Week 1: Monday February 4th-Sunday February 10th, 2013.
The Following: Fox’s serial killer drama found Kevin Bacon and company hunting down one of Joe Carroll’s acolytes, who likes to walk around in an Edgar Allen Poe mask and to set people on fire. The third episode in one of the best new series showed how Kevin Bacon’s character Ryan Hardy first came to know Joe Carroll all those years ago, while also showing the beginning stages of how Joe Carroll’s cult first began to plan the gruesome murders they have been committing. With even more shocking deaths and an interesting look into the relationship between a serial killer and the person who caught them, The Following continued its stellar run on the Fox network, and looks to become an instant cult hit, pun intended.
Justified: A modern day western drama like Justified keeps fans anticipating what US Marshall Raylan Givens will have to do next. In this week’s episode, Raylan was forced to find the infamous Drew Thompson after his father, who has been in prison since the previous season, decides to give up everything he knows about Drew Thompson in exchange for his freedom. While searching the hills of Harlan County for Thompson, he learns that his rival, Boyd Crowder, has been searching for Thompson as well. Given the task by mobster Wynn Duffy, Boyd finds himself racing to find Thompson before Raylan can. Meanwhile, newcomer to Boyd’s gang, Colt Rhodes races to find Ellen May, whom Boyd had asked Colt to kill. Showcasing the inner workings of Harlan County’s criminal element and the troubled relationship between lawman Raylan and criminal Boyd, the hour long drama was filled with the intense drama and ironic humor that fans have come to know and love from the show, and the fourth season continues to up the ante of this FX drama.
Arrow: Another hit series continued its winning streak as the CW’s Arrow delved into one of the more ruthless criminals in Starling City. After mobster Cyrus Vanch is released from prison, he decides to go after Arrow in order to establish himself as the most powerful in the criminal underworld, which inadvertently puts Laurel Lance in the cross-hairs. Meanwhile, Oliver begins to question his mother’s motives, while Diggle pushes Oliver to dig into his mother’s past and her whereabouts more. The very realistic and dramatic take on the classic DC comics hero Green Arrow has quickly become an instant hit and looks to become an established television program for the CW.
The Vampire Diaries: The CW’s hit drama about a group of people somehow connected or affected by supernatural creatures such as vampires, witches, and werewolves, saw vampire Elena, Damon, Stefan, Bonnie, new villain Shane and Original Vampire Rebekah go to Nova Scotia in search of an ancient of the eldest immortal being, Silas, where the “vampire cure” awaits. The hour long drama saw the complicated relationship between new vampire Elena and her vampire ex-boyfriend, Stefan, who has begun sleeping with Rebekah. We saw the group navigate through an island full of traps, mystery, and unseen foes who began to hunt them down. Showcasing the maturing nature of both the characters and the story, and increasing the threats and evil that continues to threaten the group, the fourth season has continued to showcase the strong power of show-runner Kevin Williamson, (who also is the show-runner on The Following), and with strong performances from leading lady Nina Dobrev and leading men Ian Somerholder and Paul Wesley, the show is sure to keep going strong for more seasons to come.
Nikita: The third season of the hit CW show Nikita has been electrifying to say the least. With Nikita and company now fully in charge of running Division, the group has had its ups and downs, from Nikita and Michael getting engaged to Alex becoming addicted to pain killers and more recently, Nikita being forced to cut off Michael’s hand after he becomes pinned under a burning car. With their relationship strained, Nikita learns from Birkhoff that a scientist who worked with Division previously has developed a serum that can regenerate limbs over carbon-fiber bones. Determined to get Michael back to himself, she goes halfway around the world to find the scientist, but inadvertently gets captured by a foreign government official. In this episode we see the high-octane drama and action intensify as this strong, resilient woman fights for the man she loves and puts everything else on the line, giving Maggie Q one of her strongest performances this season. One of the most adult shows on the CW, Nikita has proven time and time again that everyone loves a spy-thriller, and if the show continues to stay as strong as it has been, the show should be around for many seasons to come.
Shameless: The Gallagher’s have definitely gotten themselves into even more trouble in the third season of the Showtime dramedy. In this weeks episode, Fiona tried to rally her coworkers at the supermarket to fight against the sexual harassment of their boss, while Jimmy found out a hard truth about his father, Carl continues to think he has cancer after Frank convinces him he does, and so he goes to a special camp for kids with cancer, and Frank is asked by Sheila to convince Jody to allow her to play with sex toys like Frank and Sheila used to. Taking themselves to the very brink of deprivation and then pushing that line even further, the Gallagher’s have proven how dramatic and yet hilarious Showtime’s Shameless truly is. This show has quickly become a staple of Showtime’s winter/spring lineup, and will continue to do so if this spectacular cast and writing crew continue to do the amazing work that they have given audiences for the last three years.