What to Watch This Week: February 12 to 17

From the gridiron action of the Super Bowl (and Rihanna's halftime show) to the return of Orlando Bloom in 'Carnival Row', we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

From the gridiron action of the Super Bowl (and Rihanna’s halftime show) to the return of Orlando Bloom in ‘Carnival Row’, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Super Bowl LVII – Sunday, February 12, CTV, TSN & Fox

Super Bowl LVIICTVThe 57th edition of the NFL’s biggest game of the year will see the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Philadelphia Eagles, an epic matchup between Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Eagles QB Jalen Hurts. In addition to the game itself, music fans will be tuning in for a halftime show that will feature Rihanna, delivering her first live performance in six years. In addition, Grammy-winning country star Chris Stapleton will sing the U.S. national anthem, while legendary R&B producer Babyface is set to perform “America the Beautiful” and Abbott Elementary actress Sheryl Lee Ralph will offer a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”  

2. History’s Greatest Heists with Pierce Brosnan – Sunday, February 12, History Channel | Series Premiere

History's Greatest HeistsThe History ChannelFormer 007 Pierce Brosnan hosts this eight-episode series, in which each one-hour episode uncovers the meticulous planning, daring execution and shocking aftermath behind some of the most elaborate real-life robberies in history, including the notorious Lufthansa heist in New York City, the half-billion-dollar Gardner Museum art theft, the Antwerp diamond heist and others. 

3. Jim Jefferies: High N’ Dry – Tuesday, February 14, Netflix

Jim Jefferies: High N DryNetflixThe ever-outrageous, always insightful Australian comic returns with his fifth Netflix special, this time waxing comedic about the unfairness of male pattern baldness, the “laziness” of koala bears and why he’s finally given up drinking forever.

4. African Queens – Wednesday, February 15, Netflix | Series Premiere

African QueensNetflixThis docuseries, produced by Jada Pinkett Smith, looks back at the powerful females who ruled African nations, in order to remind viewers of their legacies before they’re forgotten. Netflix has already committed to two seasons of African Queens, which blends historical facts with dramatic re-enactments to tell the stories of these fascinating females. The first season profiles Queen Nzinga, a complex, captivating and fearless 17th-century warrior queen of Ndongo and Matamba, in what is now known as Angola. The nation’s first female ruler, Nzinga earned a reputation for her blend of political and diplomatic skill with military prowess and became an icon of resistance when she ruled over her nation and led a powerful army that fought off Portuguese interlopers.  

“As the mother of a young Black woman, it is immensely important to me that she learns the lessons of the African queens who paved the way for our success and the success of generations of Black women,” said Pinkett Smith in a statement. “I am very passionate and excited about bringing the stories and lessons of these powerful women to light in order to showcase their strength, leadership and undeniable influence on history.” 

The show is written by Kenyan-born storyteller Peres Owino and British diplomat NneNne Iwuji, and hails from Smith’s Westbrook Studios and independent film studio Nutopia. 

5. Canada’s Ultimate Challenge – Thursday, February 16, CBC | Series Premiere

Canada's Ultimate ChallengeCBCWhat would happen if you combined The Amazing Race and Tough as Nails, but made it Canadian? Well, it would no doubt look something like this new competition, which is designed to test the grit and gumption of hardcore Canucks from all over our fair country.  

In Thursday’s premiere, the production team turns Canada itself into the Ultimate obstacle course as six teams of four hit the ground running. The series (which is produced by the same folks behind The Amazing Race Canada) is comprised of eight episodes designed to push the physical and mental endurance of its competitors. Each week, they’ll participate in three events: a solo challenge featuring one player from each team; the tandem, in which two players from each trio compete; and the team challenge, where each member needs to pull their weight for the W. Points are awarded accordingly, with playoff eliminations to follow in later weeks.  

Among the locales visited in season one: Whitehorse, Yukon; Squamish, B.C.; Kelowna, B.C.; Hinton, Alberta; Sudbury, Ontario; Thousand Islands, Ontario; Québec City; and the Confederation Bridge between New Brunswick and P.E.I.  

Emceeing the action are sports broadcaster Nikki Reyes and professional snowboarder Craig McMorris. Meanwhile, on hand to coach these teams are six legendary professional athletes: Order of Canada recipient Donovan Bailey; gold-medallist water polo great Waneek Horn-Miller; six-time medallist speed skater and cyclist Clara Hughes; speed skater Gilmore Junio; rugby player Jen Kish; and NFL Super Bowl champ Luke Wilson. Their job will be to inspire and motivate their respective squads, 

as the competitors prove they have what it takes to not only win the Ultimate Challenge, but the ultimate cash prize. 

6. Sharper – Friday, February 17, Apple TV+

SharperApple TV+If you’re into movies that keep you guessing like The Usual Suspects, Drive, The Sting and The Thomas Crown Affair, the Emmy-winning filmmaker behind this Apple TV+ original film thinks he’s got just the potboiler for you. Director Benjamin Caron (The Crown) presents a neo-noir that’s bursting with twists, turns, moral turpitude and, oh yes, an all-star cast. 

In New York City’s bedrooms, bars and boardrooms, no one is who they seem to be. Each new character we meet fights for wealth and power in a swirl of ambition, greed, lust and jealousy. At the centre of it all is Julianne Moore as a single mother, and her son, played by Sebastian Stan. Together they target a billionaire (John Lithgow)—although both approach their mark in a different way.  

Sharper is an original, twisty, character-driven, New York City thriller full of fun surprises,” Caron teased to People. “It’s perfect escapism for this time of year.”

7. J-Hope in the Box – Friday, February 17, Disney+

J-Hope in the BoxDisney+Fans of K-pop sensations BTS won’t want to miss this new film featuring the group’s singer, j-hope, as the international superstar completes his first-ever solo album, Jack in the Box. Over the course of the documentary, viewers will be given a never-before-seen inside look at the creative challenges faced during the album’s preparation, following him every step of the way to shine a light on the writing and recording process, from beginning to end. In addition, viewers will also receive a virtual front-row seat to j-hope’s 2022 solo performance at Lollapalooza, and a peek at the album’s listening party once it’s finally released. 

8. Hello Tomorrow! – Friday, February 17, Apple TV+ | Series Premiere

Hello Tomorrow!Apple TV+Ever dreamt of a life among the stars? Well, cue up your Apple TV box, because this new sci-fi dramedy is coming in hot with three debut episodes on Friday.  

Emmy-winner Billy Crudup (The Morning Show) plays a travelling salesman in a retro-future world. Here, advanced technology has made all kinds of impossible things possible, including—as Crudup’s character sells so convincingly—moving to the moon. 

Yet lunar timeshares are just the entry point to this satirical tale of 1950s-fashioned salespeople. The creators also dissect themes like faith in a brighter tomorrow and losing yourself in fantasy. Recruited to tell that complex story is a top-notch cast rounded out by Haneefah Wood, Alison Pill, Dewshane Williams, Emmy-winner Hank Azaria, Matthew Maher and Academy Award-nominee Jacki Weaver. 

9. Carnival Row – Friday, February 17, Prime Video | Season Premiere

Carnival RowPrime VideoWhen last we left the humans, pix and pucks in the season-one finale, tensions between the mortals and the critch were at an all-time high. In the Burgue (an alternate version of Britain), the police had carted every single mythical creature to the Row and locked them up. Anyone who tried to escape would be shot on the spot. In a last-ditch effort to be reunited with his fae love Vignette (Cara Delevingne), former officer (and as we learned, half-fae) Philo (Orlando Bloom) darted into the Row in the show’s closing moments, choosing his fae side over his human allegiances.  

As we return, Philo and Vignette are finally together, but there’s no honeymoon period to bask in for this unlikely romance. Illness and poverty take over on Carnival Row, forcing the citizens into a bitter fight for survival. The way Philo and Vignette choose to lead that fight, however, may doom their relationship forever. Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, the new chancellor, Jonah Breakspear (Arty Froushan), has his work cut out for him. With the factory owners struggling to put out product following the loss of critch employees and public hatred for critch at an all-time high, he’ll have some impossible decisions to make.  

Elsewhere, an escaped Imogen (Tamzin Merchant) and Agreus (David Gyasi) are free to bask in their forbidden amour on the sea. Eventually though, the pair will have to face reality, and with Imogen’s brother searching high and low for her, we have a feeling these star-crossed lovers have more hurdles than ever in their way.  

Fans be warned: this long-delayed second season also marks the swan song for Amazon’s macabre fairy tale.

10. Great Performances: Movies for Grownups Awards – Friday, February 17, WTVS & KCTS

Great Performances: Movies for Grownups AwardsPBSFirst broadcast on PBS in 2018, the annual Movies for Grownups Awards—produced by AARP: The Magazine—returns for a sixth year to celebrate and encourage filmmaking with unique appeal to movie-lovers with a grownup state of mind, recognizing the inspiring artists who make them. Each year, the centrepiece honour is the Career Achievement Award, celebrating the contributions of cinema legends, and this year’s recipient more than fills the bill: Jamie Lee Curtis, whose work has spanned six decades (so far) and who has just received her first Oscar nomination, for her performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once. The show will also include recognition for 2022’s top films and TV, including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Picture/Best Movie for Grownups, Best TV Series, Best Limited Series/TV Movie and more, with actor Alan Cumming as host.