Need some help discovering what to watch, listen to, read, or catch-up on in the world of TV? This is the place!
We can’t believe it’s February already, but we’re glad it is because that means even more new and returning television premieres, plus the celebration of Black History Month. And this year is a Leap Year so we have an extra day to pack in even more binge-watching!
Something to kick the month off right is National Geographic’s Genius: MLK/X (Our Members’ TV Watch Club pick for February!). It’s the fourth installment of the historical anthology overall, but the first to look at two influential figures alongside each other. While both Malcolm X (played here by Kelvin Harrison Jr.) and Martin Luther King Jr. (Aaron Pierre) are icons on their own and can fill a series individually, putting them together offers a rich look at the time period, as well as their many similarities. Yes, they actually had a lot in common, despite traditional education saying otherwise.
The show follows their personal lives as family men, in addition to how they changed the wider culture around them.
Everyone in the cast is an actor we think you need to know (and a few are ATX TV alums!): Weruche Opia plays Coretta Scott King, Jayme Lawson plays Betty Shabazz, Joshua Caleb Johnson is Young Malcolm X, and Jalyn Hall is Young Martin Luther King Jr. It’s also Ron Cephas Jones’ final project. Behind the scenes the pedigree is just as high, including director (and ATX TV alum) Channing Godfrey Peoples.
Check out the trailer above and stream it starting Feb 2 on Hulu and Disney+!
Celebrating Black History Month with a few of our favorites!
I MAY DESTROY YOU
Why: Michaela Coel should have won all the awards for writing and starring in I May Destroy You. I went in thinking this was going to be a really tough watch about sexual assault, which it is…in places, but there’s also quite a bit of light and hope, and some great laughs. The relationships at the center of the story are deep and rich, giving Arabella (Coel) a solid, safe place to stand when she’s ready. It’s a quiet show, which are usually my favorites because, to me, that just gives room for the audience (myself) to feel the spectrum of emotions the series encompasses in a really big way. It’s also not just Coel that deserved all the awards, the entire cast is phenomenal, and each character has their own journey to go on that you deeply care about.
When/Where: All episodes streaming now on MAX.
– EMILY GIPSON, co-founder & co-president
THE 1619 PROJECT
Why: The 1619 Project is a documentary miniseries based on a collection of essays written by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who is also the show’s host. The show expands on six of the 18 essays and focuses on the impact of slavery on today’s Black community and also how it shaped our nation’s values and institutions. What drew me to this show was the reminder that Black history is American history; The 1619 Project is not just for the Black community, it is for everyone. I feel that this is sometimes easy to forget, especially since slavery is usually taught as an aspect of our history or something significant in Black history, rather than one of the key forces that shaped our nation. The contributions of Black Americans have been often overlooked, but this miniseries draws attention to just how important these contributions were and why it is essential to understand the FULL history of our nation.
When/Where: All episodes streaming now on Hulu.
– VICTORIA BURK, OPERTATIONS COORDINATOR
Why: Despite it being an ATX TV Alum, my true introduction to Sherman’s Showcase was through its breakaway gospel hit, “Drop It Low (For Jesus).” From there, I obsessively listened to the soundtrack on Spotify, tore through Season 1, and eagerly awaited the next season, which technically began on Juneteenth 2020 with the “Black History Month Spectacular.” The show won both an Emmy and an NAACP Image Award for this episode, just sayin’. If you like sketch comedy, are nostalgic for the variety series of the ‘70s & ‘80s, enjoy a little bit of history with your humor, or ALL OF THE ABOVE, Sherman’s Showcase is the show for you! Did I mention there’s an episode with [not really] Mary J. Blige? Get watching and cross your fingers with me for Season 3.
When/Where: All episodes streaming now on Hulu.
– JANICE NOSKE, PROGRAMMING MANAGER
YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE
Why: Each episode of Hulu’s Your Attention Please, hosted by ATX TV Alum Craig Robinson, highlights three Black folks who are doing really, deeply interesting things. Craig’s hosting can be a little over the top when he’s doing a bit, but I just love the featurettes. Each one is basically a gorgeous, 10-minute-or-less short film (the PERFECT length for a short film), which makes each episode feel like a carefully curated short film block at a film festival. I first discovered this series last year before Season 12 of our Festival when I was doing a little light googling on the riders joining us for The Ride — Season 3, Episode 2 of Your Attention Please features Austin Gamblers’ rider Ezekiel “Blue” Mitchell — and I ended up diving into the series.
When/Where: Seasons 1 – 3 are streaming on Hulu.
– LAURA KINCAID, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Why: Starz’s now-canceled dramedy Blindspotting is what happens when you give a Bay Area poet (Rafael Casal), two Hamilton alums (Daveed Diggs and Jasmine Cephas Jones), an Emmy-winning choreographer (Jon Boogz), TV’s Helen Hunt, and a wildly talented creative team the space and money to tell a story that truly feels of a place — in this case, Oakland. Sometimes surreal, sometimes deeply grounded, and almost always playful, Blindspotting is a sort of spin-off of Casal and Diggs’ 2018 film, this time following Ashley (Cephas Jones) after her long-time partner, Miles (played by Casal) is suddenly incarcerated. The series dives headfirst into the ripple effects of incarceration, racial inequality, policing, and more, but through its own unique language of musicality and movement. In retrospect, it feels somewhat miraculous that we got the two seasons we did — and those 16 episodes are still very much worth discovering.
When/Where: Starz has removed the series from its platform, but you can (and should!) still purchase Seasons 1-2 on Prime Video and iTunes. It’s on us to preserve great shows, y’all!
– Jenn Morgan, Director of Programming
IN THE NEWS
Stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest.
‘Suits’ Sets Another Streaming Record for 2023: Biggest Year Ever
By RICK PORTER | JANUARY 29, 2024
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by LIZ SHANNON MILLER | JANUARY 24, 2024
IN THE QUEUE
A little something to look forward to.
MR & MRS. SMITH
The 2005 blockbuster Mr. & Mrs. Smith starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is unapologetically one of my favorite films, so when I heard the brilliant Donald Glover was adapting that IP for TV, I could not have been more thrilled. Add PEN15‘s Maya Erskine opposite him and do something new with the story so you’re following the characters from the very start of their relationship to watch them fall in love and THEN fall apart, and I’m even more in. The amazing guest cast (from other personal faves Sarah Paulson to Parker Posey) is the cherry on top.
Stream it February 2nd on Prime Video. Watch the trailer HERE.
– Danielle Turchiano, Social Media Manager
It’s back!!! This show is my happy place, and I’m so ready for it to return. Yes, I’m invested in the Janine and Gregory will-they-won’t-they storyline, but honestly, I’m completely here for all the high jinks of this group of teachers. I genuinely laugh during every episode, I believe each character has a good heart (even if some are a little misguided), and I am always rooting for the school to succeed…in whatever it’s trying to accomplish. It’s just really nice to see a show about people who deeply care about making the world a better place, and have some fun while doing it.
Season 3 of Abbott Elementary premieres Feb 7 on ABC.
– Emily Gipson, Co-Founder & Co-President
Mark your calendars for the return of our titular sleuth…and Betty. There’d probably be a mutiny if we lost Betty! Yes, it’s another procedural, but one with heart and a great soundtrack. The characters are well developed, and the dynamics of their relationships feel grounded in a sense of (slightly heightened) reality. I don’t just get my crime-of-the-week fix, but also my people drama, which leaves me feeling genuinely satisfied and eager for the next episode. And while I, hopefully, have your attention, who do I talk to about an Amanda Wagner prequel spin-off?
Watch Season 2 on ABC starting on Feb 20, or catch it next day on Hulu!
– JANICE NOSKE, Programming Mananger