What’s On: AMC’s ‘Humans’—the other show featuring lifelike A.I. robots—returns for a second season for Monday, February 13
Humans (10/9c, AMC): Between seasons 1 and 2 of this utterly absorbing British sci-fi drama, a show called Westworld happened. Both series deal provocatively with the ethical, personal and self-preservational implications of lifelike robots—here known as synths (for synthetic)—gaining consciousness. In short, becoming more human. But unlike Westworld‘s labyrinthine Western theme park, Humans powerfully grounds the conflict in an everyday world. Synths are our laborers, our servant class—and now that they’re awakening with the help of new uploaded code, the lines between human and artificial intelligence and empathy (or lack thereof) blur in fascinating and often devastating ways. Some awakened synths are hostile, others kind, and many are confused and yearning for a community to call home, or maybe even romantic connection. All are fugitives, as government agencies and scientific corporations (with Carrie-Anne Moss as a top researcher) seek to capture and control these evolving creations. Are they appliances “with zero rights,” as one is told? That’s an allegorical battle for, one hopes, a third season to resolve.
24: Legacy (8/7c, Fox): A crazy standoff in a police precinct—yes, that was a pretty insane plan for Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins) to get the money to get the sleeper list from his war buddy Grimes (Charlie Hofheimer)—leads to another shootout in a more public place as the action becomes more desperate in the third hour. The search for the leak who gave away the identities of the Rangers also intensifies, with John Donovan’s (Jimmy Smits) campaign manager Nilaa (Sheila Vand) the prime suspect, which is often a sign on 24 that you should be looking in another direction.
Superior Donuts (9/8c, CBS): The best episode yet of this appealingly old-school sitcom reveals the depth of the affection between the lead characters, when Franco (Jermaine Fowler) becomes alarmed once Arthur (Judd Hirsch) buys a gun in the wake of a burglary next door. “I’ve seen a lot of stuff go down,” Arthur says. “Like what—a soufflé?” cracks Franco. Unfortunately, this puts into sharp relief the more stock characters surrounding them, especially the doofus known as Tush (David Koechner).
Inside Monday TV: VH1’s unlikely hit Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party (9/8c) returns with back-to-back episodes, including a sushi extravaganza with Kathy Griffin and Mike Epps among the guests. … The next stop for NBC’s Timeless (10/9c): 1931 Chicago, where Flynn (Goran Visnjic) allies himself with the notorious Al Capone (Cameron Gharaee), leading the heroes to the legendary lawman Elliot Ness (Supernatural‘s Misha Collins). … Colin Hanks (Life in Pieces) directs the HBO documentary Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends) (10:05/9:05c), an intimate profile of the American rock band whose Paris concert was shattered by a terrorist attack in November 2015, with 89 concertgoers among the fatalities that fateful night. The film follows the band members as they prepare to return to Paris to honor their fans, their fallen friends.