Posted by

Allen Adams Allen Adams
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

edge staff writer


New to view in 2016

Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Some of the new year's interesting TV debuts

It wasn't that long ago that that the fall television lineups were the be-all and end-all of new TV. Shows that made their debuts were considered little more than filler the term 'midseason replacement' was often used in a derogatory fashion.

However, as the ways in which we consume television have changed, so too have our attitudes regarding when shows join their respective lineups. Instead of an afterthought, the 'Second Season' has become a viable entity in its own right, with all sorts of interesting offerings arriving on your screen of choice.

was one of the most stylish and engaging shows on television. Of course, the involvement of a legend like Martin Scorsese and an idiosyncratically talented leading man (Steve Buscemi) didn't hurt.

Winter's latest tackles a very different place and time the music industry of the 1970s but we can probably expect more of the same in terms of quality. Scorsese is back, directing the pilot and confirming plans to direct future episodes. Winter has shouldered much of the writing load (though Mick Jagger of all people has a story credit on the first episode, so who knows how this might play out), while the idiosyncratically talented Bobby Cannavale heads an excellent cast.

It's a show about a record company during the golden age of rock and roll if nothing else, the soundtrack will be phenomenal.

11.22.63' (Feb. 15; Hulu)

'11.22.63' is one of the best books to come from Stephen King's late-career renaissance. This story of one man's quixotic effort to travel through time and prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963 features some of the most powerful narrative work that King has ever done. The self-contained nature of the story also makes it an ideal fit for a one-and-done TV series.

Streaming service Hulu has piBroadcast networks, premium and basic cable outlets, streaming services everybody has something for the viewer looking for something new to consume this winter. If nothing else, it seems likely that all tastes highbrow, lowbrow and everything in-between will be addressed. Some of these programs have already premiered, but plenty more have yet to arrive. Here are just a few of the intriguing options that are en route.


Angie Tribeca' (Jan. 17; TBS)

This one is intriguing for a number of reasons. It's an interesting concept a police procedural spoof in the spirit of 'The Naked Gun' and the Zucker brothers. There's a tremendous amount of talent involved Rashida Jones stars, but the list of guest stars is a who's who, with folks like Bill Murray, James Franco, Alfred Molina, Adam Scott and Lisa Kudrow (among many MANY others) making appearances.

And then there's the actual airing of the series. TBS is airing the entire 10-episode first season as an ad-free marathon; the series will cycle multiple times in a 25-hour span. The next week, the next 10 episodes of the series will begin airing weekly. It's an unprecedented move for basic cable original programming; it'll be interesting to see if it pays off.

Regardless, there's room for some broad spoof comedy on TV particularly from a talented group such as this one. Don't expect much middle ground people will love it or hate it. I expect to love it.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow' (Jan. 21; CW)

There's no arguing that Marvel rules the roost when it comes to comic book cinema. However, while DC is definitely playing catch-up on big screens, they are definitely in the driver's seat on the small ones.

Following up the success of shows like 'Arrow' and 'The Flash,' DC and the CW have teamed up for a team-up show. 'Legends of Tomorrow' features a collection of secondary characters assembled by a time traveler named Rip Hunter in order to thwart the world-domination efforts of the villainous Vandal Savage.

The CW superhero offerings have already displayed an ability to run the gamut from gritty to goofy; it seems safe to expect more of the same from 'Legends.' Ultimately, comic book fare ought to be fun, and while DC's movies have tended towards the dour, there's no question that on TV at least they get it. Tonally, it'll probably wind up somewhere in the middle and that's a good thing.

Baskets' (Jan. 21; FX)

Sometimes, you hear the basic pitch for a show and your first thought is 'How on Earth did this show even get made?' However, every once in a while, your second thought is 'I really want to see how this could possibly work.'

'Baskets' is that show. Produced by Louis C.K. and starring Zach Galifinakis, the show centers around a man named Chip Baskets whose dream is to become a professional clown. However, after failing to make the grade at a prestigious Parisian clowning school, Chip finds himself stuck working as a clown at the local rodeo.

If you're like me, you don't need to hear any more. This is just the sort of weirdness that TV needs to see more often. As to whether the show will be any good, well that remains to be seen. The pedigree is rock-solid, but it's tough to say if Galifinakis can do enough to keep the admittedly one-note concept engaging. I'd lean toward the affirmative, but the proof is in the watching.

X-Files' (Jan. 24; Fox)

I was never the massive 'X-Files' fan that some of my contemporaries were, but that doesn't mean that I didn't greatly enjoy the show. While the latter seasons of the series and the largely forgettable films turned into a convoluted slog in a lot of ways, the central conceit believer and skeptic, Mulder and Scully looks to be a strong as ever. The TV landscape has changed a lot, with a wealth of high-concept sci-fi offerings available; in many ways, 'The X-Files' served as a vanguard of that change.

With David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson coming back to reprise their roles, this latest iteration of 'The X-Files' promises to give fans the satisfactory sense of closure that they were never given. As things stand, it's a six-episode miniseries; we can only hope that it stays that way. Hanging around too long was the biggest sin of the show's first go-round; it would be a shame to see history repeat itself.

Consider me optimistic. After all the truth is (still) out there.

You, Me and the Apocalypse' (Jan. 28; NBC)

A miniseries about the end of the world because what's funnier than the Apocalypse?

This episode miniseries first aired on British television last fall, but is now making its way across the pond to our airwaves. The basic premise is simple a comet is discovered that will strike the Earth in 34 days, likely resulting in the end of life as we know it. The series follows a number of different people as they come to terms with the reality of the end of the world.

There's a lot of potential for some really dark comedy here, though one assumes that the show's presence on a broadcast network will likely keep things from getting too bleak. Still, it's an interesting concept with some familiar comedic faces (Rob Lowe, Jenna Fischer, Megan Mullally). And it's encouraging to see American networks starting to embrace (however hesitantly) the possibilities of single-season fare.

Vinyl' (Feb. 14; HBO)

Terence Winter has proven to have the touch when it comes to prestige period dramas on HBO. His 'Boardwalk Empire' might have gotten a little long in the tooth by the end, but at its peak, itcked up the ball and run with it. The eight-episode limited series stars James Franco and is being produced by J.J. Abrams among others. A project like this one is ready-made for streaming a self-contained story. One only hopes that the program isn't a victim of its own success; fellow King-based show 'Under the Dome' is a perfect example of what happens when a show is extended beyond its anticipated endpoint. It's a great book that will make great TV but only for so long.

For King fans and alt-history buffs, '11.22.63' looks like a winner.

Fuller House' (Feb. 26; Netflix)

Like I wasn't going to talk about 'Fuller House.'

This show is exactly what it sounds like, a sequel of sorts to the inexplicably-beloved ABC series 'Full House' that ran from 1987-1995. And they're not exactly reinventing the wheel here in 'Fuller House,' D.J. Tanner has grown up to become a veterinarian and mother to three kids. However, when her husband dies, she enlists her sister Stephanie and her best friend Kimmy Gibler to help her raise the children. If that sounds familiar, it's because that was the exact set-up to the original series.

Perhaps the biggest question about this show is whether it even needs to exist in the first place. One wonders just how far people are willing to go to scratch that nostalgic itch; it just seems a bit like pandering. Will they watch a sequel/reboot of a show that really wasn't very good to begin with?

Ah, who are we kidding? Of course they will.

(Other possible highlights include: 'Second Chance' (Jan. 13; Fox); 'Teachers' (Jan. 13; TV Land); 'Idiotsitter' (Jan. 14; Comedy Central); 'Billions' (Jan. 17; Showtime); 'The Magicians' (Jan. 25; SyFy); 'Lucifer' (Jan. 25; Fox); 'The Real O'Neals' (March 2; ABC); 'The Family' (March 6; ABC); 'Of Kings and Prophets' (March 8; ABC); 'The Path' (March 30; Hulu))


Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine