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5 Best Bets on TV This Week: 'The Americans' Returns, James Gray Directs 'The Red Road' Premiere and More

Photo of Ben Travers By Ben Travers | Indiewire February 24, 2014 at 5:33PM

The five best bets on television for the week of February 24 through March 1.
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Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV like "Girls," "Looking," "House of Lies," "Shameless," "True Detective" and "The Walking Dead," but what to watch the rest of the time? Every Monday, we bring you five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of the week.

"Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman": Documentary Premiere
Monday, February 24th at 9 pm on HBO

This 24-minute short documentary is the story of a mother told by her daughter. Director Mickalene Thomas, who is primarily a painter, made a short film about her artistic muse -- her mother, Sandra Bush. Bush dreamt of becoming the first African-American supermodel and was later featured in her daughters paintings, gaining fame in the art world as Mama Bush. 

"Game of Arms": Series Premiere
Tuesday, February 25th at 10 pm on AMC

Are you a fan of "Over the Top"? Do you wish Sylvester Stallone's arm-wrestling classic was a television show you could watch every week? Do you wish it was real? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then AMC's newest reality show may be right up your alley. The hour-long program follows five regional arm-wrestling clubs as they travel across the country and do battle the only way real men do: with only their arms.

"The Americans": Season Two Premiere
Wednesday, February 26th at 10 pm on FX

In her review of the season two premiereIndiewire's TV Editor Alison Willmore was impressed with how FX's thriller "The Americans" was able to sustain its "high wire tension" into its second season. She went on to say the show returns "with a set of episodes just as impressive as anything in the show's very strong first year." What more do you need to hear to tune in for the continued story of two KGB spies posing as American citizens at the height of the Cold War? 

"The Red Road": Series Premiere
Thursday, February 27th at 9 pm on SundanceTV

The latest original program from SundanceTV (formerly the Sundance Channel) has the impressive pedigree of a program from one of the more prominent cable channels. "The Red Road" was created by Aaron Guzikowski, the writer behind last year's Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal-starring film, "Prisoners." The pilot was directed by James Gray of "We Own the Night," "Two Lovers," and "The Immigrant" fame, and the series stars "Game of Thrones" veteran Jason Momoa. You can watch the premiere episode about an ex-con facing off against a local cop for free online or wait until Thursday to see it with everyone else.

"Hannibal": Season Two Premiere
Friday, February 28th at 10 pm on NBC

Bryan Fuller's series adaptation following the infamous cannibal created by Thomas Harris and made famous by Anthony Hopkins returns for its second season this week, now on Friday nights. If you can handle some grisly, nightmare-inducing imagery, then you're in for one heck of a horror story -- and some outstanding acting by Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen.

This article is related to: Television, TV Features, HBO Documentary, The Americans, Hannibal, SundanceTV, The Red Road, AMC TV, FX, NBC