I don’t know about you, but up until a week or so ago I thought we were going to get away with a relatively mild winter. Sometimes it just isn’t worth going outside if you don’t have to, so make sure you’ve got your necessities and hunker down indoors with your TV and wait for the spring thaw. By the way, three new series are premiering this week.
Monday, February 2
Hard Target (10-11:40 pm, Flix)
Normally I wouldn’t waste your time recommending a meh movie that’s over 20 years old, but (a) we’re all going to be wiped out from dealing with another blast of snow; (b) there’s very little else on tonight worth mentioning (Joan Collins is the guest on Fashion Police, if that’s your thing); and (c) sometimes you just need/want to watch JCVD kick ass, and this is one of his better efforts (“better” being relative).
Tuesday, February 3
Being Mary Jane (10-11 pm, BET)
This drama about the life of a TV news-channel host on and off the air, starring Gabrielle Union, begins its second season tonight.
Wednesday, February 4
Fresh Off the Boat (8:30-9 pm and 9:31-10 pm, ABC)
Ignore the name, or at least don’t be put off by it. It comes from the book on which the show is based, a memoir by chef Eddie Huang about growing up in the ‘90s after his family relocated from the Chinese-American community in Washington, DC to Orlando. As for the scheduling, ABC, couldn’t you push Modern Family back to 9:30 for one week to show these two episodes back to back? Pretty lame. The show’s regular night is going to be Tuesday, and there will also be two episodes next week (8-9 pm).
Thursday, February 5
Allegiance (10-11 pm, NBC)
NBC is hoping to regain some of its former Thursday night drama mojo with this new series about Russian sleeper agents living in the US, and moving The Blacklist to Thursdays is intended to provide a lead-in for it. They insist this is not just a repackaged variation on The Americans, despite the superficial similarities. This couple has three children: two are already adults, and one is a spy like them; the other is (of course) a CIA analyst and expert on Russia. The cast is led by Hope Davis and Scott Cohen, who are always worth watching, but the rest of the show is a question mark.
Friday, February 6
Starman (9:45-11:40 pm, Encore)
An oldie but a goodie, this 1984 movie directed by John Carpenter tells of an alien life form that comes to earth and assumes the form of a young widow’s late husband, starring Karen Allen and Jeff Bridges.
Saturday, February 7
Edge of Tomorrow (8-10 pm, HBO)
Overlooked sci-fi movie from last summer (it got an honorable mention on Reuben’s top 10 list for the year) starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt as fighters against an alien invasion. Cruise’s character keeps getting killed in battle, but is stuck in a time loop and is able to learn more each time about how to defeat the enemy.
Sunday, February 8
Better Call Saul (10-11:15 pm, AMC)
Walter White’s lawyer gets his own show, set roughly six years before the events of Breaking Bad, far enough in the past that Saul has a different name: Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk). As the series unfolds we will get to see how Saul Goodman the criminal lawyer came to be. Michael McKean costars as Jimmy’s brother Chuck, and Jonathan Banks returns as Mike Ehrmantraut.
Also tonight: the Grammy Awards (8-11:30 pm, CBS); The Walking Dead is back (9-10 pm, AMC), which means Talking Dead is back (11:15 pm-12:15 am, AMC); and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is back (11-11:30 pm, HBO).
If you’re under 35 or so it’s possible you haven’t seen one of the best TV shows of the 1970s, about the men and women working at a field hospital during the Korean War. The show did an excellent job of balancing humor with grim observations on the toll and folly of war; if it had been made later it probably would have been able to dispense with the obnoxious laugh track. Making 11 seasons of a series about a war that lasted three years, along with the departures of various cast members, led to an inevitable downturn in quality toward the end of its run, which may be why Netflix has chosen to stream only the first five seasons (roughly 120 episodes) so far. I’m sure they will add the rest later, giving viewers time to decide how far they want to go with it.
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)