Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Once more, with feeling: This is The Voice!


Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Monday, February 27. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

The Voice (NBC, 8 p.m.): It’s Christmas time for NBC, y’all. That’s right—The Voice is back, and NBC’s never letting it go again. It’s the 12th season premiere of The Voice, the “Blind Auditions” (“Night 1”!), and Gwen Stefani is back in the coach’s seat with Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton. The only question is: Who will be “The Voice” this time around? Actually, who was “The Voice” last time? And the time before that? We know NBC doesn’t have time to answer such questions. It has ratings to get.

When We Rise (ABC, 9/10 p.m.): ABC’s latest miniseries starts tonight, with the first two of its eight hours. With tonight’s “Part I,” written by Dustin Lance Black and directed by Gus Van Sant, When We Rise “chronicles the real-life personal and political struggles, set-backs and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBTQ people who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. equality movement from its turbulent infancy in the 20th century to today.” And When We Rise has an all-star catch to go with its message: Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, Rachel Griffith, and Michael K. Williams are the stars of the piece, and that just barely scratches the casting surface.

Tickled (HBO, 10 p.m.): Hide your Elmos—HBO’s getting to the bottom of “competitive endurance tickling.” Yes, that’s this week’s HBO documentary topic. That sounds pretty ridiculous, but is it something more sinister? “A reporter stumbles upon a bizarre secret society engaged in the production of ‘competitive endurance tickling’ videos. When he reaches out for more information, the organization responds with threats and harassment, which prompts him and his filmmaking partner to investigate the truth behind this subculture.”

Premieres and finales

The First 48 (A&E, 8 p.m.): If you’re the type of person to find The First 48 to be soothing Monday-night programming, then this special presentation (“Love Hate; A Soldier’s Life”) is just for you. “A young woman goes on the run in Tulsa after her boyfriend’s murder and an army veteran is gunned down in Atlanta after helping a homeless man.” Just another manic Monday.

Fashion Police: The 2017 Academy Awards (E!, 8 p.m.): We’re sure La La Land wins this too.

Cold Case Files (A&E, 9 p.m.): A&E is really feeling itself—and its true crime bone—tonight, which is why an all new The First 48 will be followed up by the series premiere of Cold Case Files. Just a heads-up, this is also depressing: “Young girl is kidnapped and killed on Halloween on her way home from a costume party, but the case went unsolved until a detective unearthed a crucial mistake in the original investigation.” A&E is coming for your crown, Investigation Discovery.

Beyond (Freeform, 9 p.m.): Looks like Freeform’s coma drama, Beyond, is going “Into The Light” for its first-season finale. What that means is: “Frost takes great precautions to ensure Holden’s help with his plans. Diane gets an eye-opening look into Tom’s research into Hollow Sky and what they want with Holden. Shoemacher tries to keep Frost on track to reach the Realm, lest they both face repercussions for failure. Holden and Willa come up with a plan to thwart Frost.” Will someone fall into another 12-year-long coma? You have to watch to find out.

Africa’s Great Civilizations (PBS, 9 p.m.): Tonight is the first two parts of a six-part PBS limited series in which Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. examines Africa’s rich history. “First up: He travels to Kenya and Egypt while learning about the origins of man and formation of early human societies. Then he details the rise and impact of Christianity and Islam across Africa.”


Obsession: Dark Desires (Investigation Discovery, 10 p.m.): In the fourth-season premiere of Obsesssion: Dark Desires, straightforwardly titled “The Salon Stalker”: “When Idaho hairdresser Makaela Zabel-Gravatt begins cutting the hair of truck driver Christopher Wirfs, little does she realize that it signals the start of a two-year-long nightmare that will end in the most heart-stopping and disturbing way.” Sorry, A&E. Investigation Discovery’s still got it.

Taken (NBC, 10 p.m.): NBC is of course putting that Voice lead-in to good use with the series premiere of Taken, a prequel to the movie Taken. You know, that Liam Neeson movie that no one asked for a prequel about. So what’s it about, if not Liam Neeson or even Maggie Grace? “The murder of Bryan Mills’ (Clive Standen) sister launches him into a dangerous mission for revenge against cartel boss Carlos Mejia (Louis Ferreira). A secret US intelligence agency, led by Christina Hart (Jennifer Beals), covertly uses Bryan as bait to capture Mejia, and in the end recruits Bryan to become a part of their team.” Remember, Liam Neeson plays Bryan Mills in the Taken movies, so just imagine that Clive Standen (of Vikings fame) grows up to be Liam Neeson. Then really think about the fact that “Liam Neeson” has played a character named “Bryan Mills.”


Chris Webber’s Full Court Pranks (TruTV, 10 p.m.): With Chris Webber’s Full Court Pranks, what you see is absolutely what you get from the episode title: “Famous athletes and sports celebrities play pranks on their most devoted fans in the series premiere.” You keep doing you, TruTV.

Regular coverage

Supergirl (The CW, 8 p.m.)

WWE Monday Night RAW (USA, 8 p.m.)

Jane The Virgin (The CW, 9 p.m.)

Bates Motel (A&E, 10 p.m.)

Humans (AMC, 10 p.m.)

Streaming pick

Key & Peele (Amazon Video/Comedy Central/Google Play/Hulu/iTunes/vudu/YouTube): Remember how much Key and Peele loved (love) Liam Neeson? Cherish that forever.