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8 TV Trends That Are Defining the New Season

As we bid farewell to warmer days and finish up our summer streaming queue, we're prepping ourselves for one of the most exciting seasons of the year—and no, we're not just talking about autumn.

While we're eager to break out the cashmere sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes, we've been focusing most of our attention on fall previews from streaming services like Netflix and HBO Max. Last fall brought us a number of binge-worthy favorites, spanning from dramedies to chilling psychological thrillers. But this year, it looks like we'll be seeing quite a few new trends on the small screen. From inclusive reboots to flawed female leads, keep reading to see the eight biggest TV trends that are defining the new season.

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1. More Reboots = More Diverse Leads

Making older content feel new is no easy feat, but if there's one thing directors are learning, it's that diversity and inclusion are crucial for any modernized reboot. For instance, HBO Max's Gossip Girl revival included several more BIPOC and LGBTQ characters. And now, we have a few more diverse reboots to look forward to.

Thanks to HBO Max, Sex and the City fans will get to reunite with Carrie and the gang in And Just Like That, which has already announced three new female leads of color. Then there’s ABC’s upcoming reboot of The Wonder Years, which will focus on a middle-class Black family that lives in ‘60s Montgomery, Alabama. In October, The CW is also releasing 4400, which features a far more inclusive cast than the original series from 2004. We get the feeling these reboots will tackle plenty of real and timely issues that resonate with minority groups.

2. Teen Angst Meets Bone-chilling Horror

It’s been more than four years since Pretty Little Liars rocked our world. But now, we’re officially counting down the days until we can see the horror-themed reboot, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. This time, the mystery thriller will follow a different set of Little Liars as they try to figure out who’s tormenting them—but this isn’t the only teen series that caught our eye.

PLL fans will also take a liking to Amazon Prime’s terrifying series adaptation of I Know What You Did Last Summer, coming just in time for spooky season on October 15. Also, Showtime is releasing a coming-of-age drama called Yellowjackets (November 14), where a group of high school athletes miraculously survives a plane crash in the wilderness. Terror ensues.

3. Adult Animation With An Elevated Twist

Classic animated shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob's Burgers have proven that we could never be too old for cartoons. While they’re filled to the brim with crude humor and silly innuendos, they feature "everyman" characters who are far from elevated (see: Homer Simpson). The style remains similar for HBO’s The Prince (which makes sense, since it was created by Family Guy's own Gary Janetti). But the satirical series, which dramatizes the royal family, pulls no punches with more "high-brow" characters.

Another standout animation to look out for is Netflix's comedy series Q-Force, which centers on a group of queer super-spies who form a team after their leader gets fired for coming out as gay. Unlike any other mainstream adult cartoon, the concept is much more progressive and elevated, nearly the entire cast is part of the gay community and it's also very open about its LGBTQ+ themes.

4. More Marvel Superheroes, Ftw

Leave it to Marvel to keep us entertained with action-packed shows about our favorite heroes. First, we had Disney+'s hit miniseries, WandaVision. Then, there was The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, followed by the fantasy gem, Loki. But if you've already flown through all three, the good news is that Marvel is also releasing Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye later this year. The former title will follow Kamala Khan / Ms. Marvel, a Muslim teenager and fan-fiction writer who develops new powers. Meanwhile, Hawkeye will explore the backstory of the famous Avenger.

5. Intergalactic Wars Are In

Prepare to travel through outer space, because two highly-anticipated shows will be taking the action beyond the confines of Earth. In September, Apple TV+ will release Foundation, which tells the story of a group of exiles who fight to save the Galactic Empire from total destruction. And in November, Netflix will debut a live-action remake of the Japanese anime series Cowboy Bebop, where a group of bounty hunters are tasked with capturing criminals by traveling across the solar system. Space travel never sounded so appealing...

6. The Imperfect Protagonists...are Women

Gone are the days of the flailing male protagonist with the perfect wife waiting to clean up his mess (Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, honestly the list is too long). If you have a soft spot for strong female leads that are messy and complicated, allow us to introduce The Ms. Pat Show. The BET+ sitcom revolves around a convicted felon turned suburban mom who's often called the "modern-day Archie Bunker." And yet, it's nearly impossible to keep a straight face when she delivers her blunt one-liners.

Next we have Masha Dmitrichenko (Nicole Kidman) from HBO's Nine Perfect Strangers, a business woman turned wellness guru who, after surviving an accident, ditches her husband and child to run a wellness retreat for strangers. Initially, her heart seems to be in the right place, but she blurs the line between good and evil by using some questionable methods to help her guests.

If animated shows are more up your alley, you'll be happy to know that Netflix is also releasing Chicago Party Aunt, which will center on a free-spirited woman who simply refuses to take life too seriously. The troublemaker tends to avoid adulthood and responsibility at all costs—except when it comes to her favorite nephew.

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7. Streaming Is The New Cable

Not surprisingly, more consumers are cutting the cord and opting for streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu—a steady trend that’s been in motion for quite some time. In fact, research by eMarketer proved that the rate of consumers switching over to internet-based services has been accelerating since 2017, when nearly half the population ditched their cable boxes. Now, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the cancellation rate increased to a staggering 27 percent, compared to just 15 percent in 2020.

Given the growing momentum, it’s likely that these numbers will continue to rise. Especially since most cable services come with limited channels and a hefty price tag. Nothing really beats a more cost-effective service that includes more than twice as many options and, better yet, less censorship.

8. Yes To More Comedy

This summer brought us plenty of laughs, from Girls5Eva to The White Lotus, and fortunately, this trend will keep going strong as we transition into fall. Selena Gomez's highly-anticipated comedy Only Murders in the Building, which airs on Hulu in August, will follow three true-crime obsessed strangers who suddenly find themselves entangled in a case. Meanwhile, HBO Max's The Sex Lives of College Girls comes from the brilliant mind of Mindy Kaling. It will follow four college freshman as they navigate campus life and their relationships.

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