New Series Debuts
Togetherness – Season 1 Premiere at 9:30PM – Jan 11 – HBO
Set to debut its first eight episode season just after the return of Girls, this new half hour comedy from brothers Mark and Jay Duplass (Jeff, Who Lives At Home, Cyrus) looks to be a heartfelt romp trailing four flawed thirty-somethings as they make an honest go of it in Los Angeles. Mark Duplass (the Mindy Project, Safety Not Guaranteed) stars as Brett Pierson who, along with his wife Michelle (played by the ever coquettish Melanie Lynskey of Two and a Half Men fame), is just trying to keep the spark of his marriage alive. The plot thickens as Michelle’s sister, Tina (Amanda Peet, 2012, Identity), and Brett’s friend, Alex (Steve Zissis, Her, Jeff, Who Lives At Home), move into the couple’s home. In reliable HBO fashion, the series looks to be honest and bittersweet with a strong cast of characters just trying to fake it till they make it.
Eye Candy – Season 1 Premiere – Jan 12 at 10PM – MTV
If the phrase “television adaptation of an R.L. Stein novel” leaves you weak in the knees, then this new teen crime thriller developed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen) is right up your alley. The series centers around a young female hacker living in NYC who begins to suspect that one of her online paramours may be a serial killer terrorizing the streets of Manhattan. Sleuthing ensues. With the gritty edge of a good murder mystery saturated with the paranoia that comes along with our present day tech obsession, Eye Candy looks to be an exciting, if not easily digestible, take on the detective drama trope.
12 Monkeys – Season 1 Premiere – Jan 16 at 9PM – SyFy
In Terry Gilliam’s 1995 film rendition of Twelve Monkeys, our anti-hero, James Cole, is sent back in time in an attempt to save civilization from a deadly virus that will force the world’s population underground. Thanks to a little snafu, he’s sent back too far and his mission is complicated greatly. It’s a complex plot that lends itself favorably to being expanded into a series, with potential for new time traveling missions to be developed in subsequent seasons. If they know what’s good for them, the series writers will lace the script with the same pops of sardonic comedy that made the film so enjoyable. A strong cast including Aaron Stanford (Pyro in X Men) as Cole, Amanda Schull (Center Stage, J. Edgar) and the creepy-as-ever Zeljko Ivanek (Big Love, Heroes) will lend their talents to the show, and with any luck we’ll have an intelligent and addictive time-travel thriller to look forward to this winter.
Girls – Season 4 Premiere – Jan 11 at 9PM – HBO
I have a similar sort of love/hate relationship with Girls as I have with Iggy Azalea, – they both can be particularly flawed and problematic – but much like a terribly fattening and indulgent dessert, I still wanna pig out sometimes. The trailer for the fourth season promises to follow Hannah as she begins to navigate the strain of balancing her new academic life at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop with her now long-distant relationship with Adam. Elijah comes to visit and the two of them go Old School. Marnie will continue to dance with the devil in her entanglement with a man who is already spoken for. Shoshanna will be rejected harshly by every employer in New York/the world at large. Ever the rebel, Jessa gets arrested.
Workaholics – Season 5 Premiere – Jan 14 at 10PM – Comedy Central
Little has been revealed on what the next season for Workaholics may hold, save for a guaranteed guest appearance from Ben Stiller. The bumbling trio of man-children are back for a fifth season of fuck ups, and in all honesty, it’s not really the kind of show that hinges on a continuous storyline. I know Workaholics leans bro-ey, but am I wrong to say that I just love watching these scamps fail? There’s an enduring sense of self awareness and the rapscallion antics of Blake, Adam and Anders hardly ever win them any points. There’s a sort of zen escapism in watching them lead ridiculous and hedonistic lives of mediocrity–these dudes are hella in the moment. And Jillian is amazing–full stop.
Parks and Recreation – Season 7 Premiere – Jan 13 at 8PM – NBC
Closing the season 6 finale with a three year time jump, we left Leslie Knope and gang in the thick of thriving in their elevated roles at the National Parks Department. In the upcoming final season, flashbacks will likely fill in a few gaps left from the missing years but the storyline will remain firmly planted in its newly positioned point in time. I’m hoping for plenty of potshots at the ineptitude of government at any echelon, since the previous season spent so much time building national politics into some kind of paradise, in contrast to the circus Leslie deals with at the local level. After developing some of the most idiosyncratic and hysterical characters to ever grace a sitcom over the last six years, NBC is wrapping things up at a lightning pace. The last 13 episodes will be aired two a week, leaving only six weeks to get your final fix of Pawnee’s beloved gaggle of misfits, and feels a little bit like pushing the show out the door. But in the age of binge viewing as a legitimate lifestyle, I say crank that shit out the sooner the better.