TAGGED AS: Comedy, Drama, streaming, television, TV
Looking for something to binge this February? Any time is a perfect time for a little TV catch-up session and there are plenty of shows available to dig into. Grab a drink, kick off your shoes, get cozy. Here are five returning series that are all well worth your time.
89% The Flash
What it is: The first official spinoff series of The CW’s Arrow. The story centers on crime scene investigator Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), who, after an accident at S.T.A.R. Labs, discovers he has the ability to run extremely fast. He uses this power for good, becomes superhero The Flash, and suits up to fight crime in and around Central City.
Why you should watch it: As the last Arrowverse show still running, it should be interesting to see how Barry Allen’s story gets tied up. It’s the end of an era, to be sure, and the return of Keiynan Lonsdale, David Ramsey, and Stephen Amell, should add some clarity and closure to things.
Where to watch: The CW (Stream for free) and Netflix (Subscription, seasons 1 – 8); Buy seasons 1-8 at Prime Video, Apple TV, and Vudu.
Commitment: Approx. 128 hours (for the first eight seasons)
What it is: Part soapy drama, part murderous thriller, You follows Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), a hopeless romantic with serial killer tendencies whose love for books is only outmatched by his enduring desire to find love. Easily transfixed by one woman after the other, Joe’s troubles pile up (along with the bodies) as it becomes harder and harder to keep his true self masked amid the societal elites he becomes entwined with. Season 4, part 1 premieres February 9.
Why you should watch it: Similar in tone to the earlier seasons of Dexter, You is a deliciously engaging drama that achieves the challenging task of making us root for its unhinged protagonist. Somehow, no matter how messy things get, Joe remains a doe-eyed boy we all want to hug. His calming voice over narration, consistently points out society’s ills and daily hypocrisies, allowing the viewer to live vicariously through his reluctant violence. It’s a surprising and satisfying watch.
Where to watch: Netflix (Subscription, seasons 1 – 3); Buy seasons 1-3 at Prime Video, Apple TV, and Vudu.
Commitment: Approx. 25 hours (for the first three seasons)
What it is: Inspired by the rise of iconic hip hop outfit Wu-Tang Clan, this original series (which was co-created by Wu-Tang mastermind The RZA) takes us back to New York in the early 1990s and follows Bobby Diggs as he strives to compile a superhero roster of lyrical greatness. Not an easy feat, considering the dozen young Black men he brings together find themselves walking the line between pursuing music and a life of crime. They persevere, however, and become one of the music industry’s most unlikely success stories, and change the culture in the process. The third and final season premieres February 15.
Why you should watch it: References to martial arts cinema and comic book classics are pervasive throughout Wu-Tang’s legacy. It only makes sense that, after Of Mics and Men, 2019’s documentary of the group, The RZA take the reins to tell this story. It may be tough to decipher fact from fiction in the series, but considering the pop culture influences that helped propel them to hip hop greatness, this is all par for the course. And what an entertaining course it is.
Where to watch: Hulu (Subscription, seasons 1-2)
Commitment: Approx. 16 hours (for the first two seasons)
What it is: A continuation of sorts to Star Trek: The Next Generation, which follows series icon Jean-Luc Picard (played by the equally iconic Sir Patrick Stewart) as he finds himself back in the captain’s chair as he partakes in multiple adventures throughout space to save the universe, and maybe find some much-needed closure, along the way. The third and final season premieres February 16.
Why you should watch it: To have Sir Patrick Stewart back in the role that made him a household name is reason enough to celebrate. Throughout the first two seasons, familiar faces from Star Trek series’ past – Data (Brent Spiner), Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg), and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), for example – pop up, adding a wondering sense of nostalgia while also pushing Jean-Luc’s story into territory that, up until now, no one dared to boldly go.
Where to watch: Paramount+ (Subscription, seasons 1-2); Buy seasons 1-2 at Prime Video, Apple TV, and Vudu.
Commitment: Approx. 15 hours (for the first two seasons)
94% Party Down
What it is: A mockumentary-style workplace comedy that follows a group of Hollywood types, from striving actors to struggling writers, who moonlight as cater waiters to make ends meet. Each episode follows the crew as the company serves all sorts of events, from senior singles mixers to a porn awards after party. Season 3 premieres February 24.
Why you should watch it: Back when the single-cam sitcom format was still in its prime, Party Down got lost in the programming shuffle amid heavy hitters like The Office and Parks and Rec. After a decade away, though, the series is returning with most of the original cast in tow: Adam Scott, Ken Marino, Jane Lynch, Martin Starr, Ryan Hansen, and Megan Mullally are all back. That’s a whole load of comedic strength in one series. And considering the strong writing and chemistry with the cast, it’s a no-brainer that a catch-up binge would be the right move before the new episodes premiere.
Where to watch: Starz and Hulu (Subscription, seasons 1-2); Buy seasons 1-2 at Prime Video, Apple TV, and Vudu.
Commitment: Approx. 15 hours (for the first two seasons)
Thumbnail image by Paramount+