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2016 Winter Arts Guide: TV 

Wednesday, Jan 20 2016
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As people batten down their mid-century, brown-shingle hatches for El Niño, they'll be eagerly anticipating some interesting rehashes. This winter, we've got the new X-Files miniseries (Jan. 24, Fox), Fuller House on Netflix (Feb. 26), Sesame Street on HBO (Jan. 16), and MasterChef Celebrity Showdown (Jan. 18, Fox) starring "That one guy" and "That chick from that thing." But here are some bona fide new shows coming.

Killing Fields, Discovery. (Premiered Jan. 5)

Discovery's Southern Gothic answer to the true-crime miniseries phenomenon is shot like a drama, portraying Iberville Parish, Louisiana's sepia-soupy swamps and kudzu-festooned trees as twisted and gnarly as an unsolved murder. We even have two main detectives straight from central casting: The angelic upstart with a hunger for getting his man, and the 30-year veteran whose stoic patience either says he's just about over this shit, or he can't live without this job.

Angel from Hell, CBS. (Jan. 7)

It's fair to say that you can't go wrong with Jane Lynch (Best in Show, Glee). NBC likely greenlit this sitcom's somewhat trite premise in the hopes that Lynch will carry the day, because how else to justify what is basically a rehashing of the George Burns Oh God! movies? In a nutshell, it's about a woman who meets a nut who claims to be an angel (Lynch), and really seems to know her stuff. Hilarity ensues.

Ex Isle, WE. (Jan. 8)

If life is just that dreadful thing you have to do between Bachelor In Paradise seasons, I've got some great news: Carmen Electra is hosting a new reality show that puts a bunch of troubled (yet hot) couples on a remote island and brings in a therapist — named Ish Major (seriously) — to help them bring conscious closure to their relationships. Meh, you are thinking, I can get better on Couples Therapy! But wait, there's more! Just when these people are getting their lives back on track, the show ships in a passel of hot, single sluts and douchebags to shake things up. Jealousy, tears, hookups, and unmitigated, barrel-scraping dreck? Yay!

Mercy Street, PBS. (Jan. 17)

Public television turns its erudite lens to the Civil War, but with the interesting dramatic premise of viewing it through the eyes of two nurses, one on each side of the battle. One is an abolitionist, the other one ready to sew her curtains into a ball gown if need be.

Baskets, FX. (Jan. 21)

I'll keep this short because one sentence says it all: This show, co-created by Louis C.K., stars Zach Galifianakis as a man who's struggling to make it as a professional clown in a rodeo, despite being schooled in the art in Paris.

Hollywood Medium, E! (Jan. 24)

20-year-old wunderkind clairvoyant Tyler Henry is so tuned into the astral plane that he can communicate with the great beyond — especially with stars who've got some cash. Strangely, even after death, it seems a few of Snooki's relatives are fine with coming forward and admitting they are related.

American Crime Story: People V. O.J. Simpson, FX. (Feb. 2)

I'm not going to lie; this is the new show I most anticipate. The folks behind American Horror Story are (hopefully) going to make this real-life horror story come to life in the same fucked-up fashion we've come to expect. The teaser alone was haunting, with an anxious Shiba Inu whining mournfully as it patted across some blood-stained concrete outside Nicole Brown Simpson's L.A. residence. It also has John Travolta playing Robert Shapiro. Oh, yes.

Animals, HBO. (Feb. 5)

HBO has already okayed Season 2 of this show, something it doesn't often do this early in the game, but I'm sure the cartoon's strong response at Sundance had a lot to do with it. It's a series based on the anthropomorphic lives of scavenger animals in N.Y.C., like rats, pigeons, and bedbugs. The dialogue might as well be taken from a Williamsburg walk-up flat and comes to us from the creators of another HBO dramedy, Togetherness.

Vinyl, HBO. (Feb. 14)

I can't promise this show will be any good, though buzz about it always leads with "From Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, and Terence Winter..." The premise is great: The music industry of the 1970s, when metal, punk, album rock, disco, and hip-hop all bubbled in a cauldron of coke and Quaaludes. Bobb y Cannavale (Blue Jasmine, Nurse Jackie) plays the president of a record label, the '70s equivalent of a Silicon Valley start-up CEO.


See the links below for more of the 2016 Winter Arts Guide.

Who’s Coming to Town?

Art

Dance

Comedy

Film

Theater

Books

About The Author

Katy St. Clair

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