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What to Watch This Week: February 24 to march 1

From a new Walking Dead series featuring some familiar favourites to the debut of Deal or No Deal Island, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Sense and Sensibility – Saturday, February 24, W Network

Sense and Sensibility on W Network. Pictured: the cast including third and fourth from left, Deborah Ayorinde, Bethany Antonia
Hallmark Channel

Taking a cue from Bridgerton, this unique Hallmark Channel adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility features a predominantly Black cast. The period drama, set in the early 19th century, follows Dashwood sisters Elinore (Deborah Ayorinde) and Marianne (Bethany Antonia) as they and their widowed mother are forced to leave the posh family estate and move to a modest home on the property of distant relatives. There, the sisters experience love, romance and heartbreak while dealing with their newfound poverty. Also starring Akil Largie, Victor Hugo, Martina Laird and Victoria Ekanoye.

2. Renovation Aloha – Sunday, February 25, HGTV | Series Premiere

Renovation Aloha on HGTV. Pictured: husband-and-wife home renovators Tristyn and Kamohai Kalama

Husband-and-wife home renovators Tristyn and Kamohai Kalama transform the most unsightly and dilapidated properties on the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu into beautiful family homes, tackling substantial renos in one of the most expensive states in the country. Luckily, the couple can rely on a helping hand from their large extended family, which includes 87 first cousins, many of whom are in the local construction industry.

3. The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live – Sunday, February 25, AMC | Series Premiere

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live on AMC. Pictured: Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes.

In a show notorious for killing off main characters, at a certain point it became tough for The Walking Dead to truly shock its audience. That said, if there was one character who seemed unkillable, it was Deputy Rick Grimes, the Southern lawman who had served as our protagonist since episode one of AMC’s record-breaking zombie thriller. Yet, in 2019, star Andrew Lincoln decided that nine seasons was enough, and Rick was written out. But unlike all the fan faves who’d bitten the dust before him, Rick didn’t die. Rather, he was gravely injured saving his fellow survivors from an undead horde and then airlifted against his will in a mysterious helicopter to parts unknown, leaving the door very much open for a return. Now, that return is nigh. 

Originally planned as a trilogy of movies before being reconceived as a six-part TV series, The Ones Who Live opens on Rick as he squares off with a ruthless, powerful, heavily armed dictatorship known as the Civil Republic Military, who are out to restore order to the world — wiping out any walkers or fellow humans who dare get in their way. The CRM has popped up several times on The Walking Dead and its myriad spinoffs. But now, we meet their formidable leader: Major General Beale (Lost alum Terry O’Quinn), who is seemingly eager to recruit Rick to his despotic cause. Meanwhile, Michonne (Danai Gurira), who was last seen hitting the road on a mission to find Rick, hacks and slashes her way to the truth of his abduction — setting the stage for a long-awaited reunion between the couple that fans have nicknamed “Richonne.” And yet, as AMC’s synopsis ponders: “Changed by a world that is constantly changing, will they find themselves in a war against the living or will they discover that they too are ‘The Walking Dead?’ ”

4. Vegas: The Story of Sin City – Sunday, February 25, CNN | Series Premiere

Vegas: The Story of Sin City on CNN. Pictured: neon sign.

In the course of four immersive episodes, this new series examines how Las Vegas has matured over the past 70 years, featuring the entertainment acts, the visionary entrepreneurs, the infamous mafia figures and the colourful political history that put Sin City on the map. Through interviews with notable entertainers — including Vegas staples Paul Anka and Wayne Newton — along with former showgirls, journalists and historians, the city’s evolution into an entertainment mecca unfolds, revealing the role Las Vegas has played in the most important movements and moments shaping American culture.

5. Deal or No Deal Island – Monday, February 26, NBC | Series Premiere

Deal or No Deal Island on NBC. Pictured; host Joe Manganiello

In 2005, audiences were introduced to Deal or No Deal, a game show that pitted its contestants against a ruthless, faceless “Banker,” haggling over a selection of briefcases containing a hidden cash prize anywhere from one cent to one million dollars. The choice was simple, but far from easy. Take whatever offer the Banker made and walk away with a guarantee of some cash in your pocket, or bet that the case you have is worth more. It’s a format that was made and remade in a truly staggering number of countries all across the globe. Now, it’s getting a full-blown reinvention that throws a pinch of Survivor into the high-concept stew.

In Deal or No Deal Island, actor Joe Manganiello tags in for Canadian Howie Mandel as host. The Magic Mike hunk invites 13 contestants to “the Banker’s private island,” where an array of briefcases worth a combined $200 million are secreted away. Each episode, the players compete in devilish challenges to unearth the cases that will be used in that night’s game. Whoever finds the case with the highest cash value gains immunity, and gets to choose which of their competitors goes into “The Temple,” squaring off with the Banker in a winner-take-all match of Deal or No Deal. If they make a bad deal, they’re sent home, but if they get the Banker to pay more than their case is worth, the tables turn and they get to choose who is eliminated. 

Discussing the contestants with TV Insider, Manganiello opined: “[They’re from] every walk of life. And the personal stories are at times uplifting and at times heartbreaking. But there’s also a clear-cut villain right out of the gate that I was shocked about. The social experiment is what always fascinated me about Survivor, and that is very much in play.” Not coincidentally, one of those contestants is Survivor’s Boston Rob Mariano.

6. Iwájú – Wednesday, February 28, Disney+ | Series Premiere

Iwájú on Disney+. Pictured: A comic-style animated sci-fi series set in Lagos that explores themes of class, innocence and challenging the status quo.

The title of this groundbreaking animated series, Iwájú, is a Yoruba word that loosely translates to “future.” Set in a futuristic Lagos, Nigeria, the show — from Pan-African entertainment company Kugali — tells the coming-of-age story of Tola, a young girl from a wealthy island, and her best friend, Kole, a self-taught tech expert from the densely populated, hardscrabble mainland. Together, the two kids discover the secrets and dangers hidden in their different realities, exploring such themes as class, innocence and challenging the status quo. Kugali filmmakers — including director Olufikayo Ziki Adeola, production designer Hamid Ibrahim and cultural consultant Toluwalakin Olowofoyeku — take viewers on a unique journey into a never-before-seen futuristic world rooted in a contemporary setting. “It’s really about that inspiration, or aspiration and desire, to try and engineer society for living in a more positive way,” said writer-director Ziki Nelson.

7. The Tourist – Thursday, February 29, Netflix | Season Premiere

The Tourist on Netflix. Pictured: Jamie Dornan as Elliot

An intoxicating mix of mystery, action and pitch-black comedy, season one of The Tourist was, indeed, quite a trip. Co-creators Harry and Jack Williams (best known for British crime anthology The Missing) introduced us to Elliot (Jamie Dornan), an Irishman who wakes up in Australia with no memory of how he got there, or, worse yet, who he is. 

Over the course of six episodes, Elliot came to realize he was, in fact, a criminal who’d stolen a bunch of cash from a vicious gangster and had a rogues’ gallery of killers on his trail. The more our antihero learned about himself, the less he wanted to know. The one saving grace of this existential crisis was the bond he formed with quirky Australian constable Helen (Danielle Macdonald).

Season two further leans into that winning dynamic, as Elliot and Helen travel to Ireland, hoping to further unravel the mystery of his identity. But no sooner do they arrive on the Emerald Isle than Elliot is “violently kidnapped,” setting the stage for another six episodes of carnage, comedy and bittersweet self-discovery. 

8. Royal Crackers – Thursday, February 29, Adult Swim | Season Premiere

Royal Crackers on Adult Swim. Pictured: Stebe and Deb.
Adult Swim

As HBO’s Succession embarks on a farewell tour this awards season, it’s tough not to feel a tad depressed amidst all the celebration — each acceptance speech a reminder that the best show on television is over. But fret not! While Hollywood continues honouring the final season of that darkly comedic big-business drama, Royal Crackers is set to unleash season two.

Described by more than one pundit, and the show’s own creators, as “Succession but with snack food,” the animated satire centres on the amusingly dysfunctional Hornsby clan, who become all the less functional after their patriarch goes senile, leaving his two sons, Stebe and Theo, to take over the family’s failing saltine cracker empire. 

In season two, per Adult Swim, “the storylines delve deeper into brothers Stebe and Theo’s daddy issues as they’re forced to confront their father’s dark past. Theo continues to grapple with the aftermath of his fall from stardom and attempts to navigate his way towards self-acceptance. Meanwhile, Deb and Stebe’s highly sexually charged relationship undergoes significant challenges, putting their bond to the test. [Plus,] Matt struggles to fit in at school and with his family.” What’s more, star Jessica St. Clair teased to “It gets even crazier . . . It’s almost like you’re taking acid when you’re watching this show . . . in a good way.”

9. Spaceman – Friday, March 1, Netflix

Spaceman on Netflix. Pictured: Adam Sandler as Jakub Prochazka

Even though it was big, broad comedy that made him his millions, Adam Sandler has proven on more than one occasion that he’s got the acting chops to not only tickle our ribs but break our hearts. From Punch-Drunk Love to Uncut Gems, the SNL alum is a riveting dramatic performer. He’s dipping into that well again for a surreal sci-fi odyssey from Swedish filmmaker Johan Renck — one of the go-to directors on Breaking Bad. Here, Sandler plays Jakub, an astronaut on a solo research mission at the edge of the solar system who comes to realize that his relationship with his wife (Carey Mulligan) may be kaput. Luckily, a most unlikely therapist arrives in the form of an alien spider creature that’s been alive since the dawn of time (voiced by Paul Dano). It has the know-how to help Jakub confront his flaws and, just maybe, save his marriage.

10. Somebody Feed Phil – Friday, March 1, Netflix | Season Premiere

Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix. Pictured: globe-trotting food enthusiast Phil Rosenthal.

Globe-trotting food enthusiast Phil Rosenthal is back for a seventh season of his foodie travel series, with the new episodes following him as he journeys to Mumbai, Washington, D.C., Kyoto, Iceland, Dubai, the “real” Orlando, Taipei and Scotland — encountering the heart and soul of each city with each bite. 

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