stranger things

Among the many shows returning in 2019, season three of "Stranger Things" on Netflix is shaping up to be the best one yet.

While the new year can seem depressing with the end of the holiday season, there’s always joy in the form of new and returning TV shows. While some shows have only been on hiatus for a few months, some fans have been waiting over a year to see their favorite characters once again. Here are some of the few shows to get excited about in 2019.

Game of Thrones (HBO)

The eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” is finally returning in April 2019 after over a year-long hiatus. With only six episodes to conclude this epic fantasy series, fans can expect this season to be filled with drama and emotion as the battle over the iron throne comes to a close. Each episode is set to be over an hour in length, similar to the seventh season’s finale being roughly an hour and a half. Regardless of how it ends, “Game of Thrones” will surely be going down in history as one of the greatest shows of all time.

Stranger Things (Netflix)

Similar to “Game of Thrones,” fans of this Netflix sci-fi hit have been waiting for its return for well over a year. The last season of “Stranger Things” focused on Will adjusting to being back home after he was trapped in the infamous Upside Down. The gang also faced new problems, such as trying to get back in touch with Eleven and avoiding more evil Demogorgons. The show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers, have assured audiences that season three will show “Stranger Things” getting back to its season one roots. With more adventure and the charm that drew in viewers for the first season, season three is shaping up to be the show’s best one yet.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)

It would be a crime for any fans of “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation” or “The Good Place” to not be watching “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” After escaping cancellation last year, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is now set to have an 18-episode sixth season, kicking off right where its fifth season ended. Fans will see Jake and Amy on their honeymoon and learn whether or not Captain Holt was appointed Commissioner. After the “Die Hard” parody trailer NBC released, the anticipation for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” return has been amped up to an all-time high.

Rick and Morty (Adult Swim)

Dan Harmon’s animated sci-fi adventure series has been a cult hit ever since it premiered. Its fans are loyal and dedicated, and it’s easy to understand why due to the show’s sharp and witty humor. Though just season four is returning in 2019, as many as 70 future episodes of “Rick and Morty” have been confirmed to air, which is roughly an additional three more seasons. The progression of the evil, powerful Morty storyline will continue in season four, as well as new storylines and development to enrich the beloved and acclaimed series even more.

Jane the Virgin (The CW)

The fourth season of this CW telenovela-style drama ended on an unbelievable cliffhanger last April and it’s amazing to consider fans have even made it this far. This ending was more suspenseful and shocking than any previous season finale, and that’s considering all of the enhanced dramatic scenes included in the show to mimic classic telenovelas. Rafael revealed to Jane that, *SPOILER ALERT* for those who have not caught up, her deceased husband, Michael, was in fact not dead and very much alive as he stood before her. The show’s fifth and final season will answer all the questions fans are dying to know, such as what happened to Michael and if it’s even really him, and of course the end of the Rafael-Jane-Michael love triangle that took over the show’s first three seasons.

Veronica Mars (Hulu)

While many people know Kristen Bell as the voice of Anna in Disney’s “Frozen” or playing Eleanor Shellstrop on “The Good Place,” what she’s perhaps most famous for is starring in “Veronica Mars.” Bell played the titular character who was a young private investigator living in the fictional town of Neptune, California, as she tried to uncover the mystery of who murdered her best friend. The original show ended in 2007 but was brought back as a movie in 2014 from a Kickstarter campaign the previous year. Hulu has now revived the show once again, and for eight episodes Bell will be back, reprising her role as Veronica to investigate what show creator Rob Thomas has hinted as her darkest mystery yet.

The Twilight Zone (CBS All Access)

“The Twilight Zone” from the early 1960s is often listed as one of the greatest shows of all time. It was a sci-fi anthology series that inspired several shows that came after it, such as “The X-Files,” “Black Mirror,” “Twin Peaks” and “Fringe.” Jordan Peele, famous for his Key and Peele comedy show as well as directing and writing 2017 horror film “Get Out,” has been set to take the lead on this new, rebooted version of “The Twilight Zone.” While different versions of the show have been made in the past, none have come close to capturing the magic of the original. With Peele at the head of the 2019 version, it shows some promise.

Contact Kira Baldau at baldaukb@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.