TV Highlights this Week: Gone Girl, A Walk Among the Tombstones, Empire and 12 Monkeys

This week marks the debut on Video on Demand of one of 2014’s most critically acclaimed (and successful) films: “Gone Girl.” Also take note of a host of mid-season television premieres, including newcomers “Empire” and “12 Monkeys,” as well as long time favorites such as “Parks and Recreation,” “Glee” and “Girls.”

New on Video on Demand

GetOnUpGet On Up
An exhilarating biopic about the great James Brown. Chadwick Boseman, as Brown, is simply stunning (and well deserving of an Oscar nomination). Available January 6.

The World Made Straight
Brooding film about Appalachian families whose lives are rooted in ancient rivalries instead of looking toward the future. The fine cast includes Haley Joel Osment, Minka Kelly, Noah Wyle, Steve Earle and Jeremy Irvine. See it while it’s still in the theater. Available January 9.

A Walk Among the Tombstones
Liam Neeson gets to play an even nastier version of himself in this clever (and violent) noir-ish crime drama. Available January 13.

gonegirlGone Girl
One of 2014’s most successful – and talked about – films. When a man’s wife disappears, the ensuing media circus points the finger squarely at him. A fabulous cast (Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens, Carrie Coon, Tyler Perry) combine with a tight script for one heck of a ride. Available January 13.

Love is Strange
Strong performances by John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as two gay men whose long term relationship comes under strain when one loses his job. It’s a ‘little’ film – warm, intimate, humane and satisfying. Available January 13.

TV Highlights

carterMarvel’s Agent Carter
The superhero genre is decidedly male dominated, so it’s nice to see Marvel craft a show around Agent Peggy Carter (well played by Hayley Atwell). Carter debuted in 2011’s “Captain America” and the new show picks up in 1946. Expect Atwell’s spy to fight plenty of bad guys – and rampant sexism. Tuesday, January 6, ABC.

Cougar Town
Courtney Cox’s “Cougar Town” kicks off one final season. Can Cox’s middle aged divorcee finally find happiness? Tuesday, January 6, TBS.

American Idol
It may no longer pack the ratings punch like it once did, but “Idol” still entertains. After several seasons of upheaval, the core of the show returns (judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban, plus host Ryan Seacrest). Wednesday, January 7, FOX.

Oscar-nominee Terrance Howard headlines this ambitious and entertaining drama, which follows an ailing music mogul who must pass his empire on to one of his three sons. Wednesday, January 7, FOX.

FX’s twisted (and hilarious) animated spy show begins its sixth season. Expect plenty of debauchery from our favorite narcissistic James Bond-like agent. Thursday, January 8, FX

The ground-breaking “Glee” is heading into the sunset with a final 13-episode run. While the show may not sizzle like it did when it debuted, there’s still lots of love as the misfits at McKinley High strive to make something out of life. Friday, January 9, FOX.

Lena Dunham’s raw and wry look at the life of several young women continues with the premiere of season four. Sunday, January 11, HBO.

Golden Globe Awards
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the first of the major award shows. The Globes, which has become a precursor to the Oscars, often is more of a party than an awards banquet. Other than the two amazing hostesses, our favorite part of the show is seeing which star gives the most awkward, drunken acceptance speech. Sunday, January 11, NBC.

sunnyIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
The egocentric owners of an Irish bar in Philly return for another season. “Sunny” is not for everyone – the characters are obnoxious and arrogant and ignorant – but the show is wickedly funny, and often goes places most TV’s shows wouldn’t even dare to imagine. Tuesday, January 13, FX.

Parks and Recreation
NBC’s beloved sitcom is coming to a close with a seventh season. “Parks and Recreation” has quirky and fun in spades – enjoy it while you still can. Tuesday, January 13, NBC.

12 Monkeys
SYFY brings the classic Terry Gilliam film to TV as a series. Aaron Stanford stars as a man charged with going back in time to save humanity from annihilation. Friday, January 16, SYFY.

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