The United States of Tara
With this being January, we’re seeing the return of several shows plus the premiere of some new ones. I’m going to give you the shows I’m looking forward to seeing return, plus the new series I’m looking forward to. I’ll do the returning shows first, then the new shows last and I’ll do them in reverse order of anticipation.
6. Hell’s Kitchen, Season 5 – Premieres January 29 on Fox, 9 p.m.
Anytime Gordon Ramsey yells, “YOU DONKEY!” I get chills. He’s not the type of boss I would want, but he gets results seeing how many restaurants the man owns and runs. Last season, Christina’s win over Petrozza was a bit of an upset seeing how young she was and her experience compared to Petrozza, but it’s always Chef Ramsey’s word at the end. This season, 16 new hopefuls vie for the chance to become Chef Ramsey’s chef on staff at one of his restaurants.
5. Damages, Season 2 – Premieres Wednesday on FX, 10 p.m.
This show turned out to be a big surprise for me. Great cast including Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, Ted Danson and Tate Donovan, the first season won Emmys for Close and Zeljko Ivanek whose great Ray Fiske character won’t be coming back (well, he really can’t after the character shot himself in the head). This season, Ellen is gunning for Patty Hewes after we learned that Patty tried to bump her off. And the evil Frobisher (who had Ellen’s fiancee bumped off) is also back for a few episodes in this season. At least we know that the series is returning for a third season. Very good show.
4. The Amazing Race 14 – Premieres February 15 on CBS, 8 p.m.
If you follow this blog, you already know what a big fan of the race I am. Another 11 teams of two people with existing relationships will go around the world with no idea where they will head next. Hopefully, I can do recaps this season after my attempts totally went awry in TAR13. Plus, the show is always well produced and there’s a reason why The Amazing Race wins the Emmy every year. And Phil Keoghan is the perfect host.
3. The L Word, 6th and Final Season – Premieres January 18 on Showtime, 9 p.m.
I wasn’t happy when I heard that Jenny was killed off in the first episode, but apparently we’ll find out who’s responsible and why as the season unfolds. There are several things to resolve. I’m glad that Helena is returning. As usual, we’ll see if Shane can actually find happiness, how Bette and Tina will work together and if Jodi finds herself back with Bette, and if Alice and Tasha can also find some chemistry. Also, Erin Daniels who played Dana has directed one episode this season.
2. Lost, Season 5 – Premieres January 21 on ABC, 9 p.m.
Ok, apparently the flashbacks and the flash forwards are over with. There are no more character-centric episodes and action will go back and forth in time. In addition, the first hour of the season is supposedly one of the best of the series (or so I’ve read). The second hour which also runs during the season premiere is slower and is a set up episode. But we need to know where the island went. How do the Oceanic 6 go back to the island? What happened to Locke and why is he in that coffin? Is Jin really dead? And what is really going on? Last season was right up there with Season 1. Let’s hope Season 5 can match the intensity and the drama of Season 4.
1. 24, Season 7 – Premieres Sunday on Fox, 8 p.m.
This was my favorite show on TV for five seasons. Then Season 6 came along and practically ruined my love for this show. However, when 24: Redemption premiered in November, my love almost came back. From what I’ve read of the spoilers and seen of the previews, this season looks promising. CTU is no more. Jack Bauer is back as a disgraced agent, but he’s asked by the FBI to help out during yet another international crisis. Chloe played by the delightful Mary Lynn Rajskub is back. Instead of Los Angeles being the locale of the crisis, we have Washington, DC in trouble. Tony Almeida returns from the dead. The new President, Allison Taylor, played by Cherry Jones has to deal with a crisis from a Darfur-like country and we’ll see how Jack saves the country again. As long as I see Jack go rogue, I’ll know my 24 is indeed back.
3. The United States of Tara – Premieres January 18 on Showtime, 10 p.m.
Created by Oscar-winning Juno writer Diablo Cody, this show is about a woman with multiple personalities who is also the matriarch of her family. Toni Collette has a lot of work to do playing Tara who has four different personalities including a biker dude, teenager and a homemaker. John Corbett also stars in this very promising series.
2. Lie To Me – Premieres January 21 on Fox, 9 p.m.
Tim Roth plays Dr. Cal Lightman who heads up a team that can detect a person’s body language. Kelli Williams, formerly of “The Practice” is also in the series. From what I’ve read, this has the potential to be quite good.
1. Dollhouse – Premieres February 13 on Fox, 9 p.m.
This is Joss Whedon’s latest TV series and it stars Fang’s Bites fav Eliza Dushku. This is about a group of individuals who have had their personalities wiped clean so they can take on any persona their client wants them to be. This is an interesting concept and I can get into just about anything Joss writes. Having been a “Buffy” and “Angel” fan, I certainly hope Fox gives this a chance to grow, but by putting it on Fridays, it’s practically giving this show the death knell. But we’ll see.
Those are the nine shows I’m looking forward to as the second season gets underway. To see when your favorite show returns, you can check out USA Today’s mid-season TV calendar.