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A Lindsay Campbell Pop-Ed: Getting Excited for Midseason TV Premieres


Midseason premieres usually lack luster and rarely stay around for long, but this year seems to be a gamechanger. Sure, they’re usually network backburners that didn’t make the fall premiere cut, but that doesn’t mean midseason replacment don’t have what it takes to be successes. While the crop of this year’s shows are pretty scarce, there are a few that caught my eye. So, my friends, without further ado, here are five shows that are bound to make a splash as we kick off the new year and update our DVRs.



True Detective (HBO)
This new crime drama starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson is promising in so many ways. With the HBO backing and two great actors leading the charge, this is the kind of show that has the potential to stick around for a while. The plot centers around two detectives on the hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. What brings up the twists and turns in True Detective is that it’s a case that spans over the past 17 years, which brings up old clues (and wounds), adding to the drama. They’re also saying each season may bring in new leads and characters which would allow McConaughey and Harrelson to get back to their lives as big-time movie stars.

Stick Factor: 7/10 



Looking (HBO)
Looking is going to break some new ground. It’s a dramedy focusing on a group of gay men living in San Francisco looking to find love, career happiness and who they really are. At the knee-jerk reaction, you might think it’s the equivalent to Girls, but critics are already promising that it’s much more than that. As the show tackles the tougher conversations adult life throws us and lessons we learn with each relationship, it’s likely it will drop the Girls comparison after a few episodes. Bonus: Jonathan Groff (C.O.G, Glee) stars in the show.

Stick Factor: 8/10



Spoils of Babylon (IFC)
The cast of this miniseries alone is something to look forward to. With heavyhitters like Tobey Maguire, Kristen Wiig, Tim Robbins, Jessica Alba and Will Ferrell, Spoils of Babylon is bound to have some really great moments of comedic brilliance. It’s a spoof on The Thorn Birds and Winds of War and spans across three separate generations and a variety of locations that couldn’t be any more different. From the oil fields of Texas to a New York City boardroom in midtown, The Spoils of Babylon brings a completely normal story of booze-fueled illegal arms deals and heartache-led international espionage. All seems completely normal, right?

Stick Factor: N/A. I don’t believe this is really meant to stick around for more than one season.



Broad City (Comedy Central) 
I won’t lie, I’m a little worried about this one. It’s a new comedy series based on a web series starring Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, both of whom are UCB alums. Not only does it have this young talent to attract customers, but Broad City is also backed by Amy Poehler. The show centers on two friends making their way through their 20s while living in New York City. It might sound vaguely like Girls, but knowing this crew of young talent, it will quickly find its own voice. It follows Workaholoics which is a strong lead for the show and already has a lineup of guest stars including Fred Armisen, Janeane Garofalo and Amy Sedaris.

Stick Factor: 4/10 



About a Boy (NBC)
Based on Nick Hornby’s novel, this new show will center on an immature bachelor who forms a life-changing relationship with a young boy. You may recognize the name from the movie starring Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult (who’s now dating Jennifer Lawrence). The movie does have some darker moments and knowing producer Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood), they’re not going to shy away from these moments but they’ll likely be toned down a bit.

Stick Factor: 2/10

So we’ll see where these five shows go. Just because they’re midseason shows doesn’t mean we should hold that against them. In fact, some of the most influential television sitcom were midseason premiers. Happy Days, Married … with Children, The Simpsons, Dawson’s Creek and The Office (which actually aired for the first time in March of 2005), just to name a few.

So with that, you never know what’s going to stick (Two and a Half Men) and what’s not (Happy Endings). Only time will tell as we see these shows find their voice and break into a tough market of witty shows and smart talent.
A Lindsay Campbell Pop-Ed: Getting Excited for Midseason TV Premieres Reviewed by Lindsay Campbell on 1/17/2014 Rating: 5

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