Hello again my fellow TV junkies! We are to that glorious time of year where Fall shows are either wrapping up or returning for their mid-season premiers, as well as the debut of all the glorious new mid-season shows. It’s not always the case, but I have found that usually the best shows of the year debut sometime between now and April. For you newcomers that are looking at this column for the first time (first off, welcome!) let me tell you what this column is all about. I am going to give you a quick preview of all the new shows that are coming up in the designated time period. I don’t have any advance screenings of these shows, I just watch more TV than most people on the planet and I have a pretty good track record and telling you guys what shows will be good and succeed, and what shows to not waste your time on (see last fall’s results). To be clear, I will only be previewing series debuts. Any show that started in the fall, or that is returning for a follow-up season won’t be covered here. (but there are many great ones you should check out!) Normally this post will come out before any of the shows I talk about debut, but due to time constraints, we will be covering last weeks debuts as well. During the mid-season, debuts are spread out farther than they are in the Fall so I will be updating the column every two weeks. That being said, let’s get started!
Intelligence – CBS. Monday 10 ET
Premiering last Tuesday, Intelligence will move to its regular day and time on Mondays from here on out. It replaces the TERRIBLE Hostages, so it was already a winner in my book. I’m not usually a huge CBS drama guy, seeing how they are mainly procedural shows which isn’t my favorite format, but Intelligence hooked me right away. I’m a sucker for a good spy drama. Especially one staring Josh Holloway! Not to mention the return of the much-loved Marg Helgenburger. Have you ever seen the show Chuck (you totally should)? This is Chuck, except not as light-hearted. Holloway plays a super agent that has had a chip implanted in him that always him to have access to the internet and all government files in his head. I would have told you to watch this regardless, but after seeing the pilot and the great ratings the shows did? Definitely watch this show.
Chicago P.D.- NBC. Wednesday 10 ET
As I said before, procedural shows aren’t my thing. But I know several of you out there do like them, and this is one that you should definitely check out. From the same team that brought you last year’s runaway hit Chicago Fire, Chicago PD offers more of the same. It will be very well written with very complex characters. This is the type of show that keeps cop dramas successful. Fellow Free for All editor Trey Elliot highly recommends it, and despite the fact I won’t be watching, I recommend it as well.
Helix – Syfy. Friday 10 ET
I’m not usually one that goes for Syfy original shows, but I was hooked from the first trailer for this one. Helix is the story about a CDC team answering a suspicious call for help at a mysterious research lab in the Arctic where an unknown outbreak has occurred. This is right up my alley, and would have recommended it without ever seeing it. I was nervous however. It is a Syfy original after all. They are the definition of hit or miss. But I watched the two-hour series premier now. It was freaking awesome! The acting is tolerable, which is the best we could hope for. But if you are looking for a cool story with lots of mystery and a ton of suspense, you must watch Helix.
True Detective- HBO. Sunday 9 ET
Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey in a HBO original murder mystery series. Do you really need anything else to sell you? I sure didn’t. I watched the premier last night and it is great. The show revolves around two reluctant partners who are entangled in a 17 year-long serial killer case. Part of the show takes place in 1995 and the rest in 2012. The first episode is extremely slow but great at the same time. Harrelson and McConaughey have amazing chemistry and the dialogue is really well written. Ever see the show The Killing? True Detective is everything that show always wanted to be and never achieved. I could not recommend this show to you enough.
Rake- FOX. Thursday January 23. 9 ET
Starring Greg Kinnear and produced and directed by Sam Rammi. Again, that’s a pretty quick sell. Rake is the story about a man whose life is a mess and who is a degenerate gambler. Yet, he also happens to be a truly great attorney. Sound kind of familiar? It should. This show is a lawyer version of House, except maybe a little more light-hearted. Think if House and Boston Legal had a baby. That appears to be what Rake is. I can’t wait.
Black Sails – Starz. Saturday January 25 9 ET **Best of the month!
Pirates are really “in” right now, but let’s be honest. Aren’t they always?!? This show is going to be so good. Ever read or seen Treasure Island? This show’s story will revolve around Captain Flint and his crew twenty years prior to those events. It comes to us from the same network and crew that brought us the Spartacus Saga. You know what that means? We will have great drama with amazing fight scenes and over the top violence, coupled with A LOT of nudity and sex. So yeah, you should watch this.
Killer Women – ABC. Tuesday 10 ET **Worst of the month/year/ever
The fact that this is a show is just ridiculous. Because ABC wanted to keep Sophia Vergara, who is the executive producer, happy we are forced for this show to be apart of our history. The story follows a female Texas Ranger who is tough as nails and who will come up against strong female baddies. Sound awful? It’s worse than you can imagine. I forced myself to watch the pilot and I will never get that hour of my life back. I could write a novel on awful things I would rather do that watch one more minute of this show. Luckily, the premier had the worst ratings for its time-slot in ABC history. This show won’t last many more episodes before it gets cut. Avoid any of these episodes at all cost!
Enlisted – FOX. Friday 9:30 ET
This show doesn’t have a chance of making it. It’s a goofy sitcom that they buried on Friday nights right from the start. I would never have recommended this show to you because there is a 100% it will get cancelled. It revolves around an All-American guy who was a great soldier and he gets in trouble and sent back to the States to lead a rear deployment unit where his two screw up brothers are stationed with a bunch of rejects. It’s a terrible premise. That being said, I watched the pilot and I laughed a lot. If you want to shut your brain down for thirty minutes, I wouldn’t blame you for checking this show out. Just don’t get invested in it. It’s going away. Probably soon.
Bitten- Syfy. Monday January 13. 10 ET
Remember when I said I don’t normally go for Syfy original shows? Bitten is one of those shows. The story revolves around the world’s only female werewolf who is reluctant to accept her nature. Most of the story will take place years after she is turned, where she is living in hiding, working as a journalist. From there she will be dragged into the world of werewolves to stop a plot of the evil ones. This just doesn’t grab me. This just looks like it will be horribly acted and revolve around showing the female lead half-naked a lot and hoping that coupled with a lot of violence will draw you in. Sorry Syfy. You aren’t getting me.
Chozen- FX. Monday January 13 10:30 ET
This show just looks awful. Granted, it is from the guys that did East Bound and Down and Archer, which are both very funny, but they can’t all be winners. Chozen is an animated show about a gay white rapper that has recently been released from prison and who is trying to make his mark in the rap world with his new message. Points for originality, but being original doesn’t make it good. Because its animated, they will be able to do a lot of stuff for shock value, but again, that doesn’t make it funny. I get trying to build on the success of Archer, but I think that FX will have to try again real soon. I don’t see this show making it.