Your TV GPS, Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert’s look at the week ahead in television, appears every Monday morning on BostonGlobe.com. Today’s column covers Jan. 23-29.
Sharing is caring and all that. But I think some people are going to be swearing about the despairing news: Netflix is putting its subscribers on alert that it will be cracking down on account sharing in the coming months. All good things, as they say, must come to an end.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the crackdown will allow sharing only within one household, and not with multiple external users. If you want to share your Netflix with your kids in college or your auntie in Billerica, you’re going to have to pay an extra fee (the amount of which has not yet been announced).
It’s hard to believe that such a world-changing service, which currently has more than 231 million subscribers globally, needs more revenue. But such is the world of corporate money and stock prices. This sharing move and last year’s cheaper ad tier are Netflix’s way of recovering from the hit it took last year, when its stock price plummeted.
Will this new sharing policy alienate loyal subscribers, especially now that the streamer is short on exciting original series, and now that there are so many good streaming alternatives? Maybe not. Netflix has already experimented with sharing cuts in Latin America, according to the company’s statement: “From our experience in Latin America, we expect some cancel reaction in each market when we roll out paid sharing, which impacts near term member growth. But as borrower households begin to activate their own standalone accounts and extra member accounts are added, we expect to see improved overall revenue, which is our goal with all plan and pricing changes.”
WHAT I’M WATCHING THIS WEEK
1. Natasha Lyonne as a “Columbo”-esque crime solver in a light crime drama from Rian Johnson of the “Knives Out” franchise? Sign me up. In “Poker Face,” the star of “Russian Doll” and “Orange Is the New Black” is back as Charlie, a woman on the run across America in a beat-up old car. Charlie solves cases as she runs into crime-of-the-week situations in the towns she passes through. She’s not a detective, just an astute person who can innately tell if a person is lying. (Here’s the preview.) Guest stars show up for the weekly fun, which begins Thursday on Peacock, including Tim Meadows, Judith Light, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lil Rel Howery, Ellen Barkin, Nick Nolte, and Chloe Sevigny.
2. In 2019, on the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans in Virginia, the New York Times Magazine delivered a look back at the defining consequences of slavery on America. Called “The 1619 Project” and created by Nikole Hannah-Jones, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her introductory essay, the series was a reframing of American history “by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States’ national narrative.” It was denounced by right-wing politicians such as Donald Trump, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, and Newt Gingrich, who called it “brainwashing.” Now, Hulu has adapted the written series into a six-parter (here’s the trailer), which premieres Thursday.
3. I have high hopes for Apple TV+’s new half-hour comedy created by Bill Lawrence (“Scrubs,” “Ted Lasso”), Jason Segel, and Brett Goldstein (“Ted Lasso”). Called “Shrinking,” it stars Segel as a therapist who, after the death of his wife, begins to form personal relationships and share his opinions with his patients. He’s no longer willing to just sit back and listen, even though it’s highly unethical. “In Treatment” this ain’t. Harrison Ford and Jessica Williams costar as his comic colleagues, and Christa Miller is on hand as his nosy neighbor. It premieres Friday.
4. Sarah Michelle Gellar, TV’s Buffy, returns in another supernatural teen drama. “Wolf Pack,” which premieres Thursday on Paramount+, gives us a teenage boy and girl who are turned into werewolves when a wildfire awakens a predator. “PREY FOR SURVIVAL” is the trailer line to beat. Gellar plays an arson investigator who looks into the fire and, I’m assuming, the whole creatures-of-the-moon thing. Is she a werewolf slayer? The series, from “Teen Wolf” creator Jeff Davis, is based on the novels of Canadian author Edo Van Belkom.
“Lockwood & Co.” Teen ghost-hunting in London. Netflix, Friday
“How I Met Your Father” Perhaps it will improve in the second season. Hulu, Tuesday
“The Last of Us” An extraordinary end-of-the-world drama. HBO
“Will Trent” Another idiosyncratic detective solves crimes on this network procedural. ABC
“Mayfair Witches” A mediocre Anne Rice adaptation. AMC
“The Capture” Season two of the crime thriller about deep-fakery is worthwhile. Peacock
“Paul T. Goldman” A fascinating and sly series about the making of a true-crime series. Peacock
“Emily in Paris” The prettiest hate-watch on TV. Netflix
“Slow Horses” The second season is driven by Gary Oldman’s masterful performance. Apple TV+
“The Sex Lives of College Girls” Season two coasts on the characters’ appeal. HBO Max
“Fleishman Is in Trouble” A strong adaptation by Taffy Brodesser-Akner of her novel. Hulu