Television dropped two new murder mysteries this week, and both are worthy additions to the decade’s most popular genre worldwide. They’re quite different from each other, with “The Alienist” (9 p.m. Eastern Mondays, TNT) set in 1890s New York City and “Bellevue” (10 p.m. Eastern Tuesdays, WGN) set in present-day rural Ontario, although both have the hook of transgendered people being the victims, and both explore links between old and new cases. Both premiere episodes stand out from their brethren in different ways while conforming to the grim mood we’ve come to expect ever since “The Killing” premiered.
“Black Lightning” (9 p.m. Eastern Tuesdays, CW) distinguishes itself from the other CW DC Universe shows by being set in a real world more so than a cartoony world. It’s much closer to the dramatic parts of “Atlanta” than the silliness of “Supergirl” (which is easily the dumbest show I’ve ever watched 52 episodes of).
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” recently marked its 100th song, so it’s a perfect excuse – I mean, reason – to rank every song. (This list goes to 89 because the show counted some reprises and songlets, and I did not – although in some cases, I combined a related songlet or reprise in an entry with a more complete song.)
Last night’s Golden Globe Awards were a welcome surprise for me.
I have gotten used to, in my time as a film and television enthusiast, the entertainment I support being consigned to the “also ran” bin. My favorite TV shows get cancelled. Many of my favorite movies have been ignored by critics and audiences alike. If they are nominated, they are the window dressing for the film or show that gets the glory.
Here are 10 TV shows and movies I have high hopes for in the new year:
“The X-Files” (TV show, 8 p.m. Eastern Wednesdays, starting Wednesday, Fox) – OK, so I’m not as big on the mythology episodes lately (Haven’t we seen it all before?), but I do love me some Monster of the Weeks. And I won’t say no to an occasional Darin Morgan comedy hour either. With 10 episodes this time around (compared to six in 2016), there’s bound to be a good variety.
We’re living in a historical transitional period for TV, as streaming services compete with traditional networks and cable/satellite channels for our entertainment dollar. As such, television has never been better, regardless of how it gets to us. Appropriately, my list of the year’s best shows consists of half network shows and half others, and kicks off with a streaming series.
All of the best traits and very few of the worst traits of hat-loving TV producer Amy Sherman-Palladino are present in the delightful “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which recently hit Amazon Prime with an eight-episode first season. Along with “Gilmore Girls” and “Bunheads,” call it a career hat trick.
“Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” (8 p.m. Eastern Tuesdays on ABC) is both the most original show of the fall TV slate and very familiar. Let me explain: On one hand, there’s nothing else like it on TV now. On the other hand, it has many forebearers in the genre of supernatural beings influencing a normal person’s actions. Or sometimes the main character is a supernatural being but appears to be normal.
Because of a bizarre reticence to turn big-ticket properties into TV series, the 2000 “X-Men” film inspired things like “Mutant X,” “Heroes,” “No Ordinary Family” and “The Cape” but not an actual “X-Men” series — until this year. First up was FX’s “Legion,” a show so confusing I don’t know when or on what timeline it takes place. But “The Gifted” (9 p.m. Eastern Mondays on Fox) is more accessible.
“Big Little Lies” (which aired earlier this year on HBO, and can now be found on HBO Go or at Redbox) is the best thing I’ve seen from David E. Kelley, and also by far the most tolerable. Although I used to like “The Practice,” it grated on me after a while, and I didn’t make the switch over to the by-all-accounts even-crazier spinoff “Boston Legal.” But this miniseries is only seven episodes long, the perfect length for a viewer to appreciate the Kelley trappings before they overstay their welcome.