TV on Tap: Turning “Downton Abbey”‘s Bates into a Super Spy, Looking Back at the Crazy Fashion Sense of the Classic “Star Trek,” and Will 2013 Be a Year that Changes TV?

New Year’s Day brings ten hours of AbFab. That’s got to be a good beginning for the year.


The AV Club suggests that 2013 will be the year that ends TV as we know it. With DVRs diminishing the importance of time slots, the continued rise of cable and the demise of many era-defining shows like 30 Rock and Breaking Bad, there’s a good case to be made that the medium has been putting off a big change for a while.

This feels like a spoiler, Once Upon a Time cast Sonequa Martin-Green — who made her Walking Dead debut in the midseason finale — to play a character named Tarmara. I guess I shouldn’t get attached to her The Walking Dead character.

A Downton Abbey parody comic where Bates leads a double-life as a super-spy (and Thomas is obsessed with figuring out why Bates is always locked away polishing silver)? Sign me up.

The Associated Press asserts that Chris Mathews symbolizes MSNBC’s growing comfort in being the liberal-leaning answer to Fox News. As someone who has been at MSBC for so long, Matthews does symbolize the transition from Fox News-wannabe to Fox News-counterpoint, but I’d like to think Chris Hayes and Steve Kornacki represent its future.

You know what was once of the greatest combinations to appear on TV? The meeting of 60s fashion-forward aesthetic and futuristic science-fiction that came together on the classic Star Trek. io9 has the gallery to prove it. Yes, some of it was ridiculous, but its a fun part of the show, one often overlooked because of the other great qualities of Star Trek. I hope someone at Project Runway has arranged for a challenge to promote the new movie.

Being a casting director for reality TV sounds like a nightmare where you have to deal with people desperate for attention in a format that has elevated some truly horrible qualities. As a genre I think reality TV delivers a mix of good and bad, but I expect the casting directors get a lot of people who think being able to yell while flipping a table counts as star power. However, Salon notes that what makes a reality star stand out is when they live in two different worlds and don’t quite fit into either one. I’m not willing to watch Jersey Shore to see if the assertion holds up.


The Twilight Zone Marathon (Syfy) all day
As Syfy continues celebrating the New Year with the mind of Rod Serling, Tuesday brings more classics including “Five Characters in Search of an Exit” (essential to pop cultural literacy, if you ask me) at 6:30 PM, “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Drive” at 7:30 PM and “Time Enough at Last” at 8:30.

Absolutely Fabulous Marathon (Logo) starting at 6:00 AM ET
Bewitched Marathon (Logo) starting at 10:00 AM ET
Absolutely Fabulous Marathon (Logo) starting at 10:00 PM ET
Logo’s spending New Year’s Day with faboo women giving four morning hours to Patsy and Edina until their bedtime arrives and they turn things over to Samantha Stevens as they take a 12-hour disco nap before returning.

Bunheads Marathon (ABC Family) starting at 11:00 AM ET
With the Paradise snappy banter club returning next week, ABC Family is offering a chance to catch up with the last few episodes from last season. I’m in a need of catching up, myself, since I wasn’t sure if one of those episodes was going to reveal what happens to Daenerys’s dragons and spoil my partner on a yet-unwatched season of Game of Thrones.

Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
The Wendy Williams Show (syndicated) Check local listings
We’ve got a New Year’s Day double-feature of Alan Cumming. First, Anderson surprises him with “one of his all-time favorite stars” before his joins Wendy for her style of dishy chit-chat and the occasional game.

Great Performances (PBS) Check local listings
Following up on Broadway: The American Musical, this entry looks at how Jewish artists like Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim have made their mark on musical theatre.

Mean Girls (MTV) 8:00 PM ET
2012 gave us Liz & Dick but let’s hope Lindsey Lohan resolves to be more like the version of herself who starred in Tina Fey’s 2004 movie.

Chopped (Food Network) 10:00 PM ET
For it’s 13th (!) season finale (don’t worry, there’s a new episode on Sunday and, no, I can’t figure out Chopped’s seasons either, but at least there’s plenty of Ted Allen on Tap) Chopped puts some extra challenging mystery baskets together, like the cocoa, pepper and fish appetizer and the Wheatgrass dessert — and then one cheftestant makes things even harder by dropping the main ingredient.

Biggest Baddest Model Moments (Oxygen) 10:00 PM ET
For those of you who love to see models taking a stumble on the runway, Oxygen has this special where Nigel Barker (ANTM misses you, Nigel!) host clips of ridiculous fashion moments.

Parenthood (NBC) 10:00 PM ET
I go back and forth with Parenthood finding it addictive and moving one week, only to start hoping for a serial killer storyline the next. I’m keeping my fringers crossed the Bravermans resolved not to have those moments of being insufferable in 2013 as they make their winter premiere.

What will you be watching tonight? Please share in the comments!

Tomorrow’s Preview

Anderson Live (syndicated) CHeck local listings
Carmen Electra joins Anderson to discuss her new single and talk with a woman with 20 personalities.

The Wendy Williams Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Isaac Mizrahi joins Wendy tomorrow to talk up Proect Runway All Stars.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
Will starts rethinking his feelings about custody arrangements, Be sure to join us for a liveblog!

Lyle Masaki is a fan of obscure superheroes, video games, adorkable guys and that show you loved that got cancelled way too soon.