March TV Preview: Don’t Miss These 10 Premieres

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Where TV’s concerned, this year, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a Siberian tiger. We open with the Ryan Murphy spectacle Feud: Bette and Joan, and close with a newly announced docu-series based on Mark Harris’s nonfiction book Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War. In between, there are new and returning comedies, dramas, event series, and standup specials galore. All that plus new episodes of Empire; comedian Jerrod Carmichael‘s second HBO special; Fox’s new time-travel comedy Making History; and many more. It’s a daunting list for even the most seasoned TV-watcher; as you forge ahead into the fog of March TV, Flavorwire salutes you.

3/5: Feud: Bette and Joan (FX)

Feud is the latest anthology series from Ryan Murphy, he of Glee, American Horror Story, and most recently, American Crime Story, which took on the O.J. Simpson murder trial in its celebrated first season last year. Feud will explore a different, well, feud each season, and it devotes its debut installment to the hostile relationship between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford during the making of their 1962 blockbuster thriller, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange are terrific as Davis and Crawford, respectively, and the production design is to die for. Pro tip: Watch Baby Jane before digging into the series.

3/7: The Americans (FX)

It’s a strange time to be a fan of The Americans, the espionage thriller set during the Cold War and centered on KGB spies posing as an all-American family. The show premieres its fifth season this month, following an incredibly tense fourth season finale that ratcheted up the stakes for the Jennings family. When the show premiered in 2013, the idea of high-stakes tensions between Russia and the United States felt like a relic of the past, but now, like so much pop culture in the wake of the election, it feels all-too relevant. This perennial critical darling has never earned the ratings it deserves; maybe this is the year that’ll change.

3/7: Amy Schumer: The Leather Special (Netflix)

We haven’t heard much from Amy Schumer since she wrote and starred in Trainwreck in 2015. While her Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer, hasn’t been cancelled, there’s no word on when — or whether — we’ll see a fifth season. But she’s got a new movie coming out later this year, Snatched, co-starring Goldie Hawn and written by Schumer, Katie Dippold, and Kim Caramele, and this month Netflix will stream her latest standup special, Amy Schumer: The Leather Special. The hour-long set is vintage Schumer, with lots of material on sex, dating, and Amy Schumer.

3/8: Underground (WGN America)

The first season of Underground managed to pull off the risky move of combining the genre trappings of a thriller with the sobering story — fictional, but informed by historical accounts — of a group of runaway slaves on a Georgia plantation circa 1857. The season finale ended with the brief appearance of a character who will figure heavily in the second season — Harriet Tubman herself, played by Aisha Hinds. Underground is also notable for its contemporary soundtrack; the upcoming season premiere will feature Beyoncé’s “Formation” as well as a debut track from executive producer John Legend, who is set to guest star in the second season.

3/10: Love (Netflix)

This rom-com series from executive producer Judd Apatow returns for a second season of low-key hangs between lovers Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) and Gus (Paul Rust). After a season of will-they-won’t-they tension, Mickey and Gus attempt an honest-to-god relationship this time around, despite the fact that Mickey is a self-proclaimed sex and love addict. I found the first season of Love fairly middling despite the fact that I tore through its ten episodes in a single weekend; there’s nothing revolutionary about the show or its characters, but it sure does capture the erratic rhythms of an early relationship. It’s also the epitome of “Netflix and chill” — a chill Netflix show that feels tailor-made for a cozy stay-at-home date night.

3/12: American Crime (ABC)

This anthology series — not to be confused with American Crime Story, which is also an anthology series — had a terrific second season, which explored the disastrous fallout of a high-school sexual assault. The third season, which is set in Alamance County, North Carolina, promises to be even more incendiary, focusing on immigration, human trafficking, and workers’ rights. Sandra Oh joins series regulars Felicity Huffman and Regina King. Although production began long before the election, add American Crime to the list of series that take on a new level of resonance in 2017.

3/16: Review (Comedy Central)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting for the return of this delightfully deranged reality competition show spoof for what feels like eons. Review stars Andy Daly as critic Forrest MacNeil, who reviews life experiences as the host of a same-named show, giving each viewer-suggested experience a star rating out of five. Hilarity ensues, and Forrest’s life is slowly but surely ruined as the show goes on. Review returns this month for its third and final season, with a shortened episode count that’s not yet determined. Savor these final morsels of comedic genius.

3/17: Marvel’s Iron Fist (Netflix)

If you liked Jessica Jones and managed to drag yourself through Daredevil and Luke Cage, Iron Fist is the superhero franchise installment for you. Marvel continues its slow takeover of television with this new Netflix series about billionaire kung fu master Danny Rand (Finn Jones), who returns to his native New York City after being presumed dead for 15 years — and promptly begins whooping ass.

3/22: Shots Fired (Fox)

This new drama series from filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball, Beyond the Lights) and her husband, Reggie Rock Bythewood, premiered to glowing reviews at Sundance in January. A ten-episode “event” series starring Love & Basketball’s Sanaa Lathan, Shots Fired explores the aftermath of a racially-charged police shooting in a small North Carolina town. A Justice Department investigation reveals a cover-up; the governor is up for re-election; and a real-estate mogul who owns a private prison is implicated. With a cast that includes Helen Hunt and Richard Dreyfuss, Shots Fired promises to be appointment viewing.

3/31: Five Came Back (Netflix)

This one’s for all you film buffs and World War II geeks. Adapted from film historian Mark Harris’s 2014 book, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, Five Came Back is a three-part docu-series about Hollywood’s influence on WWII, and vice versa — told through the stories of five directors who spearheaded the American propaganda effort: William Wyler, John Ford, John Huston, George Stevens, and Frank Capra. The series enlists five modern-day filmmakers — Guillermo del Toro, Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Greengrass, Lawrence Kasdan, and Steven Spielberg — to contextualize the importance of their work. Meryl Streep narrates, and as a bonus, Netflix is making available 13 documentaries that are mentioned in the series.