The Quad (BET), Feb. 1
This new show about campus life at Historically Black Colleges and Universities looks like Friday Night Lights meets The Faculty and I, for one, am in! It stars the perfect Anika Noni Rose as the (secretive) first woman president of a fictional Georgia school and Queen Jasmine Guy as history professor Ella Grace Caldwell. There’s basically no reason not to watch.
Powerless (NBC), Feb. 2
You know how when you watch Avengers movies, you’re like, “Who’s gonna clean all that mess up? And you better believe my tax dollars aren’t paying for it!”? Well, then, this is the show for you. Former teen queen Vanessa Hudgens leads this comedy about the insurance agents who have to deal with the damage after superhero fights in the DC Comics universe, and it’ll either be a delightful romp or embarrassing as hell. (Please note: Both my editor and my husband wanted me to clarify the difference between the Marvel and DC universes like I don’t know. Girl, I know; I just don’t care!)
Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix), Feb. 3
It’s what you’ve been waiting for: a comedy about cannibalism! Hey, the world is burning, so why not? Drew Barrymore plays a suburban mom who keeps it tight by eating human flesh and doing her kegels. It looks like like Serial Mom, which means it has obviously piqued my interest, but Barrymore is no Kathleen Turner, so I’ll hold off my praise until I see her really rip into some organs.
Hannah Horvath et al. return for their final season of never growing up in the city. This year, the girls are all in their 50s and still screwing each other’s boyfriends. Just kidding. I’m sure it’ll be fine. Same as it ever was. You guys like Marnie? She's the best.
Big Little Lies (HBO), Feb. 19
It’s a show about rich white women in fancy Monterey, California dealing with fake problems that nobody actually has. That said, the previews hint at a possible murder, and it’ll probably be pretty fun to watch Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Reese Witherspoon running around, pretending to be drunk and burying corpses.
Crashing (HBO), Feb. 19
Pete Holmes, a Guess Who? character in search of a board, comes of age way too late in yet another comedy about how hard it is to be a white dude in America. I’m interested because Holmes, a comedian and podcaster, is generally delightful, but I’m also getting kind of sick of all the white men on television, so. Hey: At least national treasure Gina Gershon is in it?
Taken (NBC), Feb. 27
If you’ve seen any of the 50 Taken movies, you know they’re high art at its absolute highest and most artiest. If God were to create a character in its image, it would be Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, the ex-CIA agent whose family members are always being taken. Since, obviously, Neeson isn’t doing TV — TV can pretend to be just as fancy as movies, but there are some lines that just aren’t crossed! — Clive Standen will be standin’ in for Neeson, playing Mills as a young CIA agent who’s the best in the biz at smacking down fools and not getting killed. It is the television event of the season.