Alpha House streaming at www.amazon.com
There are faults, to be sure, with Amazon’s first program, “Alpha House.” But it has two things going in its favor: The writing and performances are a step above most anything on the major networks, and the first three episodes are free. The four Republican senators who occupy the Washington, D.C., frat-like “Alpha House” are the creation of Garry Trudeau, and so far they feel more like lazy stereotypes (the good old boy former coach, the Cuban-American lothario) rather than fully realized humans. But there is room for these characters to evolve, and hopefully time for the story to climb out of the Washington cliches that have mired it thus far. Pictured (from left): Mark Consuelos, John Goodman, Matt Malloy, and Clark Johnson
Dads 8 p.m., Fox
Catch it while you can, kids, because it appears that the Seth MacFarlane-created “Dads” could be on its way to the canceled sitcom basement. I will not be wearing black at the funeral of this one. I’m no Prudence Prissy Pants, but “Three’s Company” looks like a Jane Austen novel compared with “Dads.” The jokes are racist for no apparent reason and the sexual innuendo is as subtle as a frying pan to the face.
Sons of Anarchy 10 p.m., FX
A Very Shelby Christmas 10 p.m., History Channel
A gift from your swamp? Oh no, I couldn’t. Really. No.
Criss Angel Believe 10 p.m., Spike
Do you believe in magic?