#Bingewatch: Your #TV #show guide for Jan 7-12th
Hey, bingewatcher – how’s the New Year’s hangover treating you? Now the holiday season is well and truly coming to an end, we’ve got our eyes set on all the exciting new and returning additions to our TV-watching schedule. Whether you’re back to the daily grind or prepping for studies, remember to unwind in front of your favorite sitcom or tune in for each week’s shocking reveal on the small screen’s best dramas.
Not sure when your faves are coming back? We gots you covered. From sitcoms that cover smart to stupid and everything in between to The CW’s latest superhero extravaganza, here’s when you can expect to find the best shows back on air. Clear your schedules, cuz this week’s a crazy one. For updates throughout the year, you can check out our television calendar right here!
Happy Together (CBS)
Brushes with fame and fortune eventually get tiresome when it’s 24/7, as Damon Wayans Jr. and Amber Stevens West found out when a pop star moves into their home.
Brand new sitcom from Tim McAuliffe (The Office) also stars Felix Mallard & Chris Parnell.
The passengers on a mysteriously vanished flight are brought back to the real world with five years gone in a flash. Is this series on its way to becoming the new Lost? Find out when the first season continues on Monday.
Innovative sitcom that, along with Fresh Off the Boat, proves racial comedic material can be hella smart when poised just right. Anthony Anderson stars as Dre Johnson, an African-American advertising exec whose upper-middle-class wife and kids feel disengaged from his urban roots.
Since 2014, the award-winning show has been pitting class and race commentary against the tried & tested single-camera comedy format, a perfect lighter side dish for hard-hitting shows about the black experience such as Atlanta and Insecure. Features Laurence Fishburne flexing his best comedic chops as Dre’s father, as well as the brilliant Tracee Ellis Ross as Dre’s anesthesiologist wife raised by hippies.
For fans who can’t get enough of the Johnson family, look no further than Grown-ish, the sitcom starring Yara Shahidi as Zoey, the eldest daughter who leaves her family for college and discovers growing up ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. The second season of the spinoff premiered on January 2nd.
The Conners (ABC)
The all-American family are still living their lives following the gaping absence left by Dan’s wife Roseanne. Find out if the Conners are still holding it together on Tuesdays. Stars John Goodman reprising his classic role as Dan Cooper.
The Kids Are Alright (ABC)
Yet another family sitcom continues this January, this time taking it back to the 1970s to follow the testosterone-dominated lives of an Irish-Catholic couple and their eight sons in suburban Los Angeles. Stars Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead) and Mary McCormack (West Wing) as the Cleary family’s overloaded parents.
New Amsterdam (NBC)
Dr. Max Goodwin (The Blacklist’s Ryan Eggold) is still trying to change the world of medicine in America’s oldest public hospital, and we’ll see whether the full series order back in October can keep the pulse of this show pumping.
The Rookie (ABC)
After a life-changing accident, John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) picks himself back up onto his feet and enlists in the LAPD. Pursuing his dream of becoming a big-time cop, he quickly realizes being the department’s oldest rookie is not without its challenges, especially coming from a background of small-town construction.
The young recruits can’t see past the mid-life crisis, and Nolan’s brushes with violence and death are frankly non-existent. His experience is limited, but what he lacks in skill he makes up in determination and resilience.
Unfortunately The Rookie isn’t quite Castle, but Fillion is still able to turn on his endearing natural charm at a moment’s notice, and The Rookie is thankfully a relatively fresh premise that suitably shakes up the tired old cop formula. The wait after 2016 saw Fillion’s star vehicle end was rather excruciating but, if nothing else, it’s a joy to see him back on our screens on a weekly basis again.
Also stars Alyssa Diaz (Ray Donovan) as an aspiring detective, and Richard T. Jones (Criminal Minds) as Nolan’s tough watch commander who thinks he belongs anywhere but the police.
Splitting Up Together (ABC)
Lena and Martin’s marriage is crumbling and the only thing that seems to be putting fire back into their relationship is filing for divorce. Jenna Fischer (The Office) and Oliver Hudson (Nashville) star as the couple who really should have just gone through with marriage counselling.
Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Chicago P.D. (NBC)
Chicago is the worst place to live on Earth according to this three-way series exploring the city’s biggest disasters that all return this January.
The Goldbergs (ABC)
Series creator Adam F. Goldberg is finally getting close to recounting his entire childhood as the sixth season of this family sitcom continues on ABC. If you can’t get enough of the period sitcom, look no further than Schooled starring AJ Michalka continuing her role as Lainey Lewis, who becomes a high school teacher sometime in the 1990s. Premieres the same days as The Goldbergs makes its return.
Modern Family (ABC)
Award-winning sitcom struggles to keep things fresh as it leaves its mid-life crisis and moves well past its sell-by date for a tenth and final season.
Single Parents (ABC)
Yet another bumbling single dad predictably learns what it means to be a good parent and a decent human being in this hackneyed family sitcom. Stars Saturday Night Live favorite Taran Killam.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)
The best sitcom on television continues co-creator Michael Schur’s tradition of smart, topical and inclusive workplace comedies that are always one of the best things on television whenever they’re airing.
This time an optimistic, driven precinct in the New York Police Department faces crime with brains, brawn, and terrible one-liners. Meanwhile, the city’s bureaucratic forces threaten to break apart a team that refuses to stay down and do anything except the right thing.
In a media landscape and the very real world of cop-related controversies, it’s incredibly refreshing for a sitcom to take a three-dimensional stance on the world of law enforcement. For once not solely characterized as racist monsters or patriotic supermen, the 99th Precinct possess fully fleshed-out, idiosyncratic personalities all with their own moral parameters & hangups.
Featuring one of the most diverse casts on TV, two of the most compelling detectives ever in Santiago and Diaz, as well as poignant commentary on race and LGBTQI rights in the judicial system, the show’s political awareness shines as its greatest strength while still remaining hilarious every week. Thank the stars NBC decided to save it from cancellation limbo.
The Good Place (NBC)
Another of Michael Schur’s ingenious creations this time takes his happy-go-lucky, whimsical brand of comedy away from the traditional workplace setup and traps it within a vicious, fantastical world that wants nothing more than to torture its human characters for eternity (spoiler alert!).
When Eleanor Shellstrop wakes up in the afterlife known as “The Good Place”, all seems heavenly for a few brief moments until her house seems designed to infuriate her, her neighbor is a mega-rich, pretentious nightmare, and she realizes that they’ve mistaken her for someone else entirely.
Fast-forward a couple seasons and we find out all of that was an elaborately designed simulation under the control of Michael, an omnipotent architect who’s now befriended the hapless group of human subjects and made it his duty to protect them from the malevolent order of demons who want their blood – and get them into The Good Place for real this time.
The Good Place asks the big questions on free will, relativism, and the human capacity for good while remaining digestible and frequently hilarious. Stars Kristen Bell (Frozen) as Eleanor, as well as Jameela Jamil, William Jackson Harper (Paterson) and Ted Danson (Hearts Beat Loud) as Michael, who may be the best comedic TV character this side of 2010.
Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
Ice-T still tries to pretend he belongs anywhere near a television set while the team deals with grisly murders and complex forensics as this lumbering old laborer continues its twentieth season from last September.
Allison Janney diligently returns each week for dysfunctional mother-daughter scenarios despite having taken home an Academy Award. Its treatment of alcoholism, domestic violence, and cancer have a surprisingly deft touch, but it still doesn’t quite deserve its stellar cast which also includes storied talent like Anna Faris (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) and William Fichtner (The Dark Knight).
Jaimie Alexander (Thor: The Dark World) channels The Illustrated Man in this supernatural detective thriller in which a mysterious woman appears in the middle of the street, tattooed with the clues of ongoing & future crimes.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW)
Musical series starring Rachel Bloom about a mentally unhealthy lawyer who moves back to her hometown to pursue her teenage crush to mixed results at best. We were all on board during the brilliant first couple seasons of this refreshing mix of music, comedy, and mental health evaluation that even managed to say a few really smart things about stigma and the unfortunate effects of dating while mentally ill.
While we’re still in love with the music, aesthetic, and a few of the show’s main cast, we’re mainly just watching out of habit now as the show keeps losing its edge and going for straight-up dumb stances in more recent episodes.
Rebecca Bunch’s arc might have shifted all over the place, from evil villain to self-destructive romantic, sex pest to self-improvement addict, but our attention hasn’t been able to keep up. Luckily, Bloom’s songs are still on point, the production value is top of the line for The CW, and we still care enough about Darryl, Heather, and (sometimes) Paula to keep us tuning in each week.
Friends from College (Netflix)
A group of Harvard alumni who have become a tight unit of inseparable and romantically entangled friends. Refusing to admit they may have just peaked in college, the neurotic group of writers, socialites, and careerists regress back to their loud, obnoxious, and irresponsible college selves whenever they get together.
The new show from Netflix stars Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele) and Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) as a dysfunctional couple who hate what their friends bring out in them but can’t help leading the pack at every opportunity. It sounds like the sort of biting show that acts as a reality check for anyone desperate to relive the glory days of their late twenties but in reality it’s packed with embarrassing parties, secret affairs, and a whole host of normally funny comedians putting themselves through humiliation and misery.
Directed and co-created by Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors) with Francesca Delbanco, season 2 will up the ante as Max and Felix’s engagement party threatens to fuel even more misguided nostalgia, repressed resentment, and unhinged bad behavior.