The Spoils of Babylon (IFC) is the saga of the Morehouse oil clan, including the patriarch (Tim Robbins), the prodigal adopted son (Tobey Maguire) and a glam daughter (Kristen Wiig). Aping the excess of 1980s soap operas, the show also stars Will Ferrell, Jessica Alba and Val Kilmer, plus Haley Joel Osment (!) as Wiig’s evil son.
True Detective (HBO Canada) boasts another silver-screen cast, with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as investigators tracking a serial killer over 17 years. The anthology series will run American Horror Story style, with self-contained storylines every season.
HBO is also now home to film director Andrew Haigh; Weekend, his acclaimed 2011 gay romance, is the perfect lead-in to Looking (HBO Canada). Spring Awakening talent Jonathan Groff leads a pack of handsome men working, dating and romping in San Francisco. Mixology (CTV) serves up a clever twist on the looking- for-love sitcom premise: It takes place in a bar over a single night.
The eventualities of such liaisons are explored in the family comedy Surviving Jack (CTV), where the many who mourned Christopher Meloni’s Law & Order: SVU departure can enjoy this no-nonsense stay-at-home dad.
Family life takes an unsettling turn in Resurrection (City): The dead have begun to reappear (looking as they did when they were alive) and return to their loved ones. Produced by Brad Pitt, this poignant drama follows eight- year-old Jacob’s reunion with the parents who lost him 30 years ago.