Spring TV 2021: What to watch, try and avoid

  • Cristin Milioti stars as Hazel in HBO Max’s “Made for Love.” John P. Johnson for HBO Max

New York Daily News
Published: 4/2/2021 7:58:53 PM

Caught up on all your winter binge watching yet? Because spring is here and it’s brought a whole new collection of shows.

Elliot Stabler is back and so is Jamie Foxx. John Stamos coaches basketball and Kate Winslet solves murders. There’s “Star Wars” and “Marvel” for all the fanatics in your life.

Here are some shows to watch, some to try and some to skip entirely, based on summaries and trailers.

Watch“Made for Love,” April 1, HBO Max

“Made for Love,” based on Alissa Nutting’s 2017 novel of the same name, is one of those rare, special gifts we get every few years: a TV show that just goes all out with reckless abandon. Early descriptions include an evil Silicon Valley tech genius (Billy Magnussen) who definitely isn’t Elon Musk, his runaway wife (Cristin Milioti), an implanted brain chip, Ray Romano’s sex doll and a dolphin.

“Law & Order: Organized Crime,” April 1, 10 p.m., NBC

Sure, look, there’s no reason to pretend that a “Law & Order” spinoff is going to win any Emmys and it’s almost certainly not equipped to handle conversations about policing that we need to be having, but Christopher Meloni’s Elliot Stabler is back and that’s all that matters.

“Rebel,” April 8, 10 p.m., ABC

There’s just something about Katey Sagal marching down a hallway in heels and a dress, promising to take down bad men that just makes 2021 worth it. Throw in “Grey’s Anatomy” showrunner Krista Vernoff and Erin Brockovich (the role that won Julia Roberts an Oscar) as an executive producer and we wouldn’t trust anyone else to stop the patriarchy.

“Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!” April 14, Netflix

Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, returning to television after “In Living Color” and “The Jamie Foxx Show,” stars in the father-daughter comedy, inspired by his relationship with his own daughter, who serves as a producer in case the writers need any dirt.

“Mare of Easttown,” April 18, 10 p.m., HBO

Kate Winslet joins a growing stable of HBO’s dominant women, a list that includes Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams and the entire cast of “Big Little Lies,” in “Mare of Easttown.” The limited series stars Winslet as a small-town Pennsylvania detective investigating a murder and trying to keep her life together at the same time. As with any good murder mystery, there’s a bad mom, this time played by Jean Smart.

“The Mosquito Coast,” April 30, Apple TV+

We’d follow Justin Theroux and Melissa George anywhere, even if it’s to Mexico while Theroux’s Allie Fox, described as a “radical idealist and brilliant inventor,” is on the run from the U.S. government. The series is based on the 1981 novel of the same name, written by Theroux’s uncle Paul, which was also adapted into a movie starring Harrison Ford and the late River Phoenix.

“Star Wars: The Bad Batch,” May 4, Disney+

Yes, more “Star Wars.” There’s always more “Star Wars.” This one is animated and has Ming-Na Wen reprising her “Mandalorian” role of Fennec Shand. The show, about elite clones after the clone wars, debuts on “Star Wars Day.”

“Underground Railroad,” May 14, Amazon

Barry Jenkins’ long-awaited adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Underground Railroad” is finally ready for streaming in what’s expected to be one of the best shows of the year. It follows the journey of Cora (Thuso Mbedu), after her escape from a Georgia plantation. With a slave hunter hot on her heels, she learns the Underground Railroad is a real labyrinth of tunnel and track with a full staff.

“Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.,” May 21, Hulu

This stop-motion adult supervillain comedy stars Patton Oswalt as a floating robotic head from New Jersey. Dexter alum Aimee Garcia, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Melissa Fumero, and Reno 911′s Wendi McLendon-Covey round out that cast.

“Loki,” June 11, Disney+

“Loki” looks like your traditional superhero show with the god of mischief himself (Tom Hiddleston) facing off against the Time Variance Authority. If that means nothing to you, you have 20 movies and half a dozen shows to catch up on.

Try“United States of Al,” April 1, 8:30 p.m., CBS

Much like Shonda Rhimes did at ABC, Chuck Lorre has taken over an entire night at CBS with “Young Sheldon,” “B Positive,” “Mom” and now “United States of Al.” “Enlisted” alum Parker Young plays a Marine veteran still adjusting to his old life, a task made more complicated when his translator from Afghanistan moves in.

“Chad,” April 6, 10:30 p.m., TBS

Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Nasim Pedrad plays a 14-year-old Iranian boy in what could either be hilarious or cringeworthy. Where Pedrad’s sense of humor falls on that line (she also created and writes the show) will determine how many votes Chad gets for homecoming king.

“Home Economics,” April 7, 8:30 p.m., ABC

Topher Grace returns to network comedy for the first time since “That ‘70s Show” as the middle-class, middle sibling caught between his one-percenter brother (Jimmy Tatro) and his financially struggling sister (Caitlin McGee).

“Cruel Summer,” April 20, 9 p.m., Freeform

Multiple timelines is the trend of the year, between “This is Us” and “Firefly Lane,” and now Jessica Biel’s teen thriller “Cruel Summer.” This one’s a little simpler, only flitting between three consecutive years to follow two girls, the nerdy wannabe (Chiara Aurelia) and the most popular girl in school (Olivia Holt), and what happens when the latter goes missing.

“Housebroken,” May 31, 9 p.m., Fox

Fox continues to ramp up its animated library, this time with some animals in therapy, voiced by Tony Hale, Lisa Kudrow and Will Forte. The star power is a plus, but the premise is a minus.

Avoid“Big Shot,” April 16, Disney+

Coaching a girl’s basketball team is not a punishment and appears to be the point of David E. Kelley’s new show, which stars John Stamos as a disgraced NCAA coach who takes his anger management issues to an all-girls high school. Disney has thrown around lots of words like “redemption” and “empathy” but for now, “Big Shot” sounds like a continuation of the false belief that women’s sports are a joke.

“Shadow and Bone,” April 23, Netflix

Fantasy shows are growing more popular as we all look for an escape, but few seem as fantastical as “Shadow and Bone.” Based on the worldwide bestselling Grishaverse novels about an elite army of magical soldiers, learning a whole new world and its creatures is an exhausting undertaking.

“Jupiter’s Legacy,” May 7, Netflix

Between Marvel and DC, we’re at a superhero saturation point. It’s tiring to consider another one right now, even with a cast of Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb.




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