In 2013, television got a lot of love from the appreciation societies, amateur and professional — some say it was the best TV year ever! (Notwithstanding the unprepossessing fall season.) Can 2014 do better? Will it be the fulfillment or the end of the medium's New Golden Age? These are the questions the baby year must be asking itself now, with its top hat and rattle and remote control, as it takes the stage of history.
"The Assets" (ABC). The story of
"Killer Women" (ABC). Cylon 6
"Chasing Shackleton" (
"Spoils of Babylon" (
"Enlisted" (Fox). Old-fashioned stateside military comedy (including a traditional "war games" episode), with
"True Detective" (HBO). Deep, unfussy performances by
"Don't Trust Andrew Mayne" (A&E). Magician Mayne makes trouble out in the world, using his powers of misdirection to baffle the innocent and bedevil the guilty. You might want to punch him. (See: "Jerks With Cameras," below.)
"Under the Gunn" (Lifetime).
"Jerks With Cameras" (
"APB With Troy Dunn" (TNT). Keen tracer of lost people Troy Dunn uses his know-how, organizational muscle and your help, America, to reunite those whom fate has put asunder. Some sort of social media component suggests these feats happen in real time.
"Looking" (HBO). Appealingly low-key, matter-of-fact and loosely played story of gay life in the camera-ready city of San Francisco.
"Klondike" (Discovery). The network's first scripted miniseries enlists Tim Roth,
"Broad City" (
"Wahlburgers" (A&E). Show-biz brothers Mark and
"Rake" (Fox). Greg Kinnear plays a dissolute L.A. lawyer with a gambling problem, getting by on the last remnants of a boyish charm — though we are also invited to regard him as a (comical) jerk. Antiheroic in a shaggy 1970s mode.
"Black Sails" (Starz). Michael Bay-produced pirate epic regards the anarcho-syndicalist commune that was life under the Jolly Roger. ("We have no kings here," says one pillar of this community. "We don't rely on wages.") Bonus thread: a Long John Silver origin story. Naked sex too — it's premium cable, yo. (Ho ho.)
"Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond" (
"The Tonight Show With
"Star Crossed" (
"Private Lives of Nashville Wives" (TNT). A radical new concept in television.
"Mixology" (ABC). From the writers of "The Hangover." Ten people walk into a bar looking for love and whatever. The night will last a season, if the series does.
"Resurrection" (ABC). Eight-year-old Missouri drowning victim pops up alive in a Chinese rice paddy, three decades later and not a minute older. (Viewers of "The Returned" may experience feelings of deja vu.)
Dates to Be Determined
"Saint George" (FX, January). George Lopez returns to situation comedy.
"Game of Arms" (
"Triptank" (Comedy Central, April). Cartoon blackout show in the icky-baroque
"About a Boy" (NBC). Clunky pilot fails to answer the age-old question of what to do with
"Crisis" (NBC). Another D.C. thriller, with a literal busload of high school students, including the president's son, kidnapped to no clear purpose. But Gillian Anderson is in it, which is enough purpose to start.
"Believe" (NBC). Good guys and bad guys fight over a paranormally gifted little girl, but not even she knows when this show might air.