The Week Ahead (in TV): January 16 – January 22 2012
We have now entered the “mid-season” in TV…roughly midway between September and May, the traditional season.
It’s now the case that some of the most interesting series debut in January.
There are a number of reasons a network might hold back a show. Of course, they anticipate shows failing, and need something to replace them, but it is more than that. A mid-season show may need fewer episodes produced initially…for a risky, expensive show, that may make more sense.
A mid-season show also has different competition at launch. Mid-January is not a time for blockbuster movies, typically, and that can have an effect.
In some parts of the country, people may be more likely to be home in mid-January than they would be in late-September.
In light of all that, I thought I’d give you my thoughts on a few of the highlights this week:
8:00 PM, Fox: Alcatraz (series debut)
Undoubtedly, this J.J. Abrams series was the one that most caught my eye for the new season. It’s time-traveling prisoner premise sounds like it is right up my alley, and the presence of Abrams, Jorge Garcia, and Sam Neill were pluses. My worry is that they’ll go too far in trying to avoid Lost comparisons and make the weekly shows too much of a mainstream show…that the geeky elements may be subservient to the crime ones. Certainly, there are works that combine the mainstream and the geeky effectively (Fringe, Forever Knight, Doc Savage come to mind), but I think that it is a risk here. It’s a delicate balance, but they may handle it well…I’ll certainly be watching to see. 🙂
9:00 PM, Syfy: Being Human (American version) (2nd season debut)
I’ve seen the British version of this show: a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost are flatmates. I know that makes it sound like a Saturday morning cartoon, but that wasn’t at all the tone in the show I saw…
10:00 PM, Syfy: Lost Girl (series debut)
Anna Silk stars in this “discovered destiny” series. She finds out she’s…a succubus! Well, maybe not quite the female demon of tradition. She’s a fae, and there are good ones and bad ones. Given that this is basic cable (and not HBO or Showtime), they are only going to show so much…but you can bet they are going to talk about sex a lot, if only in innuendo.
8:00 PM, Fox: Glee (mid-season return)
8:00 PM, Fox: American Idol (season debut)
8:00 PM, CBS: The Big Bang Theory (special 100th episode)
10:00 PM, FX: Archer (season return)
If you aren’t watching Archer, you should be…well, not if you don’t like nudity…and violence…and insulting groups of people…but if you like good writing, definitely. 😉 This animated spy spoof has great characters, dialogue, and plots, but will certainly cross the boundaries of good taste for many viewers…in fact, I’d say it crashes through the checkpoint… 😉
Those are just a few highlights. For more listings, see
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.