New year, new shows! After holiday
hiatus, primetime programs continue, new series begin and established
shows return with new seasons. Here’s a look at what’s to come, plus
additional premieres in this week’s listings.
The countdown to Christmas is on! Whether
you’re braving the mall for last-minute shopping, whipping up some
cookies for Santa or Grinching it up in the confines of your apartment,
the holidays are in full swing. Get in the spirit with some festive
shows and specials this week.
Many popular series take a break this week for the holiday, which is kind of a bummer — for some of us, the Real Housewives
are the closest thing we have to family! But it does give us a chance
to feast on some buzzed-about shows on streaming sites and devices. Here
are some great choices to enjoy between football and plates of grub.
The last time audiences saw queen
bee-otch Ja’mie King, the Australian high school student had just
finished a term as an exchange student at — gasp! — a public school in Summer Heights High. Now she’s back on her home turf, wrapping up her senior year on-camera in Ja’mie: Private School Girl (Series Premiere, 10:30 p.m. Sunday, HBO).
Combining dramatized history, a late-’50s
American setting and the topic of sex is guaranteed to attract an
audience to nearly any show. But Masters of Sex (10 p.m.
Sundays, Showtime) delivers beyond these popular tropes to explore the
real-life early scientific study of human sexuality.
As fans of Eastbound and Down (10
p.m. Sundays, HBO) know, the show, albeit hilarious, delves into some
pretty dark waters. Danny McBride’s notorious baseball bad boy Kenny
Powers walks the line between making us laugh and raising concern with
his seriously disturbed behavior.
p.m. Thursdays), now in its fifth season, is loosely based on the 1989
Ron Howard film starring Steve Martin. This hilarious offering from the
quotable ’80s movie vault sets the stage for its contemporary series
All Hallows’ Eve might not be for another
week, but judging by the number of “fun-size” candy bags on sale,
pumpkin patch photo shoots on Instagram and Halloween-inspired
television offerings, it appears this quintessential fall holiday is
already upon us.
Last week’s fourth season premiere of The Walking Dead was the first offering from new showrunner Scott
Gimple. He and others involved in the series have expressed a desire to
incorporate more character development, leaving some fans worried that
dull human storylines could get in the way of epic zombie scenes (who
could forget the painfully slow second season?). Judging by the first
episode, however, this is not the case.
American Horror Story: Coven (Series Premiere, 10 p.m. Wednesday, FX), as the subtitle suggests, is all about witches. Of course, this is no Hocus Pocus
— the series will jump across time and the country to feature
modern-day witchcraft, 19th-century Voodoo and the Salem witch trials.
In present day, witches are rare and in danger.
Homeland has always been a psychological drama. The series began as a
mind-bending story centered on “turned” prisoner of war Nicholas Brody
and CIA officer Carrie Mathison (the role for which Claire Danes just
nabbed another Emmy). But the bombing in last season’s finale has turned
Homeland on its head, along with most of the show’s characters.
Get ready to treat yo’self, because Parks and Recreation (8 p.m. Thursdays, NBC) is back with an hour-long premiere this week. This sixth season opens with the Pawnee
crew in London, where Leslie is honored with an international “Women in
Government” award. Expect Leslie, Ben, April and Andy to take in the
sights as Ron preaches his disdain for all things European.
The Primetime Emmy Awards (8 p.m. Sunday,
CBS) celebrate the stars of the small screen and while the spotlight is
on the television shows, it’s always telling to see who’s been chosen
to host these grand ceremonies. Neil Patrick Harris will “suit up” (as
his TV character Barney Stinson would say) this year to host Sunday’s
program, a task he’s certainly prepared for.