There’s a new batch of shows coming up this month and next that I’m looking forward to poking at with a stick, so to speak. Assuming you guys already knew Sherlock had a special one-off on New Year’s Day (it was fantastic, by the way! Don’t miss!) and Downton Abbey returned Sunday night, here are a few other things coming in the next two weeks that might interest you. I’ll do another one of these on January 18th or thereabouts to fill you in on the rest of the month. LUCKY YOU!
January 5 (that’s tonight!)
Killing Fields – 10pm – Discovery. If you, like me, recently devoured all of Netflix’s new fascinating, complicated, and infinitely debatable documentary Making a Murderer, you may find this new 6-episode documentary series on Discovery intriguing too. It will follow a detective, Rodie Sanchez, who’s come out of retirement to work a cold case he failed to solve back in 1997. Reviews so far have accused it of being overly glossy, not to mention pretty clunky — more like Dateline than, say, The Jinx — but I do confess I find these kinds of procedural things interesting. One caveat: they’re filming the series in real-time with a fixed number of episodes, which means there’s no neat ending guaranteed. That could end up being pretty frustrating, but I’m definitely game to check this one out.
American Crime – 10pm – ABC. I watched all of season one of this show and did not hate it, but that’s pretty much the nicest thing I have to say about it, partly because I barely remember the plot (that memorable, yes). Season 2 is on my second-chance list, but I think it’s probably unlikely to get much of that second chance. The DVR is set to record the first episode — WILL IT BE SET TO RECORD THE SECOND? It’s a mystery! Following in the footsteps of American Horror Story, it’ll apparently be a whole new story using most of the same actors and none of the same characters. I know naught else about it. We’ll see.
Angel from Hell – 9:30pm – CBS. This is a new sit-com featuring Jane Lynch as a rabble-rousing angel assigned by God to protect a . . . “type-A dermatologist” (Maggie Lawson)? Dermatologist, eh? Well, that’s a new one. It’s hard to picture anybody doing “rabble-rousing angel” as well as Jane Lynch could do “rabble-rousing angel,” but hen again, it’s a sit-com, and you guys know how I feel about those (though, by the way, I’m still loving to pieces Life in Pieces). This one’s in the DVR too, but I make no predictions as to my tolerance.
Shades of Blue – 10pm – NBC. Jenny from the Block stars as a single-mom-slash-detective taking bribes and kickbacks to make ends meet until she’s caught by the FBI, who then flip her into an undercover agent working to gather evidence about the higher-ups. Ray Liotta plays her boss, one of those corrupt higher-ups; I bet he yells a lot in this and his forehead veins all do their magical Ray-Liotta-forehead-veins thing. There isn’t a single person on the planet who can’t completely predict the entire arc of this story, and if you’ve seen any of the ads, they’ve merely served to confirmed your suspicions, and mine, that we have amazing deductive skills. I won’t be tuning into this one, but if I’m wrong about it being as utterly dumb as it sounds, definitely let me know!
Second Chance – 9pm – FOX. This show has gone through four names so far, finally settling on what I would argue is the most boring of the bunch — not a good sign (the other three were Lookinglass, one-word-one-g for whatever reason, The Frankenstein Code, and just plain Frankenstein). It also started out as a 13-episode thing and has already been reduced to 11. HA HA DOOM. The series, apparently inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (hence the original title) is about a morally corrupt cop who dies at age 75 and is brought back to life for a do-over as a young man. I don’t fully understand the Frahnkensteen connection, given that information, but luckily, I can’t seem to care enough to . . . you know, care. When does the new X-Files start again? Oh, hurry up, January 24th.
Colony – 10pm – USA. USA surprised us all last year when they created and delivered to us the brilliantly weird Mr. Robot. So, when I heard they were working on another “serious” series, and that it was going to star Dimples, no less, I got kind of excited. Even better: it’s about an alien invasion, you guys! I love alien invasions! The bad news is the pilot’s already available online, I have watched it, and, man, it is terrible. It’s set up similarly to Fear the Walking Dead, with a group of families under a town quarantine of sorts, patrolled by the military, which they are not allowed to leave (note to men, by the way: whatever you do, don’t marry Sarah Wayne Callies, because you will only end up living la vida post-apocalyptic, and I don’t mean that figuratively (I think)). But where Fear the Walking Dead ended up being surprisingly (I thought) thoughtful and well-paced, this show is pretty much the opposite: all surface and flash. I’ll put up with a lot for some Dimples time — just ask the Meg who watched all of Intelligence even though it was utterly ridiculous (hi, That Meg! You’re dumb!) — but I’m not sure I can put up with this. I’m thinking about trying the pilot one more time, because I was distracted the first time I watched it, but I don’t have high hopes for this one, I’m afraid. I’d love to be wrong. Maybe I’ll be wrong! Let’s roll with that.
More new TV later in the month. In the meantime, what are you guys watching these days? Anything good?