TV CHEAT SHEET: Back to the Good Fight
Denette Wilford says The Good Fight is must-see TV. CBS
DENETTE WILFORD/ 24 HOURS
**WARNING: Some content may contain spoilers**
Top 4 New Shows
Big Little Lies: If Mean Girls became Mean Moms, this is what you'd get. Because like Regina George, these women will smile to your face but the second your back is turned, the bitch comes out. Big Little Lies, based on the novel by Liane Moriarty, starts off with a death. Whose? We don't know, nor will we know until the very end of this sevenepisode series - and whether or not it stays true to the book. After that discovery, we're brought back to the fateful day when overbearing Madeline (Reese Witherspoon, channelling Tracy Flick) twisted her ankle and was helped by single mom Jane (Shailene Woodley). They and the other moms - Nicole Kidman's Celeste, Laura Dern's Renata and Zoe Kravitz's Bonnie - all meet up while dropping off their kids for first grade orientation and that's when the drama starts. Battle lines are drawn, sides are chosen and secrets will eventually come out.
Airs: Sunday, Feb. 19 on HBO Canada
The Good Fight Set a year after the events of that final episode of what was basically The Alicia Show, we learn just how much we've missed Diane Lockhart and Lucca Quinn (and surprisingly, the same can't be said about Alicia Florrick, words I never thought I'd say in this lifetime). In The Good Fight, which carries the burden of being the flagship show of streaming service CBS All Access in the U.S., but handles it mightily, we meet young lawyer Maia Rindell (Rose Leslie) who also happens to be Diane's goddaughter. When a financial scam decimates her reputation and wipes out Diane's savings, the two women join Lucca at yet another prestigious Chicago firm. Alicia had wine, Diane needs the stronger stuff, and this spinoff is everything.
Airs: Sunday, Feb. 19 on W Network
Crashing: Created and starring standup comic Pete Holmes, HBO's newest comedy centres on Pete, an aspiring comedian whose world changes after discovering his wife cheating with the hippiest, dippiest of dudes. But it's exactly the kick-start Pete needs as he reevaluates his life while trying to make it in the NYC comedy scene. The plotline is nothing new - watching a standup's journey from struggling funnyman to nervous opening act to featured comedian - but Holmes is just charming enough to get you to root for him. "Crashing" refers to what happens after he walks out on his wife and looks for places to stay with whomever will take him in. And the people willing to let him crash just happen to be famous actor-comedians themselves. From Artie Lange to T.J. Miller to Sarah Silverman, they can't help but feel sorry for the likeable lug.
Airs: Sunday, Feb. 19 on HBO Canada
Planet Earth II: If you didn't think anything could be both adorable and terrifying, but have a sick curiosity to see it, then welcome to Planet Earth II. It was a decade ago that Planet Earth set the standard for wildlife documentaries with its vibrant colours and stunning imagery and somehow this second go-around manages to surpass the original. You truly have to see it to believe it, in all its vivid, captivating glory. From a three-toed pygmy sloth looking for a mate to baby iguanas running from racers snakes, it's all a thrilling sight to behold that, if you're squeamish like me, you might be watching from behind a pillow. But it's the penguin colony on the remote Zavadovski Island in the Southern Ocean that will have you oohing and aahing and wanting more.
Airs: Saturday, Feb. 18 on BBC Earth
Top 2 Returning Shows
Billions: Last we saw Chuck, he had finally gotten into Axe's head and the two men were battling it out in the ruins of Axe Capital. In Season 2, the premiere of which is currently available on Crave TV, Axe and Chuck continue their extreme pissing contest but now that Wendy's left them both, this time their focus is almost entirely on one another.
Airs: Sunday on TMN
Bates Motel:The fifth and final season kicks off Monday on A&E and the focus is returning to Norman and Norma, just how we like it. Norma may be dead but she's threatening to take over Norman completely - and the transformation will soon be complete, thanks to Rihanna taking a bow as Marion Crane. If you thought Bates was creepy before, it's about to get downright terrifying.
Airs: Monday, Feb. 20 on A&E
America's Got Talent: In a lengthy Facebook post, Nick Cannon quit AGT after being "threatened with termination" by NBC execs as a result of jokes made at the show's expense on his Showtime comedy special. Grounds? Sure. But if Nick, the network and the show don't work things out, who should replace him as host. I know, I know, he's not even cold yet but since Kelly Ripa's taking so long, may as well get a head start.
Billy Bush: He's currently looking for work, right? Josh Elliott: Ditto.
Jane Lynch: She can juggle AGT with Hollywood Game Night. Just keeping it the NBC family so a win-win.
Ryan Seacrest: Like he's not busy enough but he's got some time to spare with Idol gone.
Steve Harvey: The more Steve is on TV, the better.
Riz Ahmed, Girls Not once have I ever been able to identify with Hannah, but she finally did some growing up thanks to special guest star Ahmed, whose surfer Paul-Louis will make you forget he's the same dude from The Night Of, The OA and Rogue One.
Hannah and Paul-Louis re-enacting From Here to Eternity with a clumsy hookup in the water was amazing, as was his shirtless rapping and Hannah saying what we were all thinking. But it's after she envisions a future with him and he breaks her heart that things get real with his powerful words about love. If it was any other actor, we wouldn't have bought it but since it was my new BF Riz, he proved he can do anything - even convince a narcissist like Hannah Horvath that love is so much more rewarding than hate.
Really?! Criminal Minds
Whoa, Reid was involved in a car chase in Mexico with a trunk full of cocaine and heroin AND his brilliant mind was messed up by a druginduced fog thanks to someone drugging our favourite nerdy agent with coke AND there's a dead woman he's suspected of murdering, AND he's now stuck in a maximum security prison?! While this reeks of Mr. Scratch, it also doesn't seem in line with the serial killer's style so who else would do all this? And why? What's most annoying though is how Reid handled the entire thing. Yes, he was desperate to help his mom and her failing health but with a team this tight, he could've let them know what was going on and they could've avoided all this. Don't they have enough to deal with?
Quote of the Week: Real Time With Bill Maher
"Nothing could serve the liberal cause better than having him exposed on Friday night." - Maher to Jeremy Scahill, who cancelled his appearance on this week's show because right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos would be there Scahill, we feel you. Yiannopoulos' scheduled appearance on tonight's show comes two weeks after his speaking engagement at UC Berkeley was shut down by riots triggered by antifascist groups. He's called feminism "cancer" and believes "fat shaming works" and OMG, Bill, WTF?!