The battle of Tuesday at 10PM – SOUTHLAND, WHITE COLLAR, and JUSTIFIED join an already overwhelming hour

If you’re like me and you watch too much TV, the chances are good that for 10/9c Tuesdays, you’ve already got your DVR set for PARENTHOOD, BODY OF PROOF, UNFORGETTABLE, and one of the multiple other reality shows that you won’t admit out loud that you can’t live without.  So what happens when SOUTHLAND (TNT), WHITE COLLAR (6 new episodes on USA), and JUSTIFIED (FX) join the already overwhelming hour that your DVR can’t handle?  Chaos.  The good kind of chaos that means you’re staying up too late on Tuesdays to fit it all in.

Here’s my plan for tonight – with a little preview of tonight’s premieres – to help you decide what to watch Tuesdays at 10 (in order of “worst” to first, though, let’s be honest, I watch them all) –

7. That secret reality show you’re afraid to mention – whether it’s TEEN MOM 2 on MTV or a new episode of CHOPPED on FOOD Network, it will air in reruns 875 times between now and next week.  SKIP IT tonight; watch it later!

6. BODY OF PROOF (ABC) – having a solid season.  I really enjoy Dana Delany, and I wish more people were watching.  That said, there’s no where else for this show to go on the schedule.  I’ll try to catch this online or on demand over the weekend (thus becoming part of the problem…)

5. UNFORGETTABLE (CBS) – tonight’s episode is a rerun from October (and yet I still put it higher than BODY OF PROOF, hmm….).  You luck out this week, and you can skip it, but when this picks back up for sweeps, Carrie’s story seems to hold my attention more consistently than BOP.

4. JUSTIFIED (FX) – Season 3 starts tonight, and I know I should probably place this higher, but it ranks just under my top three. Raylan’s back tonight, dealing with the Dixie Mafia hit men.  Recovering from his S2 gunshot, Raylan’s forced to work with Boyd (Walton Goggins FTW) and deal with Winona’s pregnancy / their back and forth relationship.  The show is as violent and exciting as it has been, but I’m not sensing the same spark that we got from Season 2.  Carla Gugino is going to stick around for a few episodes midseason, so maybe this show gets bumped a bit then, but for now, it’s a solid show that you should definitely catch on the DVR, at some point.

3. WHITE COLLAR (USA) – I go back and forth about whether I love this show or I just like it with an incredible fondness that’s almost love, which is why it wavers somewhere between 2 and 3 on my “order of Tuesday at 10PM watching” and never seems to be the first thing I set the channel to.  I love Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay – together, apart, angry with each other, happy with each other – they really don’t seem to do any wrong; Tim DeKay, especially, in tonight’s winter premiere (the first of six new episodes), when he lets loose on our boy Neal just a little bit, now that Elizabeth is missing, and Keller’s there being the jerk he usually is.  The show starts off with a confusing plan, but it sets some really exciting things in motion for the rest of the season. My only (petty) gripe?  I wish Ross McCall could use his real accent because his American accent sucks.  Oh, and color me surprised that I found myself saying “Hey where’s Sarah because I love Hilarie Burton?”  In short, don’t rush to catch this first, as it, too, reruns a billion times.

2. PARENTHOOD (NBC) – Sigh, PARENTHOOD.  The things you do to me (that sounds dirty…).  This show makes me feel emotionally unstable because the tiniest and most beautiful of scenes gets me all teared up and mascara-streaky.  I love that stories are allowed to have a slow burn on this show, as they do in life; but other times, they move quickly, and come out of nowhere, and suddenly, you’re all “Yes, Crosby, please do make out with cello girl because you have chemistry with everyone and I love it.”  It’s always nice to see Jonathan Tucker (I loved THE BLACK DONNELLYS – and not just because of his body.  I swear.), too, and I’m glad that they’re doing something so great with Amber’s character.  Also? I think Tucker’s chemistry with Mae Whitman is off the charts.  PARENTHOOD proves that you don’t need to be about anything in particular, other than your every day family with every day family struggles, and you can still be amazing.

1. SOUTHLAND (TNT) – I’ve been singing the praises of SOUTHLAND since it started.  Dark, gritty, dangerous, intense, you name it, I’ve called it that.  The little show that could, and did, is back tonight with the 4th season premiere, and I watched the show both wanting it to end, because the built in intensity can be overwhelming, and wanting it to never end, because it’s that good.  Lucy Liu joins the cast tonight, and she is surprisingly restrained and believable as the new cop on the beat who wants to work with Cooper, fresh from a combination of rehab and surgery.  Cudlitz does so much with just a look – these two are a perfect team.  His old partner, Ben, might still have some issues trusting Cooper fully, but he’s 100% on board with his new partnership with Sammy (oh Sammy…you’ve gone through so much).  They have a great bro chemistry – they deal with pushback from a great Lou Diamond Phillips, and come out on the other side even stronger.  Lydia is still out there, doing her thing, being amazing, and really gelling with her new partner Ruben (Dorian Messick); when a former CI who she’s known since high school has trouble staying away, Lydia has trouble pushing her away and meaning it.  By the time the show hits the climax of the hour, you’ve been put through the ringer.  SOUTHLAND is definitely the first thing I watch on Tuesdays, and if we’re being honest, it might be close to #1 show worth watching on a full schedule, in a full week.  It’s worth your time, and energy, and tears, and the acting is always top notch.

There’s my plan for Tuesdays – what about you?  What are you watching tonight?

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