February is the month of starting to crawl out of the hibernal cocoons of winter, or at least starting to think quite seriously about it. But, in the world of television, winter never comes – or at least when it does, it doesn’t go down at all well. So, that in mind, let’s take a look into the television’s endless summer with the biggest new TV shows of February 2023.
What’s New On TV In February 2023
1. Gunther’s Millions | February 1st, 2023
There’s a bottomless appetite for tales of the sheer decadent depths reached by the incredibly rich, be it fictional billionaires like the Ewings or real billionaires like the Murdochs. Gunther’s Millions is one of the real ones, but has the feel of a work of fiction that would get slammed for its sheer unbelievability – for Gunther, the main character who supposedly holds the pursestrings, is a German Shepherd, and by that I don’t mean a Bavarian with a really profitable flock of sheep, it’s a dog.
Gunther’s Millions is basically following up on all those apocryphal-sounding stories of dippy squillionaires who leave it all to the cat. That, supposedly, is how Gunther came into his money, as the former pet of a mad old countess. Now, according to this documentary, he lives the life of Riley in a series of palatial mansions or otherwise out on his yacht, surrounded by young, attractive people the documentary isn’t shy about calling cultists.
Note that I’ve been using the word ‘supposedly’ a lot here. Even the Daily Mail, not a source usually reluctant to print the myth, have come right out and said that it’s a hoax put about by Italian pharmaceutical heir Maurizio Mian – who is himself featured heavily in the documentary, making ever more grandiose claims about his alleged canine patron. So, that’s the real appeal here, just how stupid is this make-believe going to get?
2. The Ark | February 1st, 2023
The sci-fi staple of a spaceship going off to colonise another planet to keep the human race going may be a well-used story, but also has the dark edge of something the species may well end up needing to do before long. So, The Ark – and its many predecessors – may well end up being a bit prophetic in that regard, especially the part where things go badly wrong.
With such a familiar format, The Ark will live or die in the execution. If it gets too young-adult and starts off with the love-triangles and trying to find a date for space-prom, it will be summarily dismissed as a cheap substitute for The 100 (and frankly it’s in the danger zone for that already).
In a work of science-fiction, actually made by a network called Syfy, I really shouldn’t be giving points for accurately using ‘light year’ as a unit of distance rather than time, it’s a very low bar to clear. But as the trailer shows us a snippet of a scene which looks very like Star Wars parody Spaceballs’ timeless ‘ludicrous speed’ bit, perhaps we should simply be grateful the characters aren’t joined by Buzz Lightyear himself.
3. Hello Tomorrow! | February 17th, 2023
The real estate business has become something like death and taxes – unavoidable, and you only deal with it if you really have to. And this is unlikely to change soon, which is why a ‘retrofuturist dramedy’ about the business of timeshares on the moon can seem quite so slice-of-life.
Hello Tomorrow! follows the salespeople who are slinging these timeshares, an ensemble cast featuring Billy Crudup, Hank Azaria, Alison Pill, Jacki Weaver, Haneefah Wood, Nick Podany, and Dewshane Williams. Those who already know these faces can probably have their own guesses at who’ll be the hotshot most-sales-of-the-month one, who’ll be the tragic Arthur Miller character, and so on.
That retrofuturism from the synopsis here takes the form of shameless nostalgia for the Platonic ideal of 1950s Americana – the kind of thing that will make any Fallout player instinctively try to trigger VATS. It’s got the white picket fences and classic cars, with robots, and without the racism.
4. The Company You Keep | February 2nd, 2023
This remake of Korean show My Fellow Citizens follows a burgeoning but probably-doomed romance between a CIA officer (Catherine Haena Kim) and a con man (Milo Ventimiglia) – please insert your own joke to the effect of “what’s the difference, ho ho ho”. But really, that’s not so much of a joke. Out in the field, fixing, operating, getting things done, if they’re on opposite sides of the law it’s largely academic.
There are two obvious pillars to this setup – first, the chemistry between Kim and Ventimiglia, which is down to them, and the second, how well the star-crossed nature of their romance can be mined for tension. This could be done by having them at odds, or, just as easily, working together – Better Call Saul’s power couple Jimmy and Kim went through both options in their time, and it worked well enough that the show wasn’t even ghettoised as a rom-com.
5. The Consultant | February 24th, 2023
Germans are too often unfairly tarred by association with the Nazi regime – and Christoph Waltz probably gets that worse than most, having famously played a particularly evil and charismatic Nazi in Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. Here he at least isn’t being stuffed into jackboots again, rather being cast as a business consultant who for all intents and purposes is invading and occupying a mobile game studio.
Actually making a Nazi the villain-protagonist of a light comedy is probably a bridge too far, but using someone who famously played a Nazi? Perhaps it’s a shameless methadone-style substitute for the real thing, but megalomaniacal rants and raves still have a certain appeal whether they’re about conquering Eastern Europe, or the third quarter’s sales targets. It’s all in the way you tell them.
The Consultant ostensibly also stars Brittany O’Grady, Nat Wolff, and Aimee Carrero, but let’s be real, these people are likely to be little more than the hapless recipients of Waltz’s unstoppable bastardry. If the show starts trying to give them plots of their own it will probably prompt the audience to start looking around and going “where’s Christoph?”
READ MORE: Biggest New Games Of February 2023 – Monsters, Samurai & Mars
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