Doux News Shows: January 11 - 17, 2014

THIS WEEK: Outlander -- Awards Season -- Hello -- Goodbye -- Documentaries -- The Walking Dead -- Quite A Lot of New Shows

The New Shows color code: red means don’t bother; blue means maybe; green means good; magenta means great.

If you’ve never read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, I highly recommend it. A sweeping epic of love set in two centuries, I devoured these long books. Ronald Moore, of Battlestar Galactica, is bringing these stories to Starz in the spring and I, for one, can’t wait. Here is the first trailer and it looks amazing:

Kevin Hart: Serve & Protect (Comedy Central)
The comedian rides along with police officers, parking attendants, and the like and does their jobs with them. My problem with shows like this is that, to create comedy, Hart implies that the job being done is silly and worthy of being mocked. His actions and the way he dealt with the public made the people with whom he was working, and me, uncomfortable.

Dangerous Toys (Discovery)
June in January (Hallmark)
When Calls the Heart (Hallmark)

The awards season is in full swing. The Golden Globes aired Sunday in one of the oddest ceremonies ever with more than a few surprising wins. In case you missed it, click here for the Doux Reviews complete rundown of the ceremony, the winners, and the red carpet. Nearly simultaneously, we got the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards. Not to be outdone, the Critics gave us their choices on Thursday and the Screen Actors Guild on Saturday. A lot of crossover, which leads me to believe that the Oscars may not be all that exciting this year.

True Detective (HBO)
Josie wrote a review of the pilot that she loved. And, so say all of us. Try to catch this one, if only to watch Matthew McConaughey prove to you that he can do more than take off his shirt and star in bad romcoms. He is so good, TVLine named him Performer of the Week.

Unlocking Sherlock (PBS)
Just in time for the next season of Sherlock to kick off here in the US, this is an hour long special about the show. I have been told by many, many people that this is a series to watch and that Sherlock in the modern age works. This show convinced me to give it a try. It looks like fun.

90 Day Fiancé (TLC)
The Bachelor: Behind the Scenes (ABC)
Beaver Brothers (Animal Planet)

Bitten (Syfy)
Seriously? Based on a series of books, Elena (I know, right?!?) is a werewolf who is trying to keep her secret and live a “normal” life. Unfortunately, Elena is played by Laura Vandervoort whom we learned can’t act way back when even Smallville realized she didn’t work. This show opens with Elena having sex; five minutes later another young woman is killed by the same guy at a bar who calls her a slut. I turned this off.

Chozen (FX)
Wow. I don’t think of myself as a prude, but this show just might make me re-think that assumption. Telling the story of a gay, white rapper who emerges from ten years in prison a tough guy, the first ten minutes of this were so profane that I watched in astonishment. I’m not sure who would think this stuff is funny; I certainly did not.

Duck Quacks Don’t Echo (National Geographic)
I was asked to review this one by my boss who thought it sounded like fun. I must admit that the pilot was exactly that. Three guys compete to see who can prove the most outrageous fact. The winner goes home with the “coveted golden duck.” In the pilot, the first fact was that airborne bacteria from a flushing toilet can reach a toothbrush six feet away; the second was that you can make a hovercraft from household items; and, the third was that it is impossible to eat six Saltine crackers in under a minute. Each was proved; the hovercraft won. Mindless, but I liked it. Thanks, Nate.

American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. Japan (NBC)
Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne (A&E)
Murder Comes to Town (Investigation Discovery)

In addition to Outlander, some already loved characters will be returning or premiering on our television screens in the near future:
  • 24 will be back in May, but will only be 12 hours. I don’t care. Half a day is better than none.
  • Gotham, yet another series based on comic books, will debut next fall.
  • Sleepy Hollow has been renewed for a second series of thirteen episodes.
  • Veronica Mars is headed back to our small screens. Not really. A spin-off is being developed for the CW Seed (The CW’s digital platform). Disappointingly, the headline character is Dick Casablancas. Perhaps luckily, this series will only consist of eight ten-minute episodes.
  • Supernatural will “inevitably” return for season ten and may continue beyond that.
Building Wild (National Geographic)
Friday Night Tykes (Esquire)
Inside Job (TNT)
Obsession: Dark Desires (Investigation Discovery)
Save Our Business (TNT)

As we say hello to some, we say goodbye to others:
  • Bones will most likely end it run next year, after ten years.
  • The Newsroom has been renewed for its third and final season.
  • Justified will end its run next year after six seasons.
Crazy Hearts: Nashville (A&E)

2013 was the year of the documentary. As I reviewed dozens for the New Shows piece, I was treated to many, many wonderful examples of the genre. If you would like to watch some, four of the five nominated for an Oscar can be streamed on Netflix. The one that is not, 20 Feet from Stardom, is available on YouTube.

HBO outdid itself this year, providing a new documentary every Monday for much of the year. Many of them are still available to stream through the network.

The one documentary that I truly believe should have been nominated, if only because of the backlash it has caused, is Blackfish. We’ve talked about it before -- it is not for children and it can be very, very tough viewing. I guarantee you, however, that once you watch it, you will never forget it.

Brian Boitano Project (HGTV)
Jerks with Cameras (MTV)
Party Down South (CMT)
SWV Reunited (WE)
Tabloid (Investigation Discovery)
Under the Gunn (Lifetime)

The Walking Dead kicks off the second half of its fourth season on February 9. Here is the new trailer released by AMC.

I Didn’t Do It (Disney)
Granted, I fall well outside the desired demographic for a Disney comedy, but this one is awful. Tired plots and dialogue in a world populated by kids hired for their looks and not their ability to act. I made it through the half hour, but barely.

Win, Lose or Draw (Disney)
Pictionary for the new generation, two teams of kids team up with Disney “celebrities” to draw and win prizes. Harmless game show for the kids and tweens in your life.

APB with Troy Dunn (TNT)
The Diamond Collar (OWN)
Patton Oswalt: Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time (Epix)

DON’T FORGET to set your DVR:
The Following returns Sunday, January 19 at 9:00 on Fox
Sherlock returns Sunday, January 19 at 10:00 on PBS
The Vampire Diaries returns Thursday, January 23 at 8:00 on The CW


mazephoenix said...

Oh too bad about Bitten..the books are really fun. True detective sounds more interesting.

Jess Lynde said...

I am a fan of the Diana Gabaldon books --- although I'm finding the more recent books somewhat less engaging --- but I wasn't overly interested in the Outlander television series, even with Ron Moore at the helm. But I found the trailer surprisingly engaging. I'm impressed that the actress they cast for Claire appears not too far off from my mental image of her. She's got a bit of an Alex Kingston vibe to her with the curly hair. So maybe I'll check the series out after it shows up on DVD or streaming. Although, if it is successful for Starz, I can't help wondering how they are going to handle the passage of time when they get to Book 3. Seems problematic to me.

Josie Kafka said...

"In the pilot, the first fact was that airborne bacteria from a flushing toilet can reach a toothbrush six feet away."

This is very, very true. You should always close the lid of the toilet seat before flushing, because the bacteria can also fly onto your face, clothes, and hands. Do you really want that?