SMALL SCREEN – Kyle Wells

Returning series are in full swing

In the great land of television, we’re full swing into returning series and premieres of new favourites. I’d like to recommend a few here to try out.

First, a couple of old friends:

House of Cards is back for a third season on Netflix on Feb. 27. I felt Season 2 was strong, with some unexpected twists and a continuation of the dark, disturbing world of politics we’ve come to know and reluctantly love on the show. I won’t spoil anything for those who haven’t caught up yet, but last season ended with a pretty substantial, well, promotion, and I’m looking forward to seeing where they take it from here.

Parks and Recreation is back on Feb 24, but its return is bittersweet as this will be the final season for what has consistently been one of the funniest and well written shows on the boob tube. Part of its success has been its phenomenal cast, including Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman, all big names in their own right now. A couple of them have already left the show, but the rest are back for a last hurrah. I’m glad to have them back but will be sorry to see them go.

Now for some new series:

If you are as enamoured by the truly weird and hilarious comedy styling of John C. Reilly as I am, you should be looking forward to Bagboy, airing on Feb. 20 (bit unclear as to what channel here in Canada, but on Comedy Central in the U.S.). This half-hour special sees Reilly returning as Dr. Steve Brule, only this time Brule is an actor playing a bag boy in a doomed sitcom. If you’re not familiar with Reilly or Brule, this special will seem incredibly strange. And it is. But it’s also hysterically funny.

Starting on Fox on March 1 is The Last Man on Earth, a new comedy created by, and starring, SNL alum Will Forte and involving superstar directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (22 Jump Street, The Lego Movie). I’d vouch for the show based on the talent alone, but the trailer also sets the stage for a quirky bit of fun about just what the title promises.

Another Netflix title sees the producers of 30 Rock, including Tina Fey, returning with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, about a woman freed from the isolation of 15 years in an apocalypse-obsessed cult back into the real world. It’s a fish-out-of-water type story we’ve all seen before, but, come on, I mean, how good was 30 Rock? Let’s hope this lives up to its pedigree.

Finally, from the creators of Breaking Bad and House, comes Battle Creek, a new comedy cop series starring Josh Duhamel, Dean Winters and Kal Penn, among others, premiering March 1 on Global. If Better Call Saul isn’t scratching your Breaking Bad itch, perhaps this show, about a small time detective paired with a top dog cop, will hit the spot.

 

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