Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Girls (Sunday, Feb. 12, HBO), season premiere: Yes, Girls creator/star Lena Dunham has made some astoundingly stupid statements on social media—isn’t that what social media is for?—but she’s also cranked out a half-dozen solid seasons of an HBO series, so she’s far more than just a “privileged snowflake.” Season 6 will be the last for Girls (though there may be a follow-up movie), and Brooklynites Hannah (Dunham), Marnie (Allison Williams), Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) are totally different, and somehow exactly the same, as they were in the beginning. Girls’ infamously un-glam sex scenes and monologues continue, but it’s Dunham’s nimble comedy writing that deserves the attention—lines like “I don’t give a shit about anything, yet I simultaneously have opinions about everything” are as funny as they are instantly relatable (to some of us writers, anyway).

Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Monday, Feb. 13, HBO), documentary: Locally born party-rockers Eagles of Death Metal were a cult band, more or less, prior to the November 2015 terrorist attack at a Paris concert that claimed 89 lives—now, they’re a slightly more-notorious cult band who, surprisingly, still haven’t been sued by Don Henley of the Eagles proper. Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends) isn’t just about the Bataclan incident and the band’s subsequent return to play for Paris fans; it also explores the decades-long, yin-yang friendship between EODM founders Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age). It’s a sweet and sometimes harrowing story with a triumphant conclusion. If Nos Amis inspires some more sales of Eagles of Death Metal’s four excellent, ramshackle rock ’n’ roll records, even better.

Humans (Monday, Feb. 13, AMC), season premiere: Before HBO’s Westworld, AMC’s Humans was delving into lifelike-androids-among-us drama in a more understated manner. (Four whole episodes passed in Season 1 before someone had sex with a robot.) Busy London couple Joe and Laura (Tom Goodman-Hill and Katherine Parkinson) bought a refurbished “Synth” (a human-like robot servant, Mia, coolly/creepily played by Gemma Chan) who displayed flashes of organic emotion and passive-aggressive tendencies. (Never, ever buy “refurbished”; eBay 101.) What could go wrong? Everything, of course, and now Mia and her like-minded “family” of Synths are loose in the populace with the “consciousness code” (a backdoor switch that could make all Synths “wake up” and toss off their servitude). It’s going to be a looong time before Westworld returns—get some Humans in your life.

You Me Her (Tuesday, Feb. 14, Audience/DirecTV), season premiere: Last year’s surprise polyamory rom-com (!) played wacky-to-serious-and-back-again hijinks out over 10 near-perfect episodes that rung comically real. Then, You Me Her was about an unexpected love triangle between bored Portland couple Jack (Greg Poehler) and Emma (Rachel Blanchard), and free-spirited escort Izzy (Priscilla Faia), and their anxiety over hiding this new relationship, whatever it was, from their friends and family. Now, in Season 2, it’s about going public and, perhaps even harder, dealing with Izzy as a full-time housemate. The only predictable aspect of You Me Her is that the guy is going to screw things up, and inadvertent third wheel Jack is right on schedule. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Doubt (Wednesday, Feb. 15, CBS), series debut: TV's latest attempt to make Katherine Heigl a thing is yet another pretty-lawyers show—but with a twist! Attorney Sadie Ellis (Heigl) falls in lust/love with her client, a charismatic doctor (Steven Pasquale) accused of murdering his girlfriend years ago. Did he do it? Can she trust him? Will CBS somehow drag 13 episodes out of this? Meanwhile, the rest of her law firm (which includes Dulé Hill, Elliott Gould, Dreama Walker and Laverne Cox) are … around. Doubt has all of the sexy banter, perfect hair and designer clothes required of modern legal soaps, but it’s all as empty as a showroom briefcase. Quit dicking around, and just get Heigl a Fox comedy (à la The Mick) or back on Grey’s Anatomy, Hollywood.

Published in TV

Love (Friday, Feb. 19, Netflix), series debut: Gillian Jacobs was always Community’s most-underrated player, a reliable source of dark snark who functioned as a counterpoint to Joel McHale’s, well, darker snark, and who was rarely forced to play the “pretty blonde” card. In her first real headlining gig, in Judd Apatow’s Love, she plays a character even less motivated than Community’s Britta: Here, she’s aimless radio-station programmer Mickey, who spends most of her time stoned, partying or obliviously failing out of relationships. When she meets up with recently dumped Gus (Paul Rust), it’s … something at first sight. Apatow has been making films for so long that it’s easy to forget his early TV shows (Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared), on which male and female teens and 20-somethings coexisted awkwardly while trying to Figure Out Life. Love is an older, none-the-wiser final entry in this unofficial Apatow TV trilogy, and the most brutally/hilariously accurate portrayal of modern dating since Aziz Ansari’s surprisingly fantastic Master of None. Bonus props to Netflix for not dropping Love’s 10 episodes on Valentine’s Day.

Pregnant at 17 (Saturday, Feb. 20, Lifetime), movie: Chelsea (Orphan Black’s Zoé De Grand Maison) is 17, pregnant and in love—too bad she’s a high-school dropout, and her 50-something (!) married (!!) boyfriend Jeff (Pretty Little Liars’ Roark Critchlow) now wants nothing to do with her because, you know, gross baby. Meanwhile, Jeff’s wife, Sonia (Melrose Place’s Josie Bissett), finds out about all of this and, instead of plotting stone-cold revenge as you’d expect in a Lifetime movie, takes pity on the poor knocked-up teen and befriends her. But! No sooner than you can spell polyamory … go ahead, I’ll give you a minute … a dark, dangerous figure from Chelsea’s past turns up to endanger her eff’dup new “family”! Keep ’em coming, Lifetime.

Girls (Sunday, Feb. 21, HBO), season premiere: Maybe you’re aware that Season 5 is the next-to-last for Girls; maybe you fell out of love with Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna a while ago and thought the series was already long over; maybe you’ve only heard of the show in relation to that Kylo Ren guy from Star Wars: The Force Awakens; maybe your dad changed his HBO Go password—I don’t know your deal. Anyway: As long as creator/star Lena Dunham is smart enough to avoid Sex and the City’s legacy-destroying mistakes (making a terrible follow-up theatrical movie; making an incomprehensibly wretched follow-up to that follow-up that plays on 20 screens daily in hell; etc.), Girls’ place in TV history is guaranteed. Oh, and Marnie (Allison Williams) is getting married, so that should be a trainwreck.

Superstore, Telenovela (Monday, Feb. 22, NBC), season finales: When both of these new NBC comedies sneak-preview premiered in December 2015, Telenovela looked like the survivor, while Superstore appeared to be an ill-conceived waste of talent. Eleven episodes later, Eva Longoria’s Telenovela is working waaay too hard for too few laughs, while America Ferrera’s Superstore has become an effortless ensemble comedy that actually lives up to most of its surface comparisons to The Office. The ratings correspond, meaning there’s far more likely to be a second season of Superstore than another round of Telenovela. Enjoy the big hair and boob tape while you can.

Nicole and Jionni’s Shore Flip (Wednesday, Feb. 24, FYI), series debut: The list of tolerable ex-MTV personalities is a short one: There’s former Singled Out host Chris Hardwick, now of Comedy Central’s @Midnight and every possible AMC post-show talker they can justify (Talking Saul? Really?), and a certain retired VJ who presides over Fox Business Network’s Kennedy (she’s the Caustic Queen of FBN—which is saying nothing, but she’s still as entertaining/annoying as she was in the ’90s). That’s it. There’s also not a more radioactively disdained past MTV property than Jersey Shore, so who greenlit a house-flipping series co-hosted by idiot oompa loompa Snookie—sorry, “Nicole”—and her equally witless husband, Jionni? The same network that brings you Kocktails With Khloe (Kardashian), of course. Maybe E! is no longer the epicenter of stoopid …

Published in TV