After a lackluster end to 2023 and beginning of 2024, television roars back to life in February with some interesting offerings. There are several period dramas, which travel from the Japan of the samurai to Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II to high society New York in the 1960s and 1970s. There are also alternative worlds and science fiction for your viewing pleasure.
In addition, Curb Your Enthusiasm returns with its 12th and final season to close a story arc that began in 2000 with Larry David telling the adventures of a fictional version of himself. Looking ahead to Valentine’s Day, the British show One Day (on Netflix) will appeal to romance fans. Meanwhile, the second season of Tokyo Vice (February 8 on HBO Max) continues the dangerous wanderings of an American journalist entangled with the Japanese mafia, while Mr. & Mrs. Smith offers an action-packed espionage tale (February 2 on Amazon Prime). The new episodes of Alpha Males (February 9 on Netflix) continue to humorously address the deconstruction of masculinity. Those who miss zombies will also have a new installment this month, with Rick and Michonne living adventures in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live (on AMC+ on February 26).
Of this month’s premieres and returning shows, we recommend checking out the series below.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Donald Glover and Francesca Sloane (who worked together on Atlanta) transform the 2005 film that brought Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie into a series that combines action, espionage and some romance. Glover and Maya Erskine star as John and Jane Smith, two lonely people willing to leave their lives behind to carry out the missions a spy agency establishes for them. The problem is that, in order to avoid arousing suspicion, they must assume new identities as a husband and wife. The series has taken several turns in its development (Phoebe Waller-Bridge was co-creator and co-star but left the project due to creative differences). The cast includes actors Alexander Skarsgård, Sarah Paulson, Sharon Horgan, John Turturro, Wagner Moura and Úrsula Corberó.
When and where to watch it? All eight episodes premiere on Friday, February 2, on Amazon Prime Video.
Feud: Capote vs. The Swans
Truman Capote managed to become the confidant of a group of elite New York women, whom he nicknamed the Swans. After years of cultivating their friendship, the author ended up writing fiction based on their lives, exposing their most intimate secrets. Through time jumps and changes in perspective, this series traces the relationship between the writer and his swans with a stellar cast: Tom Hollander plays the author and actresses Naomi Watts, Demi Moore, Chloë Sevigny, Calista Flockhart, Diane Lane and Molly Ringwald bring the Swans to life. The second season of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series about great rivalries feels more melancholy than acidic. Those who have seen the entire thing highlight Watts’s and Hollander’s performances in particular.
When and where to watch it? FX and Hulu. The first two episodes premiered on January 31; a new episode will air each week for a total of eight episodes.
The Sixth Commandment
British critics have praised this crime drama based on true events. Ben Field was a charming and religious young man who befriended vulnerable people in order to be included in their wills and then killed them in what he believed would be the perfect crime. His two victims were a professor he met at university and a retired headmistress, two lonely neighbors in a Buckinghamshire village. Critics point out that, unlike other true crime adaptations that recreate both the facts and the criminal, in this series the story does not lose focus on its victims to reflect the horror and drama behind them.
When and where to watch it? Britbox (four episodes in total).
The New Look
The show could have also been titled Dior, Chanel and the Nazis. On the heels of the Cristóbal Balenciaga biopic that addressed the Spanish designer’s career, this new offering is a thriller that covers little-known facts and moments in the lives of Christian Dior and Coco Chanel. The two designers’ worlds changed with the Nazi takeover of Paris during World War II. Their rivalry occurs in the context of the different circumstances they experienced: while Dior’s younger sister joined the French Resistance, Chanel collaborated with Nazi intelligence. The series vindicates Dior’s view of creation and art as survival. Ben Mendelsohn and Juliette Binoche star as the titular designers, and the show’s powerhouse cast includes John Malkovich, Emily Mortimer, Glenn Close, Maisie Williams and Claes Bang.
When and where to watch? The first three episodes premiere on Apple TV+ on Wednesday, February 14; thereafter, a new episode will be aired every Wednesday for a total of six episodes.
Swedish actress Noomi Rapace stars in this psychological thriller with elements of conspiracy and science fiction. An astronaut returns to Earth after a fatal space mission in which important research was being carried out. But things have changed upon her return, and she, her daughter and her husband are not where she thought they were. Key pieces of her life seem to be missing, and she becomes obsessed with unraveling what happened on her space travels in order to recover what she has lost. Jonathan Banks and James D’Arcy join Rapace in this haunting show that combines a psychological thriller with a space adventure.
When and where to watch it? It debuts on Wednesday, February 21, on Apple TV+; the first three episodes will be available right away, with a new episode each week thereafter for a total of eight episodes.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
It’s currently trendy to turn popular anime stories into live-action series, and now it is Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s turn. Not much is known about the three-season animated series beyond a trailer and a brief synopsis, but the previews seem promising. Gone are the days when the four nations of the world lived in harmony with the Avatar, the master of the four elements, who keeps the peace among them. Everything changed with the Fire Nation’s attack and the destruction of the Air Nomads. Now, a young Air Nomad awakens in a world ravaged by war and will try to reclaim his place as the new Avatar.
When and where to watch it? It premieres on Thursday, February 22, on Netflix.
In this miniseries that adapts James Clavell’s novel set in 1600s Japan, Lord Yoshii Toranaga struggles to stay alive as his enemies on the Council of Regents unite against him. Toranaga will find a lifeline in the arrival of a mysterious European ship, commanded by Englishman John Blackthorne, who has his own enemies. The fates of the two men will depend on a translator, Toda Mariko, the last of a disgraced lineage, who will try to balance loyalties in this tense political landscape. Samurai Japan meets Western pirates in a different type of period drama.
When and where to see it? The first two episodes air on Disney+ on Tuesday, February 27, followed by a new one each week for a total of ten episodes.
Vicky Luengo and Hovik Keuchkerian lead the cast of the series that adapts Juan Gómez-Jurado’s bestseller. Antonia Scott (Luengo), the smartest person on Earth, will have to collaborate with Jon Gutiérrez (Keuchkerian), a temperamental Basque cop, in a twisted investigation as they discover how their personalities complement each other even as they irritate each other. It is one of the most ambitious projects that Prime Video has undertaken in Spain, and while some images and previews point to a rather dark and even macabre tone, its producers highlight the luminosity that Madrid brings to the series. There is still no trailer available.
When and where to watch it? The seven episodes premiere on Thursday, February 29, on Amazon Prime Video.
Other notable shows to watch in February
- Curb Your Enthusiasm.12th and final season. February 5 on HBO Max.
- Tokyo Vice. Second season. February 8 on HBO Max.
- One Day. Premiere. February 8 on Netflix.
- Alpha Males. Season 2. February 9 on Netflix.
- Silent Cargo. Third and final season. February 9 on Amazon Prime Video.
- Halo. Season 2. February and 9 on Paramount+.
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Third season. February 21 on Disney+
- The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. Premiere. February 26 on AMC+.
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