Welcome to 2012, a new year, and a chance for television to offer us something more impressive than the disappointments of the fall 2011 season. And they aren’t wasting any time, either, as there are a lot of shows making their debuts this week,

Tonight, we have the premiere of “It’s a Brad, Brad World” at 10 P.M. on Bravo. If you believe the (probably manufactured) drama on the last season of “The Rachel Zoe” project, Zoe’s former assistant Brad Goreski ditched her to start his own styling business, and got his own reality show in the process. Personally, I thought a little Brad went a long way, so I’m sure I’ll be able to stomach an entire hour of him. Plus, if he gets any celebrity clients, won’t they have to be people that have pissed Rachel Zoe off in the past, lest they wreak her wrath? Or am I wrongfully equating celebrity styling with the same level of danger as that of the mafia underworld?

On Tuesday, January 3rd “Work It” premieres on ABC at 8:30 P.M., and this looks like one of the worst shows to ever grace a primetime line-up. Basically, it’s “Bosom Buddies” but without that show’s (limited) talents. I can’t even begin to discuss everything wrong with it, but if you like watching things that make your jaw drop in astonishment, go for it!

“Project Runway All Stars,” which premieres Thursday January 5th at 9 P.M. on Lifetime looks like it could be a colossal failure, mainly because Heidi Klum and the rest of the gang aren’t involved. Instead, the judges consist of Isaac Mizrahi, (isn’t he busy hosting that “PR” rip-off?), Georgina Chapman, (the founder of Marchesa), and model Angela Lindvall (who?). Among the “all star” designers are Mondo Guerra, Austin Scarlett, Sweet P, Kara Janx, and–hide your cats and laptops!–Kenley Collins.

Friday, January 6th brings the returns of “Portlandia” and “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” starting at 10 P.M. on IFC. I can hardly wait for more Portland satire, but I’ll admit I found “Todd Margaret” to be increasingly annoying in its first season. I hope it recovers.

Finally, on Sunday, Janaury 8th, we have the premieres of two eagerly-awaited British imports, “Absolutely Fabulous” at 7 P.M. and 10 P.M. on BBC America, and “Downton Abbey” at 9 P.M. on KQED.

The “Ab Fab” episode, which aired in the U.K. on Christmas day, is the first of three new specials set to air this year. I caught some of the “Ab Fab” marathon on New Year’s day, and I’m looking forward to seeing Eddie and Patsy again, older, but none the wiser.

The U.K. has also been privy to “Downton Abbey”‘s second series, where it aired months ago. I’ve tried my best to avoid spoilers, and have not yet seen any of the new series, (alas).

But I do know it starts out two years after the end of the first series, with World War I underway. And frankly, I don’t want to know more than that going in. I just want to bask in the glory of unfair class systems and high tea, completely unspoiled. Sunday can’t come fast enough!

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the author

Rain Jokinen watches a lot of television and movies and then writes things about them on the Internet. She's a San Francisco native, and yeah, she'll rub that fact in your face any chance she gets.

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