Home Entertainment Review | A fall strike makes for a very lush spring on TV and streaming

Review | A fall strike makes for a very lush spring on TV and streaming

Review | A fall strike makes for a very lush spring on TV and streaming


It turns out a fall TV strike makes for a very lush TV spring.

A number of shows originally slated for this past fall are finally airing, such as Donald Glover’s “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” a wryly unglamorous riff on the 2005 film. Co-starring Maya Erskine and featuring guest stars including John Turturro, Parker Posey and Michaela Coel, all eight episodes dropped on Prime Video on Feb. 2. Other delayed shows include Season 3 of ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” (Feb. 7) and Season 6 of CBS’s “The Conners” (Feb. 7), which (rumor has it) may not be ending after all. Also back from the maybe-dead: musical comedy “Girls5eva” (originally a Peacock production), a third season of which will air on Netflix on March 14.

Series that are ending this spring include Max’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (the 12th season started Feb. 4) and CBS’s “Young Sheldon,” which begins its seventh and final season Feb. 15.

But the biggest story of the season is its bumper crop of star-studded miniseries. Those already in progress include Jodie Foster in Max’s “True Detective: Night Country,” Mandy Patinkin in Hulu’s “Death and Other Details,” Austin Butler in Apple TV Plus’s “Masters of the Air,” Tom Hollander in FX’s “Feud: Capote vs. the Swans,” Sofia Vergara as Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco in Netflix’s “Griselda” and Clive Owen in AMC’s “Monsieur Spade.” Nicole Kidman headlines Lulu Wang’s “Expats,” a Prime Video miniseries following three American women living in Hong Kong, along with Sarayu Blue and Ji-young Yoo.

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Forthcoming limited series include Starz’s “Mary and George” (April 5,) starring Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine as a mother-son pair conspiring to seduce King James I; Peacock’s “Apples Never Fall” (March 14), in which Annette Bening plays a mom who disappears; Alexander Woo and “Game of Thrones” duo David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s adaptation of “The 3 Body Problem” (March 21 on Netflix); and a Max production based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s “The Sympathizer,” featuring Hoa Xuande, Sandra Oh and Robert Downey Jr. (date TBA). Hulu’s “We Were the Lucky Ones,” an adaptation of the Georgia Hunter novel, follows a Jewish family separated during World War II (March 28).

Here’s a closer look at 10 of the big, buzzy, mostly “limited” shows coming your way this spring.

The Nazis in German-occupied Paris want pretty gowns for their girlfriends. You can experience World War II through the lens of couture designers Christian Dior and Coco Chanel in Todd Kessler’s curious series investigating how two fashion pioneers navigated the period’s moral hazards and practical traps. Juliette Binoche stars as Chanel, Ben Mendelsohn as Dior, and Maisie Williams as Catherine Dior, his sister. John Malkovich plays Lucien Lelong, and a messy Emily Mortimer steals the show as Chanel frenemy Elsa Lombardi (an upper-crust Brit who married a member of the Italian fascist party and eventually denounced Chanel as a Nazi collaborator). Feb. 14, Apple TV Plus

Noomi Rapace plays Jo, an astronaut on a long mission aboard the International Space Station that gets cut short when the corpse of a female cosmonaut smashes into some vital equipment, causing catastrophic damage. She makes it back to Earth to find parts of her life missing or different, including her relationship with her husband (James D’Arcy) and her 10-year-old daughter. Jonathan Banks plays an older ex-astronaut suffering from similar gaps. Three episodes in, this disconcerting sci-fi series about the observer effect might be as eerie a fable about parenthood as “The Changeling.” Feb. 21, Apple TV Plus

The first draft of “Shogun,” James Clavell’s 1975 novel set during an explosive moment of transition in feudal Japan, was 2,300 pages long. It’s a testament to the ambition and density of this FX adaptation (helmed by Rachel Kondo and Justin Marks) that it’s only 10 episodes long. Starring Cosmo Jarvis as English pilot John Blackthorne (whose journey from outsider to samurai the series tracks), Hiroyuki Sanada as Lord Yoshii Toranaga and Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko, the series — boasting a formidably deep bench of Japanese actors — looks hard to resist. Feb. 27, FX | Trailer

A spinoff of a spinoff is hard to get excited about, but “Elsbeth” creators Michelle and Robert King, who made “The Good Wife” and spinoff “The Good Fight,” have a solid track record. And Elsbeth Tascioni — the sunny, eccentric attorney played by Carrie Preston in both series — might be their finest joint creation. Still set in the King universe (the pilot mentions “Good Wife” character Cary Agos), “Elsbeth” has Tascioni relocating from Chicago to New York, where she’s observing the NYPD as part of a consent decree. And (you guessed it) solving crimes. Feb. 29, CBS | Trailer

Not much is known yet about this peculiar and stylish production except that showrunner Will Tracy, one of the writers for “Succession,” has Kate Winslet playing some kind of (modern) mad king. Set in a fictional country in Central Europe at a moment of institutional collapse, the six-episode satire also stars Andrea Riseborough, Hugh Grant, Martha Plimpton and Matthias Schoenaerts. Max, March 3 | Trailer

This period comedy set in 1969 chronicles the misadventures of a sunny, social-climbing grifter (Kristin Wiig) as she tries to penetrate the sacred walls of Palm Springs’ wealthiest, most exclusive club. Working in her favor are a comatose mother-in-law (Carol Burnett), a hippie feminist trying to raise her consciousness (Laura Dern) and a gay shopkeeper (Dominic Burgess). Those against her include the doyennes of the Palm Royale, played by Allison Janney, Leslie Bibb and the incomparable Julia Duffy. And one waiter (Ricky Martin). March 20, Apple TV Plus | Trailer

Based on a chapter from Amy Chozick’s book “Chasing Hillary,” this comedy about journalists on the campaign trail follows Sadie McCarthy (Melissa Benoist), a reporter whose intense breakdown when her preferred candidate lost made her a meme and a laughingstock. Determined to try again, she’s told to cover a presidential candidate on the road. Also on the campaign bus are the people she’ll be competing with for stories: a cynical political reporter (Carla Gugino), a Black reporter for a conservative network (Christina Elmore), and a TikTok influencer with no journalistic scruples and a massive following (Natasha Behnam). March TBA, Max

There’s a new talented Mr. Ripley, and it’s Andrew Scott, the priest from “Fleabag”! Also starring Dakota Fanning as Marge Sherwood and Johnnie Flynn as Dickie Greenleaf, this eight-episode limited series about Patricia Highsmith’s obsessive grifter is written, directed and executive-produced by Steve Zaillian. April 4, Netflix

In the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Edwin Stanton (Tobias Menzies), his secretary of war, spearheads the search for his assassin, actor John Wilkes Booth (Anthony Boyle). The slightly unstable tone of this historical thriller may be an artifact of the James L. Swanson book on which it’s based (which packages the historical events into a kind of action-adventure). Combining period costumes with unabashedly modern dialogue (including plenty of swearing), the series features Patton Oswalt, Matt Walsh and Lovie Simone. Also Lili Taylor portraying a lively and intemperate Mary Todd Lincoln. March 15, Apple TV Plus | Trailer

Jerrod Carmichael’s comedy special “Rothaniel” was a stunning capstone to — and revision of — some of his previous specials. On the strength of these and his two 2019 documentaries, “Home Videos” and “Sermon on the Mount,” Max has greenlighted an autobiographical “comedy docuseries” by the comedian and filmmaker. I can’t wait. TBA, Max


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