Dis­guised celebs, charis­matic Pine, scary 7th grade

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - FRONT PAGE - In Life

Learn about these and more in our guide to 10 TV shows that will warm up those chilly win­ter nights.

New year, new TV. ❚ While you work on New Year’s res­o­lu­tions and put 2018 be­hind you, your fa­vorite TV net­works and stream­ing ser­vices are do­ing the same. Early 2019 is full of new TV shows jock­ey­ing for your at­ten­tion, along with re­turn­ing fa­vorites (“Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery”), shows you prob­a­bly for­got were never can­celed (“True De­tec­tive” on HBO) and fan-pow­ered sea­sons (“Brook­lyn Nine-Nine,” which moves to NBC). ❚ To help you sort through the shows you haven’t yet heard of, we picked 10 must-see shows, rang­ing from one that fea­tures singing celebri­ties dressed as mon­sters to a su­per­hero show that ac­tu­ally stands out.

‘The Masked Singer’

Fox, Wed­nes­days, 9 EST/PST

Not since “The Voice” ar­rived in 2011 has a new re­al­ity com­pe­ti­tion cap­tured the na­tion’s at­ten­tion. At last, Fox might have found a vari­a­tion on the for­mula that will shock and de­light you even more. Ten celebri­ties – de­scribed as ath­letes and Emmy and Grammy win­ners – in elab­o­rate cos­tumes sing their hearts out, and view­ers and celebrity judges – Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger – try to guess who they are. Each week the los­ing singer, de­cided by the in-stu­dio au­di­ence and judges, leaves the show and takes off their mask. It’s such bizarre and bril­liant fun that you may not even care who the celebri­ties are. Or you might wish that your fa­vorite voices lose quickly so you can see who’s hid­ing se­cret tal­ents. – Kelly Lawler

‘The Pas­sage’

Fox (Jan. 14), Mon­days, 9 EST/PST

“The Pas­sage” is adapted from the kind of epic sci-fi/fan­tasy book se­ries you’d ex­pect to see brought to life on premium cable or stream­ing, with bells, whis­tles and a huge bud­get. But Fox man­ages to scale down a mas­sive and com­plex story to fit into its lineup with­out cor­rupt­ing what makes it fun and grip­ping. The se­ries is about a gov­ern­ment re­search project that, while aim­ing to cure all dis­eases, in­ad­ver­tently creates vam­pires. Re­searchers be­lieve ex­per­i­ment­ing on a child is the only way to fix the prob­lem and send a covert opera-

tive (Mark-Paul Gos­se­laar) to kid­nap one, but his morals get in the way. It’s a lot to take in, but it’s pack­aged cleanly and tensely. – Lawler

‘Black Mon­day’

Show­time (Jan. 20), Sun­days,


Star­ring Don Chea­dle, Regina Hall and An­drew Rannells, “Black Mon­day” is like “The Wolf of Wall Street” with­out all the an­noy­ing parts. It’s a near-par­ody of 1980s ma­cho fi­nance cul­ture mixed in with a fic­tion­al­ized ac­count of how the so-called Black Mon­day crash hap­pened. The cos­tumes and style are all you’d ever want from a se­ries set in this pe­riod, but it’s the per­for­mances from the three leads that make the se­ries more than just an­other take on “Greed is good.” – Lawler

‘The Other Two’

Com­edy Cen­tral (Jan. 24), Thurs­days, 10:30 EST/PST

Chris Kelly’s bit­ter­sweet can­cer com­edy “Other Peo­ple” was one of our fa­vorite films of 2016, so we couldn’t have been more ex­cited for the “Sat­ur­day Night Live” writer’s lat­est TV out­ing, which reteams him with “SNL” alums Sarah Schnei­der and Molly Shan­non. The show fol­lows a hap­less as­pir­ing ac­tor named Cary (Drew Tarver) who, along with his sis­ter Brooke (He­lene Yorke), is rid­ing the coat­tails of his win­some teenage brother (Case Walker), a Justin Bieberesque pop star known as Chase Dreams. Like Hulu’s can­celed “Dif­fi­cult Peo­ple,” “Other Two” is acer­bically funny and deeply cyn­i­cal, with snappy show­biz hu­mor and a fully formed lead­ing man who just hap­pens to be gay (which is, sadly, still a rar­ity on the big and small screen). – Patrick Ryan

‘I Am the Night’

TNT (Jan. 28), Mon­days, 9 EST/PST Long be­fore she shat­tered box-of­fice records with 2017’s “Won­der Woman,” direc­tor Patty Jenk­ins gave us the bru­tal yet hu­man “Mon­ster” (2004), star­ring Char­l­ize Theron as se­rial killer Aileen Wuornos. The film­maker re­turns to her true-crime roots with the ’60s-set “Night,” which re­unites her with “Won­der Woman” heart­throb Chris Pine, who plays a dis­graced jour­nal­ist whose life be­comes in­ter­twined with that of Fauna Hodel (In­dia Eis­ley), a young woman seek­ing an­swers about her ap­par­ently mixed-race back­ground and wealthy grand­fa­ther (Jef­fer­son Mays), a prime sus­pect in the in­fa­mous “Black Dahlia” mur­der. Pine is charis­matic as al­ways, but it’s Eis­ley’s mes­mer­iz­ing per­for­mance that gives this mys­tery its beat­ing heart. – Ryan


Hulu (Feb. 8)

Try not watch­ing this one through your fingers. Andy Sam­berg and his Lonely Is­land co­horts pro­duce this cringe-wor­thy com­ing-of-age com­edy, set in mid­dle school and fea­tur­ing ac­tual mid­dle-school­ers. The catch? The show’s adult cre­ators, Anna Kon­kle and Maya Ersk­ine, star as sev­enth-grade ver­sions of them­selves, awk­wardly curs­ing out bul­lies in the school­yard and swoon­ing over crushes in home­room. While the joke seems one-note at best (and creepy at worst) the premise works be­cause of Kon­kle and Ersk­ine’s com­mit­ment to their painfully re­lat­able char­ac­ters. And al­though the jokes are de­cid­edly not fam­ily-friendly, their be­liev­able friend­ship as brace-face besties gives “PEN15” a sweet cen­ter. – Ryan

‘Mir­a­cle Work­ers’

TBS (Feb. 12), Tues­days, 10:30 EST/ PST

“SNL” pro­ducer Lorne Michaels is be­hind this spir­i­tual cousin to “The Good Place,” a quirky work­place com­edy set in heaven where God (Steve Buscemi) is a lazy, semi-sadis­tic oaf whose em­ploy­ees carry out his bid­ding on Earth. Tired of her in­sipid job in the dirt divi­sion, an­gel El­iza (Geral­dine Viswanathan) trans­fers to the De­part­ment of An­swered Pray­ers, where she works along­side neu­rotic recluse Craig (Daniel Rad­cliffe). While it lacks the brain of “Good Place” – one episode cen­ters on God seek­ing to ex­plode Bill Ma­her’s pe­nis – “Mir­a­cle Work­ers” still has plenty of heart, mor­ph­ing into a rom-com as El­iza and Craig try to match up two love­birds whose ro­mance could lit­er­ally save the world. – Ryan

‘The Um­brella Academy’

Net­flix (Feb. 15)

There was no short­age of su­per­hero shows on TV in 2018, but Net­flix is mak­ing an­other run – or, rather, flight – with “Um­brella,” an adap­ta­tion of the comic book se­ries by My Chem­i­cal Ro­mance singer Ger­ard Way. It’s about a mis­fit group of su­perkids, adopted by an ec­cen­tric mil­lion­aire, who grow up to be­come trou­bled adults. It’s a darker and more de­mented take on the “fam­ily of su­per­heroes” story than you’ve seen be­fore, but it still main­tains a sense of fun. It cer­tainly stands out amid the glut of in­ter­change­able caped hero se­ries. – Lawler

‘De­sus & Mero’

Show­time (Feb. 21), Thurs­days, 11 EST/PST

Show­time is wad­ing into the latenight talk-show wa­ters with “De­sus & Mero,” which moves from its daily home on Vice­land. Hosts De­sus Nice and The Kid Mero, who first gained pop­u­lar­ity in 2013 with their “Bodega Boys” pod­cast, don’t ap­pear to be switch­ing up the for­mat much: invit­ing fa­mous guests on to chop it up about mu­sic, sports and pop cul­ture. But know­ing their raunchy com­edy, easy chem­istry and fre­quently in­sight­ful takes on pol­i­tics, this dy­namic duo prom­ises to be as un­pre­dictable as ever. – Ryan


Hulu (March 15)

Aidy Bryant fi­nally gets a chance to step out­side her “Sat­ur­day Night Live” per­sonas with this se­ries, adapted by writer and fat-ac­cep­tance ac­tivist Lindy West from her mem­oir. “Shrill” tells the story of An­nie (Bryant) a young woman and as­pir­ing jour­nal­ist try­ing to sort through her messy love life and ca­reer in Port­land, Ore­gon. She also hap­pens to be plus-size and isn’t con­sumed with try­ing to change that. Fat women in pop cul­ture are rarely al­lowed to be happy with their bod­ies (un­less they’re vil­lains), so the mere con­cept of the show is rad­i­cal and novel enough. But it avoids be­ing a pub­lic ser­vice an­nounce­ment in sit­com form; in­stead, it’s as sweet and chill as Port­land it­self. – Lawler



There’s a celebrity un­der that getup in “The Masked Singer.”


Saniyya Sid­ney and Mark-Paul Gos­se­laar star in “The Pas­sage.”


An­nie (Aidy Bryant) shines in “Shrill.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.