There's been some great entertainment so far this year but as we enter the second half of 2017 things begin to get serious. There's an onslaught of big releases a-coming and almost to much to look forward too. Throughout this week, the Herald entertainment team will be highlighting the stuff we're personally most excited about. Today, we start with the best upcoming TV...
Joanna Hunkin: If, like me, your knowledge of the Queen has been limited to her annual Christmas address and postage stamps then last year's Netflix series The Crown was a revelation. Claire Foy was superb as Elizabeth, a somewhat timid young woman who reluctantly stepped into the role of Queen, learning to balance her roles as wife, mother and sister at the same time. Billed as the most expensive television series ever made, The Crown seamlessly wove together historical fact with dramatic licence.
Due to return in November, the second series promises to focus on Prince Philip and his son, Charles (who barely featured in the debut season) along with exploring Princess Margaret's so-called "naughty side". Played by Vanessa Kirby, Princess Margaret was the hidden gem in the first season and producers promise she will only shine brighter in season two. This year's return will also see John and Jackie Kennedy make an appearance, as the royals adjust to life in the swinging 60s. Sign me up.
Chris Schulz: The last time we heard from David Fincher, he was supposed to be working on the HBO adaptation of Utopia, one of my top five TV shows of all time. Yes, of all time. Things happened. Harsh words were exchanged. HBO canned it. The last thing I heard about it was from the show's original creator Dennis Kelly, who claimed it could still happen. It sounds unlikely. So I got mad. Mad at Fincher. Mad at HBO. Mad at one of my favourite TV shows. This isn't a good thing. But Fincher appears to be making up for it. Mindhunter is just the second TV show he's worked on, and it looks so Fincher it's ridiculous. Crime. FBI. Blood. Murder. Twin Peaks. True Detective. Dexter. Fincher. It's all there. Netflix. October. I'm in. I'm all in.
Siena Yates: Inhumans is the most exciting thing Marvel has on the way if for no other reason than it has a fresh cast and a fresh roster of Marvel heroes. You've got a mute lead who communicates with sign language, a queen who fights with her hair, a woman who controls the elements and - most importantly - Iwan Rheon as the villain. While some of the costuming and effects aren't super great, it does look like a classic Marvel story, with brothers at war, a coming of age/coming into power story, and a whole heap of fantastical action. And there's a notable (and commendable) lack of Iron Fist, so win win. Also: Let's all bid a quiet welcome back to the Marvel universe to Ken Leung.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Karl Puschmann: It's been a pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty long wait for L.D's return. After six long years you bet we're counting down the days till the start of the show's ninth season in October (there's still 69 to go in case you're wondering). Details have been closely guarded so we don't yet know who Larry will be butting heads with, but whoever it is it's going to be wonderfully and hilariously awkward.
George Fenwick: The end of Stranger Things' irresistibly nostalgic first season indicated that trouble may still be brewing in Hawkins, Indiana, with Will Byers looking pretty freaked out as he coughed up some sort of alien slug (we don't blame him). A second season of the sci-fi conspiracy epic was inevitable, and after a new trailer was unleashed over the weekend at Comic-Con, we couldn't be more excited. A massive scary red storm? Check. Winona Ryder's panicked wide eyes? Check. A huge, mysterious, tentacled thingy? Check. It's confirmed there will be nine episodes in season two, and apparently we'll finally see #Justice4Barb. October 27 can't come soon enough.