View From The Couch 1.11

by Kellie Abrahamson
TV Talk: New Mid-Season TV

Your TV world is about to get rocked, because it is officially mid-season replacement time. All those new shows that just aren’t cutting it in the ratings are hitting the showers and the second string is about to take the field. Here’s a look at the networks’ rookie shows.

Off the Map (January 12) In Shonda Rhimes’ new series, six doctors save lives and search their souls while working in a remote South American village.
Mr. Sunshine (February 9) Matthew Perry stars in this hysterical sitcom about a sports arena manager whose job throws him bizarre curve balls with every new event the venue hosts.
Body of Proof (March 29) A world-class surgeon is forced to take a job as a medical examiner; but instead of merely doing autopsies on the bodies that end up on her slab, she takes it upon herself to track down their killers.
Happy Endings (April 13) In this sitcom a group of friends finds themselves stuck in the middle when the couple that brought them all together breaks up.

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (February 16) A spin-off of the hit CBS series, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior stars Forrest Whitaker, Richard Schiff and Janeane Garofalo.
Mad Love (February 21) In this half-hour comedy, four cynical twenty-somethings searching for love in the Big Apple are thrown together when two of them fall of each other.
Chaos (April 1) Get to know the division of Clandestine Administration and Oversight Services (CHAOS) during this dramedy about a group of rogue CIA spies who investigate threats to national security.

Bob’s Burgers (January 9) Here’s a new animated comedy by Loren Bouchard about a quirky family who run a greasy burger joint.
The Chicago Code (February 7) This cop drama follows the Windy City’s most powerful and respected cops as they navigate the Chicago’s underbelly to fight crime and expose corruption.
Traffic Light (February 8) Based on an Israeli series, the comedy focuses on three friends- a bachelor, a committed boyfriend and a new dad- trying to maintain their relationship as their lives change.
Breaking In (April 6) Starring Christian Slater, Odette Yustman and Bret Harrison, an eclectic team of geniuses who work at a high tech security firm are assigned to break into computer security systems. Workplace hijinks ensue.

The Cape (January 9) This superhero drama follows a cop who must don tights and a cape to prove his innocence after he’s framed for a crime and left for dead.
Harry’s Law (January 17) David E. Kelley has cooked up a legal dramedy about a recently-fired patent lawyer (Kathy Bates) who decides to start her own firm out of a defunct shoe store.
Perfect Couples (January 20) Three unique couples at various stages in their relationships find themselves faced with similar problems in this half-hour comedy.

What’s Hot in January

It’s a new year which means new TV! Unfortunately, most of the new shows we’ll be getting are of the crappy reality variety. Here’s the rundown of just some of the reality series’ returning this month: The Bachelor (January 3, ABC), The Biggest Loser (January 4, NBC), Live to Dance (January 4, CBS), American Idol (January 19, Fox), Kitchen Nightmares (January 21, Fox). • ABC Family will bring back their hit shows Pretty Little Liars and Greek on January 3rd. • Over on ABC, the reboot of the 1983 miniseries V returns to the small screen for its second season on the 4th. The sci-fi series about a group of reptilian aliens masquerading as peace-bringing visitors is one of the only new shows ABC kept from their 2009-10 slate and is well worth watching if you haven’t seen it yet. • Two of our favorite premium cable series’ return this month. Over on Showtime Californication will have its 4th season premiere on January 9th. Then on the 16th HBO’s polygamist drama Big Love returns for a 5th season. • USA will fill the void Psych and Burn Notice left last month with new episodes of White Collar (January 18) and Royal Pains (January 20). • Thursday nights on NBC are becoming all comedy, all the time. The laughs begin at 8 pm on January 20th with Community, followed by new sitcom Perfect Couples (see above), then The Office, the triumphant return of Parks & Recreation, new episodes of the always hilarious 30 Rock and finally Outsourced. • Last but certainly not least, IFC will air Portlandia on January 21st, their new comedy sending up hipster culture. The six-episode series stars SNL alum Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein and looks to be comedic gold.

It’s always sad to say goodbye to your favorite series. This month many TV fans will be down in the dumps after bidding farewell for good to three fine shows. First the Syfy series Caprica will have its last space voyage on January 4th. Then, on the 18th, Life Unexpected (The CW) wraps up with a two-hour series finale. Finally on January 21st psychic medium Allison DuBois sees her last dead person on the finale of CBS’ Medium. May you all enjoy a happy afterlife in syndication.

Lifetime will air their latest “ripped from the headlines” telefilm The Craigslist Killer on January 3rd. The movie will center on Philip Markoff, a medical student who allegedly robbed and murdered a Boston woman in 2009 and hung himself in prison while awaiting trial just five months ago. • In completely unnecessary sequel news, ABC Family will air its made-for-TV flick Mean Girls 2 on January 23rd. The film stars a host of Disney Channel and ABC Family “stars” and looks about as good as it sounds. The one silver lining: Tim Meadows will reprise his role as Principal Duvall. That’s something, right? • Award shows abound in January, some important, some not. We’ll let you decide which is which: 37th Annual People’s Choice Awards (January 5, CBS), 16th Annual Critic’s Choice Awards (January 14, VH1), DSW Presents the Miss America Pageant (January 15, ABC), 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards (January 16, NBC), 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (January 30, TBS & TNT).

New on DVD

Machete (R)
Dinner for Schmucks (PG-13)
The Last Exorcism (PG-13)
Howl (R)
Catfish (PG-13)

The Social Network (PG-13)
Alpha & Omega (PG)
Piranha (R)