, adventure and enormous range of characters, with season 7 due early next year. Zombie drama The Walking Dead has a confirmed 8th season coming next autumn, leaving us wondering if any of the remaining original cast will make it through to season 9. HBO’s new smash hit Westworld has been renewed, with the visually stunning cross between the magnificent seven and blade runner returning for a 2nd season. US cable TV staples like medical drama Grey’s Anatomy and political thriller Homeland will also make a return. Classic animated shows The Simpsons, South Park and Family Guy have also announced new episodes.
Netflix will continue to release a string of exclusive shows as they did this year, with a big budget adaptation of the Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events starring Neil Patrick Harris, a Narcos-inspired series about the infamous Mexican criminal ‘El Chapo’ and a reboot of Marvel's The Punisher set to drop in 2017. Several other Marvel characters from the Marvel Universe are set to make an appearance, with a show based on the character Iron Fist and an ensemble series, The Defenders, featuring characters from existing Netflix shows Jessica Jones and Luke Cage set for release in the new year.
Some of the most popular Netflix originals will also return to our screens. Orange is the New Black, one of the most watched shows on Netflix that focuses on the lives of inmates and prison officers in the all-female Litchfield Penitentiary will be released next year. Kevin Spacey's Frank Underwood will return for a 5th season of House of Cards, a tense political thriller with some epic multi-show twists and turns that leaves you begging for more. Even though the main character – SPOILER ALERT – Pablo Escobar is killed at the end of the 2nd series of Narcos, a 3rd season will be released next year, featuring the rival Cali cartel and the power vacuum left behind after Escobar's demise.
All of these exciting new series' are enough to get even the most passive TV viewer excited. Unfortunately, as some releases are restricted to particular locations due to licensing and broadcasting restrictions, such as the Walking Dead and Family Guy. The limitation works both ways, with shows in the UK not visible to those in the US. This includes films such as Good Will Hunting, Cinema Paradiso, Chinatown, and The Wolf of Wall Street. As well as following licensing or copyright issues, Netflix also caters for local tastes, with certain regions including language specific shows, such as Germany’s “Mord mit Aussicht”. However, there is an easy workaround to allow you to view Netflix shows that have been restricted to particular locations.
By using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service, your computer or device can trick Netflix servers by making it look like you are trying to access the show from inside the restricted country, by masking your IP address and location. There are various VPNs that you can review to see which best suits your needs, with some more suitable for viewing Netflix based on their speed and available proxies.
Alongside the confirmed shows that are set in stone, there are also some exciting rumours bouncing around online forums and the twittersphere, with stories of a new Star Trek TV reboot and murmurs around a new series of Doctor Who doing the rounds. Alongside the confirmed expansions to the Marvel Universe, there are an alleged 67 new Marvel series planned, featuring some of the more obscure comic book characters that have featured over the years. 2017 promises to be another incredible year for TV and superfans are already stocking up on drinks and snacks for those rainy Sunday binge watching sessions.