Another festive season has come and gone. The indulgences of the holidays are over, your resolutions contain phrases like “healthy lifestyle choices”and it won’t be acceptable to overload on sugar again until Valentine’s Day. Thankfully, TV is here to make it all better with great returning shows that will lift you out of your post-holiday slump. Here’s my list of the top returning series to look forward to in 2014.
“Justified.” January 7 at 10 p.m. on FX. If there is a better looking law man than Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) appearing on your screen this January, let me know. Season five sees the charming and reckless federal marshal do battle with the Crowe family, a returning Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) and the always great Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder. But Raylan is facing another challenge this year—diaper duty. Will fatherhood take him out of the game?
“Sherlock.” January 19 at 10 p.m. on PBS. You didn’t think that fall at the end of last season was the end of the consulting detective did you? Of course not. Your sleuthing skills are sharp thanks to watching Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) solve complex and entertaining cases on this great reboot of the classic character. Tune in to see Cumberbatch return to form as Sherlock and what is sure to be an interesting reunion with Watson.
“House of Cards.” February 14 on Netflix. It’s Vice President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) in season two of this drama about a politician whose ambitions have destroyed his moral center. Thanks to great writing and excellent work by Spacey, you can’t help but be seduced by Frank’s direct to the camera narration. Now that he is literally a heartbeat away from the presidency, will his masterful scheming realize his ultimate ambition? Or will his secret sins finally destroy him?
“The Americans.” February 26 at 10 p.m. on FX. Cold war intrigue and the best arranged marriage on TV is back with KGB spies Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Phillip (Matthew Rhys) Jennings. We left Elizabeth with a gun shot wound and a request for Phillip to come home and repair their broken relationship. It was a touching moment in a season that challenged what it means to be loyal. FBI agent Stan (Noah Emmerich) is growing closer to discovering Elizabeth and Phillip’s identities. But will double agent Nina (Annet Mahendru) destroy Stan before he learns the truth?
“Scandal.” February 27 on ABC. Quinn (Katie Lowes) is killing people and sort of liking it. Cyrus (Jeff Perry) is giving new meaning to going to the dark side. Good guy Jake (Scott Foley) has gone down the rabbit hole and now controls Wonderland. Harrison (Columbus Short) is finally getting a back story and it involves someone wanting him dead. The Vice-President (Kate Burton) commits a murder worthy of a “Dateline” episode. Olivia’s (Kerry Washington) once dead but now alive terrorist mother has escaped her decade’s long confinement and is loose in DC. What’s not to look forward to about rejoining this insanely addictive show?
“Orphan Black.” April 19 at 9 p.m. on BBC America. So much for the idea that multiple versions of ourselves could make life easier. Tatiana Maslany is the reason to get excited about the return of this series that focuses on a woman who discovers she is a clone. Her portrayal of Sarah Manning and the clones could be a disaster but Maslany gives each character an appeal that’s hard to resist. Last time we saw Sarah, her crazy Russian clone kidnapped her child and her smart, corporate clone was plotting her destruction. How many more Sarah’s are out there?