Law & Order (began January 2, 10/9c NBC): Now in its 18th season (wow), this series gets a couple of new characters—a new detective (Six Feet Under’s Jeremy Sisto) and a new Assistant DA (Batman Begin’s Linus Roache)—in addition to a new DA: Sam Waterston’s Jack McCoy is finally filling those shoes. Though I usually catch this series in reruns, I really like it; the writing is smart, the cases interesting, and its plots often stumble on thought provoking issues—all of which has the potential to bring God-talk into open spaces, even if it’s just your living room.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (premieres 1/13, 8/7c Fox). Starring Lena Headey and Summer Glau (whom this blog loved as River in Firefly and Serenity). In the Terminator timeline, this new series settles in after Terminator 2: Judgement Day and follows the adventures and travails of Sarah and her son John (who’s destined to become the savior of mankind). Peter Chattaway’s been following this one pretty close—see his most recent post here.
The Complete Jane Austen (premieres 1/13 PBS). Courtesy of Masterpiece Theatre, we’ll get to enjoy new adaptations of Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility plus previous adaptations of Emma (with Kate Beckinsale) and Pride and Prejudice (with Colin Firth). Man, it doesn’t get any better than this! Sheesh!
American Idol (returns 1/15, 8/7c Fox). I slipped over to the dark side (as my friend Lauren puts it) last year when I got hooked on this show. I’m not a big reality television fan, but this one sucks me in for some unknown reason. Go figure.
Lost (returns 1/31, 9/8c ABC). This series is on-again/off-again when it comes to my DVR. I was hooked for the first couple of seasons, not the least of its draws being its explorations of the role faith plays in our lives. But then I thought the series bogged down (and I just about wrote it off after Eko was senselessly killed off). But, at the end of last season, things got interesting. So, I’m going to give it another chance.
Eli Stone (premieres 1/31/, 10/9c ABC). This series is a natural for this blog. According to TV Guide, “Executive producer Greg Berlanti says Eli Stone is about ‘dealing with faith and discovering spirituality’. . . . In it, a high-powered San Francisco attorney played by Johnny Lee Miller (Trainspotting) wonders if he might be a modern-day prophet.” It all doesn’t come out of the blue—turns out the guy is dealing with a medical diagnosis of some kind and he’s having visions of pop star George Michael. Heh. Well, I’m still willing to give it a shot.
Jericho (returns 2/12, 10/9c CBS). This post-apocalypse series is another of my top 10 series last year. Initially, it wasn’t renewed for a second season, but due to fan demand, it’s returning for seven episodes. It’s coming back without this blog’s fav ex-Mayor Johnston Green (who was killed), but at least we get an ending to a story that’s been surprisingly engaging. For more from this blog, see here, here and here.
Battlestar Galactica. (April, Sci-Fi Channel). Another of my top 10 series, this is the last season for this dark, thought provoking and God-talk producing series. EW’s spoilerish two-page Last Supper like photo spread that features many of the main characters is just one more example of its explorations of themes and issues that brings God-talk into open spaces. This series isn’t for everyone—it occasionally pushes boundaries with its sexual and violent content—but remains one of the more captivating stories on television. For more from this blog, see here, here, here and here.
In addition, I’m making sure my DVR's still recording the continuing seasons (which will be a heck of a lot shorter due to the writer’s strike) of some of my favorites, including Pushing Daisies, Bones, Reaper, Smallville and House. 24 was originally supposed to air this month, but has been postponed (due to the writer’s strike). And, man, am I gonna miss Heroes, of which we saw only half the scheduled episodes (again, due to the writer’s strike). Doctor Who will return sometime either this spring or summer, as will Eureka.
And that’s it for now!
(Images: from the websites of the series indicated)