With only a few breakout hits having premiered this past fall, it’s time for the networks to throw their midseason shows against the walls of our brains and see what sticks. In the past, “midseason” was a dirty word. If a show debuted in January, it meant a network wasn’t confident enough to add it to their fall line-up, and it was only being touted out halfway through the year on the off chance it might be a hit like Grey’s Anatomy.
However, the 2012 midseason looks different than others. Could these programs actually be overwhelmingly good? For the most part it looks like the answer is yes. Check out the slate of programs below. You just might find that they don’t completely suck… with a few exceptions (i.e. Chelsea).
A spin-off of the 1993 Tom Cruise legal thriller about a lawyer running his ass off to escape Wilford Brimley, John Grisham’s The Firm premieres on NBC Sunday, January 8th. Set ten years after the events of the first film, it seems that not much has changed. The promos feature so much running!
Though it’s getting great reviews due to the performances of Josh Lucas, Molly Parker, and Callum Keith Rennie, there is a decided lack of Brimley. Sure, he’s probably not up for much running these days, but they could get him a Jazzy scooter or something. ANYTHING.
Showtime’s House of Lies has the odds stacked against it right out of the gate. Yes, it stars Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell, and Parks and Recreation’s Ben Schwartz. All are very likable, but these roles call for them to play despicable. It’s their job to help banks that foreclose on homes look good in the press. Reactions to an early preview are that the characters are too difficult to love. Perhaps there’ll be some kind of redemption in later episodes. There’s also gratuitous nudity. That’s always worth a gander. Premieres January 8th.
In an attempt to capitalize on the wave of female-driven comedy that Bridesmaids kicked off, NBC is pairing this Chelsea Handler autobiographical sitcom alongside Whitney. Based off Handler’s memoir, Are You There, Vodka. It’s Me, Chelsea, Laura Prepon plays Chelsea while Handler herself steps in to play her older sister. Early reviews have been as unkind as Handler’s material tends to be. But given the fact that people will watch anything, it just might have a shot. Premieres January 11th.