With the arrival of the Winter Olympics in South Korea, TV hits the snooze button. Expect a somewhat light month ahead of a massive storm of new and returning content in March.
Let’s bitch it out…
Top Pick: New
Here and Now (Feb 11) is the latest series from Alan Ball, the creator of True Blood and Six Feet Under. Those credits alone justify this series’ placement as my most anticipated new series of the month. The incredible cast, which includes Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter, screams “HBO money!”, though the “supernatural twist” that is now being kept under wraps sounds slightly ill-advised.
- This Close (Feb 14) stars two deaf actors in lead roles and looks surprisingly charming/heartwarming
- McMafia (Feb 26) is an expensive looking UK import about – you guessed it, the Mafia – that features Happy Valley and Grantchester breakout James Norton in the lead role
- The Looming Tower (Feb 28) is a miniseries about the rise of Osama Bin Laden post-9/11 and has some heavy hitting talent in front and behind the screen
Top Pick: Returning
When iZombie returns for S4 on Feb 26, there’s every possibility that the show will have completely imploded its original premise. Sure Liv and the gang will still be solving murders, but Seattle is now a fenced in zombie-run zone. I’m optimistically hopeful that the series will take this opportunity to tell new and exciting stories while still featuring the same great characters we have loved for three seasons. After all, it’s never wise to bet against series creator Rob Thomas.
- Ash vs Evil Dead (Feb 25) is rumoured to be wrapping up its three season run with Ash’s discovery that he’s a father
Top Pick: Wildcard
Pros: Regina King. A timely subject. Regina King. Russell Hornsby in a role that allows him to act. Regina King.
Cons: Veena “The Killing” Sud <shudder>
Seven Seconds (Feb 23) could be exceptional; a quick look at the trailer suggests a provocative, interesting and well-executed narrative about policing and race relations. And yet…the presence of Sud, showrunner of the American remake of The Killing and winner of the very first “Worst Of” TV series, fills me with absolute dread. I’ll still watch, but damn if I’m not apprehensive.
- Altered Carbon (Feb 2) looks exceptional visually – a true cyberpunk classic in the makings – but the whitewashing of Asian characters has Ghost in the Machine-style alarm bells ringing in my head
- Everything Sucks! (Feb 16) could be the teen retro-throwback to the 90s that we didn’t know we need, or it could simply be nostalgic trash
- UnREAL (Feb 26) returns for S3 with a female suitor and 100% of its audience goodwill gone as a result of a disastrous S2. Will it regain our trust?
Complete List of February premieres (I will be watching shows marked with an asterix *)
Thursday, Feb 1
- A.P. Bio S1 (NBC – 9:30pm EST): Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) stars as a would-be philosophy professor who reluctantly takes a position as a high school biology teacher after a better gig falls through. Patton Oswalt co-stars. Airs 1 ep, then returns in March following the Olympics.
Friday, Feb 2
- Absentia S1 (Amazon – 12am EST): Castle‘s Stana Katic stars as an FBI agent who vanishes while investigating a serial killer and is declared dead. She is discovered in a cabin six years later with no memories of the missing time. She soon learns that her husband has remarried and that she herself is a suspect in another series of murders. S1 began airing in Canada on Showcase on Jan 21.
- Altered Carbon S1* (Netflix – 3am EST): This adaptation of Richard Morgan’s 2002 sci-fi novel is set in the 25th century, when the entire human mind can be digitized, allowing people to transfer from one body to another and effectively live forever. Joel Kinnaman (The Killing) heads the cast as a former warrior who, after being imprisoned for 500 years, is given a chance to return to Earth if he can solve a crime that has become a rarity: murder. All 10 episodes are available today.
- Strike Back S6* (Cinemax – 10pm EST): This quintessentially British action series returns after a 2-year absence with an entirely new cast that includes Warren Brown, Daniel MacPherson, and Roxanne McKee.
Wednesday, Feb 7
- Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block S3* (Syfy – 10pm EST): Third anthology of the horror series based on creepy pasta stories. Holland Roden (Teen Wolf) co-stars.
Sunday, Feb 11
- Our Cartoon President S1 (Showtime – 8pm EST): 10-episode animated parody centering on Donald J. Trump.
- Here and Now S1* (HBO – 9pm EST): The latest HBO drama series from Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, True Blood) is a darkly comedic look at contemporary society—and, in particular, two families in Portland, Ore. One is a “progressive multi-ethnic family” led by a philosophy professor (Tim Robbins) and his attorney wife (Holly Hunter), who have adopted children from around the world, and the other is a Muslim family headed by a psychiatrist.
- Homeland S7 (Showtime – 9pm EST): At the end of last season, following an assassination attempt on her life, President Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) broke her promise to Carrie by arresting 200 members of the intelligence community without bringing charges against them, including Saul Berenson. As season seven begins, Carrie has left her job in the White House and moved back to D.C. and is living with her sister Maggie (Amy Hargreaves) to take on the Keane administration and secure the release of the 200.
Monday, Feb 12
- DC’s Legends of Tomorrow S3B (The CW – 8pm EST): Featuring a guest reprisal by Matt Ryan as John Constantine.
- American Dad (TBS – 10pm EST)
Wednesday, Feb 14
- This Close S1* (Sundance Now): Six-episode half-hour series that explores the relationship between best friends Kate (Stern), who is newly engaged, and Michael (Feldman), who is attempting to move on from his ex-fiancé. Also features Zach Gilford, Cheryl Hines, and Marlee Matlin.
Thursday, Feb 15
- Stargate: Origins S1 (Stargate Command): Streaming-only prequel series is the latest entry in the Stargate franchise and can only be watched (for a subscription fee) at the official Stargate site.
Friday, Feb 16
- Cardinal S2 (Hulu – 12am EST): S2 of the Canadian series that is already airing on CTV. All episodes available today.
- Mozart in the Jungle S4 (Amazon – 12am EST): Hailey and Rodrigo’s romance deepens as they go public with their relationship in the fourth season of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning series. As Rodrigo learns what it means to be a boyfriend, Hailey enters a competition in Japan to prove herself as a conductor. Will they be able to balance the demands between their careers and relationship or will it tear them apart? All episodes available today.
- Everything Sucks! S1* (Netflix – 3am EST): This high school dramedy examines life in a small town (Boring, Oregon, to be exact) in 1996, focusing specifically on members of the school’s A/V and drama clubs, who come together to make a movie. All 10 episodes are available today.
Sunday, Feb 18
- When Calls The Heart S5 (Hallmark – 9pm EST)
Monday, Feb 19
- X Company S1 (Ovation – 10pm EST): The Canadian series about spies during WW2 debuts (2-3 years later) in the US
Tuesday, Feb 20
- The Frankenstein Chronicles S1/2 (Netflix – 3am EST): Inspired by Mary Shelley’s novel, the series follows Sean Bean’s 19th century police officer as he investigates a gruesome series of crimes after a corpse—made up body parts from multiple missing children—is discovered. All episodes of series 1-2 are available today.
Friday, Feb 23
- The Tick S1B (Amazon Prime – 12am EST): The Tick returns with more action-packed episodes! Evil is on the march, and The City is right in its way. Something terrible is going to happen, and Destiny needs her champions now more than ever. The Tick and Arthur round up the gang in a crash collision course between justice and villainy.
- Marseille S2 (Netflix – 3am EST)
- Seven Seconds S1* (Netflix – 3am EST): The 10-episode series focuses on growing racial tensions in Jersey City after an African-American teenager is severely injured by a cop. Regina King leads a cast that also includes David Lyons, Clare-Hope Ashitey, and Michael Mosley. All episodes are available today.
Sunday, Feb 25
- Ash vs Evil Dead S3* (STARZ – 9pm EST): Season 3 finds Ash, having gone from murderous urban legend to humanity-saving hometown hero, discovering that he has a long lost daughter who’s been entrusted in his care. When Kelly witnesses a televised massacre with Ruby’s fingerprints all over it, she returns with a new friend to warn Ash and Pablo that evil isn’t done with them yet. But evil will learn to never get in between a papa bear and his cub.
- The Walking Dead S8B (AMC – 9pm EST)
- Final Space S1 (TBS – 10:30pm EST): Conan O’Brien-produced animated sci-fi comedy (created by YouTube star Olan Rogers) tells a serialized story about an imprisoned spaceman and his mysterious alien sidekick. Rogers himself heads a voice cast that also includes Fred Armisen, Tom Kenny, David Tennant, Tika Sumpter, and Steven Yeun.
Monday, Feb 26
- iZombie S4* (The CW – 9pm EST)
- Living Biblically S1 (NBC – 9:30pm EST): This multi-camera sitcom centers on a man (Jay R. Ferguson, The Real O’Neals) who decides to turn around his life by living according to the rules of the Bible. David Krumholtz and Camryn Manheim also star.
- Good Girls S1* (NBC – 10pm EST): Three suburban moms (Christina Hendricks, Mae Whitman, and Retta) decide to solve their money problems by robbing a local grocery store with toy guns. (Needless to say, it doesn’t quite go according to plan.) Matthew Lillard and Reno Wilson co-star.
- McMafia S1* (AMC – 10pm EST): BBC-produced organized crime thriller is an adaptation of Misha Glenny’s book from Hossein Amini and James Watkins. James Norton, Juliet Rylance, and David Strathairn star.
- UnReal S3* (Lifetime – 10pm EST): After nearly imploding in S2, Lifetime’s “acclaimed” drama returns with a female suitor for S3.
- Shoot The Messenger S1 (WGN America – 10pm EST): WGN America’s habit of picking up Canadian dramas continues.
Tuesday, Feb 27
- Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. S1 (USA – 10pm EST): Anthony Hemingway directs this 10-episode true-crime series, which could be the first season of an ongoing anthology.
Wednesday, Feb 28
- The Looming Tower (Hulu – 12am EST): Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the rise of Osama bin Laden and the planning of the 9/11 attacks serves as the source for this Hulu miniseries starring Tahar Rahim (The Last Panthers), Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bill Camp, and Jeff Daniels.
- Designated Survivor S2B (ABC – 10pm EST)
That’s it for February. March has a bit more to offer:
- Lots of series premieres, including seasons of UK end-of-the-world cop series Hard Sun (Hulu), risque revamp Heathers (Paramount), cutesy post-cancer dramaedy Life Sentence (The CW), crime series The Oath (Crackle), magician/cop series Deception (ABC), Shonda’s last legal show for ABC For The People, buzzy Glee-like Rise (NBC), questionably-premised Krypton (Syfy), hit-man comedy Barry (HBO), Getty kidnapping Trust (FX), historical horror The Terror (AMC) and mermaid drama Siren (Freeform)
- Second seasons of Atlanta (FX), The Good Fight (CBS All Access), Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Netflix), Sneaky Pete (Amazon Prime), back from the dead Timeless (NBC) and kiddie adaptation A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix)
- Plus the final seasons of Love (Netflix) and The Americans (FX) and the revival of Roseanne (ABC)
It’s a lot, so enjoy the quiet that the Olympics brings!