The Americans (FX) Season 4 – This show continues to be one of the best and most compulsively watchable on TV. They manage just the right balance of spy thriller, family drama, and 80s time piece to remain constantly fresh and engrossing. The cast is top notch, the writing is tremendous, and they have gotten better with each passing season. Can’t wait to see what happens next. Stars Keri Russel, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich.
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (CBS) New – I don’t want to come off as entirely dismissive of this show, because I’m not really into any of the CBS family of procedurals, be they the numerous incarnations of CSI, NCIS, or Criminal Minds. In this newest edition of the CBS money-printing factory, Gary Sinise returns to the fold to lead a team of blah blah blahs that blah blah… but this time, in foreign countries. Cue awesome music. Stars Gary Sinise, Alana De La Garza, and Tyler James Williams.
Schitt’s Creek (Pop) Season 2 – This Canadian export was one of my favorite new shows of last year, so I’m very excited to continue with the adventures of the Roses, Toronto elites who get stranded in their last possession, the tiny hamlet of Schitt’s Creek. If you want to see understated but funny comedy that manages to be edgy without needing the bleep noise, this is the show for you. Stars Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, and Chris Elliott.
Daredevil (Netflix) Season 2 – The first season of this show was mysteriously featured on many people’s “Best of” lists for 2015. I can’t imagine why, because it was in almost all ways conventional, predictable, and preposterous. That said, I still watched it because I grew up on Marvel and Daredevil and it would have to be pretty awful for me not to watch, like Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. bad. Season 2 looks promising, as it introduces two of the best characters in the Marvel universe to the small screen: Punisher and Elektra. Okay, let’s do this Netflix, I’m in. Stars Charlie Cox, Elden Hensen, Jon Bernthal, and Vincent D’Onofrio.
Heartbeat (NBC) New – Melissa George is great, but I just can’t do another hospital drama. Sorry. Not even one with D.L. Hughley and Jamie Kennedy as doctors. Wait, make that especially not for one with them. At this point how do they even pitch a show like this in the producer’s meeting? “Here’s the idea guys: it’s just like ER, Chicago Hope, St. Elsewhere, Chicago Med, House, Grey’s Anatomy… only the twist is, this time… it’s not in Chicago. Or wait, maybe it is? Ah who cares?” Stars Melissa George, Dave Annable, and Joshua Leonard.
The Catch (ABC) New – This is another project from ShondaLand, which should come as good news to the roughly two trillion living humans (and one billion dead) who manage to tune in to watch one of her seven shows every week. I’ve never really gotten into any of them, but this one looks as promising as any of them have—a forensic accountant gets into sexy and exciting adventures? Wait, what? Stars Mireille Enos and Peter Krause.
Empire (Fox) Season 2 Midseason – This show has been fluctuating since I gushed about it last summer. As it returns from its sophomore midseason break it has a lot on the line. Risky maneuvers in casting haven’t really panned out yet, the music was less consistently strong, and they’ve already resorted to resurrecting ghosts from Season 1. I am glad to see Naomi Campbell’s return, as she’s actually pretty great. Stars Taraji P. Henson, Terence Howard, and Jussie Smollett.
Lopez (TV Land) New – George Lopez has always seemed like an incredibly nice and fun guy. He’s one of those comedians who is venerated by other comedians, even though you can’t ever really recall seeing him be funny. I wish him the best, but I can’t pretend to be excited about another soon-to-be canceled family sitcom from him. Stars George Lopez.
The Path (Hulu) New – An unnerving and spooky-looking drama about a cult. Oh yes please; this sounds amazing. Hulu doesn’t quite have the deep bench Netflix has in terms of original programming, but they have turned out some impressive work. This looks like it could be a huge leap forward. Stars Aaron Paul, Hugh Dancy, Rockmond Dunbar, and Michelle Monaghan.
Archer (FX) Season 7 – I couldn’t be more ready for the return of the best cartoon on TV. Is it my favorite cartoon ever? I wonder sometimes. It’s awful hard to argue against the smart-mouthed and historically versed screw-ups at ISIS—oh my God, what fun are they going to have with that little naming coincidence this season? Thank God Archer is back. Stars H. Jon Benjamin, Chris Parnell, Judy Greer, Jessica Walter, and Aisha Tyler.
Rush Hour (CBS) New – OK, CBS, so you’ve decided to bring a well-regarded film franchise to the small screen to annoy me. I can live with that. But why Rush Hour? CBS actually had a TV pilot for a Beverly Hills Cop TV show that would feature Eddie Murphy playing Axel Foley mentoring his son, a young cop-to-be played by the talented Brandon Jackson. That also sounds terrible, but it sort of has legs. This on the other hand… does not. Hard pass. Stars John Foo and Justin Hires.
By Ygal Kaufman