Below are returning shows that are premiering this January that I am most looking forward to. There are a few networks that have multiple shows, so they are grouped up like that.
Late 2010/early 2011 IFC gave me two reasons to tune in for original programming. The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (TIPDOTM) quietly premiered in October 2010 and Portlandia premiered in January 2011 with awkward fun. Portlandia is a sketch show starring SNL’s Fred Armisen and Sleater Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein. Their brand of indy hipster comedy targeting the similar population of Portland is a refreshingly different type of show. Season 2 will be ten episodes (Season 1 had six) and feature guest appearances by Andy Samberg, Kristen Wiig, Tim Robbins, Jeff Goldblum, Eddie Vedder and Kyle MacLaclan returning as the Seattle-hating mayor of Portland.
TIPDOTM stars David Cross (Arrested Development) as Todd Margaret, an American who gets a job heading sales of an energy drink in London. His boss is played by the brilliant Will Arnett (Arrested Development, Up All Night) and his one employee is played by Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners). Todd is a compulsive liar who doesn’t know a thing about sales. Each episode finds Todd digging himself in a bigger hole, which sometimes results in cringe-inducing situations. The show is awkwardly funny and the season one finale left me wanting more.
SyFy's original reality competition series about special effects make-up artists begins it's second season this month. The first season was fun to watch. I am a big fan of the content, which is mainly sci-fi/ fantasy/horror. This season will bring in new contestants trying to win the chance to be the next big special effects artist. Compeitions will include reimagined Wizard of Oz characters, dino-humans and more.
American remakes of British shows have certainly been done before, some successfully (The Office) and others not (Viva Laughlin!). Being Human appears positioned to remain in the successful category. The first season about three unusual roommates (a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire) was exciting and borrowed just enough from its British counterpart. With the death of the major antagonist of season one taking place in the finale, it’ll be interesting to see what the writers have come up with for season two.
The first season of Justified was good, and I was just happy to see Timothy Olyphant on tv in a cowboy hat again. I had no idea what was to come. Season 2 jumped up to a whole new level and helped Justified become not only my favorite drama on television, but one of my favorite overall shows. If you look at my 2011 tv reviews you’ll see that in the drama categories Justified had my #1,2 and 10 favorite male characters and #1 and 10 favorite female characters. It’s safe to say I am highly anticipating the third season.
The best animated show on television premieres its third season January 19. Archer follows the exploits of self-centered secret agent Sterling Archer and his agency ISIS.
I can’t believe 30 Rock is about to premiere its sixth season. 30 Rock continues to produce strong episodes thanks to its clever (though sometimes too clever) writing and hilarious cast. One thing I’m interested in seeing is how they handle the death of Kim Jong Il, who just happens to be an important character in the show. Apparently Il (portrayed by comedienne Margaret Cho) was to feature in multiple episodes, as the North Korean dictator had kidnapped and married Jack’s wife Avery (Elizabeth Banks) last season.
This technically is a continuation of season 3 that began airing last summer, but since it wasn’t on for a few months I consider it a mid-season return. The midseason finale ended with Elizabeth Burke, Peter’s wife, having been kidnapped. It appears that Neal’s possession of a stolen treasure has to do with the kidnapping, so he may have to come clean to his partner.
The first season of An Idiot Abroad was an incredibly satisfying surprise. Idiot is a travel show created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant which finds their bumbling and unworldly friend Karl Pilkington traveling to see the seven wonders. Karl gives the viewer a point of view that no other travel show gives, a skeptical one. I find this important as most other travel shows tend to sugarcoat things. Anyone who has traveled the world knows there can be times and experiences that make you wish you were in the comfort of your home, and this show embraces that. The second season is called An Idiot Abroad: The Bucket List, so I imagine Karl will be experiencing typical “things to do before you die.” Of course Ricky and Stephen will have plenty of surprises in store for Karl as they hope to cause him displeasure.