The Ninjabot

Best New TV Shows of 2013

Posted on December 15, 2013 at 11:30 am by Amanda Andonian

Although Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been an incredible disappointment, there are still a number of new shows this year that deserve a shout-out for actually being entertaining and fun to watch. Television is not dead—you just have to know where to find the good stuff. So in no particular order, here are some of the best new TV shows of 2013 that we’ve been watching.


Almost Human

Futuristic crime drama with android cops and Dr. McCoy? Sign me up! Apparently channeling what I can now only assume is his new alter-ego, Karl “Bones” Urban plays Detective John Kennex, who is basically a toned down, more angsty version of Star Trek’s most famous doctor. And that’s totally fine with me (though Dave may feel differently)! Michael Ealy also gives a terrific performance as slightly-more-evolved-than-your-average-android, Dorian. Their dynamic together is immediately off to a great start, and Dorian’s constant needling and humor at Kennex’s expense is well worth sitting through the average procedural dullness.


Trophy Wife

If you can just get past the name for a minute, Trophy Wife is a wonderful new comedy starring one of my personal favorites, Bradley Whitford. It’s also kind of convinced me that Malin Akerman is a good actress—just one who should restrict herself to comedies (don’t even get me started on Watchmen). Despite the horrible name, Trophy Wife isn’t about Whitford’s hot new wife, but the crazy extended family he’s created from being married three times. Marcia Gay Harden is ridiculously funny as his first wife, and the whole gaggle of kids only add to the sharp humor and silly situations. It’s kind of the Modern Family of divorcées.


Brooklyn 99

Centered around the wacky hijinks of the NYPD’s 99th precinct, Brooklyn 99 is a truly ensemble comedy that hits all the right notes straight out of the gate. Each character comes into the show (nearly) completely formed, and there was no sense of ramping up or evolving into the show that it wants to be. Brooklyn 99 knows exactly what it is, and it consistently delivers laughs every minute. I can’t even point out who my favorite among the cast is since they’re all incredibly funny people. Hats off to the writers who have managed to perfectly balance so many huge personalities.


Sleepy Hollow

Although I wasn’t really sold on the premise initially, Sleepy Hollow has grown on me considerably. Our very own Jess Hicks calls the show “entertaining, intriguing, funny and creepy;” and I’ve come to enjoy the platonic chemistry between Ichabod Crane and Abbey Mills. Not totally convinced that his “dead” wife should be included in the title sequence Now if only Ichabod would get a change of clothes. Seriously, dude; it’s the 21st century. We have department stores now. You don’t need to wear the same 200-year-old duds everyday.


The Originals

Since he gave it such a glowing review on the podcast, I asked Justin to give me his thoughts on The Originals:

A new spin-off series from The Vampire Dairies, The Originals has found an audience and a foothold on the CW. The series features a trifecta of teen favorites including vampires, werewolves, and witches. The story centers around Klaus (Joseph Morgan), a vampire/werewolf hybrid, and his siblings Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Rebekah Mikaelson (Claire Holt). Together they make up the original vampire family. This deadly trio first appeared in the second season of The Vampire Diaries and quickly became fan favorites. It’s no surprise these characters can support their own series, especially with the absence of teen angst, which one could overdose themselves on when watching The Vampire Diaries.

Klaus is a lovable badass and one of my favorite characters on television. The vampire/werewolf hybrid can’t be killed, which over the last 1,000 years has transformed him into a megalomaniac. With Klaus, love and loyalty are often the same thing. He loves his family, and in return wants to be loved and shown undying loyalty. For characters on the show, loving Klaus is nearly impossible. He sees himself as the villain, and more often than not acts like one. This is where the audience gets to see the chink in his armor. Aside from being the most powerful being in the series, he possesses the same traits that make us human: jealousy, anger, hatred, compassion, love and even forgiveness. When we are exposed to one of his few vulnerable layers, it’s nothing short of a treat.

I may have built it up too much, but you should definitely give The Originals a test drive. If nothing else, the testimony of a 33 year old male watching a teen show should speak for itself.

So yeah, you should probably be watching this show.


The Wrong Mans

This delightful British comedy/thriller is currently available in its entirely on Hulu, and at six episodes, it won’t take you any time at all to burn through each half hour. Centered around the classic premise of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, The Wrong Mans follows hapless city employee, Sam, as he tries to navigate a seedy underworld he had no idea existed in his small town. Matthew Baynton plays Sam perfectly, making him absolutely pathetic, but still someone that we want to root for. James Corden, as Sam’s incidental “friend” Phil, plays off of Baynton’s distress hilariously, propelling the two of them deeper and deeper into the shit with gleeful abandon. Not sure if there are plans for more episodes, but considering the fact that it’s been well received in the UK and US, we may get to see more in the future.


Hello Ladies

The latest effort from Stephen Merchant, Hello Ladies chronicles Stuart Pritchard’s (Merchant) efforts at finding love in Los Angeles. Of course, he’s horribly awkward and incapable of having a normal conversation, which results in embarrassing misunderstandings a la Curb Your Enthusiasm. If you enjoy the comedy stylings of Merchant, as well as uncomfortable laughs, then Hello Ladies is the show for you! Personally, I can never get enough of Stephen Merchant.


Orange Is the New Black

No doubt you’ve heard of this Netflix original series, but in case you haven’t, it’s the hottest thing since sliced bread! Based on the memoir of the same name, Orange Is the New Black follows Piper Chapman’s stint in prison after being convicted for a drug smuggling offense that occurred 10 years earlier. Our frequent comics contributor, Heather Antos, told me that she binged watched the whole series in three days. “It touches in some very real issues, is extremely smart, funny, heart warming, and tragic, all at the same time.”  The first season was such a hit that a second season will premiere next year!

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516.

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