From Samantha Bee hosting the Canadian Screen Awards to the nostalgic return of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Canadian Screen Awards with Samantha Bee – Sunday, April 16, CBC
Canada’s combined version of the Oscars and the Emmys is back to honour the best in homegrown Canuck film and television. Awards will be handed out over the course of seven events, divided by genre, with tonight’s special to feature highlights from the week-long series of award galas. This year’s host is Samantha Bee, who won’t be appearing live but in pre-recorded segments.
2. A Town Called Malice – Sunday, April 16, Showcase | Series Premiere
This U.K. thriller, set in the 1980s, focuses on the Lords, a crime family of petty thieves from South London, as they relocate to Spain to profit from an unexpected windfall—and to escape the attention of the police in a high-profile murder enquiry. Dougray Scott and Martha Plimpton head the cast.
3. Barry – Sunday, April 16, HBO Canada | Season Premiere
Four seasons isn’t necessarily what you’d call a long run for a popular, Emmy-magnet cable series, but when a creator decides it’s time to pack it in, well, that’s a creator’s prerogative.
In the case of Hollywood hitman comedy Barry, however, there are those who couldn’t figure out why Bill Hader didn’t just wrap things up at the end of season three, when Barry Berkman found himself in cuffs, after being set up by his acting coach Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler).
“I mean, a lot of people after last season were like, ‘Why are you doing another season? It should’ve just ended,’” Hader told Variety last month. “But to me, there are still so many questions with the other characters, and with Barry—and there’s so many things unsaid. What happens in season four is structurally radical in some ways, but it made sense for what I think the characters needed to go through, and what I think the whole show is always kind of headed towards.”
Tonight, the farewell season debuts with the first two of its eight episodes, all eight to be directed by Hader himself. We begin with Barry now in prison for his many sins. In turn, Cousineau is declared a hero, and... that’s about all we know, except that Barry’s arrest has—per HBO—“shocking consequences.”
With its conclusion, Barry will present seasoned TV writer and star Hader with something he’s never had to experience before: the emotional ramifications of ending a series. “Right now, it’s like, ‘Oh, the story ended,’” Hader told Variety. “I just wanted to tell this story, and the story’s done. I did say this to [producer] Hiro Murai, though, and he was like, ‘I’m telling you, when the last episode airs, it’s really sad.’ Because when the last episode of Atlanta aired, he was like, ‘Oh, man, I’m really sad!’ So I have that to look forward to.”
4. Waco: The Aftermath – Sunday, April 16, Paramount+ | Series Premiere
Between February 28 and April 19, 1993, the U.S. federal government and Texas state law enforcement sieged the compound belonging to the religious cult Branch Davidians. The group, of course, had been tipped off about the arrival, and the famous 51-day Waco siege resulted. It all ended when 76 Davidians—including David Koresh and 25 children—died from smoke inhalation or mercy killings after the FBI used infrared scanning to find them and release CS gas into the vault where they were hiding. Thirty years later, all kinds of specials and documentaries dedicated to the subject are streaming this month, but this dramatized project in particular stands out.
The Showtime series (which began streaming on Paramount+ in Canada last Friday under a new streaming deal) comes on the heels of the January 2018 miniseries Waco. This sequel presents the fallout of that two-month siege and lays out exactly how the actions from that tense time played out in the subsequent months.
Over five episodes, the miniseries examines the incidents and unfair justice given to the surviving Branch Davidians and how those moments helped flame the fires for the “Patriot” movement and the 1995 Oklahoma City terrorist attack. To tell that story, the crew focuses the cameras on FBI negotiator Gary Noesner (Michael Shannon), who was involved in the first 25 days of the standoff and retired in 2003 (to write a memoir of the experience, naturally). The show then uses flashbacks and courtroom scenes to highlight all of the tension that led to the siege’s tragic conclusion and emphasizes the life of terrorist Timothy McVeigh (Alex Breaux).
Gary Cole, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Cassidy and Shea Whigham also star.
5. Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything – Monday, April 17, W Network | Series Premiere
Rosie Molloy (Sheridan Smith) is a hard-living, high-powered, highly paid executive with a huge appetite for food, drugs, booze, sex and cigarettes—until her self-medicating ways catch up with her. After an embarrassing incident at her brother’s wedding, she wakes up hospitalized and comes to a big epiphany. Informed by the ill health of her father and the very real possibility of losing her job, she has the dawning realization that her addictions are destroying her friendships, her family, her work life and even her sanity.
To set things straight, Rosie decides to kick every single vice—setting her on a new path as she attempts to move forward on a much healthier path in life. However, the big question she finds herself grappling with is, if Rosie really does give up “everything,” will she still be Rosie? Ultimately, the troubled protagonist comes to understand that perhaps it isn’t her addictions that are the real problem.
6. Alex Borstein: Corsets and Clown Suits – Tuesday, April 18, Prime Video
If you heard Alex Borstein’s voice, you’d know her immediately as Peter Griffin’s long-suffering spouse Lois on Family Guy. But in recent years she’s become far better known for her work outside the recording booth, having twice won Outstanding Supporting Actress for playing Susie Myerson, Midge’s manager on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. With season five of that series recently kicking off, here’s hoping you haven’t gotten enough Borstein in your life, because this week brings her first-ever Amazon comedy special.
Entitled Corsets & Clown Suits, the set is described as “a deeply personal and wildly fictitious account of one woman’s attempt to f*** with perception.” Filmed at the Wolford theatre also seen in Maisel, the special is full of music, chuckles and stories.
7. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always – Wednesday, April 19, Netflix
Prepare for a 1990s nostalgia overload with this revival of the original series, with OG Power Rangers stars David Yost, Catherine Sutherland, Steve Cardenos, Walter Jones and other cast members onboard to reprise their roles. Plot-wise, after tragedy strikes, an unlikely young hero emerges to take her rightful place among the Power Rangers to face off against the team’s oldest and most dangerous nemesis.
8. Fired on Mars – Thursday, April 21, HBO Canada | Series Premiere
Two years have passed since the announcement that three animated series would be coming to Crave: Velma, the revival of Clone High and Fired on Mars.
We all know that Velma has arrived and caused no end of commotion amongst Scooby-Doo fans, and it’s been confirmed that Clone High will debut at some point this spring, but this week we’re finally getting Fired on Mars, described as an existential workplace comedy.
The series revolves around Jeff Cooper, a graphic designer for a space startup company who seems to have everything going for him until he suddenly gets downsized and abandoned on Mars, forced to forge a new existence for himself.
Fired on Mars originally began life as a short film by Nate Sherman and Nick Vokey. “It was the second short film we made,” revealed Vokey, who also serves as director of the series, during an interview with Bionic Buzz. “We were kind of organic animators, in the sense that none of us went to school for it or anything. We just figured it out as we went along.”
9. Star Trek: Picard – Thursday, April 20, CVT Sci-Fi | Series Finale
It’s been quite the journey back in time (while travelling to the future) thanks to Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Jean-Luc Picard in this series. Three seasons later, and it all ends with this series finale. While Stewart isn’t saying no to future opps with the character, we expect a bittersweet goodbye to one of the most popular franchise captains ever.
10. Ghosted – Friday, April 21, Apple TV+
In this action rom-com flick, salt-of-the-earth guy Cole (Chris Evans) falls for enigmatic Sadie (Ana de Armas), only to make the discovery that she’s a secret agent. Before they have a chance to go on a second date, Cole finds himself swept away on an international adventure to save the world.