What to Watch This Week: February 19 to 24

From the return of 'American Idol' to the neo-noir thriller 'Strays', we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

From the return of ‘American Idol’ to the neo-noir thriller ‘Strays’, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Best in Miniature – Sunday, February 19, CBC | Season Premiere

Best in MiniatureCBCImagine having the opportunity to build your dream home, but with one condition: the house in question must be a miniature version of the one you’re envisioning.  

When this competition returns for a second season, 10 new artists from around the world will do exactly that—craft their dream homes at 1:12 scale. In each episode, this talented crew will go room-by-room to create amazingly detailed spaces. On the line is a cash prize, a coveted residency and the title of Best in Miniature.  

Helping to decide these contestants’ fates (not to mention their technique and precision) are judges Emma Waddell, a U.K. miniature expert, and designer Michael Lambie. Standup comedian Aba Amuquandoh returns to host. 

2. American Idol – Sunday, February 19, CTV, City & ABC | Season Premiere

American IdolABCIt seems like country singer Noah Thompson (and his sweet, sweet vocals) was only just crowned the season-20 winner of this venerable sing-off, so it’s wild that we’re already back for another rendition. Yet here we are on the brink of another year of auditions, stage antics, consultants and famous guest stars, not to mention another crop of singing hopefuls who want to make their big stage dreams come true.  

When the 21st season kicks off this weekend, we do know the auditions have officially wrapped. They took place last summer and fall, with producers scouring America for new talent. We’ll see how some of those auditions went down when the show kicks off, while also learning which celebrity mentors and previous contestants will return to offer up their best advice to the new hopefuls. Meanwhile, three reasons for fans to return to the franchise are the judges: Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. They’re back alongside the original and only remaining season-one Idol face, host Ryan Seacrest.  

“This is the kind of show that has a home somewhere for as long as people want to produce it and make it—as long as people want to audition for it,” the host reflected to The Hollywood Reporter last year. “I don’t think there’s any shortage of young talent every year that’s looking for a big break who just don’t know how to get to an audition in Hollywood or Nashville or Austin or New York. That will never run out, and therefore I think this format and this series has the opportunity to live with generations and have other generations grow up watching it to try to be the next winner.” 

3. Last Week Tonight – Sunday, February 19, HBO Canada

Last Week TonightHBO CanadaWhenever John Oliver goes on hiatus at the end of the year, it’s always an interminable wait for his return. Thankfully, however, our dry wit spell is finally over, as the British Daily Show alum returns to skewer and dissect politics and pop culture alike. 

4. Kathleen Madigan: Hunting Barefoot – Tuesday, February 20, Prime Video

Kathleen MadiganPrime VideoKathleen Madigan is back again with a new standup special, her first for Prime Video but her sixth overall. (The previous three appeared on Netflix.)  

This time her stand-up is about her aging parents, dealing with millennials and, yes, hunting Bigfoot, but one of the most notable things about Madigan’s career is her desire to only be a stand-up performer.  

“I just don’t have any strong desire other than to keep writing and telling jokes,” Madigan told The Virginian-Pilot. “I never got into this job to be an actor. To me, that’s like when people ask me, ‘So what are your other goals?’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I don’t have any. This was the goal!’ And then I feel bad. But then I think, ‘Wait a minute, why should I feel bad about that?’ I mean, the goal was to tell jokes, to have fun, to make enough money to pay the bills, and to put enough money somewhere so that in retirement I’m not eating cat food… and I’m doing it.”  

That was in 2012. Talk about stick-to-itiveness!

5. The Low Tone Club – Wednesday, February 21, Disney+ | Series Premiere

The Low Tone ClubDisney+If you loved Glee and are in need of another high school dramedy about musically inclined kids learning to love themselves, then this Spanish original should hit all the right notes.  

It follows the story of Amaranto Molina (Carlos Vives), an unconventional music teacher with a secret past who starts a new gig at a school that’s all too quick to dismiss the underdogs in its student body. Each year, the controversial principal, Eduardo Kramer (Julián Arango), chooses five performers to join the academy’s prestigious (and commercially inclined) The High Tones, while the remaining kids are deemed The Low Tones.  

It’s those latter teens Molina begins working with, helping them heal their wounds and inspire one another through the universal love of song.

6. The Strays – Wednesday, February 21, Netflix

The StraysNetflixIn this psychological thriller from the U.K., Neve (Ashley Madekwe, The Umbrella Academy) leads an idyllic life in the suburbs with her loving family, working a fulfilling job at a private school. Neve’s perfect life begins to unravel when she notices two shadowy figures, a strange man and woman, who appear unexpectedly at odd moments, leading her to start doubting her sanity. She turns to her family and friends for assistance, but is helpless when they hesitate to believe her. 

7. Outer Banks – Thursday, February 22, Netflix | Season Premiere

Outer BanksNetflixSeason two of this sexy treasure hunt ended with a dramatic, cargo-ship cliffhanger and a ghost from the past. The swashbuckling intrigue picks back up with our young heroes on a desert island; it may seem carefree at first, but we all know that when it comes to the Pogues, nothing gold can stay.

8. Push – Friday, February 24, CBC

PushCBCThese days, cameras follow any and all sorts of people as they go about their daily lives. But Canada’s public broadcaster is pretty confident you’ve never seen this kind of representation showcased on TV before.  

Push stars Benveet “Bean” Gill and her buds: the Wheelie Peeps, a.k.a. an “unlikely group of friends and wheelchair users.” This crew is bonded by their shared experience of using wheels to motor around, but they all bring unique experiences to the mix. There are self-proclaimed rednecks, former erotic dancers, mothers, concert pianists and more. Through all of life’s ups and downs (social stigmas, starting families, dating), the group leans on one another while working to prove that their lives and dreams aren’t as limited as their mobility. “This show is what I needed when I was first paralyzed,” Gill said in a release. “To see that having a disability doesn’t define you. We’re regular people, striving like everyone else to live our kickass lives to the fullest. But Push is not simply a show about lives. It’s about really seeing and hearing us as people, just as we are.” 

9. Party Down – Friday, February 24, Crave | Season Premiere

Party DownCraveTen years after this beloved cult comedy ended, a surprise reunion brings the members of the Party Down team back together for a third season of cateing nutty parties all over Los Angeles. Adam Scott, Ken Marino, Jane Lynch, Martin Starr, Ryan Hansen and Megan Mullally reprise their roles. 

10. We Have a Ghost – Friday, February 124, Netflix

We Have a GhostNetflixImagine Casper the Friendly Ghost but with Stranger Things’ David Harbour doing the haunting and you have the premise for We Have a Ghost, the new Netflix horror comedy film from director Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day, Freaky). Teenager Kevin (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) moves into an old house with his parents (Anthony Mackie and Erica Ash), but before he can even settle in he discovers and befriends Ernest (Harbour), a mute spirit who roams the home. When Kevin and Ernest go rogue in order to investigate the latter’s murder, news of Ernest’s existence winds up going viral on social media. As you might expect, evidence of a bona fide ghost attracts the attention of both opportunistic hucksters (including a wacky psychic played by White Lotus standout Jennifer Coolidge) and a ruthless government scientist (Tig Notaro), who will stop at nothing to apprehend Ernest and perform experiments on him. Kevin and Ernest go on the run to evade the authorities and put his soul to rest.