It’s that time of year again! The Holidays! (Also, the time when networks start letting audiences preview their new shows on iTunes.)
The other night, NBC let audience sneak preview its new comedy, 1600 Penn, set to debut on January 10th, 2013. It’s sort of like a Tommy Boy meets Modern Family meets the Broadcast version of Veep. I had a giggle or two, even if my favorite TV critic wasn’t so keen on it. More important than the show itself, however, is the reminder it provides: 2013 brings new TV shows! Meaning: my favorite shows are coming back AND there are a few mid-season pick-ups and cable shows that aren’t looking too shabby themselves.
PAUSE: My friend/co-blogger/inspirational social media guru, Rachel Kraus, has asked that I explain a mid-season pick-up: It’s a show that a network picks up with the intention of putting it on the air mid-season (January to March-ish) to replace any shows it may (or already has) cancelled during the Fall season (think Guys with Kids, Animal Practice, 666 Park Avenue, and all the other stuff you probably never watched, but saw occasional previews for during the Olympics).
PLAY: Below please find a list of the Top 8 shows that make me excited for 2013, in chronological order. Ladies and gentlemen, set your DVR’s, subscribe to your Hulu’s, or mark your calendars for the following:
DOWNTON ABBEY: January 6th, 2013, PBS
The often parodied, much loved period-piece-posse returns to PBS on January 6th. Yes, Lady Mary and Matthew may finally have a chance at love. I’m happy about it. However, if Anna and Mr. Bates don’t overcome obstacles and get togethz, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. I may not even be able to keep watching. Except that’s a lie. I will keep watching. As long as Maggie Smith is still the sauciest beezy/chicken lady on Broadcast TV.
DECEPTION: January 7th, 2013, NBC
This pilot is also already available online and, unlike 1600 Penn, it’s great. The showrunner/creator, Liz Heldens, is a Friday Night Lights alum, and one of my all time favorite writers in Hollywood. The series is sort of a Desperate Housewives meets Criminal Minds meets Twin Peaks meets…some other shows that involve family drama and mystery solving with a few procedural elements. It’s about an FBI Agent, Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good) whose best friend is murdered. The family covers it up by calling it a suicide, so the FBI sends Joanna back to her childhood family friends to investigate. Love triangles and pretty people and prescription pills, oh my!
ENLIGHTENED: January 13th, 2013, HBO
This oh-so-underrated HBO show, created by Mike White (The too-short-lived soap opera Pasadena, School of Rock, Orange County) and starring Laura Dern as a melting-down, Carrie Mathison-esque crazy person, is a half-hour dramedy about a woman who has a come to Jesus moment after her career falls apart, and comes back to work with delusional intentions of saving the world. Luke Wilson and Mike White white are also incredible. And best of all, it’s all shot in my hometown, the lovely Pasadena, California.
CARRIE DIARIES, January 14th, 2013, The CW
Ok I can’t help it. I’m a HUGE Carrie Bradshaw/Sex and The City/Candace Bushnell fan, and a series centered on a teen version of Carrie is just too good to pass up. The pilot was a little soft, but with the Fake Empire trio – Stephanie Savage, Josh Schwartz & Len Goldstein, best-known for creating Gossip Girl & The OC – executive producing alongside co-executive producer/Lizzie McGuire show creator Terri Minsky, the show is bound to have at least enough of the YA Fictional charm that has drawn me into similar “teen girl struggle” shows like Pretty Little Liars and Awkward.
THE AMERICANS: January 20th, 2013, FX
FX has picked up this 1980’s Cold War drama about undercover KGB officers living in the suburbs of DC and posing as Americans. And they have kids! Who have no idea who they really are! I have so much faith in this show. First of all, FX already has great taste in dramas. Justified and Sons of Anarchy, for example. PLUS: Kerri Russell AKA Felicityyyy, Margo Martindale of Justified, and the gorgeous Matthew Rhys of Brothers and Sisters.
THE FOLLOWING: January 21st, 2013, FOX
Probably the best pilot I saw this year. Starring: Kevin Bacon, Created by: Kevin Williamson (Dawson’s Creek, Vampire Diaries), About: An FBI Agent who gets mixed up in a jumble of serial killing maniacs. Thrilling, juicy, awesome. Get pumped.
GIRLS: January 23rd, 2013, HBO
I’ve seen every episode of Girls season 1 at least twice now, and I have a feeling season 2 will be no different. So many exciting things to look forward to: Hannah avoids her sexy psychopath of an ex-boyfriend! Shoshanna lost her v-card! She’s deflowered but not devalued. Marnie is jobless! Jessa is MARRIED. And Adam is singing creeper songs to Hannah on Skype (“Standing outside / You destroyed my heart / Thanks”). And this is only what we know from the trailer.
“I’m an individual, and I feel what I feel when I feel it, and right now, it’s a Wednesday night, baby, and I’m alive.”
COMMUNITY: February 7th, 2013, NBC
Guys. Finally guys. They have a premiere date guys. Guys I’m so excited guys. Guys paintball and video games and Abed! There’s not much else to say, except that if you don’t already watch this show you’re probably a turd.
In conclusion, I hope you are as excited about any/all of these shows as I am. If not, here are some other 2013 TV options that I’m not-so-stoked about. But hey, everyone’s entitled to his or her own opinions, and let’s be honest, I’ll probably give all of these shows a try, too:
2013 Skippable Shows: Family Tools (ABC), Red Widow (ABC), Do No Harm (NBC), Cult (NBC), Zero Hour (ABC), Golden Boy (CBS), Monday Mornings (TNT)
2013 Watchable-but-I’m-skeptical Shows: Legit (FX), Masters of Sex (Showtime), Ray Donovan (Showtime), Kroll Show (Comedy Central), 1600 Penn (NBC), Goodwin Games (FOX), Newsreaders (Adult Swim), How To Live (ABC), and Save Me (NBC)
2013 Fun fact about me: I am planning on watching wayyyy too much television.