Television: The Midseason

After the holiday hiatus, many shows will be returning, some just from the holiday break and some from much longer vacations. Here's what's currently on (and off) my list, including some that could fall either way.

House Hunters & HH International—I'd say this was a guilty pleasure, but I don't feel guilty about it so much as kind of sheepish. But on nights when I don't want to have to think too hard, this is a good one to turn on and eat a dish of ice cream in front of.

Revolution—I haven't decided if I'll bother picking up with this series when it returns in March. The longer it's gone, the less I care.

Smash—It's ridiculous how happy I am about this show returning. Yeah, yeah, whine all you want about the crappy wardrobe and stupid subplots involving peanut allergies, but this one keeps me glued even when it's utterly dumb.

Modern Family—I'm still watching, though it seems less and less funny, like maybe they're trying too hard to live up to their own hype. Every now and then there's a truly hilarious episode, but those are becoming fewer and farther between.

American Horror Story—This one is actually almost done for the season. I swear to God, if the aliens perform some Deus Ex Machina shit I will be royally pissed.

30 Rock—It's making its final season worthwhile by opening up all the stops and getting back to what really made it good to begin with. And now, because it's ending, 30 Rock is able to do things with the characters it couldn't do if it needed to continue to sustain them over a longer time. (After all, comedy is about stasis until the final chapter brings a change: weddings and such.)

The Office—This has floundered since Steve Carrell's departure; Ed Helms has not carried the weight well at all. Some of the best episodes this season have been in Helms' absence. And let's all admit it: we don't care about Jim's new job or whatever. Like 30 Rock, The Office is sailing toward its conclusion, and changes are being foreshadowed, but with a lot less funny. I'm really only still watching to see it end, but it's kind of like watching someone die.

Elementary—I just . . . Ugh. This show has such potential. It's a little bit aggravating to watch because it's so uneven. It's like a cake with bubbles in it. The leads are great, the regular supporting cast is solid, but the plots are weak, and it's just not quite there yet. I keep hoping it will be, which is why I'm still watching. I'll give them the rest of the season and then see.

Game of Thrones—I don't really give this show my full attention while watching, but I do enjoy it in a peripheral kind of way.

Doctor Who—I dunno. I'm kind of done with Matt Smith. Blasphemy, I'm sure, but he seems to have exhausted his repertoire. I'm not convinced this 50th anniversary is going to be such a big thing, no matter how much they're trying to make it seem that way. But maybe they'll surprise me. I like surprises . . .

As for things on the horizon: I'm looking forward to giving The Following a try. Sounds like a creeptastic premise and I like Kevin Bacon, so . . . Plus, FOX is in desperate need of a little love. Right now I'm not watching anything on their network. Time to throw them a bone. Here's hoping the show is as good as it sounds.

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