Plus: a new Alan Ball series, the latest Netflix original romantic drama, and a Patty Hearst documentary series.
This week, emotions and drama run high: Netflix debuts a coming of age story full of ’90s nostalgia, along with a romantic drama featuring Christopher Walken. Sundance Now premieres an endearing series about two deaf best friends, while Six Feet Under and True Blood creator Alan Ball returns to HBO with a new show filled with cultural tensions. To mix things up, CNN looks back at the bizarre saga of Patty Hearst, as Stephen Colbert’s cartoon parody of the Commander-in-Chief brings on the laughs.
To help you keep track of the most important programs over the next seven days, here’s our guide to everything worth watching, whether it’s on broadcast, cable, or streaming for February 11th –17th (all times Eastern):
Our Cartoon President (Showtime, Sunday 8pm)
After making it through the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, there are two options: you can either cry about it or you can make a satirical cartoon show about it. At least that’s what late night host Stephen Colbert did. Created by Colbert alongside Chris Licht, Matt Lapin, Tim Luecke, and R.J. Fried, the recurring segment of The Late Show is expanded to its own 10-episode series set in a parallel animated universe where the White House opens its doors for an “all access” look at the daily life of the Commander-in-Chief (voiced by Jeff Bergman) and his cabinet. Our Cartoon President offers a healthy coping mechanism for the daily news.
Here and Now (HBO, Sunday 9pm)
Writer and producer Alan Ball is back, breaking a six-year dry spell with a daring gamble. His latest HBO series is a drama that follows two different families in Portland: one is headed by a philosophy professor (Tim Robbins) and his attorney wife (Holly Hunter), with three adopted children from Vietnam, Liberia, and Colombia and a biological daughter; the other is centered around an Iranian-American psychiatrist (Peter Macdissi). Naturally, the show explores their bonds and experiences in modern-day, culturally tense America, but there is also a supernatural twist. Sosie Bacon, Jerrika Hinton, Raymond Lee, and Daniel Zovatto also star.
The Radical Story of Patty Hearst (CNN, Sunday 9pm)
Almost 40 years later, the story of Patty Hearst remains one of the most bizarre and mystifying chapters of American history. Her transformation from kidnapped heiress to bank-robbing member of the same group that took her hostage still puzzles many of us. This six-part documentary series traces the case, from the kidnapping to Hearst’s trial and combines archival footage with interviews with news reporters, former LAPD and FBI officers, friends, Hearst’s ex-fiancé, and her lawyers, and even a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army itself — all in an attempt to answer the ultimate question: was Hearst a victim or a villain?
This Close (Sundance Now, Wednesday)
In a time when stories about disability abound, but opportunities for disabled actors are scarce, This Close feels like a breath of fresh air. Written by and starring deaf actors Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman, this six-episode half-hour series explores the relationship between two best friends: the newly engaged Kate (Stern) and recently-broken-up Michael (Feldman), as they navigate life and love together. Zach Gilford, Cheryl Hines, Marlee Matlin, and Colt Prattes join the duo in their heart-warming shenanigans. A good pick to binge-watch with your soul sister/brother on Valentine’s Day.
Everything Sucks! (Netflix, Friday)
Nostalgia is the emotional currency of modern TV and film, and Netflix knows it. Following the trail blazed by Stranger Things, the streaming service brings a new original series featuring a group of young misfits living in a beloved past decade. Set in 1996, Everything Sucks! follows the members of Boring High School’s drama and A/V clubs as they band together to create their own movie and brave the ups and downs of teenage life. This 10-episode, coming-of-age dramedy comes from writer Ben York Jones (Like Crazy) and stars up-and-comers Peyton Kennedy, Jahi Winston, Patch Darragh, Claudine Nako, Sydney Sweeney, and Elijah Stevenson.
Irreplaceable You (Netflix, Friday)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: boy meets girl in elementary school; boy and girl grow up and get engaged; girl thinks she’s pregnant; turns out it’s not a baby, it’s terminal cancer; girl is determined to find a worthy girlfriend for boy before her time’s up. Veep producer and director Stephanie Laing makes her feature film debut with this heart-string-tugging story starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michiel Huisman, Christopher Walken, Kate McKinnon, Steve Coogan, and Tami Sagher. If you’re still feeling the tenderness of Valentine’s Day, Irreplaceable You is the drama fix you were looking for.
Counterpart S1E4 “Both Sides Now” (Starz, 8pm)
Our Cartoon President S1E1&E2 “State of the Union” & “Disaster Response” (Showtime, 8pm) – series premiere
Star Trek: Discovery S1E15 “Will You Take My Hand?” (CBSAA, 8:30pm) – season finale
Here and Now S1E1 “Eleven Eleven” (HBO, 9pm) – series premiere
Homeland S7E1 “Enemy of the State” (Showtime, 9pm) – season premiere
The Radical Story of Patty Hearst S1E1 (CNN, 9pm) – documentary miniseries premiere
Victoria S2E5 “Entente Cordiale” (PBS, 9pm)
Divorce S2E5 “Breaking the Ice” (HBO, 10pm)
The Chi S1E5 “Today Was a Good Day” (Showtime, 10pm)
Atomic Homefront (HBO, 8pm) – documentary premiere
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow S3E10 “Daddy Darhkest” (The CW, 8pm)
The Alienist S1E4 “These Bloody Thoughts” (TNT, 9pm)
Black Lightning S1E5 “And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light” (The CW, 9pm)
This Close S1(Sundance Now) – series premiere
Alone Together S1E6 “Dinner Party” (Freeform, 8:30pm)
The Top 14 Greatest Valentine’s Day Movies of All Time (The CW, 9pm) – Valentine’s special
Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block S3E2 “Father Time” (Syfy, 10pm)
The Assassination of Gianni Versace S2E5 “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (FX, 10pm)
Waco S1E4 “Of Milk and Men” (Paramount, 10pm)
Stargate: Origins S1 (Stargate Command) – web miniseries premiere
RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars S3E4 (VH1, 8pm)
Portlandia S8E5 “Open Relationship” (IFC, 10pm)
Everything Sucks! S1 (Netflix) – series premiere
Irreplaceable You (Netflix) – movie premiere
Mozart in the Jungle S4 (Amazon) – season premiere
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend S3E13 “Nathaniel is Irrelevant” (The CW, 8pm) – season finale
2 Dope Queens S1E3 “Hot Peen” (HBO, 11:30pm)
Planet Earth: Blue Planet II S1E5 “Green Seas” (BBC America, 8pm)