Now that the holidays are in our rearview, we can brusquely shove aside Babies Jesus and New Year, and focus on what's REALLY important: new and returning TV shows! WHOOP-WHOOP! HOLLA BACK, YOUNG'UN! And while I'm squirting little droplets of pee in anticipation of returning favorites such as the final season of Justified (FX, Tues Jan 20), The Americans (FX, Wed Jan 28), and House of Cards (Netflix, Fri Feb 27), I'm just as psyched over some brand spankin' new watchables, such as the Rainn Wilson grouchy detective show Backstrom (Fox, Thurs Jan 22), and the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul (AMC, Sun Feb 8).
HOWEVER! Like me, you want everything NOW-NOW-NOW, right? That's why I'm going to shove you in the direction of this week's must-watch debut, Marvel's Agent Carter (ABC, Tues Jan 6, 8 pm)—an eight-episode spinoff of the Captain America movies, Agents of SHIELD, and the seemingly bottomless "Marvel Universe."
The year is 1946, and after successfully kicking some Nazi bottom (and romancing hunky Captain America), badass Agent Peggy Carter (the comely Hayley Atwell) is taken off the frontlines, and dropped back into the steno pool—because... misogyny! Naturally, typing memos is far beneath Peggy's vast skillset, and so she's secretly commissioned by inventor Howard Stark (future Iron Man's daddy) to prove he hasn't been selling weapons of mass destruction to the highest bidder. Along with Stark's stiff butler Jarvis (and future Iron Man computer voice), Peggy sets off on a globetrotting mystery, involving a lot of suspense, intrigue, and supervillain nut-busting. Oh, and she does all this while hiding her secret from her coworkers in the steno pool, and the United States government—who will happily toss her in prison for treason if they ever discover her sexy secret. (Again with the misogyny! BOOO!!)
Anyhoo, along with hot 1940s fashions, and drop-ins from other Marvel Universe characters, Agent Carter is one of the very few superhero/sci-fi series in quite a while to feature a strong, independent—and well-written—woman protagonist. In case you haven't noticed, it's been waaaay too long since the glory days of evil-slaying leading ladies, such as those in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alias, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Veronica Mars. So hopefully a successful Agent Carter will open the door for even more kickassy gal characters in future series. Oh, you need some examples? I'M SO GLAD YOU ASKED.
Thank you, Fox, for Gotham—but where exactly is my Batgirl TV series? (Does it not matter to Hollywood that I'm such a Batgirl fan, I've dressed up like her for Halloween on three separate occasions?) And what about Marvel's Black Widow? I'd happily pay Scarlett Johansson an extra $27 per week if she would reprise her role for TV. (Call me, Scar-Jo!) I'm also a big fan of the Fantastic Four's Invisible Woman—but don't get it twisted! Just because you can't see her working, it doesn't mean you can pay her half as much as a man! And what about a TV show starring She-Hulk? (BTW, I get it that she's Hulk's cousin... but they don't call him "He-Hulk" do they? AGAIN WITH THE MISOGYNY!! BOOOO!!)
This Week on Television
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31
8:00 ABC DICK CLARK'S PRIMETIME NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE WITH RYAN SEACREST 2015
Know what that title needs? MORE WORDS.
8:00 FOX PITBULL'S NEW YEAR'S REVOLUTION
A New Year's party hosted by the rapper (not the testicle-eating dog).
THURSDAY, JANUARY 1
5:00 ESPN THE ROSE BOWL GAME
Celebrate the New Year with steroids and concussions.
8:00 CW IHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL
Part two of the annual concert featuring Iggy Azalea, Ed Sheeran, Lorde, and... Train??? (BOOOOO!!!)
FRIDAY, JANUARY 2
8:30 FOX BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
Jake invites his girlfriend on a work trip. (Cue romantic implosion in three... two... one....)
SATURDAY, JANUARY 3
8:00 ABC HAIRSPRAY—Movie
(2007) A teenager fights racism with dancing! (Yayyy dancing, boooo racism!)
SUNDAY, JANUARY 4
8:00 ABC GALAVANT
Debut! A musical comedy series about a prince trying to win back the love of his princess—an evil king is apparently involved.
9:00 PBS DOWNTON ABBEY
Season premiere! Season five opens with the Downton ladies having an awesome day (which quickly goes awry).
MONDAY, JANUARY 5
8:00 FOX GOTHAM
As Gordon reports for duty at Arkham Asylum, the Penguin continues to build his super-army of villains.
9:00 FOX SLEEPY HOLLOW
Ichabod and Abbie meet a helpful angel. (Spoiler alert: IT'S A TRAP!!!)
TUESDAY, JANUARY 6
8:00 ABC AGENT CARTER
Debut! Peggy is demoted from nut-buster to secretary, and then promoted back to nut-buster!
9:30 FOX THE MINDY PROJECT
Mindy attends a fellowship class at Stanford University; Stanford is less than impressed.