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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Let it snow: It's a hot time for TV series premieres




It is snowy days like we’ve been having this week that I’m glad we splurged on a new TV. I hesitated when my husband suggested that we purchase something new or at least built in the last century since our old model was still operating. But I have to admit -- when you’re hunkered down at home because of a winter storm – it’s really nice to be able to watch your favorite TV shows on a big screen HDTV.

One of the shows returning this month after a holiday hiatus is “Justified.” 

As many viewers from this part of the country know -- the popular FX drama is based on Elmore Leonard’s novella, “Fire in the Hole.” It was developed by Graham Yost and stars Timothy Olyphant as Leonard’s character Raylan Givens, a Deputy US Marshal who finds himself drawn back to his home state of Kentucky and the villains (or childhood friends) he once knew. 

 
Macomb Daily file photo pictures Elmore Leonard working from his Michigan home. (The Macomb Daily/David N. Posavetz)

The bestselling novelist who resided in Bloomfield Village, Michigan and whose works were adapted into numerous films including “Get Shorty,” “Jackie Brown,” “Out of Sight” and “3:10 to Yuma,” died last year at the age of 87.



This season Raylan confronts the Crowes, a deadly, lawless family from Florida intent on settling in Harlan with new criminal enterprises in mind. Meanwhile, ‘Boyd Crowder’ (Walton Goggins) works to free his imprisoned fiancée ‘Ava’ (Joelle Carter) as he partners with the Dixie Mafia’s ‘Wynn Duffy’ (Jere Burns).

This month also sees the return of PBS’s “Downton Abbey” at 9 p.m., Jan. 5 leaving me a little over three days to get caught up on the last season. This season’s premiere features Lady Mary Crawley six months after husband, Matthew, perished in a car crash. Buckling under the weight of widowhood and inconsolable, Mary (Michelle Dockery) dismisses their infant son as “a poor little orphan.” 


A scene from season four of the Masterpiece TV series, Downton Abbey (AP Photo/PBS/Masterpiece, Nick Briggs).



Also dealing with the death of Matthew and the absence of a will that has thrown Downton manor, already financially fragile into further crisis is Mary’s father, Lord Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville).

A scene from Downton Abbey. (AP Photo/PBS/Masterpiece, Nick Briggs).
Then there’s the pressure of the modern world of 1922; like the encroachment of the electric mixer and newest threat to the culinary status quo over which Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) reigns in the kitchen.

The show aired in the UK in 2010 (three months before its U.S. debut) and so far has garnered 10 Emmys and two Golden Globes, not to mention a steady stream of new viewers learning to pronounce the show properly. It’s Downton Abbey not Downtown Abbey.



Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson set to star in HBO's True Detective.

One premiere that might prompt me to add HBO to our list of cable networks is True Detective

The original HBO series premieres at 9 p.m. Jan. 12.

It stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as Louisiana State Police Detectives Martin Hart and Rust Cohle revisiting a homicide case that they worked in 1995. 

As the inquiry unfolds in present day through separate interrogations, the two former detectives narrate the story of their investigation, reopening unhealed wounds, and drawing into question their supposed solving of a bizarre ritualistic murder in 1995. The timelines braid and converge in 2012 as each man is drawn into a past they believed was long forgotten. In learning about each other and their killer, it becomes clear that darkness lives on both sides of the law.

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