It’s a new month and that means a new round of enthusiasm. I’ve picked out the TV shows, movies, comics, and podcasts releasing in February that I’m most excited about. We’ve got superheroes, cryptids, remasters, chainsaws, Joel McHale, and more!
The Adventure Zone (Every Thursday) – I talk about this podcast a lot, but it’s great. The McElroys (My Brother, My Brother & Me) play Dungeons & Dragons with their dad. They recently finished a seventy-episode arc that turned into an epic story and ended with “four guys playing D&D so hard that they cried”. After that, they started taking turns as DM and trying different settings and role-playing systems for shorter games. Dad Clint ran a great superhero game, and now original DM Griffin is running the show again with a game about cryptids. It’s very fun – small town weirdness really hits my buttons and Griffin is such a good storyteller, and I’m especially geeked that the show has finally gone weekly for these mini-arcs. Griffin’s “Amnesty” should wrap up this month and then somebody else will take the reins for a different game, and I look forward to Friday mornings now so I can listen to TAZ first thing in the morning at work.
Shadow of the Colossus (February 6) – One of the greatest games of the PS2 era is getting remastered for the PS4, and I’m so excited. The original was amazing for its time, but there’s a world of difference in the remastered graphics. It looks gorgeous and I’m looking forward to playing it again. And yes, the game I’m most excited about this month is a remaster. After the end of last year, the video game industry is going to take a while to get back in the groove. Remember how every game ever came out in a three month span there? It was exhausting.
Black Panther (February 16) – Oh, this is going to be rad. You already know I’m in the tank for Marvel movies anyway, but this is going to be big. We haven’t had a major superhero movie with a black lead yet (No, I will not be counting Steel.), and Black Panther is remedying that in a big way. Chadwick Boseman returns as the King of Wakanda after his appearance in Civil War, and the cast includes Michael B. Jordan. Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Danai Guiria, Angela Bassett, Sterling K. Brown… that is an amazing cast. Plus Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross. It all looks fantastic and it’s at least partly based on Christopher Priest’s run on the comics, which is my favorite Marvel series ever. It doesn’t look like a direct adaptation, but it includes a lot of characters he created like the Dora Milaje, Shuri, and Ross. And it’s directed by Creed‘s Ryan Coogler, continuing Marvel’s attempts to break from their house style and bring in directors with a different point of view. Early reviews are great and I’m just happy to see so much excitement for this one. Like Wonder Woman, it expands superheroes beyond the “white dude” territory where the genre so often lands, and that’s good for everybody.
The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale (February 18) – If you miss The Soup and Community as much as Myndi and I do, well, Joel McHale is back with a Soup-style show on Netflix. He’s even creating with some of his old Soup pals. Honestly, even if it’s exactly the same as The Soup, we’ll be perfectly happy. A new episode hits Netflix every Sunday and I’m so happy.
Annihilation (February 23) – Alex Garland, the guy who made Ex Machina is back with this new movie about a team of scientists on an expedition where things get weird. That’s about as much as the trailer tells you, but it’s beautiful and intriguing. Also, according to IMDB, Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, and Jennifer Jason Leigh play “The Surveyor”, “The Biologist”, and “The Psychologist”, respectively. That’s weird, right? Oscar Isaac is “The Biologist’s Husband”, and there’s only one listed credit with an actual name. My curiosity is piqued!
The Tick (February 23) – The second half of the superhero comedy’s first season (it’s been renewed for another season) hits today. The first half of the season was one of my favorite shows of last year, playing with modern superhero tropes and delving into the weirdness of its setting. The Terror is back, Arthur knows his suit was built with the goal of killing Superion, Miss Lint wants revenge, Overkill has entirely too many knives, and the Tick and Arthur just keep making enemies. And there’s that ongoing question as to who the Tick is and where he came from, or if he existed at all before the last week. Man, this show is so good.
Ash vs. Evil Dead (February 25) – After sitting out last year, the horror comedy is back with a new season that will probably be as dumb as it is smart and as appalling as it is insightful. The new trailer is absolutely wild and the only real clue as to the plot of the season is that bit where Ash opens his own store. After that, it’s just pure insanity. I love the way this show really digs into Bruce Campbell’s Ash and rounds him out without ruining him. They’re giving him just the right amount of depth and I love the way it deals with him as an aging action hero. It’s a very good show where occasionally the hero gets pulled into a demon-possessed rectum.
Final Space (February 26) – I don’t know much about this new series, but it’s an animated sci-fi comedy and it’s on TBS. TBS hasn’t dropped the ball since they rebranded themselves and I fully trust whatever they want to show me. Don’t let me down!
Good Girls (February 26) – So here’s what’s weird. This new NBC series sounds really good – Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman play suburban moms who try to make ends meet by robbing a supermarket. I like the premise, I like the cast, and it feels like it has the potential to be another fast-moving favorite like The Good Place. I mean, it sounds like a low-stakes Breaking Bad and it seems like there would have to be this constant forward momentum. But there’s virtually no promotion for this show so far. Unless there’s going to be an absolute blitz during the Winter Games, I have to wonder if NBC is already looking to write it off. Either way what am I going to do? Not watch Christina Hendricks?
The Terrifics (February 28) – This is the most excited I’ve been about a new non-Batman related series from DC Comics since, well, since Mister Miracle six months ago. But also for a long time before that. The idea behind this Jeff Lemire / Evan Shaner series seems to be that since Marvel isn’t interested in publishing the Fantastic Four, DC will publish their own. It’s a team book with Mr. Terrific, Plastic Man, Metamorpho, and Phantom Girl, who between the four of them cover the FF’s powers / personality archetypes. Per the preview material, there’s a reason they’re forced to stay together against their will for an as yet undisclosed reason. And it all has to do with the search for Tom Strong. I’m a little leery about the way DC is using Alan Moore’s characters in a way that is legally defensible but ethically gross, but this seems less egregious than Doomsday Clock or tossing Promethea in the Justice League. That aside, I like the creative team, Plastic Man makes any book a must-bye for me and I love Metamorpho (who I didn’t know still existed in the modern DC Universe). If this book can get across the big ideas and fun that the FF delivered in their best days, this could really be something special.
That’s what I’m excited about this month – how about you?