7. The Americans (January 30th) — With AMC frittering away their reputation with reality programming blocks, and mishandling showrunners on their most popular shows, FX is set to nudge ahead of that network in terms of pure quality once Breaking Bad leaves the air. Hopefully, The Americans will keep FX’s streak of phenomenal dramas intact: This one stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, is set in the 1980’s Cold War, and will follow Soviet KGB officers impersonating Americans. Margo Martindale rounds out the cast for what looks to be possibly the best new shows of the winter.
6. Suits (January 17th) — Everybody has their one USA Network guilty pleasure, it seems, but Suits is not just a guilty pleasure, but one of the most enjoyably satisfying lightweight dramas on television. By mixing compelling cases of the week with law firm politics, in addition to a brilliant and likable cast, Suits has has bucked the trend among USA Network shows: It’s not just televised candy, it’s good TV, and right now, Louis Litt is the best thing going for it.
5. Girls (January 13th) — Crap on HBO’s Girls all you’d like, but the naysayers may have their minds changed by the first two episodes of the season in which Community’s Donald Glover figures heavily into the plotline as a black Republican. I’ve seen the first few episodes of season two, and all I can say is that one exchange between Dunham’s character and Glover is already making a case for best scene of the 2013.
4. Shameless (January 13th) — Showtime’s Shameless has somewhat quietly become one of my favorite shows on television: There are no shocking deaths or that many surprising twists, but the characters — especially Emmy Rossum’s oft naked Fiona and Jeremy Allen White’s brilliant f*ck-up, Lip Gallagher — make the series the best comfort show of the winter.