Appealing TV: The Great Winter TV Comeback

Good Lord, this week in TV. Too early to cue up The Mountain Goats’ “This Year?” as a rallying cry? Hope your DVRs are ready.

So, what else is on?

Monday, January 5
The Bachelor (8pm, ABC, season premiere)
Bachelorette castoff Chris Soules, described as a “stylish farmer from Iowa,” comes back to get his. Because if at first you don’t succeed, get a spin-off.

2 Broke Girls (8pm, CBS)
Gotham (8pm, FOX)
Scorpion (9pm, CBS)
Sleepy Hollow (9pm, FOX)

Tuesday, January 6
Marvel’s Agent Carter (8pm, ABC, series premiere)
Agents of SHIELD won’t be back until March, but MCU fans still come up on top as Hayley Atwell reprises her role as Peggy Carter for the eight-part mini-series Agent Carter. Picking up after the events from the first Captain America, (let’s forget about the old-person make-up job from Winter Solider), Agent Carter works with Howard Stark to help clear his name after being framed for selling weapons of mass destruction. This is also after coming back to a post-war that marginalizes her because she’s a woman (note to self: it took ABC long enough to get rid of those ‘best man for a job is a woman’ promos for Agent Carter, and I hope whoever came up with that was shot out of a cannon).

Cougar Town (10:30pm, TBS, season premiere)
The little show that could ends its wine soaked/pennycan reign this season.

NCIS (8pm, CBS)
Pretty Little Liars (8pm, ABC Family)
Dance Moms (9pm, Lifetime, season premiere)
Marry Me (9pm, NBC)
NCIS: New Orleans (9pm, CBS)
New Girl (9pm, FOX)
Switched at Birth (9pm, ABC Family, season premiere)
About a Boy (9:30pm, NBC)
The Mindy Project (9:30pm, FOX)

Wednesday, January 7
American Idol (8pm, FOX, season premiere)
Much like finding love, the only way to make it as a singer is to go on TV for the rest of the world to see (and much like finding love, probably fail at it).

Empire (9pm, FOX, series premiere)
FOX is certainly putting a lot of weight behind this Terrence Howard fronted family drama about the dying patriarch of a record label looking to bequeath everything to one of his sons, even as the sins of his past come back to haunt him. Metaphor for a dying industry?

Hindsight (10pm, VH1, series premiere)
Time-traveling back to the 90’s to figure out where our protagonist’s life went wrong and how to fix it. Also, jokes about the 90’s.

Donnie Loves Jenny (10:30pm, A&E, series premiere)
At this rate, A&E is basically part of the Wahlberg family. This one chronicles the relationship between former New Kids on the Block singer/actor Donnie Wahlberg and Singled Out co-host/she’s a woman and she’s funny/anti-vaccination advocate Jenny McCarthy. Guess what else is making a comeback? Measles!

The Mentalist (8pm, CBS)
The Middle (8pm, ABC)
The Mysteries of Laura (8pm, NBC)
The Goldbergs (8:30pm, ABC)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (9pm, NBC)
Modern Family (9pm, ABC)
Black-ish (9:30pm, ABC)
Chicago PD (10pm, NBC)
Wahlburgers (10pm, A&E)

Thursday, January 8
Archer (10pm, FX, season premiere)
After last season’s reboot as Archer Vice, the spy agency cum cocaine cartel reboots back into a spy agency. Only not named ISIS this time around, for obvious reasons. Instead, this season will focus on our favorite spy assholes (spyholes?) being absorbed into the CIA.

Babylon (10pm, Sundance, series premiere)
Danny Boyle (from them movies!) co-creates this comedy-drama miniseries about an American PR executive who finds herself the director of communications for the London Metropolitan Police. Should be chock full of crunchy nuggets about the role of social media, instant communication and its role when government/ police are involved.

The Big Bang Theory (8pm, CBS)
Mom (8:30pm, CBS)
The McCarthys (9:30pm, CBS)
Parenthood (10pm, NBC)
Portlandia (10pm, IFC, season premiere)
Elementary (10pm, CBS)

Friday, January 9
Glee (8pm, FOX, season premiere)
The final season of Glee will take place in the Friday Night Death Slot in order to fade the last four years from the collective memory (because the first season was pretty good, let’s be fair, but it is Ryan Murphy we are talking about).

Banshee (10pm, Cinemax, season premiere)
Alan Ball’s (creator of Six Feet Under and True Blood) pulpy story of a convict posing as a small town Sheriff that gets mixed up in criminal activities and Cinemax-styled sex scenes comes back for a third season.

Hart of Dixie (8pm, CW)
Last Man Standing (8pm, ABC)
Cristela (8:30pm, ABC)
Real Time with Bill Maher (10pm, HBO)
Comedy Bang! Bang! (11pm, IFC)

Saturday, January 10
Mythbusters (9pm, Discovery Channel, season premiere)
After the departures of co-hosts Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara in August, the upcoming season of the long-running science show will be anchored by original hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. And what better way to kick off a new season with a special testing things from The Simpsons?

Sunday, January 11
The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards (5pm, NBC)
Let’s all put on our Sunday Sweatpants Best, because on Golden Globe night we’re all cutting industry insiders with rapier wit on our Twitter accounts. We also have hosts Tina Fey & Amy Poehler‎ to look forward to.

Shameless (9pm, Showtime, season premiere)
This season, Shameless takes on gentrification in its Chicago setting. (Note to self: take notes).

Togetherness (9:30pm, HBO, series premiere)
Upper-middle class white people have problems: the TV series.

Looking (10pm, HBO, season premiere)
At this point I would rather write about HBO’s Looking than Girls because this is the San Francisco Appeal, and Looking takes place in San Francisco. Not to mention it’s a sweet show. And Lena Dunham, is well, Lena Dunham.

House of Lies (10pm, Showtime, season premiere)
Girls (9pm, HBO, season premiere)
Episodes (10:30pm, Showtime, season premiere)

See you next Monday!

the author

Paolo Sambrano adores television theme songs. You can follow him on Twitter @paolo. He is the creator of the card game, No Benefits and the writer/performer of the solo show Bi-Poseur.

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