If you're anything like me, you got too drunk/high/both to make your New Year's resolutions for 2013. Well, it's not too late! If you're still struggling to think of ways to improve yourself in the coming year, I think you'll be inspired by this week's notable TV shows—which can help you discover the perfect resolution for you! For example:
• Buckwild (MTV, debuts Thursday, January 3, 10 pm). Apparently petrified by the gaping hole left in their schedule by those stereotypical Italians from the canceled Jersey Shore, MTV is now ready to stereotype yet another stereotype: hillbillies! In Buckwild, a group of teeth-challenged,straw-chewing hillbillytwentysomethings live together in a West Virginia shack—and pretty much what you expect to happen happens. A lot of moonshine is chugged, a lot of ATVs and dirt bikes are wrecked, a lot of babies are made, a lot of neighbors get mad, and a lot of pigs are... well, let's just say things don't turn out so great for the pigs.
New Year's Resolution Inspired by This Show: Be nicer to pigs in 2013. They've been through enough.
• Downton Abbey (PBS, returns Sunday, January 6, 9 pm). The deliciously upper-crusty Brit soap returns for a third season, and—by jove, wot's all this then? Will Mary's marriage to Matthew erupt in scandal thanks to former chauffeur (and nearly destitute) Lord Grantham? Meanwhile in the servants' quarters, will a power struggle between Mr. Carson and O'Brien turn into a viciously tight-lipped staring match (brimming with subtext and loathing)? And will the arrival of Cora's pushy American mum Martha (Shirley MacLaine) cause the dowager countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) to burst the very British aneurysm residing in her brain? Pip! Pip! Wot, ho! And tuppence for the birds!
New Year's Resolution Inspired by This Show: Constantly remind oneself that Brits are the worst.
• Deception (NBC, debuts Monday, January 7, 10 pm). Speaking of rich people with too much time on their hands, Deception is a murder-mystery soap about a detective who goes undercover within a wealthy family to figure out who killed her childhood friend. In other words, NBC noticed that "Hey... ABC has this great show called Revenge that does really well in the ratings and we should totally steal the idea, but call it something different... like... oh, I don't know... Deception. Yeah. That'll work."
New Year's Resolution Inspired by This Show: Stop lying so much and stealing other people's things. Also, get rich and murder somebody.
• The Joe Schmo Show (Spike, returns Tuesday, January 8, 10 pm). Do you remember this show? It originally aired way back in 2003, but they've brought it back because... IT'S AWESOME. A regular (real) dude is cast in a reality show about finding "America's next bounty hunter," but what he doesn't know is that all the other contestants are actor/comedians and everything on the show—the interactions, the crazy competitions, EVERYTHING—is staged and scripted. It's a delicious parody of stupid reality television, and the people they exploit (and are exploited by in return)!
New Year's Resolution Inspired by This Show: Admit to world I'm a fraud. Ehhhhhhh... maybe next year.
This Week on Television
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2
9:00 PBS NOVA
Season premiere! This week: "Doomsday volcanoes!" (Though I'd rather watch a show about "doomsday sharks.")
10:00 FX AMERICAN HORROR STORY
Satan wonders whether he should possess Sister Mary or Sister Jude. Tomato, toe-mah-toe!
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3
8:00 FOX MOBBED
A man attempts to get his unwilling girlfriend to marry him by using a flash mob. TELL THAT MAN, "NO!!"
10:00 MTV BUCKWILD
Debut! The young hillbillies move in together and immediately bicker over where the "tobacky spit can" should go.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 4
10:00 IFC PORTLANDIA
Season premiere! Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein return to give their dead horse of a comedy show another beating.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 5
9:00 PBS AUSTIN CITY LIMITS
Featuring a concert by the White Stripes frontman, Jack White!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 6
9:00 PBS DOWNTON ABBEY
Season premiere! Cor blimey, guv'nah! Mary and Matthew's wedding causes a spot of the old bum and spittle, wot? (I have no idea what I'm saying.)
9:00 ABC REVENGE
Season premiere! Revenge-seeking Emily asks for help from a professional... REVENGER! (Revenge-inator?)
MONDAY, JANUARY 7
8:00 ABC THE BACHELOR
Season premiere! The newest bachelor is extremely worried about one of the girl's 50 Shades of Grey obsession—as well he should be!
10:00 NBC DECEPTION
Debut! Revenge-seeking Emily asks for help from... waitasecond... this isn't Revenge! Or is it?
TUESDAY, JANUARY 8
9:00 FOX NEW GIRL
The gang plays a new version of their game "True American"—this time with a sexy (YAY!) twist.
10:00 FX JUSTIFIED
Season premiere! I am totally obsessed with this Elmore Leonard-based modern western! WATCH IT, WATCH IT, WATCH IT!