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TV Preview: Midseason Shows

In which we play marry/bang/kill with some of the new shows premiering this winter and spring.

TV Preview: Midseason Shows

TV shows are slowly coming out of their holiday food comas and starting back up with new episodes, which means it’s also time for some new midseason shows to begin.

As a continuation our TV Preview series, the following will hopefully help you decide if you need to make room on your DVR for these new shows, if you can wait to watch them until they’re added to Netflix, or if you needn’t bother at all.

Name: Beyond

About: A young man who wakes up from a 12 year coma discovers new abilities that propel him into the middle of a dangerous conspiracy.

Get to Know It: Monday, Jan. 2 on Freeform

(We realize this is in the past, and you can’t go back to watch it live unless you’ve figured out how to time travel, but that’s what on demand/the Freeform app are for!)

Known Associates: Romy Rosemont, Jonathan Whitesell

Marry/Bang/Kill:

Emily: Kill. I was intrigued by the premise, then I watched the first 2 episodes. I love the idea about a boy going into a coma and waking up 12 years later as an early/mid 20-something, but the thing I love about it is the question of how do you all of the sudden function as an adult without having grown up. But the show seems to barely skim Holden sorting adapting to the things he missed (the invention of the iPhone and Facebook, dating, puberty) and focuses mainly on the conspiracy happening around him ... which feels very cheesy and flat. I do, however, enjoy the brother relationship, with the younger brother now having to act as the older one despite the extreme age difference. It's just not focused on enough to keep me around.

Kandis: Bang. (I have the pilot on my DVR but haven't watched yet.) It has a Flight of the Navigator vibe, which I loved as a kid, but with Freeform-aged teenagers, so there can be more scandalous shenanigans. (Hi, I only watch Pretty Little Liars.) If it can maintain the intensity it promises, it could be pretty exciting.

Mandy: Bang. I’m a total sucker for an “It could be aliens!” kind of conspiracy plot, and the fact that the main character comes out of his coma with superpowers is yet another check in the pro column for me. I’ll admit to being warily intrigued, but could see this being a fling rather than a long-term commitment.

Rosemary: Bang. I feel like Freeform's been throwing TV pilots at the wall and seeing what will stick, but this one looks like it might be a bit more interesting for the long term. I'll give it a night to prove itself.

Name: Emerald City

About: A modern reimagining of the stories that led to The Wizard of Oz.

Get to Know It: Friday, Jan. 6 on NBC

Known Associates: Vincent D’Onofrio, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Adria Arjona

Marry/Bang/Kill:

Emily: Bang. I feel like I should love this show (I was obsessed with Wizard of Oz as a child), but the trailer feels super cheesy. It reminds me of the way I felt about Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. I thought the trailer was beautiful, and I couldn't wait to watch, but there was no substance. I'm afraid this is going to be the same. But the effects look really cool!

Kandis: Marry. HELLOOO Hot Scarecrow! The cinematography and cast look gorgeous, and the Game of Thrones scope of it is pretty impressive for NBC. It might end up not making a lick of sense, but that doesn't really keep me from watching Once Upon a Time.

Mandy: Bang. I LOVE retellings, particularly when they’re “gritty.” (Have you seen the SyFy’s Alice miniseries? It’s a personal fave.) I didn’t much care for the Zooey Deschanel-led Tin Man, however, so I’m game for another attempt at a “new” Wizard of Oz. Also, this stars Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and I rarely turn down eye candy of his (sexy British) sort.

Rosemary: Bang. I could write 1,000 words on this trailer. Production value seems high, and I like the idea of making The Wizard of Oz so dark because the original story felt dark. But it also looks super cheesy and 100% not my type (see also: Once Upon a Time, Beauty and the Beast, etc.). I wavered between a Kill and a Bang on this, but I'm feeling charitable today.

Name: Taboo

About: Adventurer James Keziah Delaney builds his own shipping empire in the early 1800s.

Get to Know It: Tuesday, Jan. 10 on FX

Known Associates: Tom Hardy, Jonathan Pryce, Oona Chaplin

Marry/Bang/Kill:

Emily: Bang. Basically it comes down to the Tom Hardy of it all. Who doesn't want to watch him do basically anything? Despite its darkness, the show feels like it could also be fun and quirky, so I'm down to try it.

Kandis: Bang. Tom Hardy would probably be enough, but I need some dark and seamy turn of the century London to fill the Penny Dreadful-sized hole in my heart. Plus, FX does that whole gritty thing awfully well, and doesn't seem to make a lot of mistakes.

Mandy: Bang. I’m so here for Tom Hardy in a period piece. Plus, I think it’s only an 8-episode miniseries (?), so that’s barely a commitment.

Rosemary: Marry. Period piece + Tom Hardy = yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I didn't totally understand the plot but I DON'T EVEN CURRR. This will fill the Peaky Blinders-shaped hole in my heart between seasons. Take me now!

Name: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

About: After the loss of their parents in a mysterious fire, the three Baudelaire children face trials and tribulations attempting to uncover dark family secrets.

Get to Know It: Friday, Jan. 13 on Netflix

Known Associates: Neil Patrick Harris, Catherine O’Hara, Alfre Woodard, Joan Cusack, Aasif Mandvi, Patrick Warburton

Marry/Bang/Kill:

Emily: Bang. I didn't read the books, so that could be why I don't care so much. However, I'm totally into the production style (feels very Bryan Fuller-ish), and I love Neil Patrick Harris as a quirky villain (e.g., Dr. Horrible). Unfortunately, the whole thing dropping at once is stacked against it for me. If I like it enough, I can see myself watching week-to-week as my DVR reminds me, but if it doesn't hook me, then I'll only watch a couple episodes and forget about it.

Kandis: Kill. Sorry, I never read the books. The trailer is evocative of both Harry Potter, and my beloved Pushing Daisies, but also in a way that is very much not for me. Who's the audience for this series? It looks a bit too much like a children's movie to pique my interest.

Mandy: Bang. I liked the movie adaptation of the books well enough, but I never felt fully sucked into the story. This being a series allows for more world-building and kooky adventures for those poor Baudelaire children, which I think will make for a richer adaptation. I’m also curious to see how NPH’s Count Olaf compares with Jim Carrey’s interpretation.

Rosemary: Bang. I'm glad this is a Netflix show because I definitely do not see myself sticking it out one week at a time for this. I will, however, probably binge it in a weekend. Does that make it a Marry instead? I don't know! Netflix releasing whole shows at once is throwing our entire system out of whack! That cast looks absolutely delightful, and I love that they managed to cast a girl who looks like a younger Emily Browning.

Name: Victoria

About: The early life of Queen Victoria, from her accession to the throne at the tender age of 18 through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert.

Get to Know It: Sunday, Jan. 15 on PBS

Known Associates: Jenna Coleman, Rufus Sewell, Eve Myles, Tom Hughes

Marry/Bang/Kill:

Emily: Kill. I'm very slowly making my way through The Crown, and this doesn't look to be as good, so that may do it for me on the Royal Family. Where's the soapiness? If you can add some of that in, I might come back. But I can only handle one dramatic queen at a time.

Kandis: Bang. I love pretty much anything to do with the British monarchy, so I'd definitely have to give this a chance. With Downton Abbey being over, and everyone having already binged on The Crown, it seems like perfect timing for PBS to roll this one out. The lead bears a distracting resemblance to Nina Dobrev, but Lord Melbourne? ALL THE FIRE EMOJIS.

Mandy: Kill. I don’t like Jenna Coleman; her character kind of ruined Doctor Who for me, and that makes me very sad. I know it’s not her fault, but I tend to hold grudges. (I still can’t stand Emile De Ravin because of her role as Tess on Roswell.) Also, if I’m going to watch a period piece about a Queen of England—not exactly my go-to fare—I’m probably going to start with The Crown. I’ve heard a lot of good things.

Rosemary: Marry. As previously mentioned, I'm a sucker for a period drama, but make it a Masterpiece Theater period drama and it's pretty much a sure thing. My only concern for Victoria is whether or not it will overlap with The Crown. Not in terms of plot so much as just English queen overkill. Is there such a thing?

Name: Riverdale

About: A subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small town life, the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale's wholesome facade.

Get to Know It: Thursday, Jan. 26 on The CW

Known Associates: Cole Sprouse, Luke Perry, Molly Ringwald, Marisol Nichols

Marry/Bang/Kill:

Emily: Marry. Finally a show set in high school! They seem to be fewer and farther between and I miss them. I love that this is a twist on an old story, I love that there's a mystery, yet plenty of soapiness, and I LOVE that Luke Perry is in it. People that have seen it CANNOT stop talking about this pilot, so I'm putting a lot into this show to please be everything I want it to be.

Kandis: Marry. This is pretty much everything I want out of a CW show. Dead bodies, town full of secrets and mysteries, hot people, and the possibility of supernatural happenings. I could not be more in.

Mandy: Bang. I’m not entirely sure how this moody murder mystery connects with the Archie comics, but Meredith says good things, and I highly value and trust her opinion. (Even if the main character looks like a budget Edward Cullen.)

Rosemary: Bang. I'm so confused—were the Archie comic books about a murder at the school? I don't know, I didn't read them, and it seems way unexpected. But okay, I guess? I'll give this pilot a shot because I dig a mystery, despite Archie's terrible dye job.

Name: Famous in Love

About: An ordinary college student gets her big break in a Hollywood blockbuster and must navigate through an undeniable chemistry with her two co-leads, while uncovering the truth about a missing popstar.

Get to Know It: Tuesday, April 18 on Freeform

Known Associates: Bella Thorne, Mark Valley, Carter Jenkins

Marry/Bang/Kill:

Emily: Bang. I adore these books, but I can't quite tell if the show has what makes the books so great ... the chemistry between the three main characters. I also don't know I can handle Bella Thorne week to week. Paige is supposed to be a little naive and innocent as she learns to navigate love and Hollywood, which is what makes the story exciting. This feels anything but that, jumping straight into their scandalous lives. I still plan to watch the whole first season, I just don't know I'm going to love it enough to marry.

Kandis: Bang. I enjoyed the books, but Bella Thorne seems crazy miscast. She exudes established starlet a little too much to be an overnight sensation. But I'm into the proposed changes, like adding a Hollywood murder mystery, which promises to add some surprises, even if you're already familiar with the story.

Mandy: Kill. I wasn’t a huge fan of the book, and am even less of a fan of Bella Thorne.

Rosemary: Kill. Eek! Unpopular opinion time: I did not like this book. And Bella Thorne bugs me in a big, big way. I know that I'm supposed to like it because it's a Marlene King show based on a YA book series and I am the FYA Pretty Little Liars recapper, but I'm not gonna lie - Marlene and I have not seen eye to eye these last few seasons of PLL. All this to say: respectful pass.

 

Are you excited for any of these shows? Did we miss any you’re looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!

All About descriptions and Known Associates info via IMDB.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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