Every year, people wait for the fall season of television, when all the new shows, full of promise, hit the airwaves. But that’s not the only time when new programming can debut, as networks always save a few, mostly in case some of their can’t miss fall shows actually crash and burn, or at least don’t get full season orders. Every January, there is a rush of new shows, many of which, unfortunately, don’t get enough promotion and inevitably don’t last longer than their initial runs. But that doesn’t mean they’re bad shows, in fact, many of them are quite entertaining (shows like Parks and Recreation and Castle actually began their long lives as mid-season shows). With that in mind, we thought we’d direct your attention to a few shows that are making their debuts this winter that we feel really deserve a look.
One of two new NBC comedies on a network that has nearly given up on the concept after dominating Thursday nights for years with half-hour sitcoms, this show’s description doesn’t initially sound like a thrilling concept. But the truth is, this ensemble comedy about employees at a big box retail store (one which is thematically similar but legally distinct from Wal-Mart) is actually startlingly funny, with clever jokes and talented comedians endlessly riffing on life as a minimum wage drudge and the ridiculous, but (as anyone who has worked in retail will tell you) completely realistic situations that take place every day. Call it a bigger budget Clerks for a new generation. It’s not going to re-invent the wheel, but for sheer laughs, it’s one of the better comedies on TV right now.