After fans were teased by its brief availability online two weeks ago — a “bug,” they say — the next chapter of House of Cards (Season Premiere, Friday, Netflix) is finally here. Since some of us are guilty of binge-watching both previous seasons, it’s been more than a year since many viewers have spent some quality time with the Underwoods.
On the brink of his impeachment, President Walker resigned at the end of Season Two. Walker’s wealthy confidant Raymond Tusk was arrested, knocking out two of Vice President Frank Underwood’s political roadblocks. After two seasons of watching Frank go to any length to secure his power, it seems he’s reached the pinnacle. Which means …
Frank Underwood is the President of the United States of America. Terrifying. But that doesn’t solidify his reelection in the upcoming race.
Wife and sometimes literal partner in crime Claire Underwood made some low and dirty moves last season. Despite Claire helping them both rise in the ranks, expect to see her question the couple’s actions and use her title as FLOTUS as she sees fit.
And Doug Stamper was last seen lying in the woods. While trying to protect Rachel he sufficiently spooked her, leading to a chase and brick to the head. Fingers crossed for his (unlikely) miraculous return. Cards rivals Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead when it comes to killing off likable characters.
WEDNESDAY FEB. 25
Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – After getting stuck at an airport, Claire kills time Facebook-stalking, which comes back to bite her.
Blackish (9:30 p.m., ABC) – Dre shows Junior the best way to fight a bully: by talking smack.
Workaholics (10 p.m., Comedy Central) – We met Adam’s badass grandfather in Season Three. Now he’s dead. Adam and his dad (the perfectly cast Jack Black) go all out to give Gramps DeMamp the funeral of a lifetime.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (10 p.m., FXX) – Mac’s dad is back in the picture, this time as a suspect in a murder. Desperate to finally make amends, Mac investigates to clear his dad’s name.
Kosher Soul (Series Premiere, 10 p.m., Lifetime) – In a relationship between an African-American guy and a Jewish girl, there’s bound to be compromises. In the first episodes of this new reality series, he converts to Judaism; she gets a grill (the mouth kind) and cooks soul food. Even trade?
Broad City (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) – Jamie becomes an American citizen. Everyone celebrates by eating entire cobs of corn.
FRIDAY FEB. 27
Vice Special Report: Killing Cancer (10 p.m., HBO) – Ahead of Vice’s season premiere March 6, the Emmy-winning news show highlights some groundbreaking advances in the treatment of — and some may say cure for — leukemia, glioblastoma, multiple myeloma and HIV.
Sex Box (Series Premiere, 10 p.m., WEtv) – Relationship problems? Have some sex in a box! Each week couples will have sex in a chamber onstage in front of a live audience (no one can see or hear inside the box), then open up with relationship experts about their emotional and sexual issues. The show tests the theory that the ideal time to open up is within 15 minutes after intimacy, as well as how low people are willing to go to be on TV.
SATURDAY FEB. 28
Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) – Dakota Johnson hosts; Alabama Shakes performs. At this point most people are so tired of Fifty Shades talk that even the most racy or hilarious references to the movie are annoying. So good luck, guys!
SUNDAY MARCH 1
The Last Man on Earth (Series Premiere, 9 p.m., Fox) – Will Forte stars as a man who survives after a fatal virus wipes out the globe. But as he searches for fellow survivors, he discovers he might not just be the only living person in his hometown; he might actually be the only person left period.
The Walking Dead (9 p.m., AMC) – The big question on everyone’s mind: Is Alexandria safe? But even if it is, can the group adapt to a setting so different from what they’ve come to know?
MONDAY MARCH 2
RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season Premiere, 9 p.m., Logo) – Fourteen new queens embark on the quest to become America’s Next Drag Superstar. Former judge Santino Rice has been replaced by Ross Matthews and Carson Kressley. In this week’s premiere, the contestants rock “nude illusion” runway looks; Kathy Griffin guest-judges.