Marvelous Mid-Season TV

It’s that time of year… when your favorite TV shows are all on hiatus and the networks bring out new or limited series to fill in the timeslots.

I’m very, very happy for the return of Marvel’s Agent Carter on ABC! Since the show ended its first season last year, I’ve been eagerly awaiting its comeback. And so far… so good.

The best: Peggy Carter, Edwin Jarvis, Daniel Sousa and especially Howard Stark are all in fine form! There are some terrific new characters like Calvin Chadwick (played by the always charismatically creepy Currie Graham – or the ‘Canadian Kevin Spacey’ as I’ve thought of him for years!) and Jason Wilkes (the irresistibly appealing Reggie Austin – it’s easy to see why his character would turn Peggy’s head!).

And this season they’ve finally introduced Jarvis’ wife, Ana, who is… odd… but somehow quite endearing! Her quirkiness allows forgiveness for her getting in the way of those fans who would “ship” Peggy and Jarvis as a couple.

But speaking of romantic pairings… the show does seem to be emphasizing the soap opera aspects this season, a bit more than the Alias/spy format of last season and I’ll attribute it to the new showrunners. We shall see if the plotlines pay off as well as the romance over the next few weeks!

This mid-season of television also brings back some very long-lost friends on FOX – in the form of The X-Files’ Mulder and Scully (talk about fan-beloved duos!)! Two episodes in and the show is holding up well, both for its nostalgia factor in bringing back favorites such as SPOILER AHEAD! (highlight the text ahead for some familiar faces) Walter Skinner and the Cigarette Smoking Man – as well as the entertaining alien and government conspiracy plotlines.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are as smooth together in their roles and relationship as if they’d just parted a season ago. It’s like visual comfort food to have these two back on my TV!  And hearing the memorable opening credits theme music puts a big smile on my face!

But the mid-season has wonderfully also delivered a promising new series that I’m already hooked on after one episode airing…

Lucifer – based loosely on the DC Comics/Vertigo title. And yes, it’s basically a crime procedural with Satan.

Which doesn’t particularly distinguish it well from say – a crime procedural with a vampire, or zombie, or any immortal human-type creature. So yes, it’s… familiar.

But in this case, familiarity breeds affection. Especially when it’s combined with a terrific cast! This one was already on my radar because of D.B. Woodside (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Kevin Alejandro (True Blood). And I’d enjoyed star Tom Ellis when I’d seen him in a small role in Doctor Who. But he’s really magnificently dashing yet vulnerable in the lead role of a weary Lucifer who has gotten tired of following his father’s demands to run Hell. So he’s taking a vacation on Earth and quickly becomes enamored of a beautiful cop with a challenging background and family life.

Okay, yes, familiar again. But every story is an old story – it’s really just a matter if it’s told well or not. And so far, I like the telling of this tale.

I also really liked that for a show set in Los Angeles, there were exterior scenes actually shot in Los Angeles! For a Disney connection, the exterior location used to represent the outside of Lucifer’s club… is really the building in Hollywood that houses the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show and the Disney-run El Capitan Theatre, along with the associated Disney Studio Store Hollywood/Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop! I know because I’ve stood many times at that exact building corner waiting in line for Disney pin releases at the Disney Studio Store Hollywood!  So it was particularly amusing to see it used in the show. We’ll see if they keep utilizing the location in later episodes, or if it just winds up in establishing shots with exteriors moved to a more popular filming location such as Vancouver.

At any rate, as I await catching back up with my favorite regular network shows, Once Upon a Time and The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, I am loving having three terrific TV options to fill in the gap weeks!

Have you been watching Agent Carter, The X-Files or Lucifer? Or is there something else you’re watching during this mid-season TV time?

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