From the return of a hero to parties on the shore, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Amend: The Fight for America – Netflix
Netflix“What does it mean to be an American?” Those are the first words uttered in the trailer for this six-part docuseries that delves into the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution... and before you ask, that’s the one that promises liberty and equal protection for all persons. (It may not surprise you to discover that most Americans don’t even know their own Constitution backwards and forwards, so why should you?) Employing a unique narrative format, Amend features several high-profile individuals—including, but not limited to, Mahershala Ali, Diane Lane, Samuel L. Jackson, Pedro Pascal and Yara Shahidi—reading various writings and speeches by folks who were both in favour of and steadfastly against this amendment.
Like who, you ask? Oh, you know, just people like Frederick Douglass, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Andrew Johnson. By the way, those words that kicked off this writeup are spoken by none other than Will Smith, who both hosts and executive-produces this series alongside comedian Larry Wilmore (The Daily Show).
2. It’s a Sin – Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime VideoJust a few short decades ago, there was another virus running roughshod over the planet, but that plague affected a very particular segment of the population—one which the powers-that-be were all too comfortable ignoring. The result? Those afflicted were forced to fight not only for their lives, but their basic human rights. This ’80s-set drama follows five friends over the span of a decade in London, at the start of the AIDS crisis.
The series hails from Emmy-nominated writer Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk, Doctor Who), and it centres on three main characters: Roscoe (Omari Douglas), Colin (Callum Scott Howells) and Ritchie (Olly Alexander, lead singer of the pop group Years & Years). Strangers at first, the protagonists all leave home at 18 years old, eager to chase their dreams and live as their true selves. Little do they know, an earth-shattering health crisis awaits.
Yet as we’ll see over the course of these five episodes, enduring heartbreak at the hands of not only a virus, but a world that refuses to acknowledge them, forges an everlasting bond.
3. Great Chocolate Showdown – Monday, February 22, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., Food | Series Premiere
FoodGet ready for a new batch of amateur bakers taking on chocolatey challenges in hopes of impressing the panel of expert judges: TV personality and bestselling cookbook author Anna Olson, award-winning British cake designer Cynthia Stroud and B.C. pastry chef and chocolatier Steve Hodge. For the competitor who whips up the winning concoction, victory is sweet—as is the $50,000 grand prize waiting at the finish line.
4. Outdaughtered – Tuesday, February 23, 5 p.m. & 9 p.m., TLC | Season Premiere
TLCBeing stuck at home this past year hasn’t been easy for anyone; but take a moment to consider the struggles of the Busby clan and their rambunctious quintuplets. Indeed, season seven found Danielle and Adam utterly cooped up with their li’l bundles of chaos. Luckily, even though the pandemic rages on, season eight finds the family getting back out into the world, ever so slightly. Yet raising five daughters is a challenge at the best of times, and as Ava, Olivia, Parker, Hazel and Riley prep to start kindergarten and the whole fam heads out on an RV trip, there are plenty of stress-triggers in store.
Plus, get ready for family holidays aplenty: from a Halloween haunted maze set up in their backyard, to a social-distanced visit with Santa, these parents are determined to keep the magic alive for their baby girls, COVID be damned.
5. Superman & Lois – Tuesday, February 23, 6 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., CTV Sci-Fi; 8 p.m., The CW | Series Premiere
CTV Sci-FiBack when Smallville used to chronicle the adventures of a teenaged Clark Kent, the mantra was “no tights, no flights,” in order to save the iconic Superman costume and superpowers for the movies. That rule has long since fallen by the wayside, as demonstrated in this new series starring Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch as the Man of Steel and wife Lois Lane, reprising the roles they introduced in Supergirl. Here, the couple are now parents to teenage sons (Jordan Elsass, Alexander Garfin), relocating their family to Clark’s hometown of Smallville to take care of some Kent family business. Yet after years of battling all manner of megalomaniacal supervillains and monsters wreaking havoc on Metropolis and alien invaders intent on wiping out humanity, Lois and Clark must now face what is arguably the greatest challenge they’ve ever encountered: dealing with all the stress, pressure and complexities of being working parents of teenagers in modern society.
6. Floribama Shore – Thursday, February 25, 5 p.m. & 9 p.m., MTV Canada | Season Premiere
MTV CanadaPut your favourite late-night pizza joint on speed-dial and start planning your own raunchy friend trip for whenever it’s safe to travel again. Season four of this Jersey Shore-inspired series is now upon us, and just in time too, considering Jersey Shore: Family Vacation is going dark after its midseason finale this week. When we pick up with this newer cast, they aren’t returning to the Florida Panhandle as usual, nor will they be in St. Petersburg like last season; instead, they’re headed to Montana and Lake Havasu in Arizona. But no matter where this crew plants its debaucherous flag, you can expect the same sorts of shenanigans, from ongoing tension between Gus Smyrnios and Jeremiah Buoni to Nilsa Prowant’s pregnancy.
Codi Butts, Aimee Hall, Kirk Medas and Candace Rice are also back, as they trade in those swimsuits for snowsuits in the chillier climate. (Kortni Gilson, who left at the end of season three due to mental health issues, will not return.)
But while fans can look forward to plenty of hearty partying, thanks to the pandemic the cast will face a whole new set of challenges. “Things will look different this year,” MTV promises. “With limited access to the outside world at their remote location, the group is forced to face the wounds of last summer head on. During uncertain times, the crew needs each other more than ever, but like all families, there’s always something brewing under the surface and the bonds of friendship will be tested like never before.”
7. Bigfoot Family – Friday, February 26, Netflix
NetflixIn a sequel to 2017 kid flick The Son of Bigfoot, Bigfoot is now a celeb, and wants to put that fame to good use by thwarting an Alaska oil company. When he suddenly disappears, his tech-savvy son must take on an “evil CEO” to rescue dad and save a wildlife preserve.
8. Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry – Friday, February 26, Apple TV+
Apple TV+Acclaimed documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler aims his camera at Billie Eilish, offering a deeply intimate look at the Grammy-winning pop phenom on the road, onstage and at home with her family while she writes and records the debut album that would change her life.
9. Losing Alice – Friday, February 26, Apple TV+ | Season Finale
Apple TV+If you’ve been waiting until all episodes of this gripping psychological thriller drop, now’s the time to hit “Play.” The Israeli potboiler’s final instalment hits the streaming service Friday, bringing the tale of 48-year-old filmmaker Alice and her 24-year-old screenwriter femme fatale obsession to a close.
10. Arctic Vets – Friday, February 26, 8:30 p.m., CBC | Series Premiere
CBCThis new docuseries takes viewers into the world of the remarkable wildlife that inhabits Canada’s frozen north. Featuring incredible access and a cast of amazing characters (both human and animal), the groundbreaking show is packed with heartwarming and heart-wrenching stories as the veterinary team at Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Arctic Animal Hospital treats sick and injured Arctic species in one of the planet’s harshest environments.