The holidays are finally over, so that must mean it’s time to assess the self-inflicted economic damage you’ve done to yourself overbuying presents, telling friends and co-workers just how long after midnight on December 31 your New Year’s Resolution actually lasted, and TV Networks to offer up a wintry mix of midseason restarts, winter replacement premieres and hiatus fillers. Is there anything in there worth watching? Sure, there’s just as much to avoid.
ABC has had a great deal of success working storylines for its fairy-tale and Disney-lore inspired Once Upon A Time, including this season’s wildly popular Frozen-based plotline, even though it was rather roughly shoe-horned into the overall plot in a way that didn’t really connect with any existing characters’ story.
The same cannot be said for the network’s attempt to capitalize on any fairy-tale inspired spin-offs or copies, as soulless spinoff Once Upon A Time In Wonderland had only enough good taste to go away quickly.
Trying its hand at a shorter side-story, ABC now offers up the miniseries Galavant, a knights ‘n princesses whimsical musical. While this is a better offering than Wonderland, it suffers from both an identity crisis and a dearth of high level entertainment. This series is far less funny than Monty Python and The Holy Grail, overall less entertaining than Ella Enchanted and far less emotionally compelling than The Princess Bride.
What you’re left with instead is a collection of mildly clever spoof songs, a fairly garden variety plotline and no better reason to watch this show than “nothing else is on.” Back to the drawing board ABC.
Try as they might, TNT simply cannot produce a show I want to watch. So it is with The Librarians, a weekly series inspired by the made for TV movies starring Noah Wyle
While this show features the brilliant John Larroquette’s return to series television and gives Rebecca Romijn the well-earned chance to headline a show of her own, it is a highly unoriginal Indiana Jones style weekly quest type story, featuring a team of stock characters (the thief, the hacker, the crazy genius, yada yada yada) and various mythology based dangers to encounter.
Perhaps you enjoyed this show the first time it was on and was called Warehouse 13? If you somehow just couldn’t get enough of that one and need more, then perhaps you can get into this show. As for me, I’ve already canceled my subscription.
Back in the fall, when Fox’s Gotham debuted, I read a review lamenting the “Batman overload” and pondering whether Gotham could survive it. Personally, I didn’t care for Christopher Nolan’s trilogy at all, finding the first film incomprehensible and the last one mind-numbingly boring and far too long. To me, Christian Bale’s Batman was unintentionally funny and I was able to enjoy The Dark Knight almost solely because of Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning Joker.
When Gotham premiered, I found the very un-Batman original show well cast, interesting, different and compelling. It was everything that the trilogy wasn’t.
Now if you want to talk about a saturation point, I am sick to death of Marvel’s various Avengers characters, with each of them having multiple films, plus being in The Avengers and there being just enough interconnectivity to make watching any of the films slightly annoying if you’ve missed even one installment.
When they moved the genre to TV and offered up the non superhero superhero show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I lasted just one season with it. Enough already.
Too bad, then, for Agent Carter, which has about nine strikes against it before it even gets out of the gate. It’s yet another non superhero show (this one a spinoff of Captain America and set in the 1940s). Honestly, there’s just so little appeal left for me in watching some novel ‘40s technology and the slightest bit of effort to create atmosphere. Hayley Atwell is game in the role of Peggy Carter, but even her suave and capable female James Bond-style charm isn’t enough to save this show. If I want to watch pioneering women in a male dominated world, I’ll just wait for Mad Men to come back.
MONTH-OLD SPOILER ALERT: Aargh! Every time they announce a “special guest” on Talking Dead, you know it means The Walking Dead has killed off another major character. In the midseason finale, it was Beth (Emily Kinney), and the unexpected way it happened was a real gut punch. Kinney herself appeared on the after-show and was actually in tears that her run on the drama is over. The audience cried right along with her. Nevertheless, this type of emotional sledgehammer is exactly why The Walking Dead is enjoying (by all accounts) its best season yet.
Educational TV. Things we learned from watching TV this week: 1) A rabbit is harder to raise than a child because it can’t tell you what it wants (The Mindy Project); 2) Space ice is no joke (The Big Bang Theory); 3) Sometimes boats explode (Black-ish).
MONTH-OLD SPOILER ALERT 2: You ever watch a show and then it gets canceled and they don’t resolve a whole bunch of plot points and you feel cheated (I know I had that feeling over Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Caprica) and wish they had just wound up the series with a few episodes to tie things up? Guess what? It sucks just as bad that way. The Newsroom ended with a series of hastily thrown together episodes which vaguely paralleled the Edward Snowden story and then killed off Sam Waterston while lambasting internet news sources as its swan song. Whether you liked The Newsroom or not (and I did), this show deserved a much better send off than this sad little goodbye wave. We’d have been better off with no resolution at all.
The Golden Globe Awards air on NBC on January 11.
The series premiere of Togetherness airs on HBO on January 11.
Fashion Police returns on E! on January 12.
Parks and Recreation returns for its final season on NBC on January 13.
The series premiere of Man Seeking Woman airs on FXX on January 14.
The season premiere of Broad City airs on Comedy Central on January 14.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia returns to FXX on January 14.
The series premiere of 12 Monkeys airs on Syfy on January 16.TV’s a big place and I haven’t been to all of it yet. Got a favorite show you’d like me to comment on? Post a comment below, contact me on twitter @RobLazlo. or shoot me an email: [email protected]. I welcome your input! Image Sources: 1, 2, 3