The NSA has ruined spying for me. I used to LOVE to spy. I considered it a valid, useful skill set. If I've ever visited your home, rest assured I've spied on the entire contents of your medicine cabinet. If you were unlucky enough to have a confidential meeting or romantic breakup in a restaurant, and I was sitting nearby? You can bet your sweet lovehumps I was joyfully listening in on every word. And remember that super embarrassing thing that occurred when you were younger, and you're so relieved because no one saw it happen? I SAW IT HAPPEN. BECAUSE I WAS SPYING.
But now? The NSA has cheapened the idea of spying. For me, snooping was a private, almost intimate moment. I want to know something about you—so I spy until I learn what it is. However, the NSA doesn't do that—they stick their big fat noses into your Google, your email, your internet porn bookmarks, and spy on EVERYBODY all the time, all at once! Where's the dignity in that? Where's the craft? If I want to know what kind of porn you're watching, I'll find out the old-fashioned way: by peeping into your window while you're masturbating!
BAH!! Well, at least TV still values the old-timey spies, and is debuting two new sneaky spy shows this week. Let's peep into their window and see what they're doing! (Tee-hee-hee!)
• The Assets (ABC, debuts Thurs Jan 2, 10 pm). For those who love FX's fantastic series The Americans, you'll similarly flip for The Assets—an eight-episode miniseries based on true events and the book Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed (Quit beating around the bush, authors! Tell us how you really feel about this guy!). It tells the true story of CIA mole Ames who, at the end of the Cold War, fed classified secrets to the KGB, which allegedly led to the deaths of at least 10 CIA assets. Veteran CIA operatives Sandra Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille were responsible for tracking down Ames, and this series focuses on their deadly game of cat and mouse. (By the way, I vote to change the phrase "cat and mouse" to "nose and coke." It's the same thing, really! Anyway... RECOMMENDED!)
• Intelligence (CBS, debuts Tues Jan 7, 9 pm). Those who like their spy dramas of the less cerebral and more hunky variety might want to check out Intelligence, which stars super-dreamy dreamboat Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!). Josh plays super hot-poop secret agent Gabriel Vaughn who, thanks to a microchip implanted in his brain, can directly and instantly access the entirety of the internet. (So basically it's like wearing Google Glass without looking like an asshole.) From what I'm given to understand, this show is completely dumb and ridiculous—but it does have two things going for it: (1) a hero with a wicked hot body... Rrrrooww-RRROOWRRR! And (2) a hero who can potentially access internet porn in his brain during boring staff meetings. (I may not be able to tell what kind of porn he's watching—but you can still learn a lot from peeping in someone's window! Tee-hee!)
Follow me (but don't spy) on Twitter! @WmSteveHumphrey
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1
8:00 am NBC ROSE PARADE 2014
Oh, dear god... my head!! Close the drapes and let me go back to SLEEP!!
10:00 E! THE SOUP
The annual hilarious "Soup Clip-Down" in which Joel McHale salutes the most idiotic antics of the year.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 2
8:00 NBC COMMUNITY
Season premiere! Community returns with TWO episodes and original creator Dan Harmon behind the wheel!
10:00 ABC THE ASSETS
Debut! The CIA tracks down the deadliest KGB mole ever in this eight-episode miniseries.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 3
9:00 NBC GRIMM
Nick and Hank track down a healer, who refuses to look at that weird lump under Hank's arm.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 4
10:00 TLC SEX SENT ME TO THE ER
Tonight's episode: A man gets one of those... you know... things... stuck up inside of his... you know!!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 5
9:00 PBS DOWNTON ABBEY
Season premiere! Lady Mary is blinded by grief—which means this is a job for sassy Dowager Countess!
9:00 ABC REVENGE
Somebody has shot Emily Thorne! That means someone else will have to get... REVENGE!
MONDAY, JANUARY 6
9:00 CBS HOSTAGES
Season finale! The first lady learns Ellen is about to assassinate her husband, which is kind of awwwwkward.
11:00 MTV WOLF WATCH
A new chat show (à la Talking Dead) created for the sole purpose of discussing MTV's Teen Wolf. WHERE'S THE SHOW TALKING ABOUT MEEEEEEE????
TUESDAY, JANUARY 7
10:00 ABC KILLER WOMEN
Debut! Tricia Helfer (Number Six from Battlestar Galactica) stars as a rootin' tootin' Texas Ranger. Yee-HAW!
10:00 FX JUSTIFIED
Season premiere! The best modern western on TV! Miss it at your peril!