Gossip Girl reboot
TV

A first look at 6 incredible new HBO shows, including Gossip Girl, Friends and House Of The Dragon

In the mood for a Gossip Girl reboot? A Friends reunion? A Wonder Woman sequel? Of course you are. HBO has just released a thrilling preview of its new-season shows – line up the popcorn, here’s what to expect. 

Great TV has been one of the unsung saviours in a year of emotional chaos – and it’s set to continue apace into 2021

HBO Max has just released an epic teaser of its original new shows and films coming to the channel next year and in 2022, including the Gossip Girl reboot, the Friends reunion and Game Of Thrones prequel House Of The Dragon

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Promising that we will be glued to our sofas next year – whether or not we’ll actually be allowed out – the new line-up includes glimpses of Wonder Woman 1984, the Patty Jenkins-directed sequel starring Gal Gadot. We also get a first look at Mare Of Easttown, a small-town murder mystery with Kate Winslet, as well as creepy new sci-fi series The Nevers

Crime, dystopian fantasy, feminist superheroes and more: this is just the recipe we need to see us through the first few months of next year, as millions of us prepare for tougher restrictions. Take a look at the heart-racing new billing in store on HBO (available on Sky Atlantic in the UK), below, and scroll down to read more about each of the biggest new shows.

Gossip Girl

The Upper East Siders are having their moment in the sun once more with this 10-episode reboot of the hit teen drama starring Emily Alyn Lind, Whitney Peak and Jordan Alexander. The storyline will pick up eight years after the events of the original Gossip Girl, with a new generation of New York City’s private school elite. 

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The 2021 series will focus on telling the stories of people of colour and LGBTQ+ characters. 

“This time around, the leads are non-white,” writer and executive producer Joshua Safran told Vulture earlier this year. “There’s a lot of queer content on this show. It is very much dealing with the way the world looks now, where wealth and privilege come from, and how you handle that.”

And, in news that will be music to fans’ ears, Kristen Bell will return as the show’s eponymous narrator. XOXO. 

Friends reunion special

A Friends reunion special is being cooked up by HBO Max

The much-touted Friends reunion will see all six cast members come together once more, 16 years after the final episode of the iconic show wrapped. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer will gather for the unscripted special, taking place at the same Warner Bros studio in LA where they filmed the original series.

The Friends stars won’t be doing any actual acting for the reunion, but instead will reminisce on the feel-good show of the 1990s. Filming was originally due to happen in March 2020 but was delayed because of the pandemic, and is now being slated for March 2021. Expect warm, fuzzy vibes all round – along with a potent dose of 90s nostalgia.

House Of The Dragon

House of the Dragon is set 300 years before Game of Thrones

This hugely anticipated Game Of Thrones prequel won’t arrive on our screens until 2022 – but the first, tantalizing snippets of the show suggest it’ll be more than worth the wait. 

Set 300 years before the smash-hit fantasy series, House Of The Dragon will delve into the bloody downfall of the ancestors of Daenerys Targaryen; a tyrannical dynasty who fight with fire and blood – oh and a few dragons in the mix, too. 

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Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, and Matt Smith will play leading members of the House Targaryen, according to a report earlier this month in EW. Between them, they will take up the roles of a peerless warrior, a truth-seeking dragonrider and a graceful-yet-savvy king’s daughter.  

The new franchise is based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, with filming taking place in the UK next year.

Wonder Woman 1984

Hitting cinemas (of those that are open) at the same time as HBO on Christmas Day this year, Wonder Woman 1984 is our must-watch festive feminist hit.

“We’ve all waited a long time for this one to come,” the sequel’s star, Gal Gadot, wrote on Twitter last month. “We feel the movie has never been so relevant and we hope that it’ll bring some joy, hope and love to your hearts […] We’ve put our hearts and souls into it.”

Gal Gadot returns in the new Wonder Woman sequel

 It’s been nearly three years since the first Wonder Woman film hit cinemas in the UK. The first female-led superhero blockbuster to be released in over a decade, it went on to become the highest-grossing superhero origin film of all time, raking in more than £613m at the box office – and with a euphoric reception from girls and women worldwide. 

Kristen Wiig co-stars in the new film, going “full cat” as fictional supervillain The Cheetah alongside Gadot in Wonder Woman’s new Golden Eagle armour. Suffice to say, we can’t wait.

Mare Of Easttown

This small-town thriller stars Kate Winslet as Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan, who attempts to investigate a local murder as her life falls apart at the seams. The Outsider actor Julianne Nicholson plays Mare’s best friend in the show, with Angourie Rice (Black Mirror) as her daughter. 

As well as taking on the titular role, Winslet will also executive produce the limited series, which is released sometime next year. 

The Nevers

The Nevers is a sweeping new sci-fi drama about a gang of Victorian women who are gifted with supernatural abilities and a mission to change the world. These skills are much-needed as they come up against a string of chilling, otherworldly enemies. Laura Donnelly, Olivia Williams and Nick Frost all lead in the show, which is due out next summer. 

Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, was originally involved in the series but dropped out last month due to pressures created by filming during the pandemic.

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Other new and returning shows

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Along with all the original new series and films above, HBO has a few other gems up its sleeve for next year. These include a new docuseries exploring the creative mind of rapper Nicki Minaj and a new documentary about the rise and fall of golf star Tiger Woods. New seasons of Issa Rae’s comedy series Insecure and the dynastic drama Succession will also be available.

A happy new year? We certainly think so – at least as far as TV is concerned.

Images: Getty, Sky 

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