WASHINGTON, January 3, 2014 — With 2014 full of new shows, the return of old favorites, and a few shows perfect for weekends of binge watching, there are plenty of reasons to stay in and hibernate this winter. Television Fanatic, a browser extension, allows people to legally wathch their favorite shows via a legal stream online.
Think of it as Kayak for TV.
Helping viewers find the best available shows, Television Fanatic has provided Communities their picks for the first three months of 2014.
Grab your popcorn and your favorite blanket.
What happens inside a man’s mind? Two female contestants compete to guess what guys really think about a variety of topics, while a panel of celebrities make jokes and occasionally offer advice. A modern version of Singled Out with a twist, this could be a new guilty pleasure.
Treason, lies, and betrayal. This mini-series about high stakes international espionage, set against the height of the Cold War, follows the hunt for mole Aldrich Ames. Based on a true and damaging story for the C.I.A., this is ABC’s most anticipated spy drama since Alias.
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, and eight episodes to find what happens to the Louisiana cops they play. Given the success of American Horror Story, this continues the trend of anthology dramas with potentially revolving actors.
If renewed, there will be a new story and new actors. This show has the best acting and directing (Cary Fukunaga) of any new show.
CBS rarely fails when it comes to drama and critics have nothing but good things to say so far. Josh Holloway (Lost) is a high-tech intelligence asset with an expensive microchip in his brain. He is often prone to reckless and unpredictable behavior. Marg Helgenberger (CSI) oversees the program. Sounds like the recipe for a winner.
Greg Kinnear plays an attorney with plenty of vices and a propensity for defending guilty clients. The House comparison is obvious. He’s great at what he does and awful when it comes to his personal life. Kinnear is rarely bad and seems born to play the role.
A show that makes fun of military life without making fun of the military itself, FOX pushed back the pilot to midseason. A surprise as critics found it to be one of the fall’s most promising pilots. The dynamic of the three brothers, serving in the same army unit, is fantastic and the jokes are plenty.
Funny or Die’s new mock-miniseries stars Will Ferrell, Tobey Maguire, Kristen Wiig, Tim Robbins, Jessica Alba, a fat Val Kilmer, and a grown-up Haley Joel Osment. Taking the five-minute short to thirty-minute episodes may be ambitious, but it’s worth watching on cast alone.
From the team behind Archer, this is the average story of a gay rapper recently released from prison. Bobby Moynihan stars along with Danny McBride and Method Man.
This time Leno is actually ready to leave. After the Olympics, Jimmy Fallon will attempt to inject a new, younger audience in to the gold standard of late night. He’s done surprisingly well in the 12:35 AM slot and every indication is that he will do the same with The Tonight Show. That’s what makes this premiere so anticipated. Will NBC have patience this time? Will Fallon slow jam the news in the first show?
Creator Dan Harmon is back. Chevy Chase is gone. Donald Glover is leaving after the first five episodes. The upside is that Harmon is aiming to make the fifth season like the popular first two. Add Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) as a criminology professor and it may be worth taking a look.
ABC is dubbing this month “Juanuary.”The Bachelor finally has its first Latino bachelor. Retired soccer player and single dad, Juan Pablo, should give female fans a reason to swoon.
The times are changing, entering the Jazz Age. Downton Abbey has built an audience on drama and scandal set in a finer, more refined time.
Back for a third season, Girls has built a reputation on being surprising if not shocking. People either love it or hate it. Lena Durham is clever and even if the second season didn’t live up to high expectations. The third should be worth watching.
Some say the show is an acquired taste. Those who love it, swear by it. To be fair, there are a lot of inside jokes from the creators’ previous show Frisky Dingo. The main character, Sterling Archer, is as unlovable as House yet hilarious. Chris Parnell’s voice steals scenes.
This show has become a real dynasty setting cable ratings records. Time will tell if the success continues or if the show has jumped the duck pond. Either way, it is now one of the most anticipated premieres of January.
This modern and excellent adaptation of Sherlock Holmes is worth dealing with pledge drives on PBS. Plus, if you use Television Fanatic to watch online there are no pledge drives.
This may be the best show people haven’t heard of right now. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman take time from their movie careers to deliver great performances.
For those without a date on Valentine’s Day, House of Cards returns as the best show to binge watch on TV. Episodes are like Lays, “no one can [watch] just one.” The ruthless politician Francis Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, is one of the most dynamic characters on television.
Season 9 has not been as good as the first eight, but this ensemble comedy, some say the best since Friends, will be hard to let go. Ted will finally meet the mother, even if the audience already knows who it is. Even if the first part of the season has been slow, the finale can still be expected to be “legen…wait for it…dary”
There is something for everyone in 2014. Some panned the fall season for a lack of great comedies. The finale of Breaking Bad also leaves room for new shows and existing shows to become someone’s new favorite show. Thanks to Television Fanatic for the picks, it’s time to start watching.
Jeff Barrett is an experienced columnist and digital public relations professional. He has been named Business Insider’s #1 Ad Executive on Twitter, a Forbes Top 50 Influencer In Social Media and has contributed to Technorati, Mashable and The Detroit Free Press.
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