From documentaries to reality TV to Netflix exclusives, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Leftovers – Sunday, April 16, 8 p.m., 11 p.m. & 2 a.m., HBO Canada | Season Premiere
HBO CanadaBack in spring 2014, HBO trotted out a new drama that proved divisive amongst fans and critics. Some found Damon Lindelof’s vision of a world decimated by the Rapture far too bleak; others championed the show’s ambition in dealing with themes of faith, family and inarticulable loss, while acknowledging its overall inconsistency. In season two, however, when Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) moved his makeshift family to the Rapture-spared town of Miracle, Texas, The Leftovers truly came into its own as one of the most potent, ambitious series in this golden age of TV.
As we open on the third and final season, Kevin is putting the sheriff’s badge back on in the wake of the Guilty Remnant’s explosive takeover of Miracle. Meanwhile, the world holds its breath as the seventh anniversary of the Sudden Departure approaches.
2. Veep – Sunday, April 16, 9:30 p.m., 12:30 a.m. & 3:30 a.m., HBO Canada | Season Premiere
HBO CanadaOver Veep’s first five seasons, Selina Meyer started as the vice president, then found her way into the Oval Office, and as the show wrapped up season five, so too did Selina wrap up her brief presidency. So what can viewers expect from the show in season six? Well, even as early as last summer, exec producer David Mandel was discussing his general plans with Deadline, noting that “we are now going to get a chance to sort of check out what it’s like for [Selina] to be the former president of the United States—and not perhaps a well-regarded former president of the United States.”
Recently, Mandel has been more specific in teasing the new season, telling the crowd at the SXSW Festival that they’ll see Selina’s actions echoing some of the other former residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. “As you see [Barack Obama] sign his book deal, don’t be surprised if Selina signs a book deal—though probably for not so much money. We have all these former presidents out there—Jimmy Carter doing humanitarian work, there’s the Clinton Foundation. These topics will come up in some form.”
Of course, in the wake of the Trump election, the writers have also had to rethink just what constitutes “absurdist” political comedy. Said Mandel to the Los Angeles Times: ‘‘We had a scene where a minor character gets picked up on a DUI and he’s being a little mouthy to a female police officer and we sort of had a run using [the P-word]. It was pretty funny and they basically threw it in the garbage. [Trump] is ruining comedy... None of those things we do [on the show] seem quite as incompetent as running for president and knowing that you had a video of you harassing women out there. What we used to do was sort of, like, funny incompetence, and this is just sort of sad, scary incompetence.’’
3. Two Broke Girls – Monday, April 17, 9:30 p.m., City & CBS | Season Finale
CityThe biopic about Caroline’s life is about to premiere, and as the girls get ready for the red carpet, celeb stylist Brad Goreski helps them say yes to the dress. Yet they also find themselves mulling their future at the Williamsburg Diner and their love lives with Bobby (Christopher Gorham) and Randy (Ed Quinn).
4. Fight Club – Monday, April 17, 10:40 p.m., ENC2
ENC2Edward Norton plays a milquetoast insomniac who meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a soap salesman who introduces him to the world of underground fight clubs and social anarchy. The first rule of Fight Club, however, is that you don’t talk about fight club, so that’s all we can really say.
5. The Flash – Tuesday, April 18, 8 p.m., CTV2 & The CW
CTV2TV’s most deliciously bonkers superhero show concludes its latest two-parter as Barry and his super friends make one final push to beat back Grodd and his army of gorillas. And in a classic case of dimension-crossed lovers, Jesse decides she wants to stay on Earth-1 with Wally.
6. Pretty Little Liars – Tuesday, April 18, 5 p.m. & 11 p.m., Bravo
BravoThis week, the final, 10-episode run of this cult-favourite teen mystery series kicks off, wrapping up the saga of the girls of Rosewood High, masked murderer ‘A,’ and all the sexy suspects we’ve met along the way. As usual, everyone’s lives are on the line and plenty of shocking truths are about to be revealed. The series returns right on the oh-so-fashionable heels of where it left off, with Noel’s abrupt death leaving Aria and friends struggling to piece their lives back together.
For studious Spencer, that means trying to find out more about her connection to Mary Drake and what that all means for her in the long run. For Aria, looking towards the future means revisiting the past, specifically her past with Ezra, now that Nicole is back in the picture and things are as messed up as ever. Meanwhile, Hanna looks to get her fashion career back on course following some setbacks, and enlists Mona’s help to do so. As for Emily? Well, now that she’s working at Rosewood High again, she’ll need to figure out how to clean the slate with Ali and Paige given that they’re her co-workers now, too. Of course, this is a show loaded with twists and turns, so as soon as the ladies even begin to enjoy a sense of normalcy that’s exactly when ‘A’ (or ‘A.D.’) will strike. Tonight, look forward to a special delivery for our Liars, one that will reveal a big clue in the series’ forthcoming end game.
Teasing that end game at this year’s PaleyFest, producer Joseph Dougherty said: “Everyone has a false face. Some of them are real, and some of them are plastic. But yes, there are people walking around who are not who you think they are.” While creator I. Marlene King added: “I think the majority of people will be happy with the ending. We all worked so hard on it with the goal of satisfying fans with a proper ending to a show which has meant so much to so many people.”
7. Deadliest Catch – Tuesday, April 18, 5 p.m. & 12 a.m., Discovery | Season Premiere
Discovery Isn’t it strange that so many of us, the general public, have become engrossed in the daily lives of a bunch of crab fishermen? It would utterly defy belief were it not for the fact that this Discovery Channel staple is returning for its 13th season.
As longtime fans can attest, a large part of the show’s unbelievably enduring appeal has always been traced directly to the crew of the Cornelia Marie. Aside from some pulse-pounding sea squalls and the day-to-day interpersonal drama we’ve all come to expect from basic-cable reality shows, there have been many a poignant, grounded moment to draw us in, not the least of which being Cornelia Marie captain Phil Harris’s untimely death in the sixth season and his son’s subsequent decision to take over and sail forth with the family legacy on his shoulders.
But here’s one turn of events that no one saw coming: when the new season kicks off in Canada this week, it will be without Josh Harris and the rest of the Cornelia Marie crab-catchers.
Harris revealed the big news in a Facebook video that’s since gone viral, explaining that: “We do not have a camera crew aboard this king crab season. This was not our decision, and it was not made by the owners nor the captains of the Cornelia. This was not a dispute over money. This was simply a decision made by production at Discovery. They have creative control over pretty much everything that airs on Deadliest Catch and, you know, we respect that.”
The crew could rejoin the show for a 14th season or beyond. Until then, the series promises much of the same high-stakes crabbing action from the other ships as they head out on those ever-treacherous seas, beginning today with a special two-hour season premiere.
8. Flip or Flop Vegas – Wednesday, April 19, 6 p.m., HGTV | Series Premiere
HGTVFollow MMA fighter Bristol Marunde and his wife Aubrey as they reinvent the Las Vegas real-estate game by snapping up neglected homes and transforming them into something beautiful with his reno skills and her design savvy.
9. Bill Nye Saves the World – Friday, April 20, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixOver the past couple of years, Netflix has clearly been striving to capitalize on the world’s collective nostalgia, with reboots of classic shows (Fuller House, Gilmore Girls) and wholly original ideas that hearkened back to a simpler time (looking right at you, Stranger Things). This week, the trend continues, as they’ve set their sights on everyone’s favourite Science Guy, who returns with lots of fancy technological upgrades to make him relevant for the YouTube generation.
As the series unveils 13 episodes this week, the inimitable Bill Nye is in fine form alongside some pretty high-profile guest stars. The likes of Star Trek: The Next Generation/ Big Bang Theory alum Wil Wheaton, Project Runway host Tim Gunn, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom and Community’s Joel McHale will be stopping by to help viewers learn a lesson or two, while people you’ve totally never heard of but will come to love Kylie Kloss, Derek Muller, Nazeen Hussain and Emily Calandrelli serve in Bill’s stable of ongoing correspondents.
And this time, it’s not just science on the table; Nye is expected to tackle a variety of subjects, from alternative medicine and sex to climate change and video games, all explained with his usual blend of intellect, wit and infectious enthusiasm.
10. Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On – Friday, April 20, Netflix
NetlixAfter Hot Girls Wanted, an exploration of the amateur porn industry through the profile of a young adult-film actress, made its debut at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, it garnered a fair bit of buzz, prompting Netflix to add the documentary to its slate of Originals.
Now, producer Rashida Jones and her partners Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus have expanded on their film with a six-part anthology series delving into the world where sex and technology meet, delving into intimacy, connection, disconnection, self- promotion, race and gender politics.
“The documentary was really just about a very specific niche of porn, which was the amateur genre,” Jones—who also directed the first episode of this series—told Dominic Patten of Deadline Hollywood. “[Here] we wanted to tell stories that were in the sense talk about the relationship between sex and technology and how it affects intimacy and connection.”
And as her fellow producer Bauer explained to Marie Claire: “Technology is moving so fast, and people are so connected but so disconnected. There’s such a big disconnect between what kids see and what parents think their kids see. What exists on the Internet is so surprising. If I wasn’t doing this work, I’d never know what existed on the Internet.”