Network midseason is over and done with, which means that February television is all about surviving the last of winter with new cable and streaming series… and possibly a football game or two. This month brings the year’s first major new comedy special, the launch of multiple woman-led late-night shows, and ambitious series premieres everywhere from Hulu to HBO. In other words, your DVR won’t be running out of programming anytime soon. Here are the month’s ten must-sees.
February 5: Netflix unveils Hannibal Buress’ Comedy Camisado
Any new special from the droll, deadpan stand-up would be cause for celebration, but Comedy Camisado also represents a rather odd milestone for Buress: it’s his first formal release since he inadvertently accelerated Bill Cosby’s downfall with a joke that went viral in 2014. Buress may or may not address it in the special, but he’ll definitely offer more of the alternately wry and silly comedy we’ve come to expect from the Broad City costar.
February 5: Talking Animals get the HBO treatment
While Animals certainly won’t be the first premium comedy that attempts to revive the animated talking-animal comedy with a distinctly adult sensibility, it’s not exactly a retread of BoJack Horseman: it’s got the indie cred of the Duplass brothers, the gritty, grayed-out setting of New York, and an unbelievably stacked voice cast. Adult animation is a big tent that’s finally getting even bigger, and Animals is proof.
February 7: CBS airs ads, Coldplay concert… and the Super Bowl
One of television’s few remaining true national events rings in the big five-oh this year, and it’s celebrating with a Coldplay Beyoncé halftime show, a Stephen Colbert live post-game, and more unbelievably expensive ads than ever. (This one has TJ Miller in it!) There will also be some football, which is fine.
TBS Mondo Samantha Bee
February 8: Samantha Bee goes Full Frontal
The Daily Show alum already has the “watch or you’re sexist” ad campaign, a hotline for rape-threatening trolls, and a glowing pre-air profile in New York magazine. Now all she needs is for her TBS news satire show to actually hit the air. Brace yourself for “it’s about goddamn time” Internet adulation and “[insert sexist garbage here]” in equal measure.
February 9: Comedy Central debuts Not Safe With Nikki Glaser
Comedy Central’s performer-centric not-quite-talk-shows are always fascinating, largely because they’re so hit or miss (remember how excited we all were for Why?). But Glaser, a well-known standup and member in good standing of the Amy Schumer Feminist Comedy Squad (TM), has merited a regular national platform for some time. It’ll be exciting to see what she does now that she finally has one, and how Not Safe fits in with the other sexually frank comedies on its channel’s slate.
February 14: Nation’s dads set to DVR Vinyl
Terence Winter finally makes the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll of TV’s current era literal with this HBO drama set in New York’s 1970s music scene. (Your dad hasn’t just DVR’ed this; he’s already pre-ordered the soundtrack on Amazon.) Though Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger are getting plenty of press as executive producers, the most exciting thing about this series might be Bobby Cannavale’s well-earned starring role. Given his performance in Boardwalk Empire as the Season 3 villain, he and Winter tend to do great work together.
February 15: Hulu rewinds to 11.22.63
Stephen King! J.J. Abrams! James Franco! Hulu’s pouring every ounce of star power it can find into its miniseries adaptation of King’s 2011 novel. Franco plays a time traveler attempting to stop the assassination of JFK, and Abrams brings all the sci-fi credibility in the world in between juggling the two biggest franchises in the business. If The Man in the High Castle is any indication, we nerds love our alternate history television, so don’t be surprised if this turns out to be a hit.
February 17: Broad City to the rescue
It’s Season 3. We know the drill: Weed! Judaism! Incredible outfits! Absurdist takes on New York humor! Celebrity cameos (see above)! That doesn’t make the return of Abbi and Ilana any less welcome, especially because it’s only a matter of time before they, and collaborators like Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs, take the Key & Peele route and leave TV behind for movies and general mogul-dom.
February 19: Judd Apatow takes on Love
Though Apatow’s role in Girls was both significant and widely publicized, his upcoming Netflix series Love represents his first proper foray into television. (Fellow Girls alum Lesley Arfin is also a co-creator.) It co-stars comedian Paul Rust and Community — and Girls! See a pattern? – alumna Gillian Jacobs as young train-wrecks in LA; awkward hilarity and romance, plus hijinks that look more gender-balanced than Apatow’s typical fair, will no doubt ensue. Think of it as a spiritual, West Coast sequel to Master of None.
February 26: Fuller House opens its doors
Hundreds of years from now, February 26, 2016 will be known in the history books as Peak Retread. Sure, there will be more sequels and reboots and remakes after this; there might even be worse ones. But there will be none more unnecessary, or more cynical, than Netflix’s decision to revive a perfectly pleasant but not exactly missed ’90s family sitcom. Excited yet?