Whoo-hoo! It’s 2021 people. Good riddance to the annus horribilis! TV may be the only things we want to remember about last year, except for Quibi of course.(I’ll make a New Year’s resolution to stop making Quibi jokes … starting now!)
We expect TV will be here for us this year just as the series and specials helped us through all the dark times last year. This month, we will be talking about the return of NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (which begins its second season on January 5), the much anticipated WandaVision (which hits Disney+ on January 15) and the second season of TNT’s Snowpiercer (January 25).
But there is so much more! We tip our hat to all these shows which continue to produce new content in the midst of a global pandemic—here are the 5 new under-the-radar shows you can’t miss this month:
Executive Producers: Darlene Hunt, Jim Parsons, Todd Spiewak, Mayim Bialik, Beth McCarthy-Miller
Stars: Mayim Bialik, Swoosie Kurtz, Kyla Pratt, Leslie Jordan, and Cheyenne Jackson
Premiere Date: January 3 at 8 p.m. on Fox
Kat (Mayim Bialik) is a 39-year-old single woman who recently moved back to her hometown of Louisville, KY to open a cat café (try not to think too much about how cat fur would get into your baked goods). Kat is totally fine being single much to the chagrin of her mother (Swoosie Kurtz). The comedy regularly breaks the fourth wall especially when Kat becomes flummoxed talking to Max (Cheyenn Jackson), her old college friend who now works at the bar across the street. The show’s premise sounds a little like Fleabag without the despair, depression, or devastating secret. But it’s actually based on the British show Miranda, which premiered on the BBC back in 2009. Bialik’s The Big Bang Theory co-star Jim Parsons serves as one of the show’s executive producers. TV doesn’t have enough woman who are not only totally fine being single but also really like themselves. We can’t help but root for this show.
Executive Producers: Mike Farah, Joe Farrell, Beth Belew , Brien Meagher, Rhett Bachner, Bellamie Blackstone
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Nikki Glaser, Patti Harrison, London Hughes, Jim Jefferies, Zainab Johnson, Nick Offerman, Sarah Silverman, Baron Vaughn, and Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Premiere Date: January 5 on Netflix
If there was ever a year to use swearwords, 2020 was it. But what makes something a swearword and why is it so satisfying to use them? Why are some swearwords more taboo than others? With his trademark coolness, Nicholas Cage takes a deep dive into the etymology of some of our favorite swearwords—most of which cannot be printed here! Comedians including Sarah Silverman and Nick Offerman opine about their use while experts including cognitive scientist Benjamin Bergen provide the words’ origins.
Executive Producers: Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond, David Miner
Stars: Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy, Bobby Moynihan
Premiere Date: January 7 at 8 p.m. on NBC
Ted Danson leaves The Good Place behind to star as Neil Bremer, a successful retired businessman who ran for mayor of Los Angeles on a whim and to his surprise actually won (sound familiar?) As always Danson’s innate charm is made for comedy and he’s aided by Holly Hunter as a councilwoman ready to be a thorn in the new mayor’s side. Kyla Kenedy, so terrific in Speechless, is great as Neil’s teenage daughter, and Vella Lovell is a breakout as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff who can’t quite believe the candidate created in her social media image actually won. Set in a post-COVID LA, the back-to-back premiere episodes are a little rocky and it may definitely be too soon to joke about the relentless hardships the city has faced. However, executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock are also the team behind both 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt so we are hopeful this series can turn into a keeper.
Executive Producer: James Lafferty, Stephen Colletti, Alexandra Park, Cariba Heine
Stars: James Lafferty, Stephen Colletti
Premiere Date: January 13 on Hulu
Have you ever wondered what happens to stars of teen dramas after the show ends and the proverbial lights fade? James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti, who headlined One Tree Hill, know quite a bit about this phenomenon. Now they star as Jeremy and Seth, two actors who aren’t quite sure what to do with themselves now that their popular vampire drama Eternal is off the air. Colletti and Lafferty wrote and produced the eight-episode series which debuted at ATX Television Festival in 2018 after being crowd-funded.
Executive Producer: Anna Fricke, Dan Lin, Lindsay Liberatore, Jared Padalecki
Stars: Jared Padalecki, Kale Culley, Violet Brinson, Keegan Allen, Molly Hagen, Mitch Pileggi, Coby Bell, Lindsey Morgan
Premiere Date: January 21 at 8 p.m. on the CW
Do you need to know more than this reboot stars one of the beloved stars of Supernatural? Jared Padalecki stars Cordell Walker, a (that’s right) Texas Ranger, who returns to Austin after spending two years undercover. His son (Kale Culley) and daughter (Violet Brinson) are not sure how to take his return, nor does his brother (Keegan Allen) who has stepped in as a father figure since Walker left town. While returning to work, he must deal with a new captain (Coby Bell) and a new partner (Lindsey Morgan). But Walker can’t shake the suspicion that his wife’s death was not an accident.
Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and the Assistant TV Editor for Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter (@AmyTVGal).
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