News · TV

‘Altered Carbon’, the Grammy Awards, And More TV You Must See This Week

Plus: the return of Stana Katic to crime TV, a podcast turned HBO special and a new school comedy starring Glenn Howerton.
Altered Carbon
By  · Published on January 28th, 2018

This week we bid the first month of the year goodbye with the biggest music awards ceremony and an intimate documentary about a young drifter. And we welcome February with a combination of genres: a new cyber-steampunk/noir sci-fi Netflix series, the return of Castle’s Stana Katic to police drama, and a dose of laughs from both a podcast turned HBO comedy special and a new sitcom about a disgruntled philosophy scholar.

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 January 28th – February 3rd (all times Eastern):

60th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS, Sunday 7:30pm)

Music’s biggest night promises to be a momentous occasion. Not only does this year’s ceremony mark the 60th edition of the awards, but it will also be an evening of firsts: hip hop, rap, R&B, and Latin pop dominate main categories like Song and Record of the Year, while four minority performers are competing for Album of the Year. James Corden will once again host the event and Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Sam Smith, Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Rihanna, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, P!nk, Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Elton John, and U2 are set to liven up the night. Make your predictions and place your bets, ladies and gentlemen. With this year’s nominees, anything is possible.

I Am Another You (PBS, Monday 10pm)

Who hasn’t dreamt of dropping everything, go all Christopher McCandless, and live off the contents of a backpack? Dylan, the blonde, charismatic subject of I Am Another You is living proof of what happens when you actually do. Chinese documentarian Nanfu Wang (Hooligan Sparrow) follows the 22-year-old drifter up close after stumbling upon him in a Florida hostel during a break from her studies at New York University. The film captures a life of intentional homelessness and adventure on the margins of society in their travels together. This winner of the SXSW Jury Award for Excellence in Documentary Storytelling finally arrives to our screens through PBS’s Independent Lens (and available to stream starting Tuesday).

AP Bio (NBC, Thursday 9:30pm)

The proud tradition of bad educators in film — with notable faculty such as Principal Ed Rooney, School of Rock’s Ned Schneebly, and Miss Trunchbull — is passed down to TV in this comedy starring Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Jack Griffin, an award-winning philosophy scholar who reluctantly takes a job as a high school biology teacher after a better job falls through. Patton Oswalt plays his principal and Lyric Lewis, Jean Villepique and Mary Sohn also join the class. The jokes come from the desk of Saturday Night Live alumni Mike O’Brien with Seth Meyers and Lorne Michaels as producers.

Altered Carbon (Netflix, Friday)

We’ve been enjoying a sci-fi feast with Black Mirror’s fourth season and Amazon’s Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. Now, Netflix keeps the steady flow of futuristic dystopian goodness going with Altered Carbon. Based on Richard Morgan’s novel, the show is set in the 25th century, a time when human consciousness can be digitized, allowing people to transfer from one body to another and, essentially, live forever. In this brave new world, former soldier Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) is brought back to life after centuries of imprisonment/ice slumber, to investigate the attempted murder of Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy), the wealthiest man on Earth. Dichen Lachman, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Kristin Lehman, and Martha Higareda also star; while Game of Thrones’ Miguel Sapochnik directs the pilot. If your sci-fi diet was lacking steampunk and detective noir, Altered Carbon is just what the doctor ordered.

Absentia (Amazon, Friday)

At first, Absentia might seem like another run-of-the-mill police drama: an FBI agent investigates a serial killer. But there’s a twist: said agent vanishes during said investigation and is assumed dead, until she is discovered alive in a water tank in a cabin in the woods six years later with no memory of her missing time. Now, her husband has re-married and she herself is a suspect in a string of murders. The show also marks the return of Stana Katic (Castle) to law enforcement roles, alongside Patrick Heusinger, Amber Aga, Bruno Bichir, Angel Bonanni, Paul Freeman, Ralph Ineson, Neil Jackson and Patrick McAuley.

2 Dope Queens (HBO, Friday 11:30pm)

For those unfamiliar with either the stand-up comedy circuit or the podcast world, The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams and Broad City’s Phoebe Robinson host a pretty rad pod called 2 Dope Queens, which now comes to television in the form of a four-part comedy event on HBO. Directed by Tig Notaro, each episode will revolve around a particular topic — from New York to “Hot Peen” — and feature a special interview guest with the likes of Jon Stewart, Uzo Aduba, Tituss Burgess, and Sarah Jessica Parker; plus stand-up performances from Aparna Nancherla, Jackie Kashian, John Early, Rhea Butcher, Baron Vaughn, among many others. God save the dopest queens!

Absentia Stana Katic


60th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS, 7:30pm) – live event

Counterpart S1E2 “Birds of a Feather” (Starz, 8pm)

Star Trek: Discovery S1E13 “What’s Past Is Prologue” (CBSAA, 8:30pm)

Victoria S2E3 “Warp and Weft” (PBS, 9pm)

Waco: Madman or Messiah (A&E, 9pm) – documentary premiere

Divorce S2E3 “Worth It” (HBO, 10pm)

Queen: How They Broke Free (Reelz, 10:30pm) – documentary premiere

The Chi S1E4 “Quaking Grass” (Showtime, 10pm)


Lucifer S3E13 “Til Death Do Us Part” (FOX, 8pm)

May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers (HBO, 8pm) – documentary premiere

Supergirl S3E12 “For Good” (The CW, 8pm)

The Alienist S1E2 “A Fruitful Partnership” (TNT, 9pm)

Scorpion S4E15 “Wave Goodbye” (CBS, 10pm)


The Flash S4E12 “Honey, I Shrunk Team Flash” (The CW, 8pm)

Super Bowl Greatest Commercials 2018 (CBS, 8pm) – special

Black Lightning S1E3 “Lawanda: The Book of Burial” (The CW, 9pm)

State of the Union Address (Comedy Central/CBS, 9pm) – live special episodes


Step Up: High Water S1E1&E2 (YouTube Red) – web series premiere

The Blacklist S5E12 “Tommy Wattles” (NBC, 8pm)

The Librarians S4E11 “And the Trial of the One” (TNT, 8pm)

The X-Files S11E5 “Ghouli” (FOX, 8pm)

Riverdale S2E12 “Chapter Twenty-Five: The Wicked and the Divine” (The CW, 8pm)

Alone Together S1E4 “Pop Up” (Freeform, 8:30pm)

9-1-1 S1E5 “Point of Origin” (Fox, 9pm)

Law & Order: SVU S19E12 “Info Wars” (NBC, 9pm)

Criminal Minds S13E14 “Miasma” (CBS, 10pm)

Happy! S1E8 “I Am the Future” (Syfy, 10pm)

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story S2E3 “A Random Killing” (FX, 10pm)

Waco S1E2 “The Strangers Across the Street” (Paramount, 10pm) – series premiere


Grey’s Anatomy S14E11 “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” (ABC, 8pm)

RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars S3E2 (VH1, 8pm)

Supernatural S13E12 “Various & Sundry Villains” (The CW, 8pm)

Superstore S3E12 “Groundhog Day” (NBC, 8pm)

The Good Place S2E13 “Somewhere Else” (NBC, 8:30pm) – season finale

Arrow S6E12 “All for Nothing” (The CW, 9pm)

Project Runway All-Stars S6E5 (Lifetime, 9pm)

Scandal S7E10 “The People v. Olivia Pope” (ABC, 9pm)

Will & Grace S9E11 “Staten Island Fairy” (NBC, 9pm)

A.P. Bio S1E1 (NBC, 9:30pm) – series premiere

How to Get Away With Murder S4E11 “He’s a Bad Father” (ABC, 10pm)

Portlandia S8E3 “No Thank You” (IFC, 10pm)

S.W.A.T S1E12 “Contamination” (CBS, 10pm)


Absentia S1 (Amazon) – series American premiere

Altered Carbon S1 (Netflix) – series premiere

Coach Snoop S1 (Netflix) – series premiere

#MeToo, Now What? (PBS, 8:30pm) – talk show special

The Trade S1E1 (Showtime, 9pm) – documentary series premiere

Strike Back: Retribution S2E1 (Cinemax, 10pm) – season premiere

2 Dope Queens S1E1 (HBO, 11:30pm) – comedy special

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend S3E11 “Nathaniel and I Are Just Friends!” (The CW, 8pm)

Jane The Virgin S4E9 “Chapter Seventy-Three” (The CW, 9pm)


Planet Earth: Blue Planet II S1E3 “Coral Reefs” (BBC America, 8pm)

Pocket-sized cinephile analyzing things as a hobby.