Late December and early January are something of a fallow period for fresh, exciting TV drama. In Britain the soaps continue plugging away, but most of the post-Xmas storylines deal with leftovers - much like cuisine on December 27. The heavy-hitting dramas tend to get held back until people are paying attention. Happily, this hibernation is coming to an end on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the US shows like Friday Night Lights and Ugly Betty made a quick comeback soon after New Year, looking to reconnect with their respective audiences before the juggernaut known as American Idol made its annual return. [American Idol's kind of like the new, improved Death Star in Return of the Jedi - but more resilient.] Jack's back in 24, although British viewers without Sky will be waiting until August for the DVD box set to see what calamities befall Agent Bauer this year.
This season's breakout US hit Heroes made its comeback last night in America, as did Aaron Sorkin's much-debated Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Last but not least, Veronica Mars resumes her third season tonight on the CW network across the Atlantic, counter-programmed against President Bush's annual State of the Union speech. That might drive some extra youth demographic in Veronica's direction, which can only be a good thing. Apparently the final five episodes of this season will be standalone stories, and a fourth season is looking less than certain. Save Veronica, that's what I say.
Back in the UK, BBC1 launches a much-hyped drama mini-series called Five Days tonight, so I'll probably give that a look. Can't be long until last year's breakout show Life on Mars returns for its second and final series. There more cases for Inspector Morse's former sidekick Lewis in February, and ITV is launching its response to the Doctor Who phenomenon with Primeval - time travel and dinosaurs, you can't get that wrong, can you? We'll see. Hell, it won't be long before Doctor Who returns for its third season under showrunner Russell T Davies.
Yes, things are looking up on the TV drama front. Let's hope the lengthening days and increase of quality television viewing also herald some movement in other areas where I've been nagging away, trying to get a foot in the door. Time will tell.
In other news, Vicious Imagery did have its 30,000th visitor last night, not long after 10pm Greenwich Mean Time. The person is question uses an ISP based in Los Angeles called Level 3 Comms, accessed this blog on a machine using Firefox for Windows as their browser and logged in at 2.18pm Los Angeles time. Hello, whoever you are - hope you enjoyed your time with Vicious Imagery.