Happy New Year, aca-bitches! Start the year off right with the perfect resolution: watch more TV in 2018.
Let’s bitch it out…
Top Pick: New
If the second instalment of Ryan Murphy American Crime Story anthology, The Assassination of Gianni Versace (Jan 16) is even half as good as 2016’s The People vs OJ Simpson, we’re in for a treat. The cast is more varied: crooners Darren Criss and Ricky Martin join superstar Penelope Cruz to bring the sensationalist queer murder story to life. The visuals (and particularly the costuming) look great, but it remains to be seen if this series has the same magic as the first.
- Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams (Jan 12) is another star studded anthology. Not unlike Black Mirror, these stories will combine sci-fi and tech innovations with moral messages.
- Counterpart (Jan 21) finds awesome character actor J.K. Simmons heading up his first solo series and he’s playing twins (who are spies). Totally in!
Top Pick: Returning
Season one of High Maintenance was an unexpected delight (coming in at #7 on 2016’s Best New TV list), so I’m psyched for the second season of The Guy’s unconventional adventures delivering pot across New York. Kind of like a fictional version of Humans of New York, the series consists of standalone stories of diverse people – it’s a slice of life examination of humanity, delivered in an unconventional format and featuring great direction. Can’t wait to see whose lives we’ll dive into in S2.
- I have high hopes for S11 of The X-Files (Jan 3). Even if S10 didn’t ultimately deliver the goods, the world is a better place with Mulder and Scully in our lives (even if Scully’s wig still looks terrible)
- The Magicians (Jan 10) never seems able to sustain an entire season’s worth of story, but more focus on the magical world of Fillory could prove interesting.
Top Pick: Wildcard
The Alienist comes with a pedigreed cast (Luke Evans, Daniel Brühl and Dakota Fanning) and executive producer (True Detective S1’s Cary Fukunaga), but the fact that it has taken several years to come together doesn’t exactly bode well. Whether the material is too difficult to adapt or if Fukunaga’s shuffling from director to EP has affected the quality remains to be seen, though its status as a period drama already makes it a tough sell (RIP: Will). Only time will tell if The Alienist is worth investing in.
- LA ToVegas (Jan 2), a comedy series about jetsetters travelling back and forth to Vegas, could be a serialized Airplane…or it could be on par with recent terrible spoof films. Reviews suggest it’s more of the latter unfortunately.
- A bunch of series return for second seasons after rocky premieres: will Falling Water (Jan 6), Taken (Jan 12), and Divorce (Jan 14) rectify their problems? The same question also applies to S3 of The Path (Jan 17), which will get no third chances from me after squandering its potential two years in a row and winding up on the Worst TV of 2017 list.
Complete list of January premieres (I will be watching shows marked with an asterix *):
Monday, Jan 1
- Glacé S1 (Netflix – 3am EST): A horrific discovery in a small town nestled high in the French Pyrenees begins to unravel a dark mystery that has been hidden for years. Commandant Martin Servaz starts investigating and soon discovers a dark story of madness and revenge. All episodes available today
- Lovesick S3 (Netflix – 3am EST): The British comedy returns with Dylan developing feelings for ex-lover Abigail (Hannah Britland), while his friend Evie (Antonia Thomas) has her own feelings for him. Meanwhile Dylan’s best friend, Luke (Daniel Ings) seeks love of his own. All episodes available today
- Valor S1B (The CW – 8pm EST)
- Also returning: The Brave
Tuesday, Jan 2
- LA->Vegas S1 (FOX – 9pm EST): Ensemble comedy about an airline crew and the eccentric passengers who, every weekend, take the roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with one goal in mind – to come back a winner.
- Chicago Med S3B (NBC – 10pm EST)
- Also returning: The Mick
Wednesday, Jan 3
- grown-ish S1 (Freeform – 8pm EST): Comedy that follows the Johnson’s eldest daughter Zoey (Yara Shahidi) as she heads off to college and quickly discovers that not everything goes her way once she leaves the nest.
- The X-Files S11* (FOX – 8pm EST): Mulder and Scully return. Includes appearances by Mitch Pileggi, Annabeth Gish, Robbie Amell, Lauren Ambrose, Karin Konoval, Barbara Hershey, and Haley Joel Osment.
- 9-1-1 S1 (FOX – 9pm EST): Ryan Murphy procedural that follows first responders (drawing from police, paramedics and firefighters) played by the likes of Angela Bassett, Peter Krause, Connie Britton, Aisha Hinds, and Rockmond Dunbar.
- The Blacklist S5B (NBC – 8pm EST)
- Law & Order: SVU S19B (NBC – 9pm EST)
- Also returning: Chicago PD
Thursday, Jan 4
- Cardinal S2 (CTV – 9pm EST): Canada only
- Nashville S6 (CMT): Final Season
- The Good Place S2B* (NBC – 8:30pm EST)
- Chicago Fire S6B (NBC – 10pm EST)
- Also returning: Superstore, Will & Grace, and Great News
Friday, Jan 5
- Devilman Crybaby S1 (Netflix – 3am EST): A team of Japan’s top creators gathers to take on the anime adaptation of a legendary manga. Lauded as an “eternal masterpiece” that could never be completely recreated in moving images, the entirety of Devilman will finally be portrayed in Devilman Crybaby.
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend S3B* (The CW – 8pm EST)
Saturday, Jan 6
- Falling Water S2 (USA, 10pm EST): Continues the story of three unrelated people, who slowly realize that they are dreaming separate parts of a single common dream.
Sunday, Jan 7
- Star Trek Discovery S1B* (CBS All Access / Space Channel)
- The Chi S1* (Showtime – 10pm EST): A timely coming-of-age story centering on a group of residents of the South Side of Chicago who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption.
Tuesday, Jan 9
- The Fosters S5B (Freeform – 8pm EST)
- This Is Us S2B (NBC – 9pm EST)
- Schitts Creek S4 (CBC – 9pm EST): Canada only
Wednesday, Jan 10
- Alone Together S1 (Freeform – 8:30pm EST): Esther Povitsky and Benji Aflalo star as friends in a Lonely Island-produced, Los Angeles-set comedy series
- The Magicians S3* (Syfy – 9pm EST)
Friday, Jan 12
- Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams S1* (Amazon – 12am EST): Amazon’s answer to Black Mirror is a 10-episode sci-fi anthology based on Philip K. Dick’s short stories.
- Disjointed S1 (Netflix – 3am EST): Kathy Bates plays Ruth, a lifelong advocate for legalization who is finally living her dream as the owner of an Los Angeles cannabis dispensary, Ruth’s Alternative Caring. Joining her are three charismatic “budtenders”, her entrepreneurial twenty-something year old son and a very troubled security guard.
- Blindspot S3B (NBC – 8pm EST)
- Taken S2 (NBC – 9pm EST): Only leads Bryan Mills and Christina Hart return from S1. Newcomers include Adam Goldberg and Jessica Camacho
Sunday, Jan 14
- Victoria S2 (PBS – 9pm EST)
- Divorce S2 (HBO – 10pm EST)
- Crashing S2 (HBO – 10:30pm EST)
- Hot Streets S1 (Adult Swim – 12am EST): Rick and Morty’s Justin Roiland is among the cast members and producers of this new 15-minute animated series about an FBI agent who investigates supernatural phenomena.
Monday, Jan 15
- Detectorists S1 (AcornTV)
- Supergirl S3B (The CW – 8pm EST)
Tuesday, Jan 16
- The Flash S4B (The CW – 8pm EST)
- Black Lightning S1 (The CW – 9pm EST): Cress Williams stars as the superhero vigilante—DC’s first African-American superhero with his own stand-alone comics—who comes out of retirement to battle crime once again in order to keep his daughters safe.
- The Paynes S1 (OWN – 10pm EST): A spinoff of Tyler Perry’s beloved comedy House of Payne. Debuts back to back episodes.
Wednesday, Jan 17
- The Path S3 (Hulu – 12am EST)
- Riverdale S2B (The CW – 8pm EST)
- Dynasty S1B (The CW – 9pm EST)
- The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX – 10pm EST): The anthology’s second installment will instead focus on the 1997 murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace (played by Edgar Ramirez) in Miami. Darren Criss, Penelope Cruz, and Ricky Martin also star. The story, which will begin with Versace’s death and then go backwards to fill in the details, is derived from Maureen Orth’s book Vulgar Favors.
- Corporate S1 (Comedy Central – 10pm EST): Edgy workplace comedy set within a soulless multinational corporation. Back to back episodes.
Thursday, Jan 18
- Tiempos de guerra S1 (Netflix – 3am EST): During the war with Morocco in 1921, Queen Victoria Eugenia sends a group of nurses and people from high society to help injured Spanish soldiers. All episodes available today.
- Beyond S2 (Freeform – 8pm EST)
- Grey’s Anatomy S14B (ABC – 8pm EST)
- Arrow S6B (The CW – 8pm EST)
- Supernatural S13B (The CW – 9pm EST): Backdoor pilot for a potential spinoff
- Scandal S7 (ABC – 9pm EST): Final season
- How To Get Away With Murder S4B (ABC – 10pm EST)
- Portlandia S8 (IFC – 10pm EST): Final season
Friday, Jan 19
- Grace and Frankie S4 (Netflix – 3am EST): Lisa Kudrow joins the cast. All episodes available today.
- High Maintenance S2* (HBO – 11pm EST)
Sunday, Jan 21
- Counterpart S1* (STARZ – 8pm EST): Spy thriller with a sci-fi twist stars J.K. Simmons in dual roles. The cast also includes Olivia Williams, Nicholas Pinnock, and Harry Lloyd
- The Resident S1 (FOX – 10pm EST): Hospital-set medical drama starring Emily VanCamp (Revenge) and Matt Czuchry (The Good Wife), told mainly through the point of view of a new resident (Manish Dayal), with the series beginning on his first day on the job. Merrin Dungey, Melina Kanakaredes, and Bruce Greenwood also star. Moves to Mondays Jan 22
Monday, January 22
- Mosaic S1 (HBO – 8pm EST): From director Steven Soderbergh and writer Ed Solomon (Men in Black), this experimental series examines a murder and two different time periods from multiple (and not necessarily linear) perspectives. Stars Sharon Stone, Garrett Hedlund, Frederick Weller, Beau Bridges, and Paul Reubens. Airs for five consecutive nights with a double dose on Friday.
- The Alienist S1* (TNT – 9pm EST): Cary Fukunaga’s series adaptation of Caleb Carr’s best-selling crime novel set in late-19th century New York stars Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning.
- Murder Is Forever S1 (ID – 10pm EST): Six-episode scripted series from writer James Patterson features dramatizations of true crime stories.
- Also debuting: Dear Murderer (AcornTV)
Tuesday, Jan 23
- Baskets S3 (FX – 10pm EST)
- Bellevue S1 (WGN – 10pm EST)
- Another Period S3 (Comedy Central – 10:30pm EST)
- The Detour S3 (TBS – 10:30pm EST)
- Also returning: The Quad S2 (BET – 10pm EST)
Wednesday, January 24
- Schitts Creek S3 (Pop – 8pm EST): US only
- Waco (Paramount – 10pm EST): This six-part limited series depicts the infamous 1993 standoff between federal law enforcement (represented by Michael Shannon) and the Branch Davidian cult led by David Koresh (Taylor Kitsch) that eventually ended in a raid that left over 70 people dead.
- Also debuting: Let’s Get Physical S1 (POP – 8:30pm EST): Matt Jones (Breaking Bad) plays a slacker who reluctantly enters the fitness industry after the passing of his father, an aerobics celebrity.
Friday, Jan 26
- One Day At A Time S2 (Netflix – 3am EST)
- Jane the Virgin S4B* (The CW – 8pm EST)
Monday, Jan 29
- Also debuting: Girlfriends (AcornTV)
Wednesday, Jan 31
- Step Up: High Water S1* (YouTube Red): Welcome to Atlanta, home of High Water — the city’s most competitive performing arts school. When twins Tal and Janelle relocate from Ohio, they find themselves thrust into a world where every move is a test. As they attempt to navigate their new world— on and off the dance floor— they’ll discover just how deep they’re willing to dig to realize their dreams and seize their moment.
That’s it for January! (Whew) What sounds good to you?