Thursday, January 3, 2013

TV Links of the Week


What's the latest you've ever been wished a Happy New Year?

Since it's only January 3rd, I think I'm okay saying that I hope your year has started off well (despite the 2% reduction you'll likely being seeing in your take home pay) and that 2013 will be your best trip around the sun yet.

With the holidays over, TV will soon be coming out of its rerun hibernation. As the TV Czar discussed in his midseason preview for TV Equals, this year is different than past years because a lot of new shows are premiering, whether for the season or the first time ever, at the midpoint of the traditional television season.

To make sure you're prepared for the all the new options that you're about to have, this week's links post focuses on many of the shows that will be premiering over the next few weeks (or months in one major case)*. To do that, I'll be using a common TV Czar Says... ploy: completely arbitrary categories.

Don't worry, regular reader(s) - I'll still cover a few pieces of available important TV news at the end of the piece.

Last thing before we jump in: Despite my connection to the TV Czar, I haven't yet been given VIP access to shows that allows me to see them before they air. Therefore, my thoughts for each show will be based solely upon the trailers I've nested below.


Returning Shows

The Smart Show
Downton Abbey - January 6, 9:00 pm, PBS


People love this show. I do not. Don't get me wrong, the writing, acting, and aesthetics look good, but it just doesn't interest me. Maybe I'm not sophisticated enough.

Why You Should Avoid Kentucky
Justified - January 8, 10:00 pm, FX


I've always thought that no show is complete until it involves snake-handling charismatics. Switching gears, who do you think has a higher kills-per-episode rate, Raylan Givens or Steve McGarret?

Least Revealing Trailers
Archer - January 17, 9:00 pm, FX


To be fair, Archer isn't a type of show that compels you to comb the Internet looking for previews or promos for it. You pretty much know what you're going to get from everyone's favorite world's greatest spy, and that's just fine.

Game of Thrones - March 31, HBO



Game of Thrones, on the other hand, is a show you would love to see some actual footage for. Don't fret, non-book readers. The wait for season 3 will be well worth it, I promise. I've read all the books, and book 3 is the best and most exciting. Plus, you get an extra 2-3 minutes per episode!

Least Suitable for Work Trailer
Spartacus: War of the Damned - January 25, 9:00 pm, Starz


The final season of one of the most violent shows on television. Based on the trailer, which in case you missed the category title is very NSFW, the show seems intent on outdoing itself. I've never seen the show, but if they're even remotely following history, I don't imagine things will end well for Spartacus or his army.

I Know I've Met You Before...
Community - February 7, 8 pm, NBC



Yes, the trailer is mostly irrelevant since we know when Community is finally coming back. Who cares. It's funny and shows that the cast and writers at least pretend to have a good sense of humor about the show's treatment over the past couple of years. If they keep that mood going throughout the season it could be the best one yet. 

New Shows

Most Likely to Sneak a Love Story By You
The Americans - January 30, 10 pm, FX


A lot of people are excited about this. It does look intriguing. What spy drama doesn't, though? Plus, it seems to have major "sappy love story about two spies" potential. If it were on a network I would say pass, but being on FX does give it some credibility.


Most Likely to win the Peahen Award
1600 Penn - January 10, 9:30, NBC

The Peahen award is given to the NBC comedy that most capably displays how far NBC has fallen from its glory days. The leader in the clubhouse is 1600 Penn, which, admittedly, after watching the video below doesn't look half bad.


Then you watch some actual footage...


...and everything changes. I've read at least one person claiming that it's Modern Family in the White House. Really? More like a caricature of Modern Family in the White House. All of these characters seem over the top and totally unbelievable. Bill Pullman is the most difficult to watch because he's actually played the president quite well before. That this show is on NBC is especially painful because of the last White House show NBC aired, which was also one of the best TV shows ever. Remember those days, NBC? What happened?

By the way, a peahen is a female peafowl. A peahen is plain, while the male of the species, the peacock, is very extravagant. NBC's logo contains a peacock. I'll let you work out the rest.

Somebody that I Used to Know
How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life - April 3 - 9:30 pm, ABC


Technically, this show is closer to being a summer premiere. Also, it may be completely terrible. Still, it intrigues me, mostly because I like Brad Garrett and Sarah Chalke. Does Chalke have the chops to carry a show? I would lean towards probably not, but there's only one way to find out.

Good Ideas, But How Long Can They Last?
The Following - January 21, 9:00 pm, FOX


Zero Hour - February 14, 8:00 pm, ABC


Both these shows look interesting. My concern is that their premises aren't built for the long haul. For The Following, how long will it take for Kevin Bacon to find the serial killer again? For Zero Hour, how long can the guy from ER go on looking for his wife? Surely the writers don't intend to drag each of those plot points out for longer than a season; people are too impatient for that. But once they resolve those plot points, what's next?

Right now I'd give the edge to The Following because of Bacon and because the Zero Hour's seems like it might be too grand for network television.

People in West Virginia are BoredCreative
Buckwild - January 3, 10:00 pm, MTV



MTV's Jersey Shore replacement hasn't even aired yet and it's already generating controversy. I won't be tuning in, but I do give props to MTV for creating a show that seems to combine what people love most about Jersey Shore, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and Jackass. For a more in-depth at the dump truck swimming pool idea, go here.

Yes, Please
Africa - January 8, 10:00, Discovery



The folks behind the amazing Life series from BBC and the Discovery Channel are back with a never before seen look at Africa. To say I'm excited about this show would be an understatement. Check out the video below to see more of the fighting giraffes. You'd think using their heads as weapons would do more damage to the aggressor than the target.



"Unscripted" Reality
King of the Nerds - January 17, 10:00 pm, TBS


Does this show have "staged" written all over it? Of course it does. Is it fun watching nonathletic people do athletic things? Most of the time.

Emptying the Clip
  • The Huffington Post played "Two Lies and a Truth" with the cast of 30 Rock regarding the show's finale at the show's wrap party just before Christmas. I'm really hoping that Tracy goes to space.
  • A biologist in Brazil has named a new species of bee in honor of Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. No really.
  • The CW is making show about Robin Hood, because apparently one semi-successful show about archery deems the necessity of of another show about archery.
Thanks for reading.

Matt