New TV and Streaming Shows to Catch in February

Plus 2020’s year-end best movies debut on streaming services

Young Rock (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC), The Snoopy Show (Courtesy: Apple TV+), Punky Brewster (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/Peacock)

February brings new shows to add to your media diet, returning shows to welcome back to the rotation, and the at-home debuts of a handful of movies tipped for Oscar glory.

What a weird year 2020 was, and it’s spilled over to 2021, for sure. But at least viewers can now get a crack at some of the movies that topped year-end best of lists. They include the quarantine relationship drama Malcolm and Marie (Feb. 5, Netflix), starring Zendaya and John David Washington; historical drama Judas and the Black Messiah (Feb. 12, HBO Max), starring Daniel Kaluuya as the murdered Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton; recession road movie Nomadland (Feb. 19, Hulu), a presumed lock for Best Director (Chloé Zhao), Best Actress (Frances McDormand), and Best Picture nominations; Minari (Feb. 26, available to rent), Lee Isaac Chung’s lovely autobiographical retelling of his Korean American family’s move to rural Arkansas in the Eighties; and Lee Daniels’ The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Feb. 26, Hulu), featuring singer Andra Day’s much-hyped film debut in the title role.

Firefly Lane (Netflix)

With two-dozen books under her bestselling belt, it’s a little shocking none of Kristin Hannah’s novels have been adapted for the screen yet. That changes now with this ten-episode Netflix original series about two best friends (played by Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke) navigating 30 years of relationship and career ups and downs. (Feb. 3)

Fast Foodies (Tru TV)

With Top Chef: Portland’s premiere date still TBD, you could always snack on this food competition reality show, wherein three chefs (including Top Chef Season 10 winner Kristen Kish, of Austin’s Arlo Grey) are challenged by a comic to first re-create a classic fast food meal and then put a spin on it. The vibe is very bro-y, but there’s undeniable entertainment value in watching an haute cuisine take on the Egg McMuffin. (Feb. 4)

The Snoopy Show (AppleTV+)

Hackles were raised when the beloved Charlie Brown holiday specials left their longtime home on ABC for Apple’s nascent streaming service. Can a 70-year-old beagle draw new subscribers in? I don’t know, man, but this trailer sure makes me smile. (Feb. 5)

The Equalizer (CBS)

A modest hit for CBS in the Eighties already rebooted once on the big screen with Denzel Washington, The Equalizer revs up again. This time it’s Queen Latifah (who also exec produces) in the lead role as a vigilante looking to exact justice. The premiere gets a primo, post-Super Bowl time slot. (Feb. 7)

Clarice (CBS)

Bryan Fuller already proved you could in fact adapt Thomas Harris’ psychological horror to network TV. (RIP, Hannibal.) This Clarice Starling spinoff looks to have a very different vibe: Its emphasis on FBI cases should fit right in among CBS’ many procedurals, and for contractual reasons, Hannibal Lecter is sitting this one out. (Feb. 11)

Nadiya Bakes (Netflix)

By now, Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussein is an old hand at television – she’s hosted multiple travel, cooking, and reality completion shows – but in this new effort she returns to her first passion. Episode topics include celebration bakes and indulgent desserts like a “perfect pavlova”. (Feb. 12)

The Luminaries (Starz) 

Eleanor Catton adapted her own Man Booker Prize-winning novel into a six-episode miniseries that first premiered in New Zealand in May of last year. Eve Hewson (of The Knick and “Bono’s my dad” fame) stars as a Gold Rush-era adventurer embroiled in a murder mystery plot in New Zealand’s South Island. (Feb. 14)

Men in Kilts (Starz)

Starz hopes to keep your attention on Sunday nights and bide the time until Outlander returns with this amiable-looking, eight-episode travelogue through Scotland starring Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish. (Feb. 14)

The Great North (FOX)

Created by Bob’s Burgers alums Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin and Wendy Molyneux, and Minty Lewis, this adult animated sitcom stars Nick Offerman as Beef (naturally) Tobin, a single dad and commercial fisherman in Alaska. Vocal talent also includes Jenny Slate, Will Forte, and Alanis Morissette. (Feb. 14)

Young Rock and Kenan (NBC)

Dwayne Johnson has already floated the idea of running for presidency; in this sitcom based on the action star and pro wrestler’s extraordinary life, he sends up another trial balloon, playing himself in 2032 on the campaign trail and revisiting seminal moments in his upbringing. Co-creator Nahnatchka Khan previously tackled family comedy in Fresh Off the Boat. (Feb. 16)

NBC fills out the hour with Kenan, a somewhat less fresh-looking single-cam sitcom starring SNL elder statesman Kenan Thompson as a widower and single dad. (Feb. 16)

It’s a Sin (HBO Max)

Queer as Folk creator Russell T Davies follows a group of friends in London at the dawn of the HIV/AIDS crisis in this five-part miniseries. It drew raves when it debuted on Britain’s Channel 4 last month. (Feb. 18)

Superman & Lois (CW)

If you slept on the CW’s whole Arrowverse thing when it first started and now don’t know how to break into its seven-deep shows drawn from DC Comics, this superhero drama might be an easy enough entry point. Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch carry over from Supergirl as the titular caped crusader and Lois Lane, now married and juggling two teenagers and work stress. (Feb. 23)

Punky Brewster (Peacock)

Fledgling streamer Peacock tries to tap back into that golden Eighties Punky Power with this reboot starring Soleil Moon Frye. The former foster kid in the iconic pigtails and orange vest is now a single mom who connects with a foster kid of her own. BF Cherie (Cherie Johnson) also returns, and Freddie Prinze Jr. costars as Punky’s ex. (Feb. 25)

Returning Series & Other Notable Premieres

Feb. 7: Super Bowl LV (CBS)
Feb. 8: Black Lightning (the CW)
Feb. 12: Are You Afraid of the Dark? (Nickelodeon)
Feb. 14: Last Week with John Oliver (HBO)
Feb. 14: American Idol (ABC)
Feb. 19: For All Mankind (Apple TV+)
Feb. 24: Snowfall (FX)
Feb. 28: The Walking Dead (AMC)
Feb. 28: The 78th Annual Golden Globes Awards (NBC)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle