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8 must-watch midseason premieres

Everyone is super jazzed (understandly) about House of Cards releasing a whole new season (again) on Feb. 27, but while most other programs are already knee-deep into their winter runs, there are still a few new shows on the midseason horizon that have yet to air their premiere episode.

It’s going to be a solid season for freshmen series, with a slew of promising new comedies and dramas coming out. Here are eight premieres that you have to keep an eye out for, for better or worse.

Sunday, March 1: Secrets and Lies (9/8C on ABC)

If Resurrection has done television any favors, it’s definitely helped make dead kids a way more popular story line. However, in place of the lovable Frances Fisher, you have a really angry Juliette Lewis and a really sad Ryan Phillippe. Secrets and Lies follows Phillippe’s character after he finds the body of the 5-year-old boy who lived across the street. He becomes a prime suspect, and the detective on the case (Lewis) really has no interest in being BFFs with him. To clear his name, he goes on the search for the killer on his own.

Verdict: Doesn’t seem like a sustainable series, but I mean … it has Juliette Lewis, so you need to watch.

Sunday, March 1: The Last Man on Earth (9:30/8:30C on Fox)

I like to imagine that if Will Smith had been really immature and never had his dog friend on I Am Legend and superhuman zombie people weren’t everywhere, it would have been a lot like The Last Man on Earth appears to be. Will Forte plays a man who is, you guessed it, literally the last man on Earth … but that can’t be right, because as strong of a comedic actor as Forte is, there’s no way we can have a show with only one actor.

Verdict: Watch the trailer for Forte’s rendition of ‘”The Star-Spangled Banner.” Watch the news to see whether or not it gets canceled.

Wednesday, March 4: CSI: Cyber (8/7C on CBS)

Patricia Arquette in CSI: Cyber

When you try to copy an already great show, you tend to get a lot of renditions that, simply put, are just not as great as the original, but … Y’ALL. Patricia Arquette. MEDIUM is going to star in CSI: Cyber. Coming straight off an Oscar nomination (and probable win, let’s be honest), Patty A. looks fantastic in the promos. Everyone knows how CSI works—procedural police drama. Standard. But this time it involves so much more: the Internet, James Van Der Beek, and a new logo. It feels like it’s going to be worth it, and it’s positioned with Criminal Minds, which is a fun night of investigative TV.

Verdict: Even if you don’t like it, pretend that it’s just a really inventive next chapter for Patricia Arquette’s character from Boyhood.

Thursday, March 5: Dig (10/9C on USA)

Okay, so here’s the deal. Two very promising shows are airing at 10 on Thursday nights. With How to Get Away With Murder out of the mix, American Crime is poised to take its place and benefit froman audience who simply didn’t realize that HTGAWM is off for the season. To be honest: It could be great. It could also be a televised version of Crash. So instead, let’s focus on Dig, which goes in a different direction. Dig traces the murder of a young American in Jerusalem, with the lead detective (Jason Isaacs) diving into the holy city to solve the murder and a ton of other mysteries. Also, Anne Heche stars as Isaac’s part-time lover/full-time boss. Anne Heche combined with Jerusalem brings back enough early 2000s memories of Anne Heche that you should feel compelled to watch. Plus it’s from the creators of Homeland and Heroes.

Verdict: Anne Heche (and her former alter ego) is my biggest selling point here. But this looks like the darker, more authentic option in this time slot.

Friday, March 6: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix streaming)

There are too many positive things to say about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to focus on one. The show was written by Tina Fey, brings both Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski back to television, is available in one giant chunk on Netflix, and is one of the few shows premiering midseason that might actually make you laugh.

The promo begins with “apocalypse” sung to the tune of “O Christmas Tree.” Soon after that, Kimmy (Kemper) and her hostage sisters are broken out of their makeshift apocalypse shelter and shown that the world does in fact still exist. Watching Kemper tackle the new millennium as Kimmy has all the potential in the world.

Verdict: Watch the show. The whole damn show. But don’t watch it too quickly, because it’s Netflix, and you will have to wait an entire year for another next season.

Tuesday, March 17: iZombie (9/8C on The CW)

Rose McIver in iZombie

Have you ever watched Veronica Mars and thought to yourself, “I really love this show, but I wish she were dead, ya know?” Well, if you have, then your dream has come true. Based on the DC Comics version, iZombie is about the life of Liv (Rose McIver) who has decided that in the wake of her zombie-ness, she can use her powers to help the world. Her powers? Oh, she just eats some brains and then she can see people’s memories and stuff. No big deal. Like a lot of CW shows, it looks like it’s trying to be sexy at times—but it also might be one of the most endearing new series this season.

Verdict: If you’re totally cool with watching a young actress embody that Kate Moss look while snacking on fake brains/solving crime, then yeah, go for it.

Tuesday, March 17: One Big Happy (9:30/8:30C on NBC)

No one is trying to pigeonhole gay comedies here—I like to believe that we live in a world where a gay comedy is actually just, you know, a comedy. But something about One Big Happy looks a lot like a gender reversal of the season five falling-out between Will and Grace. Elisha Cuthbert (lovable lesbian) and Nick Zano (lovable bro/nitwit) star as best friends who decide to have a baby together, but then bro gets married to sexy lady and lovable lesbian is already pregnant. The premise seems a little tired, and in a television landscape where comedy has been elevated to the point where it’s at, I’m not so sure One Big Happy will have the ending it’s hoping for.

Verdict: It is produced by Ellen DeGeneres, and everyone loves Ellen. It honestly might be worth watching because she’s so great and, usually, so is everything she touches.

Friday, March 20: Bloodline (Netflix streaming)

Kyle Chandler in Bloodline

COACH ERIC TAYLOR IS BACK ON THE TELEVISION. And so are a bunch of other people! Bloodline stars Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini, Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepard, your mother, and pretty much everyone else you care about in your life. Guys, it’s looking hella dark—the drama thriller focuses on three siblings from a respected family, one of which threatens to reveal secrets that could bring the family down. Naturally, Chandler seems to be playing the good guy and every scene involving Spacek just reminds you how fantastic this show has the potential to be. Much like Kimmy, it will be hard not to tear through all 13 episodes when it is released. But with a cast like this, how can you not?

Verdict: It looks like it’s set on a dark, sexy island, and these “secrets” might paint good guy Kyle Chandler in a light we’ve never seen him before. Definitely watch.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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