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February streaming guide: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Shogun, The Marvels and Halo

John Oliver returns for an epic 11th season hosting a late night talk show.

John Oliver returns for an epic 11th season hosting a late night talk show. Photo: Binge

Among the dozens of American-made TV shows and drama series to be impacted by the months-long double strikes last year were the late night TV talk shows, which heavily lean on a room of clever writers.

One to re-emerge unscathed at this year’s Primetime Emmys (best variety) and Critics Choice Awards (best talk show) was Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

It outscored the Graham Norton Show (BBC America), Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC), The Kelly Clarkson Show (NBC), Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC), The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS) and the ever-popular and controversial Saturday Night Live!

Filmed in New York, the 46-year-old writer, political commentator, producer, who’s been host of the HBO series since 2014 (the show has been renewed until 2026 due to its popularity) is preparing more “insights, signature deep dives, and distinctive comedy pieces” for season 11 (Binge, Foxtel, February 19).

Australian television will have its own return of a handful of weekly talk shows, although the era of late night talk shows of the Graham Kennedy, Don Lane, Steve Vizard, Denton and Rove McManus days are long over.

The Weekly with Charlie Pickering (Wednesdays, ABC and iview 8.30pm) is an option for local comparable content.

Elsewhere, the major streamers are gearing up to release new content after a slow few weeks with Netflix releasing it’s own audio visual reel of monthly highlights.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Paramount+, February 4

Epic action-adventure film based on Hasbro’s iconic
Transformers action figures, this is the  seventh instalment of the hit Paramount Pictures film franchise.

Returning to the action and spectacle that have captured
moviegoers around the world, the film takes audiences on a
‘90s globetrotting adventure with the Autobots and introduces
a whole new faction of Transformer – the Maximals – to join
them as allies in the existing battle for earth.

The Marvels:  Disney+, February 7

Starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers (AKA Captain Marvel), this sequel has her powers entangled with super-fan Kamala Khan and Carol’s estranged niece, astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau.

Halo (season two): Paramount+, February 8

Based on the Xbox video game franchise, this Paramount+ original series returns to continue the 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant.

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Five Blind Dates: Prime Video, February 13

Set in Townsville, this romantic comedy is the first feature film produced locally by Prime Video in Australia.

Co-created and co-written by actor and influencer Shuang Hu (The Law), and actor and comedian Nathan Ramos-Park (As We Babble On), this is the story of Lia (Shuang Hu), 20, and her failing traditional Chinese tea shop inherited from her grandma.

Proud family man Sylvester Stallone. Photo: Paramount+

The Family Stallone (season two): Paramount+, February 22

Sylvester Stallone, wife and three daughters are back for another instalment of their successful reality TV series.

This time we follow them as they leave Hollywood for good and move –  daughters Sophia and Sistine following their dreams in New
York City while Scarlet navigates college and a new love in Miami.

Shōgun: Disney+, February 27

This series gives us a two-episode premiere and is an original adaptation of the critically acclaimed James Clavell novel of the same name.

Set in Japan in the year 1600 at the dawn of a century-defining civil war,  Lord Yoshii Toranaga is fighting for his life as his enemies on the Council of Regents unite against him, when a mysterious European ship is found marooned in a nearby fishing village.

As We Speak: Rap Music On Trial: Paramount+, February 28

The documentary, which had its world premiere screening at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, follows Bronx rap artist Kemba as he explores the growing weaponisation of rap lyrics in the United States criminal-justice system and abroad.

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