What to Watch This Week | February 7–13

CableTV.com’s impeccable viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.

Valentine’s Day is almost here; got plans? If not, I’d suggest checking out CableTV.com’s guide to pairing Hallmark rom-coms with the perfect food for the (likely) dateless. Not-really-a-spoiler: one involves Jennifer Love Hewitt and chunky ice cream.

This week’s What to Watch highlights include Puppy Bowl XVIII (and that other game, Super Bowl LVI), a pair of creepy tech thrillers from HBO Max, and an unexpected Betty White film classic. Hut-hut, watch!

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What’s premiering this week

Super Bowl LVI | NBC, Peacock | Sports

Coverage begins 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 13: The LVI means 56, btw. Why are we still using Roman numerals in 2022? Letters are not numbers—get it together, NFL. Back to the big game: the Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, with a halftime show featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar. Equally as important, Puppy Bowl XVIII will air concurrently on Animal Planet and Discovery+.

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Bel-Air | Peacock | Drama

Series premiere, Sunday, Feb. 13: The Super Bowl is almost always followed by a special episode of a popular broadcast network series or the launch of a new show. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reimagining Bel-Air is the first streaming series to get that post-Bowl hype—smart move, Peacock. Will Smith executive-produced this dramatic reinterpretation of the beloved ’90s sitcom, and Bel-Air introduces a new “Will” from Philly (Jabari Banks, who may or may not accept the title of Fresh Prince).

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What to watch on Netflix this week

Disenchantment | Netflix | Animation, Comedy

Season 2 Pt. 4 premiere, Wednesday, Feb. 9: Unlike his high-profile previous creations The Simpsons and Futurama, Matt Groening’s Disenchantment has been quietly streaming along on Netflix since 2018. The animated comedy-fantasy about rebellious medieval princess Bean (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) is a little darker than Groening’s past works, but Disenchantment is still a fun ride. Other series voices include Eric André (as a literal personal demon), Nate Faxon (as a teen elf), and Matt Berry (as a princely pig).

Inventing Anna | Netflix | Drama

Series premiere, Friday, Feb. 11: From 2013 to 2017, Anna Sorokin posed as German heiress and socialite Anna Delvey, ripping off millions of dollars from New York banks, hotels, and NYC high society—true, bizarre story. Inventing Anna, produced by Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy), dramatizes the unbelievable, twisty tale of a journalist (Anna Clumsky, Veep) investigating Anna (Julia Garner, Ozark). Blurring the reality lines even more, Netflix paid the actual Anna Sorokin $320,000 for the story rights.

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What to watch on HBO Max this week

The Girl Before | HBO Max | Drama, sci-fi

Series premiere, Thursday, Feb. 10: Think your HOA is overbearing? Check this out: Jane (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is offered the chance to live in an ultra-modernist dream house. The catch is, she must adhere to the eccentric architect’s (David Oyelowo) strict list of rules . . . or else, what? The Girl Before refers to the previous tenant who looked exactly like Jane and ran afoul of her landlord. If you’ve been missing Black Mirror, or just really enjoy smart-home architecture, The Girl Before is the creepy tech thriller for you.

Kimi | HBO Max | Drama, sci-fi

Movie premiere, Thursday, Feb. 10: Speaking of creepy tech thrillers, here’s Kimi, director Steven Soderbergh’s unholy collision of COVID-19, agoraphobia, and homicide. Here, Kimi is a more deeply integrated Siri or Alexa, tapped into shut-in Seattle tech worker Angela’s (Zoe Kravitz) everyday life. When Angela believes she’s overheard a murder, Kimi blocks her every move to report it—conspiracy, anyone? The other terror: Angela must now actually leave the apartment. This story is too real.

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What to watch on Hulu this week

Dollface | Hulu | Comedy

Season 2 premiere, Friday, Feb. 11: The first season of Dollface introduced Jules (Kat Dennings), a recently dumped woman reuniting with the girlfriends (Brenda Song, Shay Mitchell, and Esther Povitsky) she neglected during her romantic bliss. Season 2 acknowledges the pandemic and moves on with more hilarious female bonding and (ack!) turning 30. If you’ve been looking for a smart comedy to fill that New Girl/Happy Endings void in your life, Dollface has been waiting for you on Hulu all along.

Lake Placid | Hulu | Drama, horror

Movie, now streaming: Now that all of the tributes to the sweet side of the late Betty White are done, treat yourself to 1999’s Lake Placid, which allowed her to indulge a mean (but still funny) streak. There’s an oversized crocodile eating people in the lake (which is Black Lake, not Lake Placid . . . huh?), and it’s up to the local game warden (Bill Pullman) and a big-city paleontologist (Bridget Fonda) to bring down the beast. White provides comic relief in an already dumb flick as a foul-mouthed lakeside widow who sides with the croc. Perfect.

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W2W wildcards of the week

I Want You Back | Prime Video | Comedy, romance

Movie premiere, Friday, Feb. 11: When strangers Peter (Charlie Day, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Emma (Jenny Slate, Bob’s Burgers) accidentally meet on the same day they’ve both been dumped, they devise a plan to win back their exes. The scheme: make their new relationships hell until they come running back—nope, this is not your typical rom-com. The pairing of Day and Slate is inspired comedy gold, and I Want You Back is sweeter than their cruel intentions belie. You’ve probably already guessed the ending.

Puppy Bowl XVIII | Animal Planet, Discovery+ | Sports, cuteness

Coverage begins 2 p.m. EST, Sunday, Feb. 13: Teem Ruff and Team Fluff face off in the 17th annual Puppy Bowl, which will feature 70 (adoptable) puppers from 22 shelters across the US. Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg (he’s pulling double duty on the Puppy and Super Bowls) host, and it also features a halftime kitten show. If you haven’t hit adorable overload just yet, Puppy Bowl XVIII will also have a guest appearance by Sesame Street’s Elmo and his rescue pup Tango. So, why are there only two teams in the Puppy Football League?

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