Daredevil (Friday, March 18, Netflix), season premiere: Compared to Ben Affleck’s Daredevil, the 2004 Thomas Jane-led Punisher flick wasn’t that bad—but Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) is the ultimate Punisher for which the fanboys have been waiting. Season 2 of Marvel/Netflix smash Daredevil picks up a few months after the end of the first chapter, with Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) doing his Hell’s Kitchen vigilante thing by night, and sort-of attending to his lawyer duties by day. But as busy as DD is keeping, someone doesn’t think he’s doing enough, hard enough—that’s Frank Castle (Bernthal), aka the Punisher, a brutal, relentless mercenary with a “Kill ’Em All, Let ME Sort ’Em Out” credo that clashes with Murdock’s less murder-y version of street justice. As if that weren’t trouble enough, another fan-favorite frenemy is also in town with a score to settle: Ninja-assassin Elektra (Elodie Yung). Aside from the new additions and better lighting (seriously—Season 1 was dark in every sense of the word), this is still the Daredevil you fell in tortured love with last year.
The Passion (Sunday, March 20, Fox), special: At least a dozen readers and myself like to think that I’m kinda funny. But sometimes, you just have to admit utter comedic defeat—from Fox PR: “The Passion, a two-hour musical event airing live from New Orleans, tells the 2,000-year-old story of the last hours of Jesus Christ’s life on Earth. Hosted and narrated by Tyler Perry, the special will feature a cast of today’s biggest stars performing a variety of popular music. Set in modern day, The Passion will follow the dramatic and inspirational story of Jesus of Nazareth (Jencarlos Canela), as he presides over the Last Supper, and then is betrayed by Judas (Chris Daughtry), put on trial by Pontius Pilate (Seal), convicted, crucified and resurrected. The story will unfold live at some of New Orleans’ most iconic locations, while featuring a procession of hundreds of people carrying a 20-foot illuminated cross from Champion Square outside the Superdome to the live stage at Woldenberg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.” Damn …
Heartbeat (Tuesday, March 22, NBC), series debut: Melissa George—and everyone else—deserves better than this: In the cleverly titled Heartbeat, George stars as heart-transplant surgeon Dr. Alex Panttiere (woman with a dude’s name—one cliché checked), a brilliant doctor who doesn’t play by the rules (another cliché) whose accomplished-if-occasionally mansplained career (and another!) contrasts with her messy personal and romantic life as a single mom and Melissa George-level hot thang (and there are all the remaining clichés). Need I even mention that this was originally called Heartbreaker? At best, Heartbeat plays like an unaware spinoff of sexy-docs spoof Childrens Hospital; the rest of the time, it’s just pretty people in scrubs Acting! Really! Hard! in a community-theater production of House M.D. It’s not too late to rebrand it as Chicago Heartbeat, NBC.
You Me Her (Tuesday, March 22, Audience/DirecTV), series debut: In 2015, DirecTV’s Audience Network quietly slid into the half-hour-comedy game with Billy and Billie, a breezy rom-com about step-siblings in love/lust from the hilarious Neil LaBute—needless to say, it won’t be back for a second season. This year, Audience is trying out You Me Her, an indie-flick-esque dramedy they’re billing as “polyromantic,” which probably tested better than B&B’s “incesteriffic.” You Me Her stars Greg Poehler (Welcome to Sweden) and Rachel Blanchard (FX’s Fargo) as bored suburban Portland, Ore., married couple who inadvertently end up hiring/sleeping with/falling for the same female escort (Priscilla Faia, Rookie Blue). Naturally, they decide to bring the escort on full-time and make their marriage a threesome, because, Portland. It’s all funnier, and sweeter, than it sounds, but … huh?
Stitchers (Tuesday, March 22, Freeform), season premiere: Kirsten (Emma Ishta), a ridiculously good-looking 20-something with no discernable personality and “temporal dysplasia” (no sense of time—and no, this condition doesn’t exist), is recruited by a black-ops government outfit to have her consciousness “stitched” into the quickly slipping-away minds of the recently dead to help solve crimes. (All of the scientists are ridiculously good-looking 20-somethings, too.) Sound like iZombie? Close, but Stitchers, now entering Season 2, takes itself waaay more seriously than anything else on Freeform (well, before Shadowhunters showed up, anyway). But it could potentially be leading somewhere … not terrible? That’ll work.