New Winter TV, Week One!

I meant to get this post up Sunday, but totally failed to get even the first draft of it in the can. I’m still scrambling around trying to finish up the Top Ten Lists for 2010, for one thing, and the launch of the new Winter TV season totally took me by surprise.

So far, though, you’ve only missed two things, both of which premiered yesterday (Sunday), and I’m hoping you already knew about the PBS one and/or can catch it later in the week (the other one I doubt will amount to much, but the PBS one is going to be marvelous, I can tell).

Here’s what’s up this week, and I’ll be more timely about this for the next few, I promise!

Sunday, January 9

The Cape — NBC, 9-10pm — The previews for this series, about an honest cop working for a corrupt police force who decides to become a superhero when he’s accused of a series of murders he didn’t commit, make it look pretty amazingly terrible. Like it’s taking itself way, way too seriously. I mean, really, look at that picture of star David Lyons.  Don’t smile or your face will crack!  But it’s got Summer Glau, James Frain, and Vinnie Jones in it, and that’s enough for me to tune in for at least one episode. About to watch the pilot right now, in fact — will report back in comments tomorrow.

Masterpiece Theater:  Downton Abbey — PBS, times vary. This series is being compared to the classic British show Upstairs, Downstairs, which looked at socialites (upstairs) and the servants who ran their lives for them (downstairs).  Upstairs was a blast, and I have no doubt Downton Abbey is going to be wonderful fun, in no small part because it costars Maggie Smith as a cranky old lady and it was written by the same guy who wrote Gosford Park, another fantastic look and the worlds both up- and down-. PERFECT!   Can’t wait to watch part one, though I probably can’t fit that in tonight, alas.

Tuesday, January 11

Lights Out — FX, 10-11. This series is about an aging boxer who tries to get out of the pummeling business, only to have financial problems at home force him right back in.  I was just saying a few months ago, actually, that a TV series about boxing might be sort of interesting.  We’ve had a lot of films on the subject lately, and the world behind-the-scenes is one most of us don’t know much about.  I have some hope for this series, which has gotten fairly mixed reviews, but no truly dreadful pannings yet.  Good sign.  We’ll see how it goes.

Wednesday, January 12

Off the Map — ABC, 10-11pm. This is another one of Shonda Rhimes’s projects, she of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice cheese.  This show is going to suck — no two ways about it.  But I’m going to tune in for a couple of episodes anyway, and you know why?  Caroline Dhavernas, from Wonderfalls, is one of the stars.  And I absolutely LOVE HER.  If her character gets to be quirky and sarcastic, she alone might be able to save this show.  If she’s just a pretty face, though, I’m going to find Shonda Rhimes and kick her in the shins.  Oh yeah, and as for the story, it’s about a bunch of good-looking doctors working in a clinic in South America.  Zzzzzz, what, what?, oh, zzzzz.

Did I miss anything new coming out this week?  If so, let me know in the comments!

9 Responses to “New Winter TV, Week One!”

  1. megwood Says:

    Update! The Cape: it’s extremely silly, and fairly terrible. And Lyons is a crappy actor. And yet, I watched the whole thing. Oy, me.

  2. Liz Says:

    AHAH! I KNEW “Off the Map” reminded me of another show! It was called “Going to Extremes” (1992), and it was about med students complaining about having to do their training on a tropical island! Ridiculous! It was supposed to be another “Northern Exposure” but it failed miserably. I have no plans to even TRY “Off the Map!” ( but I am very relieved to have finally found that other show – God bless IMDb).

  3. RogerBW Says:

    Interesting, I haven’t heard any buzz about any of these. Guess you’re bravely finding out why… I have a much higher tolerance for crappy films (e.g. Stonehenge Apocalypse) than crappy television, maybe because it’s not around for long enough for me to really get to hate the characters…

  4. Liz Says:

    RogerBW is right, Meg: you’re bravely going where none of us dare to go – to find out just HOW bad these new shows are. Now I don’t have to feel guilty about not wanting to pursue “The Cape” – THANK YOU!

  5. Jo Says:

    The Cape is silly and terrible and I love it.

  6. Amy Says:

    Downton Abbey is so fabulous, you’ve got to watch it! Maggie Smith is perfect, but really, the whole cast is riveting.

  7. Says:

    The 1st installment of Downton Abbey was wonderful! Maggie Smith is delightful. She made me laugh out loud very often. In fact, the whole cast is superb. I noticed the DVD was already released today, so I went ahead and order my copy. I know patience is a virtue, but I can’t wait to see the rest of this series.

  8. megwood Says:

    Sweet! I’m going to watch Downton tonight! Also, a new series on Showtime started this week as well — Episodes — and it is TERRIFIC. It’s about a UK couple who move to LA to make an American version of their hit sitcom, and find themselves forced by the producer to cast Matt LeBlanc (as himself!) in the star role. Which is an old, fat guy. It was hilarious and smart — I’m really looking forward to the next episode!

  9. Cheryl Says:

    “Shameless.” Showtime. Nuf said.

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