Lockdown life has left most of us with few options for having fun outside of the living room, so might as well lean in to those well-worn couch cushions. Thankfully, there’s a new collection of viewing so good you’ll (almost) forget about the vaccine until spring.
Pretty Hard Cases
For anyone experiencing Baroness withdrawal, Meredith MacNeill (aka the one from the “Over 40 Locker Room” sketch) stars in a com-dram that is part buddy cop, part detective procedural and part social commentary. MacNeill’s co-star is American import Adrienne C. Moore, who scored a SAG award for her work on Orange Is The New Black. The pair form a mismatched partnership, challenging each other and the culture of law enforcement (which sounds heavy, but it’s also hella funny). February 3, CBC.
It’s a Sin
From Queer As Folk creator Russell P. Davies (and loosely based on Davies’ own experiences), this BBC miniseries follows five gay friends through the rise of London’s queer scene in the early ’80s and the devastation of the AIDS pandemic. Tragedy is tempered with a killer soundtrack. And a cameo from Neil Patrick Harris (already a shoe-in for Best Supporting Moustache). February 19, Amazon Prime.
Book a Zoom date with your BFF and give into your inner cheese queen. This unabashedly schmaltzy ode to female friendship follows Kate and Tully through three decades of bad prom dresses, bad dates and the more existential angst of adulthood. Based on the best selling books by Kristin Hannah, the TV version stars Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy) and Canadian Sarah Chalke (Scrubs). February 3, Netflix.
The latest entry into the cannon of Hannibal Lector-inspired entertainment picks up a year after the Oscar-winning movie left off. Pretty Little Liars regular Rebecca Breeds fills Jodi Foster’s sensible footwear. Now famous for her work catching the serial killer Buffalo Bill, FBI agent Clarice Starling must hunt new monsters while confronting her personal daemons (hint: the lambs are still screaming). February 11, Global.
If you’re desperate for Downton Abby and think Bridgerton would have been better with a little less sex, look no further than this historical drama, written by Downton creator Julian Fellows and loosely based on real-life events during the Napoleonic War. The action kicks off at—where else?—a fancy dress ball, where scandals and skirts big enough to hide under are both in high supply. Available on CBC Gem.
The Great Canadian Baking Show
The fourth season of Canada’s game of competitive confection welcomes two new hosts (comedians Ann Pornel and Alan Shane Lewis) and ten new bakers, cast over video audition during lockdown. It’s safe to say the number of amateur Betty Crockers has spiked big time over the last ten months. See how your sourdough measures up…or just veg out and bake vicariously. February 14, CBC.
Based on an award-winning novel and set against a backdrop that is sure to resonate here in Canada, this Swedish series explores the ripple effect in a small hockey town after a 15-year-old girl is raped and the star player is the main suspect. The source material won Sweden’s Book of the Year honours in 2016, along with a lot of attention on this side of the ocean. Warning: no overdubbing, so if subtitles are a dealbreaker…make a new deal. February 22, Crave.
All hail the Queen—Latifah, that is. The multi-hyphenate icon stars as Robyn, a low-key a single mom who has a secret life as a superhero. As her name suggests, the Equalizer spends her time serving up social justice and defending the disadvantaged. The series is based on the 2014 Denzel Washington movie, which was based on a 1980s action series. It premieres right after the Superbowl. Watch it…or prepare to be equalized. February 7, Global.