Film and TV

Your January TV Watch List: The Six Shows We’re Counting On

A Series of Unfortunate Events
A Series of Unfortunate Events Courtesy of Netflix
New year, new us! JK, new year, same ol’ us: watching TV and hiding in a hole from the bitter January cold and impending doom. The only solution? Watching all the television! You can take the day of the inauguration off to protest, but I expect you back under the covers the following Monday, OK? We’ve got a lot of work to do!

Here are the shows we’ve invested hope in:

Hunted (CBS, January 22)
In this new reality series, teams of contestants pretend to be fugitives on the hunt from Johnny Law and investigators attempt to track them down. If the “bad guys” evade capture for 28 days, they win 250,000 smackaroos. It’s based on a British reality show, and let me tell you: Those wacky limeys do reality TV right (which is to say, insane). It’s The Running Man, except they don't kill you. But it's America, so they might. Actually, dying on this show sounds better than four years of Trump. I volunteer as tribute.

Teachers (TV Land, January 17)
This sleeper hit about a group of kinda lousy teachers who are (not) doing their best is both charming and hilarious, which is hard to pull off. I highly recommend binging the first season before this one starts so you can catch up — get ready to watch them deeply yearn in 2017.

Riverdale (CW, January 26)
If you've ever thought Archie comics would be just a tiny bit better if they took place in the Upside Down, then this show will absolutely help fill the void in your heart that The Vampire Diaries left behind. Jughead is a bad boy, Miss Grundy is a “hot” blonde and there’s a murder mystery. It’s either gonna be really good, or really bad, and I’m kinda down for either.

Courtesy of PBS
Victoria (PBS, January 15)
It’s Downton Abbey, take two, but this time it’s starring Queen Victoria. Two things I know about her off the top of my head: Victoria never wore anything more than once and didn’t allow knocking, preferring a light scratch at the door. One thing I learned about her just now while reading: She hated her “frog-like children.” See? Phenomenal Woman. The show follows her ascent to the throne at age 18, as she navigates all the trappings of royalty and attempts to remain true to herself. This is interesting and all, but you know the producers wanted her to be 18 because TV is hella ageist and I’m sure they were all, “WHO WANTS TO WATCH SOME OLD SACK? BLECH!”

Wham Bam, Thank You Ma’am! (Seeso, January 12)
This Australian sketch show is all ladies doing what they do best: smashing the patriarchy and making straight dudes uncomfortable. Is this reverse sexism? I sure hope so, because my motto for 2017 is "Only Women on TV.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix, January 13)
Like me, you probably want to forget that the Series of Unfortunate Events film ever happened. Jim Carrey as Count Olaf is still a recurring character in my freakiest nightmares, so I cannot imagine how actual children dealt with that monstrosity. Fortunately, this new adaptation of Daniel Handler's insanely popular books, starring Neil Patrick Harris — who just can't stay away from TV! You can’t make him! — is here to give you a do-over. Expect magic, mayhem and, if we know NPH, at least one song/dance number that seems out of place but you know is totally in his contract.
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Laura Beck
Contact: Laura Beck