What to Watch: 9 New TV Series to Warm Up to This Winter

Nicole Kidman as Margaret in Expats, which revolves around the lives and drama of a group of Americans living in Hong Kong. Photo: Courtesy of Prime Video

With sub-zero temperatures set to continue well into February, cocooning fare aboundson TV: Hallmark’s time-travelling hit, The Way Home, is back, there’s a new season of PBS comfort food All Creatures Great and Small, and 1990s nostalgic classic Northern Exposure has found a home on Prime. Alongside new socialite drama Feud: Capote vs. The Swans, and two fashionable new series, Cristóbal Balenciaga and The New Look, these fresh shows offer hours of warm viewing pleasure as we hunker down to get through winter.


Criminal Record (AppleTV+)

I’ve been describing this London crime-thriller as the spiritual descendant of Prime Suspect, by way of Line of Duty. Things are set in motion with a tip that the a person was wrongly convicted in an historic murder case and when a conscientious detective looks into it, systemic rot is revealed. As her investigation into the possible miscarriage of justice deepens across interconnected cases, DS June Lenker (played by Cush Jumbo, The Good Wife, The Good Fight) goes up against Daniel Hegarty (Peter Capaldi’s grizzled veteran detective chief inspector), a seemingly-corrupt cop. It’s a gripping exploration of institutional failure, sexism and racism – the friction and clashing dynamic between the two is the reason to watch.

Criminal Record
Peter Capaldi and Cush Jumbo star in the Apple TV+ crime thriller Criminal Record, which also explores racism, sexism and other institutional failures in law enforcement. Photo: AppleTV+


Death & Other Details (Disney+)

Missing your fix of Only Murders in the Building drollery? I know I am. This 10-part series leans way into the convoluted low-stakes murder mystery genre and is as relaxing as a warm bath. Emmy and Tony-winner Mandy Patinkin stars as Rufus Cotesworth, an English detective who’s equal parts send-up and homage to Poirot (but with a better scarf wardrobe). It’s basically a locked-room cozy on the high seas – The Love Boat, but with more élan than suspense. The luxurious private cruise charter supplies eye candy as Cotesworth teams up with fellow passenger Imogene Scott (Violett Beane) to figure out whodunit, with sprinklings of class commentary along the voyage.

Winter Movies
Imogene Scott (Violett Beane) and Rufus Cotesworth (Mandy Patinkin) in Death and Other Details – a 10-part murder mystery series that will delight fans of Only Murders in the Building. Photo: Michael Desmond/Hulu



True Detective: Night Country (Crave)

Each season of HBO’s marquee anthology series (created by Nic Pizzolatto) offers inspired lead pairings. For its fourth outing, Academy Award-winning actress Jodie Foster – freshly Oscar-nominated for her supporting role in Nyad – plays a hardened police chief in a small Alaska town alongside Indigenous trooper Navarro (Kali Reis, a professional boxer turned actor) while navigating complicated relationships with the community – and her boss (Christopher Eccleston). The oppressive and endless darkness of the remote winter location and the investigation into the disappearance of men who operate the local research station gives the series an ominous nordic noir flavour – and those who saw showrunner Issa López’s horror mystery Tigers Are Not Afraid, won’t be surprised that there are supernatural inflections of The X-Files and Twin Peaks as well.
True Detective
Kali Reis and Jodie Foster star in True Detective: Night Country, marking the first time the anthology series has featured two female lead detectives. Photo: Courtesy of Crave


Monsieur Spade (AcornTV and AMC+)

The iconic character Sam Spade, introduced in Dashiell Hammett’s 1930 novel The Maltese Falcon, was immortalized onscreen by Humphrey Bogart. This neo-noir catches up with the gruff gumshoe twenty-some years later, in early 1960s France, where he’s played by Clive Owen (forever Croupier). Spade may have settled down, but he remains as cynical and coldly detached as ever. Co-created and co-written (with the participation of the Hammett estate) by screen veterans Tom Fontana and Scott Frank – of Homicide: Life on the Street and Oz, and Out of Sight and The Queen’s Gambit, respectively – the atmospheric story explores the intersection of patriotism and politics in the shadow of both the country’s Nazioccupied past and its recent retreat from Algeria. Red herrings abound but, as with the original, the point isn’t the solution to the murder(s) but inhabiting the characters and milieu – and, in the case of this beautifully-shot six-parter, enjoying the scenery. It was filmed on location in Bozouls, France a picturesque town precariously situated at the edge of a gaping canyon: metaphor alert.

Monsieur Spade
Clive Owen as Sam Spade in Monsieur Spade, which takes place twenty years after the events of the The Maltese Falcon, the classic noir in which Humphrey Bogart famously played the lead role. Photo: Jean-Claude Lother/AMC



Sexy Beast (Paramount+, Jan. 25)

True Blood’s Stephen Moyer steps into the role of Ian McShane’s ruthless gangster Teddy Bass in this prequel to Jonathan Glazer’s cult following crime thriller of the same name from 2000. Gritty episodes chart the rise of best mates Don and Gal (played in the original by Ben Kingsley and Ray Winstone) in 1990s East London as the thieves are making their name in the hedonistic underworld; they’re younger, hungrier versions of the brutal criminals, and eventual enemies, they will become. Showrunner Michael Caleo was a story editor on The Sopranos and knows his way around gangster relationship drama. 

Sexy Beast
Stephen Moyer as Teddy Bass and Hannah Van Der Westhuysen as Arabella in this prequel to the cult 2000 big screen crime thriller, Sexy Beast. Photo: Sanne Gault/Paramount+.



Expats (Prime Video, Jan. 26)

Count on Nicole Kidman to deliver a stylish and thought-provoking show about the complicated inner lives of privileged women, just when we need it most. The statuesque thesp stars in (and produces) Lulu Wang’s adaptation of Janice Y.K. Lee’s acclaimed 2016 novel The Expatriates. The gilded lives of close-knit expat American friends hover in limbo – and increasingly entwine – in cosmopolitan Hong Kong. As they struggle with devastating loss, the challenge of deteriorating relationships and personal demons, the intimate and empathetic portrayal shines as much in the streets of Hong Kong (where student unrest is brewing) as it does in the hushed conversations of their well-appointed apartments.

Nicole Kidman stars as Margaret and Brian Tee as her husband Clarke – two members of a close-knit expatriate American friend group that hovers in limbo and increasingly entwine while living in cosmopolitan Hong Kong in ‘Expats.’ Photo: Courtesy of Prime Video



Masters of the Air (AppleTV+, Jan. 26)

With this ambitious series that delves into the story of the 100th Bomb Group and their dangerous raids into the heart of Nazi Germany, producers Steven Spielberg, Gary Goetzman and Tom Hanks (the team behind landmark HBO war drama mini-series Band of Brothers and The Pacific) make it a trilogy of sorts. Inspired by Donald L. Miller’s detailed historical reconstruction, Callum Turner (The Boys in the Boat) and Elvis’s Austin Butler star in what promises to be both a thrilling and sobering account of aerial battles and the psychological toll they had on the young B-17 bomber pilots. Expect impressive visual effects (from the rumoured $250 million mega-budget) and compelling work from talent behind the lens: several episodes are directed by Mudbound’s Dee Rees and No Time to Die and True Detective filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga.

Masters of the Air
Callum Turner and Austin Butler in  Masters of the Air, the story of the 100th Bomb Group and their dangerous raids into the heart of Nazi Germany. Photo: AppleTV+



Three Little Birds (BritBox, Feb. 1)

Created by British actor, comedian and writer Sir Lenny Henry (Broadchurch; the upcoming Neil Gaiman fantasy Anansi Boys), this six-parter was inspired by the stories his mother and aunt recounted about their arrival from Jamaica in the 1950s. Set in 1957, the powerful period-drama chronicles two sisters and their newfound acquaintance from Clarendon, Jamaica, who, like other hopefuls from the Caribbean, went in search of new beginnings in Britain. While laying bare the reality of the hostile reception that greeted them upon arrival in cosy, post-war England, It celebrates the indomitable spirit of community and the resilience of Black womanhood in the Windrush generation.

Three Little Birds
Yazmin Belo as Hosanna Drake in Three Little Birds, about two sisters their acquaintance from Jamaica who struggle to adjust to life in 1950s Britain. Photo: Courtesy of ITV



Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Prime Video, Feb. 2)

A glamorous life of jet-set espionage awaits two lonely operatives (Donald Glover and Maya Erskine) working for a mysterious spy agency – on the condition that they go deep into assumed identities and convincingly pose as a married couple. Each of the weekly episodes of this action-adventure brings a perilous new mission and a relationship challenge that threatens their cover story. The supporting roles, cameos and guest turns are star-studded: watch for John Turturro, Sarah Paulson, Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Dano, Sharon Horgan, Ron Perlman and even Ryan Murphy. 

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, based on the 2005 comedy of the same name starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Photo: David Lee/Prime Video