Mid-season television can be confusing, especially nowadays when it’s becoming ever more common for networks to break seasons of shows in two parts or for them to wait to premiere a show until January or February so as to assure a straight run. At mid-season you’ve got wacky stuff happening all over the place: new shows premiering, old shows coming back, new and old shows disappearing, the Olympics, shows getting canceled . . . It’s all very stressful. What I’m saying is if I’ve missed one, it’s not my fault. I don’t get paid for this crap. So, with that in mind, here are my thoughts:
Caprica, Fridays on SyFy — I’m working on a more detailed post about Caprica, but for now I’m going to say that the jury is out on this one. It’s lavishly produced with all the production values of its predecessor, Battlestar Galactica, but as you don’t need to have seen BSG to watch Caprica, it carries over almost none of that show’s emotional imperative, which is my favorite part of anything. I’m going to continue watching, but I think I can safely say that it will never take it’s predecessor’s place in my heart.
Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Fridays on Starz — While I don’t subscribe to Starz anymore, Netflix has this nifty streaming service partnership with the network that makes it possible for me to watch such shows as Party Down anyway (thank God). And that is precisely how I watched the premiere of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the bloodiest TV show I have ever seen with the least amount of story or character to back it up. Considering that the show had already been renewed for a second season before the Pilot even aired, somebody must like this show, and I have to confess that I didn’t hate it. After all, I’m a firm believer in giving new shows a chance to find their ground, and this has a bunch of Whedon alums attached (always a good sign), plus Lucy Lawless and character actor John Hannah, most famous for his role in The Mummy series with Brendan Fraser.
Life Unexpected, Mondays on The CW — Do you miss Gilmore Girls? Then you should be watching this show. Certainly no show could ever hope to take GG’s place in our hearts, but Life Unexpected is attempting to fill a void in our lives, a void that does indeed need to be filled up by heartwarming and witty family drama.
Human Target, Wednesdays on FOX — If you like mindless action and violence accompanied by beautiful people and a full symphonic score, then you’ll like Human Target. I made it through an episode and a half before I gave up, mostly because life is too short to be watching something you’re not really digging. Maybe I’ll re-visit this one sometime in the future, if it lasts.
Parenthood, Mondays on NBC — From the brain of Ron Howard comes Parenthood, a show that used to star Maura Tierney and looked boring but which now stars Lauren Graham and looks awesome. It premieres in March after the conclusion of the Olympics, but I’m sure you’ve already heard of it if you watch NBC at all. I think I see at least five previews a day.
Past Life, Thursdays on FOX — Something about reincarnation, I don’t know. It premieres on FOX on February 11.
Sons of Tucson, Sundays on FOX — To quote TV Futon: “the new family comedy from Emmy Award winner Todd Holland (”Wonderfalls”) about three young brothers who hire a charming, wayward schemer to stand in as their father when their real one goes to prison, debuts Sunday, March 14 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT).” Will probably be watching because it’s supposed to take place in Tucson and I want to see if they get the Mexican food right.
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Lost, Tuesdays on ABC — The final season of the craziest show ever to air on network television begins on February 2nd. If you haven’t watched yet, go rent the DVDs so you can participate in all the speculation and craziness that accompanies the end of a show like this.
Chuck, Mondays on NBC — As our own hero, Heather Anne, wrote: Chuck is on fire right now. The third season premiered to its best ratings ever, and they are well-deserved. The show lost no steam despite its long hiatus and changing format.
24, Mondays on FOX — You know, I gotta tell you, I’d never seen 24 before two weeks ago and I wish I would have kept it that way. Not even Katee Sackhoff could make up for the time I lost watching the first four episodes. In fact, her character is part of the problem. I don’t blame her; actresses need to work just like the rest of us, but I do wish that she wasn’t being so fantastically underused. As a strong female actor, Sackhoff is being constrained in the reserved, pansy-ass character of Dana Walsh. If Starbuck were around, she would kick Dana Walsh’s face in. Don’t even bother.
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Other shows also returning this spring include: Party Down, Supernatural, Big Love, Nip/Tuck, Leverage, Burn Notice, Damages, South Park, and Breaking Bad. For a full list of all returning shows and their premiere dates, go here. Shows that will be returning sometime in April after short hiatuses (mostly to do with the Olympics) include Glee, Fringe, FlashForward, V, Stargate Universe, and Bones.